And so D.C. United begins the eight-month trek to the MLS playoffs in its least favorite destination. No disrespect to Space City — love the food! — but United’s 10-game record in all competitions here since 2006 is 0-9-1 with five goals for and 21 against.

At least Dwayne De Rosario is fully healthy. Oh, wait…..

Pregame reading material:

My season preview, weaving in the DeRo suspension news. Here’s where it played in the print edition:

With an 18th season, MLS enters adulthood and embraces a second generation that grew up around the league and sport.

The starting XI: a look at  MLS storylines entering the season.

The front page of the Houston Chronicle sports section looks like this.

TV: NBC Sports Network, 8 p.m. ET.

Announcers: Arlo White and Kyle Martino.

Kickoff: Around 8:20.

Game-time weather: 52 degrees, clear, 12-mph wind.

Referee: Baldomero Toledo.

Road trip lyrics:

I got holes in both of my shoes
Well I’m a walking case of the blues
Saw a dollar yesterday
But the wind blew it away
Goin’ back to Houston, Houston, Houston

— Dean Martin, 1965 (video)

Road trip cuisine: The Original Ninfa’s and Tampico Seafood.

Favorite sign:

Nicest moment: Before boarding my flight at Washington Dulles, a first-class passenger switched seats with an Army soldier heading home.

Okay, almost gametime…..

Happy Texas Independence Day!

DCU: Hamid; Korb, McDonald, Jakovic, Woolard; DeLeon, Kitchen, Saragosa, Thorrington, Pontius; Pajoy. Subs: Dykstra, Russell, Riley, Ruiz, Sanchez, Porter, Rafael.

HOU: Hall; Sarkodie, Taylor, Boswell, Ashe; Garcia, Moffat, Clark, Davis; Barnes, Bruin. Subs: Marscheider, Ching, Johnson, Creavalle, Camargo, Dixon, Brunner.

Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome in our comments section.