Tonight, D.C. United travel to Bank of America Stadium to face Charlotte FC in what feels like a must-win for both sides.
As we near the end of the regular season the fight for playoff qualification roars on, and these two teams are in the thick of it. D.C. currently sits in ninth place, the final slot for playoff qualification, with 34 points. Charlotte sits in eleventh place, three points shy of D.C., but with two games in hand. Only seven points separate eighth place from fourteenth, so at this stage in the campaign every single point counts.
D.C. and Charlotte have a brief, yet vibrant history. Only facing each other three times in the league since Charlotte’s introduction to the MLS in 2022, one of those meetings being Charlotte’s first-ever MLS match. That match would see D.C. give them a cutthroat introduction to the league, winning 3-0. Their other two outings would repeat this scoreline, with Charlotte winning the reverse fixture and United winning the pair’s most recent clash in April.
Key Player: Christian Benteke
After an eight-game scoreless run, Benteke got back on the scoresheet against Chicago with two quality goals, and an assist to boot. Overall he was at the center of everything during United’s 4-0 rout of the Fire. In D.C.’s most recent match against the San Jose Earthquakes, Benteke looked sharp once again and was only denied by a Man of the Match performance from the San Jose keeper.
Watch out for: Karol Świderski
The Polish forward has slowed from his great midseason form, but he’s still Charlotte’s most creative player with seven goals and three assists in the league this season. An adept dribbler and a skilled finisher, he is surely the player that D.C. fans should be most worried about.
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Martin Rodriguez (knee), Mohanad Jeahze (ankle), Tyler Miller (rib), Derrick Williams (calf)
Questionable: Steven Birnbaum (hip), Andy Najar (thigh), Ted Ku-DiPietro (thigh)
Charlotte FC Availability:
Out: Hamady Diop (groin), Vinicius Mello (lower leg)
Questionable: Brecht Dejaegere (thigh)
Location: Bank of America Stadium, North Carolina
Kickoff time: 7:30 PM ET
Referee: Jon Freemon
Available streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV