D.C. United vs. Montego Bay United
2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League
August 25 | 8 pm ET | RFK Stadium
FOX Sports 2
WASHINGTON – Fresh off of a key road victory over Panamanian side Árabe Unido last week, D.C. United will continue their CONCACAF Champions League campaign on Tuesday evening with a home matchup against Jamaican side Montego Bay United.
The win against Árabe leaves United sitting pretty atop Group H. Though tied with the Panamanians for the group lead, D.C. have only played a single match, while Unido have already played both of their home matches and face a much tougher road ahead.
LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK: Though D.C. emerged victorious against Árabe, their recent league form has left a bit to be desired. Concerning defensive performances against NYCFC and San Jose have led to back-to-back losses and some locker room frustration. However the squad that will take on Montego will likely be entirely different than the first-choice squad used for those two losses.
A win against the Jamaican underdogs could be just what the doctor ordered for United, a midweek opportunity to wash the taste of those losses out of their mouth before a crucial weekend clash with the archrival New York Red Bulls (7 pm ET, FOX Sports 1).
AN UNKNOWN OPPONENT: Montego Bay enter the clash in preseason form, with their Jamaican Premier League opener against Portmore United still a month off. The group minnows qualified for the CCL via a third-place finish in the Caribbean Club Championship, but were dispatched effortlessly by Árabe in their group opener.
Cash-strapped Montego Bay do have one familiar face, though: former Colorado Rapids and Tampa Bay Mutiny head coach Tim Hankinson, who took the reigns at Montego earlier this month. After witnessing his side's drubbing against Árabe, Hankinson remained hopeful, telling a local paper, “It wasn’t a great night for them, but I saw hope, I saw qualities in their game.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
JAIRO ARRIETA AND ANDREW DYKSTRA, D.C. UNITED: Arrieta has been inconsistent in league play, and a CCL match against a grossly undermanned opponent might prove helpful in getting him back into form. Other United regulars like Chris Pontius will get a chance to continue building fitness towards an eventual larger role with the first team.
Dykstra was key to United’s success against Árabe, weathering the storm through both halves and keeping a clean sheet. While he’ll most certainly face less pressure against Montego, the backup ‘keeper could still play a significant part in securing a comfortable win for the Black-and-Red.
DINO WILLIAMS AND ALLAN OTTEY, MONTEGO BAY UNITED: After the 3-0 drubbing against Árabe, Montego will be desperate for a win, and will bank on Williams and Ottey to help them along the way. Williams has seen spot duty with Jamaica’s national side, while Ottey is a contributor at the youth level. Both will need to take their chances for Montego Bay to have any hope of stealing points at RFK.