DC United limped out of the BBVA Compass Stadium last Sunday night battered and bruised. Ben Olsen had to make two first half substitutions in both Chris Pontius and Marcelo Saragosa, two highly influential players to the United squad. Olsen also made a fairly early substitution in the second half as Brandon McDonald had to depart with an apparent calf injury. As DC United are down 3-1 on aggregate going into the second leg which is on Sunday, November 18th at 3pm in RFK Stadium, DC will look to score goals, and fast. DC need to win by at least to goals to send the game into extra time, and a win by three or more goals would send DC United to the MLS Cup Final, which would subsequently be hosted at RFK Stadium.
Rookie, Nick DeLeon remains confident as is the rest of his team, as he picked up his second goal of the MLS playoffs. DeLeon was quoted as saying after the match, "we'll come out firing next Sunday." DC will have no reason to sit back and defend as Pajoy, Santos, Salihi and Boskovic could all see plenty of time if Ben Olsen feels it is necessary. A question for DC is the status of Chris Pontius who suffered what looked to be a thigh injury in Sunday's match, who will most likely return to the field for the second leg.
The Houston Dynamo looked sharp in the first leg with Brad Davis controlling the midfield and Will Bruin doing well up front with Kandji. Will Bruin scored his fourth goal of the MLS Playoffs this season which shows DC must be much more aware of his striking prowess. Furthermore, DC must also not fall asleep during set plays as the team conceded two goals because of their defensive lapses.
Overall, DC United and Houston Dynamo fans should be very intrigued by Sunday's second leg match up as both teams will come out attacking minded, while Houston may take a more cautious approach at times. Hopefully both teams will be well rested during the week to allow for both teams players injuries to heal, and allow the best possible players to be on the pitch for everyone. If Ben Olsen really needs a bit of magic, who knows, he may just throw in Dwayne De Rosario.
(Image Courtesy of Getty Images)