DC United to win
DC United have started the season with a bang, and they are expected to keep that going. They face Chicago Fire on Saturday and will be the favorites to win.
With two wins in two, and zero goals conceded, United will prove a formidable opponent for Fire. The away side are also yet to concede this season, but their performance in front of goal has been poor.
DC will be without Moses Nyeman after he was sent off in the previous game. Fire will be looking for some inspiration from Xherdan Shaqiri, who has now started in and completed two full games in the MLS.
A great sign that a team is looking solid to go deep in the tournament is when they pick up wins even when things aren’t quite in their favour. DC United did this last weekend – they were not at their best against FC Cincinnati but still managed to win – despite being down to 10 men after Moses Nyeman was sent off in the 80th minute. In dramatic fashion, they won through a penalty in the 8th minute penalty of added time to beat their opponents who had more possession and goal attempts than United managed. It was the first win at the TQL stadium, Cincinnati’s home, for the Black and Red.
Despite Ola Kamara scoring the winner deep in injury time, Bill Hamid was clearly the player of the match for DC United. The goalkeeper made 8 saves in the game, including a stunning save from point-blank range 2 minutes after DC scored, to protect their lead and three points.
Things went slightly better in the first match of the season for DC United, with Michael Estrada the hero for them. He scored twice in the first half against Charlotte FC to help DC win 3-0 at home. Estrada and Kamara have two goals each this season and will be the ones to keep an eye on in this next match, as well as when the season progresses.
Reports suggest they are in talks to get Carlos Tevez to join them this month. That could make things more interesting for the black and red side as the former Manchester United and Manchester City striker could become an impactful sub. He might no longer be the player who used to chase down defenders, but could surely prove to be a fox in the box for DC provided they can get him up to a decent level of fitness. He last played professionally in 2021 for Boca Juniors.
Chicago Fire needs inspiration, and they need it quickly. They finished 12th in the Eastern Conference last season, managing just 9 wins in 34 matches. The signing of Xherdan Shaqiri was supposed to lift that dressing room, but we know things don’t quite work as simply as that in football, and the start of the season hasn’t been easy. Don’t get us wrong – things could be a lot worse than two draws from two games, but there seem to be no goals in this side at the moment.
With no goals in their first two games, Fire sit 8th in the Eastern Conference, and 17th in the Supporters’ Shield standings. They are the only side yet to score or concede after 2 games in the league this season, and if they are looking to make the playoffs, a win against DC would be a good start.
Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson is not worried about the start right now, as he believes the defensive aspect of his play has worked out well for his side. And in fairness to them, it doesn’t seem like there is much evidence that their offensive game is going to get too much better over the course of this season. For instance, Chicago Fire’s pre-season also went in similar fashion as they scored just once in their four games. However, they lost just once in those matches as well, and it was a 1-0 defeat to Toronto FC.
So if you’re following this team this season then, a) the Unders market may be for you, and b) it may not be particularly interesting TV.
|DC United vs Chicago Fire|
|Teams||DC United vs Chicago Fire|
|Time||Saturday, March 12 at 7.30 PM EST|
|How to watch||MLS LIVE on ESPN+, NBCSW+, dcunited.com, WGN-TV|
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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