Led by Wayne Rooney, D.C. United will go head to head with CF Montréal, managed by former Black-and-Red head coach Hernán Losada.
This evening, the stakes are high for the Black-and-Red. After going winless since their home opener against Toronto FC at the end of February, they are ready to claim all three points and bolster confidence. Wayne Rooney said to the media, “I think that you get confidence from winning games, and so I think you can feel that a little bit. So that’s why we get that win and get our confidence back to where we want it.”
While D.C. United is looking to regain confidence and maybe put the past to rest, Montréal head into their second home match of the season after spending their first weeks on the road. Upon returning home, Montréal downed Philadelphia 3-2. For Montréal, a win tonight would be their 100th across all competitions, a significant milestone to reach as the club looks to realign after the exit of Wilfried Nancy to Columbus Crew.
For the Black-and-Red, tonight’s match is certainly more than just a game. Montréal head coach Hernán Losada was dismissed from the D.C. United in Week 8 of the 2022 MLS Season after a four-game losing streak and clashes with the front office. Coincidentally, he will face his former club – in Week 8. Many players who were with D.C. United during Losada’s tenure still remain with the club.
Donovan Pines reflected on the feelings around playing against their former coach. He said, “It’s gonna be probably bittersweet. You know, it is what it is. That’s the name of the game. You know, you move on, and you play, and you coach, you know, different teams. But we’re gonna treat this like it’s a regular game.”
Hear more from Wayne Rooney:
Key Player: Christian Benteke and Taxi Fountas
Christian Benteke continues to be a stalwart attacker for D.C. United. Recently returned from injury, Taxi Fountas will continue to look to develop the partnership with Benteke up top to solidify the Black-and-Red’s attack.
Watch Out For: Victor Wanyama
We would include Romell Quioto and Mason Toye on this list for Montréal. However, they are out with injuries (along with SEVEN other players). Wanyama’s grit makes him one to watch, as he can easily dismantle an opponent’s attack.
Challenges: The Black-and-Red haven’t had much success on the road this season and are in dire need of three confidence-restoring points.
Previously: D.C. United hasn’t won in Montréal since 2019 when the Black-and-Red took three points going 3-0. In 2022, Montréal dominated both meetings, taking all three points at Audi Field and Stade Saputo.
CF Montréal Availability:
Out: George Campbell (ankle), Matko Miljevic (knee), James Pantemis (shoulder), Jojea Kwizera (hamstring), Lassi Lappalainen (left leg), Jules Vilsaint (right leg), Samuel Piette (adductor), Mason Toye (left knee), Romell Quioto (right leg)
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Brendan Hines-Ike (foot), Martín Rodríguez (knee), Nigel Robertha (ankle), Derrick Williams (thigh)
Location: Stade Saputo, Montréal, Quebec
Kickoff time: 7:30 pm ET
Referee: Joe Dickerson
Available streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
Featured images courtesy of D.C. United