D.C. United Look For Third Consecutive Win In Midweek Tilt Against TFC

D.C. United are set to begin a three game road trip tonight, when they travel north of the border to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field. There’s no rest for the weary for the Black-and-Red, with a couple of quick turnarounds following Sunday night’s win over Sporting Kansas City and then a journey to Houston in just three days time. The action is set to begin at 8 PM ET and DMV residents can watch right here on FloFC.

D.C. secured a very important three points in their last outing thanks to Paul Arriola’s superb curling effort in the 78th minute. That result was the second win on the bounce following a rocky month of April, pushing them back level on points with the Philadelphia Union at the top of the Eastern Conference. Arriola moving back into an advanced role has already paid dividends with two goals in as many appearances in May.

TFC have stumbled of late after a hot start to the season, dropping their last two games, against Atlanta United and the Union. They currently sit seven points back from D.C. in sixth place, but have played two fewer matches. The good news for Greg Vanney’s men is that they will likely have Jozy Altidore back in the starting lineup. The U.S. international made a substitute appearance in their last outing, following a hamstring injury in April, and D.C. coach Ben Olsen is fully expecting to face a stiff test with him returning to the lineup alongside playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo.

"Jozy comes back, and we expect him to start. Those two, when they play together, it’s a very good duo and an effective team up top for them."

The Black-and-Red will have their hands full in defending Pozuelo, who has transformed Toronto’s attack since arriving from Belgian outfit K.R.C. Genk in March. The 27-year-old Spaniard is level with Jozy Altidore at five goals scored and has tallied six assists through his eight appearances in 2019.

Toronto have employed a variety of formations this year, but we’ll likely see a 4-4-1-1 with Pozuelo just behind Altidore. Midfield general Michael Bradley is once again the metronome for the Reds. The 31-year-old leads the league with an average 85.8 passes completed and isn’t far off the top in percentage at 89.3. Defenders Auro (back spasms) and Laurent Ciman (ankle injury) are listed as questionable after both made second half exits on Saturday.

New D.C. signing Marquinhos Pedroso impressed in his debut on Sunday in the team’s return to a 4-2-3-1, which we will presumably see again tonight. The switch to a three-man back line proved useful while dealing with injuries and allowed Donovan Pines to break through, but he remains sidelined with a knee sprain. Furthermore, D.C. simply look more comfortable with four at the back and seem to have a much clearer picture of what to produce going forward.

Defensive midfielder Junior Moreno will miss tonight’s match, as he has flown to Venezuela following the death of his father. Chris Durkin will start alongside Russell Canouse in Moreno’s place in midfield, before he departs for the U.S. Under-20 team ahead of the World Cup in Poland. Griffin Yow is away with the U.S. Under-17s in the Concacaf Championship, and Joseph Mora is yet to return from a broken jaw.

D.C. hold the edge in the all-time series when played in Toronto with a record of 8-6-2. However, the Reds boast a 4-2-2 record in the last eight meetings at BMO Field. A Wayne Rooney free kick sealed a 1-0 win in October at Audi Field the last time the teams met.

Predicted D.C. United XI (4-2-3-1): Bill Hamid; Marquinhos Pedroso, Steve Birnbaum, Frederic Brillant; Leonardo Jara; Chris Durkin, Russell Canouse; Lucas Rodriguez, Luciano Acosta, Paul Arriola; Wayne Rooney

Fiorentina's Annus Horribilis Could End In Relegation

As Serie A moves into its final round this weekend, there are few things still to be decided. Juventus won the title weeks ago, and Napoli have also comfortably secured their place in next season’s Champions League. Chievo Verona and Frosinone have long since been relegated, leaving just the third through sixth European places still to be decided as well as one team who will face the drop to Serie B. 

Audi Field To Host French Clubs For Next Three Years

D.C. United and  Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) announced on Monday morning that United's home, Audi Field, will host an upcoming tournament this summer, featuring four teams from France's Ligue 1. The event, sponsored by Electronic Arts (EA), will take place on July 18 and 21, with two teams on each day.

MLS Little Things: New England Approaches The Arena Era

We’re back with some more Little Things, this time featuring the Revolution, who are approaching the Bruce Arena era; Real Salt Lake, with explanations for their inconsistency; and plenty more:

Three Thoughts From D.C. United's Loss To The Houston Dynamo

Wayne Rooney's early second half goal seemed to put D.C. United on track for a seven-point week on Saturday against the Houston Dynamo, but two goals in two minutes later in the half gave the hosts all three points. 

Alejandro Bedoya On What Went Wrong With USA & More

The Philadelphia Union have enjoyed a strong start to the 2019 Major League Soccer season, with the Chester outfit (at the time of writing) sitting second in the Eastern Conference. Captain Alejandro Bedoya has been crucial to their early success and so FloFC figured this would be a good time to catch up with the former Nantes and Rangers midfielder.

Houston Dynamo Fight Back To Defeat D.C. United 2-1

Despite taking a lead early in the second half, D.C. United's troubles in Houston continued on Saturday night, as the Houston Dynamo fought back for a 2-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium. Wayne Rooney's goal 25 seconds into the second half was negated by two goals in two minutes from substitutes Memo Rodriguez and Tommy McNamara. Paul Arriola then got a red card late on, harming United's chances of grabbing a late equalizer.

D.C. United Out For Another Result On The Road Against Houston Dynamo

D.C. United are back at it on Saturday in part two of a three-game road trip following their midweek draw against Toronto FC. They face a stiff test against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium in a matchup of two of the league’s best teams this year. The action is set to kick off at 8:30 PM ET, and coverage starts on FloFC at 8 PM ET for DMV viewers.

Graham Smith Answers Sporting KC's Call

After spending most of the 2018 campaign with Sporting KC’s USL affiliate, the Swope Park Rangers, center back Graham Smith has started the last two games for Sporting KC as the club fights through a number of injuries. 

DCU Face Another Talented Attack After Defensive Masterclass In Toronto

Fresh off a scoreless draw in which D.C. United were able to fend off the third most shots in MLS history (35), Ben Olsen’s men head to the Lone Star State in search of another positive result against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night. The Black-and-Red will face another stiff test at the back when they line up opposite of one of the league’s most electrifying attacks

Yoann Damet Brings A New Attitude To FC Cincinnati

A change of coaches brought about a much needed change in attitude for FC Cincinnati.