D.C. United kick off a two game road trip tonight with a game against third place Nashville SC at GEODIS Park. The Boys in Gold have only lost one game at home this season (7W-1L-2D), presenting a challenge for the Black-and-Red as they look to claim three points on the road to maintain their playoff spot.
The Black-and-Red will face a twofold challenge tonight. First, they will look to break through Nashville’s defense, which is arguably the best in the league with the lowest number of goals allowed against them (16) and the lowest goals against average (0.80). Second, they will have to defend Hany Mukhtar and company. Mukhtar has scored the most goals in MLS so far this season.
Wayne Rooney said, “It’s not down to one man to defend him because he moves in different areas and different spaces. So it’s about how we defend as a team, how we try and close that space in and deny that space, really, for these attacking players. But ultimately, we have to do that as a team.”
While Nashville is a strong opponent, they haven’t scored in two straight matches – losses to Columbus and Montréal. Meanwhile, D.C. United has just beaten best in the league Cincinnati 3-0, shoring up confidence.
We’re ready! Vamos United!
Key Player: Tyler Miller
Miller will have his work cut out for him tonight against Nashville as he’ll look to keep a clean sheet. Mukhtar won’t make it easy for D.C.’s goalkeeper though. Miller and the Black-and-Red defense will have to be just as focused as they were against Cincinnati.
Watch Out For: Hany Mukhtar
The 2022 MLS MVP, Mukhtar has recorded eight goals and six assists at home. He leads MLS in the race for the Golden Boot with 13 goals so far in 2023. While his style is more direct than Cincinnati’s Lucho Acosta, the Black-and-Red will have to be every bit as wary.
Challenges: The Black-and-Red will need to break down a tough Nashville team while on the road as they fight to stay in a playoff spot.
Previously: D.C. United has never won over Nashville SC and in their last meeting in August 2021, the Boys in Gold won 5-2 over the Black-and-Red.
Nashville SC Availability:
Questionable: Teal Bunbury (lower body injury)
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Martin Rodriguez (knee), Mohanad Jeahze (leg), Ted Ku-DiPietro (ankle)
Location: GEODIS Park, Nashville, TN
Kickoff time: 8:30 pm ET
Referee: Guido Gonzalez Jr.
Available streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV