ExLink - 10/21/18 - DCvNYC

DC United vs. New York City FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

D.C. United vs. New York City FC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 34

Audi Field — Washington, D.C.
October 21 — 3 pm ET

D.C. United are hoping to continue their march up the Eastern Conference standings Sunday when they host a rested and healthy New York City FC squad at Audi Field.

The Black-and-Red have won four straight games and are unbeaten in their last eight after defeating Toronto FC, 1-0, Wednesday night at home, while NYCFC have won just once in their last eight games and return to action following a 21-day layover.

This is the second league meeting this season, with the teams playing to a 1-1 draw a month ago at Yankee Stadium. Steve Birnbaum scored the opening goal in the 56th minute before David Villa leveled four minutes from full time on a well-struck free kick for his 11th goal of the season.

D.C. United

Four days after moving above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference, D.C. United (13-11-8) created a four-point separation from the Montreal Impact and moved within one point of the fifth-place Columbus Crew SC after defeating Toronto FC, 1-0, at Audi Field Wednesday night.

Wayne Rooney scored the lone goal, a sensational long-distance free kick in the 18th minute. It was his 10th goal of the season, tying him for the team lead with Darren Mattocks.

“The last two months have been a lot of fun, but the job’s not done,” Ben Olsen said. “We need to continue this form and finish off the home stretch with a win to get into the playoffs. We’ve had the pressure on us for two months but it’ll be nice to put some pressure on Montreal now.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Russell Canouse
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Taylor Kemp (labrum surgery), GK - David Ousted (elbow surgery), D - Chris Odoi-Atsem (Hodgkin’s lymphoma), D - Vytas (hip injury), D - Oniel Fisher (knee surgery), Kofi Opare (hip injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Bill Hamid — Nick DeLeon, Frederic Brillant, Steve Birnbaum, Joseph Mora — Russell Canouse, Chris Durkin — Zoltan Stieber, Luciano Acosta, Yamil Asad — Wayne Rooney

New York City FC

NYCFC (15-9-8) haven’t played a competitive match since a 2-1 defeat to Minnesota United FC at TCF Bank Stadium on Sept. 29.

The break, though, has been beneficial with players like Villa and Maxi Moralez, who were carrying slight knocks, back to full fitness and, perhaps just as important, its seen the return of Yangel Herrera to the training pitch. The 20-year-old Venezuelan midfielder has been sidelined for five months after ankle surgery, but will likely see limited action off the bench Sunday against D.C. United.

“Yangel’s very close,” Claudio Reyna said. “He’s been training now for a few weeks with the team. He looks really good. He’s of course not 100 percent because he’s been out for sometime. He feels good. It’s about trying to get his sharpness back. I think they’ll be minutes for him in the upcoming games.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Yangel Herrera, M - Tommy McNamara
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Cedric Hountondji (hamstring injury), M - Maxi Moralez (lower leg injury), M - Jo Inge Berget (left adductor injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Sean Johnson — Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Alex Callens, Ben Sweat — Alex Ring, Eloi Amagat, Ebenezer Ofori — Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, David Villa, Jesus Medina

All-Time Series


Referee: Chico Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Eric Weisbrod
4th Official: Christopher Penso
VAR: Younes Marrakchi