Toronto FC at D.C. United
Where: RFK Stadium. When: 7 p.m.
Records: United 3-17-4, 13 points; Toronto 4-12-8, 20.
D.C. probable starters: GK Bill Hamid; Ds Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard, James Riley; MFs Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Jared Jeffrey, Kyle Porter; Fs Luis Silva, Dwayne De Rosario.
TFC probable starters: GK Joe Bednik; Ds Richard Eckersley, Steven Caldwell, Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan; MFs Jeremy Hall, Reggie Lambe, Jonathan Osorio, Bobby Convey; Fs Robert Earnshaw, Maximiliano Urruti.
Outlook: On Friday MLS rescinded D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen’s one-game suspension, received last weekend for a second-half ejection against Montreal. Impact Coach Marco Schallibaum, who initiated the squabble with Olsen and was also ejected, had a second game added to his punishment as well as an additional $5,000 fine.
United has three other factors working in its favor despite its league-worst record: Toronto is nearly as bad, D.C. is 4-3-1 in the past eight outings at home (RFK and Maryland SoccerPlex) across all competitions, and Silva is hungry to perform against the club that dealt him last month. The second-year attacker has scored three goals and forged a promising partnership with De Rosario, another former Toronto player. Among the few attainable goals left this year, United is hoping to avoid finishing last in the 19-team league: With 10 matches remaining, D.C. trails Toronto by seven points and Chivas USA by five.
Both United and TFC have labored in the attack: United’s 14 goals are last in the league while Toronto has posted six in 12 away matches and has the fewest shots on goal (3.2 per game). United is 1-6-1 in the past eight league matches, while Toronto has dropped two straight since a 2-0-1 spell.
Toronto MF Matias Laba, who has started 16 matches since signing a designated player contract in April, fractured a big toe last week and will miss four to six weeks. Urruti, 22, aims to make his MLS debut after signing last week from Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina. Toronto is guided by first-year Coach Ryan Nelsen, who anchored United’s back line during its last MLS Cup title, in 2004. The clubs met June 15 at RFK — a 2-1 comeback victory by Toronto — and will reunite again Sept. 28 at BMO Field.