Ominous clouds and a burst of rain were fitting backdrops at RFK Stadium late this afternoon before D.C. United’s match against the Houston Dynamo. (The skies were clearer as kickoff approached — a harbinger for United?)

It’s been two months now since United’s last victory, and although the coaching staff and players have maintained an optimistic vibe, the losses are undoubtedly wearing on them. Tonight United faces not only its own demons, but an opponent that is disciplined, deep, well-coached and unfazed on the road.

The Dynamo did travel directly here from Los Angeles after a Sunday night game, the club’s third time zone in less than a week. But Houston is beaming from a 1-0 victory over the Galaxy and has lost to United just once in the past 11 meetings in all competitions.

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET.

TV: CSN+ (channel guide), NewsChannel 8, Direct Kick (free streaming on league website).

Nick DeLeon is expected to return to the game-day roster after a six-week injury layoff, but Chris Pontius seems likely to sit out for the second straight game with a groin ailment and gear up for Saturday’s visit to FC Dallas.

Official lineups and subs to come about an hour before kickoff…..

DCU: Hamid; Korb, McDonald, Jakovic, Woolard; Porter, Kitchen, Augusto, Sanchez; De Rosario, Rafael. Subs: Willis, Riley, Pajoy, Saragosa, White, Townsend, DeLeon.

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

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