WASHINGTON -- Fresh off a Sunday's stinging 3-2 loss at the hands of the New York Red Bulls, D.C. United headed back to work this week looking to rediscover their winning ways that escaped them in just their fifth loss in the league this season.
On Saturday, United head back to the friendly confines of RFK Stadium to face off against the Montreal Impact, a team that United drew 1-1 at there earlier this season. The Impact – with Wednesday night's performance in a dreary loss to Toronto non-withstanding – are a side that has greatly improved since that draw against the Black-and-Red on April 18.
"They have [Patrice] Bernier, Felipe [Martins] and [Collen] Warner," D.C. midfielder Perry Kitchen told reporters after practice on Thursday. "They like to play through them, so we are going to have our hands full. We need to sort it out early, as far as matchups and our defensive shape [are concerned]."
In the loss to New York, D.C. conceded much of the midfield to the Red Bulls, who used a numerical advantage in the middle of the field to stifle United's high-powered offense. To avoid a similar result, much as with the early encounter against Montreal, United will have to regain control of the midfield.
That won't be an easy task against the Impact, though. The Black-and-Red are currently on a five-game unbeaten streak at home, but it was the draw against Montreal that proceeded that streak.
"They are a good group of guys," Kitchen added of the expansion team. "They work hard and when they are on the ball they are good, too. They have been playing well of late, so it will be a tough game."