DC United have climbed east tonight and will look for a real winning streak tonight as they host CF Montreal. United are undefeated in four games and come off a solid midweek win, but they have only enjoyed one winning streak all year (which only lasted two games). The next step for the Blacks and Reds continues over a longer period, and they will look to do so against a Montreal side they dominated in June in a 0-0 draw.
Key player: Yordy Reyna
Reyna has improved in recent times, scoring two goals and an assist in his last three appearances. He looked full of confidence midweek against Columbus, even with the return of Paul Arriola it seems likely that Hernán Losada will want to reward this good play with another start.
With Montreal facing a significant shortage of defensively oriented players tonight, it’s fair to expect United to be able to create space and chances for their attackers. Reyna has a great platform to make sure it’s not just a brief increase in form, but rather a step forward in becoming a consistently productive and dangerous attacking player here.
Site: Audi Field (Washington, DC)
Kick-off time: 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Screening of DC United from the 11th: (343) – Jon Kempin; Andy Najar, Steven Birnbaum, Tony Alfaro; Julian Gressel, Moses Nyeman, Junior Moreno, Kevin Paredes; Yordy Reyna, Ola Kamara, Paul Arriola
Bench: Chris Seitz, Frédéric Brillant, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Joseph Mora, Felipe Martins, Drew Skundrich, Yamil Asad, Griffin Yow, Jovanny Bolívar
Losada may be missing six players (all of whom have started at some point this season), but United’s roster is stronger than it has been in recent times due to some returnees. Nyeman is likely after the suspension, while Arriola’s return from the USMNT is an added boost that allows Paredes and Najar to reprise the roles we’ve seen them in for most of the year.
A question mark is the other returning international, Donovan Pines. He’s questionable for this game, and if he can play, he might just start ahead of Alfaro. But, with United’s tendency to take injury precautions, we expect him to have one more weekend to recover.
Montreal screened from the 11th: (3412) – James Pantemis; Joel Waterman, Kamal Miller, Zorhan Bassong; Zachary Brault-Guillard, Samuel Piette, Emanuel Maciel, Mustafa Kizza; Djordje Mihailovic; Joaquín Torres, Mason Toye
This was a very difficult line-up estimate to piece together, as Wilfried Nancy’s side are without suspended trio Rudy Camacho, Victor Wanyama and Kiki Struna, not to mention injured starters Ahmed Hamdi and Romell Quioto. It’s tough enough to put together a set of players that work in their favorite 3412 that it’s quite possible that we see a switch to a back four (probably a 442 diamond) out of necessity. This team could also move into more than one 532 if the staffing shortage is sufficient.
If Nancy prefers Bassong as a winger (his more natural role), he’ll have to call on 19-year-old Róbert Thorkelsson to play in the full three, because that’s really it for Montreal defenders. Elsewhere, it is possible that Torres will give way to Sunusi Ibrahim or Bjorn Johnsen up front, while Mathieu Choinière could also present himself as a winger.
Arbitrator: Marcos de Oliveira
TV available: NBC Sports Washington, TeleXitos
Diffusion available: dcunited.com if you live in the team’s geographic area. For everyone else, ESPN + or FuboTV (subscribe through these links, and your B&RU friends get money!).
Be sure to check out our DCU guide on how to look to determine which is your best option.
For listings in other countries, check out LiveSoccerTV.com.
What do we have to say about it? : The latest Filibuster includes a discussion of the old Impact, while there is also a Buzzard Point tale to update you on the “history” of Montreal visiting this part of the world.
What are you drinking?: It’s a heatwave, and I always wake up earlier than expected due to the Olympics, so it’s kind of a cold day on the way for sure. Depending on how I feel once I get to Audi Field, we could also be talking about a rare can of Coca-Cola, just to cheer me up a bit.
It’s the perfect place for all your pre-game, in-game and post-game discussions. Vamos more goals!
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