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What we’re watching in DC United vs RSL

Real travel to the capital to take on a struggling but freshly reinforced DC United

MLS: D.C. United at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

DC United have had a rough season. They’re in dead last in the league, but hope is on the way. They’ve just signed USMNT player Paul Arriola, as well as Zoltán Stieber, Russell Canouse and Bruno Miranda, and we could see one or more of these players on Saturday. DC is taking steps to build a strong team, not necessarily for this season, but next. Real Salt Lake needs to win to help keep playoff hopes alive.

A must win game

I feel conflicted about making the playoffs. On the one hand, the dream of making a Sounders like run and winning MLS Cup would be amazing, but on the other hand, I’d rather miss the playoffs entirely and get some allocation money than to go out after the first game. But teams can’t take the peddle off the gas this close to the end, especially when we’re not out of the running yet.

It’s been strange to watch our team dominate in Portland and LA, but get draws at home. As pressure builds, I’m curious to see Petke’s reaction and the team’s response as we’re under the gun to get above the red line. If we can pull out a win during this game, we can keep our playoff hopes alive. If not, we’re building a team that will be very competitive next season.

Finishing

Our attack created a lot of good chances against Houston but finished none. A month prior, we made it rain goals in Los Angeles. There are a lot of factors on why this happened, but at the end of the day, we must put the ball in the net. Our attack is young but talented. That gives me hope, not just for this game or this season, but for the long term. Putting future hope aside, we need to do more with the chances we create and everyone wants to see more goals.

The Center Backs

After making any big change in life, it’s normal to question that decision and ask yourself if you made the right call. I’m feeling a bit of that with the Aaron Maund trade to Vancouver. Justen Glad has earned his spot in the back line, but he’s also so, so young. Marcelo Silva has been good in his very few matches with the club, yet he’s still somewhat of a mystery. Maund gave us a lot of fond memories so losing him feels like just that; a loss. Yes, behind Glad and Silva we still have two very good backups in Horst and Schuler, but I hope Glad and Silva show us why they’re the right choice for RSL.