WASHINGTON – A budding East-West rivalry will renew Wednesday evening, as D.C. United look to bounce back from two recent defeats and notch their first-ever home win against the Seattle Sounders (7:30 pm ET, MatchDay Live).
In three previous outings at RFK Stadium, DC have dropped all three games against Seattle: two in league play, and one in the 2009 US Open Cup final.
This time around will be no small task, as the Sounders enter Wednesday’s game on a six-game unbeaten streak, and fresh off a 3-0 win at home against Toronto FC last weekend. They’ve proven so far, at least, to be undaunted by the crushing loss of Steve Zakauni, who suffered a broken leg on April 22 against Colorado and likely won’t return this season.
“The first challenge is the emotions they’ve experienced the past couple of weeks,” United midfielder Dax McCarty said. “Losing a player like Steve Zakuani to an injury like that is very emotional for everyone involved. They go out and want to play the rest of the season for him.”
DC, for their part, are seeking a quick improvement after two straight humbling losses in league play. They’ve been outscored 8-1 in the last two games, decisive losses to New York and Houston.
And while the team expected some bumps in the road early in the year – this is a young team after all – there were questions about the effort in the latest loss against the Houston Dynamo, making the Seattle game all that much more important.
“We’ve had a couple tough weeks, we’re a young team, we’re going to go through these growing pains, but the one thing that’s unacceptable is the effort,” McCarty said. “It’s got to be there.”
Wednesday’s match opens a crucial stretch for United, who will host FC Dallas on Saturday and the Colorado Rapids on May 14.
“I think that this is a game for us that, in front of our fans and in front of our families, that win, lose or draw,” midfielder Santino Quaranta said, “guys better leave their hearts and everything out on the field."