DC United are on the road again tonight as they head to I-95 to face off against NYCFC in their temporary home at Red Bull Arena. Both teams reached the Eastern Conference playoff positions thanks to good offensive transition play and a tendency to produce game plans that destabilize opponents every week.
There is data indicating good reason for this game, like the opening of the season for both clubs, to be extremely close: According to American Soccer Analysis, these are the two teams with the lowest expected goals conceded to date. ‘now in the season. With both teams using pressure in different ways and in different places on the pitch to disrupt opposing attacking moves, this game comes across as a tactical battle that can depend on which team makes the biggest mistake.
player concept: Find another kind of scoring chance
We all have the same idea here. United dominated Montreal, took 27 shots and didn’t score. The natural idea here is that all that’s missing is the finish, which has driven us all crazy, and therefore whoever can finish is the key player.
But as we talked about on Thursday, who takes into account. United need to open things up so forwards enjoy their chances more than wingers and creators. Yes, these guys can score too, but the odds increase when forwards get more shots. United need to make sure Ola Kamara and Nigel Robertha don’t have to run errands to get the defense out of position for someone else over and over again.
I’ll add another category here: Set pieces. United haven’t been particularly dangerous lately, although they did at least have a great look for Brendan Hines-Ike on Wednesday. But, this is also a team with Donovan Pines, and ideally we see more precise design to isolate their better targets and better serve (like what Yamil Asad brought at the end of the Miami game).
Location: Red Bull Arena (Harrison, New Jersey)
Kick-off time: 6:00 p.m. East
Screening of DC United from the 11th: (3421) – Bill Hamid; Andy Najar, Brendan Hines-Ike, Donovan Pines; Julian Gressel, Russell Canouse, Felipe Martins, Kevin Paredes; Paul Arriola, Yordy Reyna; Ola Kamara
Bench: Jon Kempin, Frédéric Brillant, Tony Alfaro, Joseph Mora, Moses Nyeman, Yamil Asad, Griffin Yow, Adrien Perez, Nigel Robertha
Considering that Hernán Losada didn’t shoot much for Wednesday’s draw, didn’t shoot much in the face of a game with a short rest, and is considering three full days between games rather than two, we don’t plan to major changes. United quite clearly hit a physical wall around the 65th minute midweek, so don’t be surprised to see a subs or two at halftime.
Either way, the only change listed here would be Reyna for Perez, and you can probably guess why: United need a cleaner finish right now. However, the option could be Asad, or Yow, or Robertha (who would likely make it a 3412 instead).
NYCFC screened from 11: (4231) – Sean Johnson; Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, James Sands, Malte Amundsen; Nicolas Acevedo, Keaton Parks; Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, Maxi Moralez, Jesus Medina; Valentin Castellanos
Ronny Deila has mainly played 4,231 this season, so that’s our guess, but last month used a three-way comeback against Columbus and LAFC. In other words, United should be prepared for both formations. The Pigeons are without Heber due to injury, and Alexander Callens is with Peru for the Copa América.
Tinnerholm and Amundsen only played as substitutes on Wednesday, so they will return to their starting places. Alfredo Morales could replace Acevedo in the central midfielder, but the real question lies in the attacking midfielder line. Moralez only played 31 minutes midweek so expect him to be there, but after that it’s cloudy. Youngsters Andreas Jasson, Talles Magno and Thiago Andrade are all in the mix on the flanks.
Arbitrator: Robert sibiga
TV available: NBC Sports Washington, TéléXitos
Be sure to check out our DCU guide on how to look to determine which is your best option.
For listings in other countries, see LiveSoccerTV.com.
What do we have to say about it? : There is a brand new buccaneer it’s about 80% on this game, (the other 20% is the Montreal game, and a little discussion about beer).
What are you drinking?: Back on that grapefruit seltzer, all of you. After the game, it will be one or two cans of Sapporo.
It’s the perfect place for all your pre-game, in-game and post-game discussions. Vamos does a lot of things and scores this time!
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