D.C. United hit the road and is ready to go for three more points after a convincing win over LA Galaxy at home last week. Next up? Toronto FC at BMO Field.
Winless since April, last-place Toronto has been struggling to get back into form while the Black-and-Red continues to climb the Eastern Conference table.
In addition to the lack of points, the Reds seem to have some (more) drama brewing in the locker room. Designated player Federico Bernardeschi is benched for tonight’s match, a decision coach Bob Bradley made in the wake of Bernardeschi’s frustrated remarks to the media after a loss to Austin FC. Bradley denies the DP’s absence is disciplinary.
As for Wayne Rooney? He and the Black-and-Red are focused on getting the job done. He said, “The main focus on the game on Saturday is us, if I’m being honest. Because Toronto…are not going through a great moment. I think it’s clear that there’s been a bit of a bit of words between players and maybe staff… So the main focus is on ourselves and making sure we do our job right. And we go in there with the right mindset to try and win the game.”
Things continue to look up for D.C. United with key players returning from injury. Taxi Fountas, Steve Birnbaum, Andy Najar, and Pedro Santos will all be available for selection against Toronto.
Let us know in the comments if you’re making any predictions for tonight! And here’s a little something to get you pumped up for tonight’s match from D.C.’s awesome creative team:
Key Players: Christian Benteke and Lewis O’Brien
Benteke continues to be D.C. United’s danger man. At this point, it’s an anomaly for him not to cause the opposition a headache. As for O’Brien, he’s a selfless and creative player who has the ability to make opportunities materialize out of thin air.
Watch Out For: Lorenzo Insigne
Despite a poor season record so far, Toronto FC has incredible talent on the roster. DP Lorenzo Insigne is one of many that might cause the Black-and-Red some pain at BMO Field.
Challenges: Wayne Rooney will need to consider another three match week in his lineup decision. The Black-and-Red play at home on Wednesday, May 31, against Montréal before heading back out on the road to face Inter Miami on Saturday, June 3.
Previously: D.C. and Toronto last met in the season opener at Audi Field on February 25. The Black-and-Red emerged victorious, with Ted Ku-DiPietro scoring the game-winner at the death in the 90′ + 8′.
Toronto FC Availability:
Out: Michael Bradley (lower body), Alonso Coello (lower body), Adama Diomande (lower body), Shane O’Neill (lower body), Jonathan Osorio (lower body), Sigurd Rosted (upper body), Victor Vázquez (lower body)
Questionable: Deandre Kerr (concussion protocol)
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Martin Rodriguez (knee), Nigel Robertha (ankle), Mohanad Jeahze (thigh), Ruan (thigh)
Location: BMO Field, Toronto
Kickoff time: 7:30 pm ET
Referee: Lukasz Szpala
Available streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV