DC United ready to adapt, compete in LA
After becoming the first team to win a league match in Portland, D.C. United will look to accomplish a similar feat Friday night when they take on the LA Galaxy (11 pm ET; FOX Soccer).
In six games at home, current point leaders LA have a 4-0-2 record on home turf and boast one of the league’s best defenses. However, the spacious field at the Home Depot Center will present a different challenge to that of the tight confines of Portland’s JELD-WEN Field.
“We know that it’ll be a little bit different of a game than Portland,” midfielder Chris Pontius said. “[There] wasn’t a whole lot of soccer played in the Portland game. We’ve got to keep the ball more this game, and hopefully make LA chase the game.”
Forward Josh Wolff knows it will take another stout defensive effort to come away with a second straight win on the road.
“[We’ve] got to stick to [our] guns, and we’ve got to remain, tight, compact and disciplined the entire game,” he said. “They’ve got too many guys that can punish you on the offensive end.”
The matchup becomes slightly more favorable for DC with Galaxy starters Landon Donovan and 'keeper Donovan Ricketts away on Gold Cup duty. Donovan’s absence means DC won’t contend with the US international at all this season as the midfielder was inactive when the two teams drew 1-1 at RFK Stadium on April 9.
“I think we need to take advantage of this and take it to them,” Pontius said of Donovan's absence. “I don’t think we’ll beat them sitting back.”
For such a young team, Friday offers a chance to continue the progress of going unbeaten in May.
“It’s going to be a challenge, regardless,” Wolff said. “But for us, it’s a real opportunity to move this club forward coming off of a big win.”
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @travismclark