Take two. D.C. United is eager to for a second chance to make a first impression and also secure its first win when it plays the Chicago Fire on Saturday at R.F.K Stadium. Like United, the Fire is also after its first win.
After stumbling in a season opening 3-2 road loss to Chivas USA, the Fire has managed a point in each of its last two games including a 1-1 draw Sunday against New York. United was better in a 1-0 loss to Toronto last Saturday, but needs to atone for a 3-0 loss in their home opener against Columbus that left supporters anxious.
Against Toronto D.C. United competed and started to invent despite difficult playing conditions on a sloppy field. In the end Jermain Defoe’s opportunistic goal was all that separated the two teams.
“I think there were a lot of positives to take away, unfortunately we aren’t judged on our positives we are judged on results. We lost to another conference opponent but we can be proud of the way the guys played for the most part, I thought we were all over them for a while. I think once we score one they are going to come in bunches. I thought Bill played a hell of a game, but unfortunately they pay that guy a lot of money to poach and he poached and got himself a goal.”
- 1. Just score. United is one of only two teams, New England is the other, which has failed to score this season. With so many new players coming together it would have been a stretch to think goals would come easy for United. United was more of a threat against Toronto, but the critical connection in the final third was still missing. United’s midfield will have to make a difference. Last week United had 60% of the possession against Toronto, but needs better distribution through the midfield to help support forwards Eddie Johnson and Fabian Espindola. Too often Johnson has been forced to track back to gain possession and last week only had three touches inside the penalty area.
- 2. Deny space to the Fire’s creative attacking midfielder Alex. When given room to operate Alex is effective at taking players on 1v1 and that can cause a defense to lose its shape and then open up opportunities for forwards Mike Magee and Quincy Amarikwa.