Hello from RFK Stadium, where D.C. United and the Columbus Crew reunite after a meeting two weeks ago in central Ohio.
There's no such thing as a must-win on the first weekend in August. That said, United needs to regain its form tonight. With two consecutive victories, the Crew has drawn within five points and holds a game in hand. United would also like to avoid a third straight defeat heading into Kansas City next weekend.
United has won six straight league matches at home, while the Crew has claimed a respectable nine points on the road in 10 matches while conceding an MLS-low nine goals.
In a surprising omission, midfielder Andy Najar did not play in Honduras’ 3-2 loss to Brazil in the Olympic quarterfinal at St. James’ Park in Newcastle. His representative said he didn’t think he was injured. Najar will return to Washington in the next few days and undergo evaluations to determine whether he needs a break after being away for a month. If all goes well, he will resume training during the week and accompany the club to Kansas City.
At halftime, five new members of the Virginia-D.C. Soccer Hall of Fame will be honored: Sonny Askew (Washington Diplomats, U.S. national team), Dante Washington (Radford U., Olympics, MISL, CISL, MLS), Bob Childs (youth coach), Roy Gordon (University of Mary Washington coach) and Eric Baer (youth coach).
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET.
TV: Comcast SportsNet (D.C.), Fox Sports Ohio, Direct Kick, MLS Live.
DCU: Hamid; Korb, McDonald, Dudar, Woolard; DeLeon, Kitchen, Boskovic, Pontius; De Rosario, Tan. Subs: Willis, Jakovic, Saragosa, Neal, Cruz, Wolff, Santos. (Salihi not in the 18. Not injured, as far as I know.)
COL: Gruenebaum; Miranda, Mendes, Marshall, Williams; Meram, Birchall, Mirosevic, Duka; Gaven, Arrieta. Subs: Lampson, James, Gehrig, Tchani, Finlay, Renteria, Vargas.
Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome in our comments section.