DC United Preview
United continue to have unavailability issues ahead of this game. That’s certainly the case in defence where the starting duo of Bobby Boswell and Steve Birnbaum both miss out. In midfield and attack, Chris Rolfe and Patrick Nyarko remain out, whilst the strike duo of Saborio & Espindola are rated doubtful. DCU are one of the most inconsistent teams in MLS and the first goal in their matches is absolutely crucial. It seems the east coast side are unable to bounce back if behind, but if they can get ahead then the opposition need to be worried. I do wonder if their defence will be shaky here without either of its two key centre backs. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid will probably need to save them a few times, which he often does anyway. The RFK Stadium isn’t a place anyone really likes to come, yet United have lost 4 of their 8 matches here this year. His is a staggering amount in a league which is so home team dominant.
New England Preview
Of their important more regular starters, only midfielder Gershon Koffie is injured for New England. They have no suspensions to worry about. The Revs head into this match on the back of 3 wins in 4 games and started back after the Copa America break with a win at Vancouver last week. The Revs haven’t been at their best this season but the arrival of star striker Kei Kamara a few weeks ago got everyone excited. They certainly possess more of a goalscoring threat with him in their side. There’s always a feeling of inconsistency about New England and their defence has been surprisingly poor this season, keeping just one clean sheet in their last ten games. The victory at Vancouver last week was their first on the road this year and usually they aren’t so good on their travels. That’s especially been the case here at RFK Stadium where they’ve won in just one of their last eight visits.
I’ve said all season I don’t really rate this DC United side much. They are a poor outfit and especially lack much of a goalscoring threat. Most of their strikes have come in big 3-0 and 4-0s wins which have proven to be a strong anomaly Any success DCU have had is based on defence, good goalkeeping and the ability to get ahead. If New England could take the lead here then it’d put them in a great position. These two teams know each other quite well and the visitors often struggle facing their east coast rivals. For some reason, manager Jay Heaps has been outclassed by his opposite number in the last five H2H encounters. But this is definitely a good time for the Revs to take on DCU and maybe they can end their poor run against them? Matches involving United tend to be tight, whereas with NE fixtures have been more open of late. I could see this being a lower scoring contest which neither will really want to lose. I personally give New England the edge here and could see them sneaking a tight one 1-0 or 2-0.
This is a difficult match to call and I don’t see any betting potential in it. The bookies have priced up both sides on a DNB handicap line which is annoying. If New England had been a +0.5 or even a +0.25 then I might have been tempted to back them. It’s not usually a very good percentage play to back an away side in MLS on a DNB line though. You really have to respect home teams in this league. DC United can have a habit of grinding out a result as well, usually in an undeserved way with the keeper making a number of saves. The goal line is 2.5 and that actually seems too high. The last seven DC United games have all ended as strong unders. It’s rare both teams score in any of their fixtures. I favour NE, at least not to lose, but I’m not willing to risk anything on them here. Overall it’s a match I’m quite happy to swerve because one goal at either end could decide it.
Recommended bet: None