Storm clouds engulfed the nation’s capital this week, but the skies might be clearing some for D.C. United.
Wednesday night’s victory over the Philadelphia Union in the U.S. Open Cup round of 16 has given United some momentum heading into Saturday’s clash vs. Toronto FC.
At 1-10-3 and mired in a franchise-worst 12-game winless stretch in league play, United’s 3-1 win over Philadelphia provided a mid-week lift in more ways than one.
The victory ensured United’s place in the quarterfinals of the storied domestic cup competition, where it will host the New England Revolution. The game also served as a sorely needed breakout performance for captain Dwayne De Rosario, whose hat trick accounted for all of United’s scoring. His recent benchings have caused tension between him and coach Ben Olsen, but De Rosario is expected to be in the starting lineup against his former side and hometown club.
“I’m passionate, there’s blood in my veins — you saw that tonight,” De Rosario said following Wednesday’s win. “I have a strong personality. Like I said, I’m passionate, and [Olsen] has a strong personality too, so we’re going to bump heads. But at the end of the day, my job is to go out there and do the best job I can to help this team, and thankfully I was able to do that tonight.”
Toronto FC has fared marginally better than United this season, stumbling to a 1-7-5 record.
United looks to carry its Wednesday form into Saturday’s home match and start the ascent up the Eastern Conference standings by leapfrogging the Reds.
“It’s a good vibe right now,” Olsen said. “There’s a silent confidence about us that we can get out of this thing, and now’s the time.”
Hall of Tradition
The final nominees or D.C. United’s Hall of Tradition are out, with Jaime Moreno, Carlos Llamosa, Tony Sanneh and Alecko Eskandarian all up for induction. Fan voting will determine the one former player who will join the group of past D.C. legends, with ballots open on United’s website until June 19.