D.C. United returns to Audi Field tonight off a massively successful road trip to face Charlotte FC. The Black-and-Red won both road games to bag six points and claw their way up the Eastern Conference standings into a comfortable 8th place. D.C. also notched a mid-week Open Cup win against the Richmond Kickers, with Yamil Asad converting a penalty kick for the game-winner.
Charlotte FC hasn’t been putting in shabby performances by any means. All three designated players (DPs) for the club – Enzo Copetti, Kamil Jóźwiak, and Karol Świderski – scored mid-week to win their Open Cup match against South Georgia Tormenta FC 4-1. In addition, Charlotte’s DPs have scored in five of their last six games.
Tonight, the Black-and-Red will look to build on their successful road performances at home in front of their supporters. As head coach Wayne Rooney continues to lock in the team’s tactics, we’ll be watching how tonight’s lineup and formation align with the team’s growth.
Freshly resigned to a two-year contract, captain Steve Birnbaum told the media, “I think there’s confidence growing in the group. Obviously, racking up wins helps that, and we’re just playing better as a team and knowing each other’s tendencies.”
Looking to tonight, Birnbaum said, “I think right now we’re really honing in on the things that we’re doing well. I think that our box defending last game, as a group, was phenomenal. It’s got to be the same. I think that Wayne touched on that earlier on in the season that we have to finish our chances on the attacking side in the 18 there, and on the defensive side, we have to be buttoned up. So it’s about winning the game within the eight teams. And I think we’ve done that the last couple of games, and we just have to continue to do that.”
We’ll be watching tonight to see how the Black-and-Red approaches the match as they chase a third regular season win in a row.
Key Player: Christian Benteke
Benteke continues to be the true danger man for D.C. United. His three-touch stunner against Orlando still has us smiling. Benteke’s ability to consistently create opportunities in the box and his positive attitude has made him a league standout.
Watch Out For: Karol Swiderski
Swiderski leads Charlotte FC with 12 goals and eight assists. Last week saw the Polish international win Goal of the Matchday for his game-winner against Columbus Crew.
Challenges: Christian Lattanzio’s men have lost only one of their last six matches. It will be up to the Black-and-Red to ensure they don’t sneak in behind the back line to open up scoring opportunities. Both teams are sharp in wide play, so this will be something to watch as the match progresses.
Previously: In 2022, both D.C. and Charlotte won their home match 3-0. Can the Black-and-Red repeat last season’s win tonight?
Charlotte FC Availability:
Out: Guzman Corujo (right knee surgery), Joseph Mora (left knee)
Questionable: Ashley Westwood (right thigh), Bill Tuiloma (right thigh), Kamil Jóźwiak (right thigh)
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Brendan Hines-Ike (foot), Martin Rodriguez (knee), Nigel Robertha (ankle), Mohanad Jeahze (thigh, suspension)
Questionable: Ruan (thigh)
Location: Audi Field, Washington, DC
Kickoff time: 7:30 pm ET
Referee: Ismir Pekmic
Available streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV