Last-place United is looking to damage the playoff ambitions of longtime Eastern Conference foe New England.D.C. United's postseason hopes may be long gone, but the club has a chance to dent a longtime conference foe's playoff ambitions Saturday when it visits the New England Revolution.
New England sits just two points behind Chicago for the final Eastern Conference playoff bid after dropping a 3-2 decision to the Fire last weekend. It was the second straight loss for the Revolution, who are winless in three matches since a 5-1 thrashing of Philadelphia on Aug. 25 seemingly entrenched their place as a conference contender.
While United has just three wins on the season, and none in its past six matches, Ben Olsen's side did pull out a 2-2 draw against the defending champion LA Galaxy last weekend. Back in the starting lineup after missing seven league matches with a hamstring ailment, Chris Pontius notched his first goal from the run of play for United in 364 days.
The return of Pontius gives United strength on the flanks, with Nick DeLeon on the opposite side and Kyle Porter — the other goalscorer against LA — an option off the bench. Those players should create tough matchups for New England fullbacks Andrew Farrell and Chris Tierney.
With Daniel Woolard (hamstring) again out, Ethan White figures to partner with Dejan Jakovic in central defense for United. One player that duo likely won't have to deal with until the second half is striker Juan Agudelo, who has been limited while recovering from a hamstring ailment of his own.
This is United's second trip to New England this season after a scoreless draw in early June. United then defeated New England 3-1 in U.S. Open Cup play later that month before the Revolution picked up a 2-1 triumph at RFK Stadium in late July.