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

The Dynamo have been quietly taking care of business in the Western Conference and currently occupy fourth place. They have secured 20 points to start the season, compared to D.C.’s 24, while playing three fewer matches to this point. It will be interesting to see who Olsen elects to face the men in orange, given the wholesale changes he made in the previous midweek match. Only four regulars saw action from the opening whistle in Toronto, and a return to the three-man back line with Steve Birnbaum, Jalen Robinson, and Fred Brillant worked to perfection.

The offensive tandem of Mauro Manotas and Alberth Elis have propelled Houston to their solid 6-2-2 start. Manotas has found the back of the net on six occasions, while adding four assists. Meanwhile, Elis has takes top spot in assists and is just behind his Colombian teammate with four goals.

Manotas was on the scoresheet once again on Wednesday night against the Portland Timbers, and guess who played provider? You got it.

Houston’s well-known ability to turn defense into attack in the blink of an eye and flood numbers forward was on full display two weeks ago in a Texas Derby triumph. FC Dallas were pushed up for a corner and were subsequently punished, as a Tomas Martinez clearance ignited a foray forward that ended in a one-touch Manotas finish.

Nothing has changed with the team’s ability to carve open defenses on the break, but they’ve been able to control games a bit more this season with an increase in average possession to add to their ability to get behind defenders with pace and deliver incisive through balls. Although he has yet to register an assist in 2019, veteran midfielder Boniek Garcia has been instrumental on both ends of the field and is second on the team with 1.6 key passes per game.

Homegrown player Memo Rodriguez lines up on the left side of the attack and had a bright start to 2019 after patiently waiting for playing time over the last couple of seasons. The 23-year-old was ahead of his teammates in the scoring department in the first few weeks with four goals to his name, but he has since cooled off. Head coach Wilmer Cabrera will be hoping he and Martinez, who plays just behind Manotas in midfield, can produce more in front of goal to help take the load off Manotas and Elis.

While Manotas currently leads the way in goals, it’s no secret that Elis is the engine that keeps this team running. The Portland Timbers were the latest team to illustrate the team’s dependence on Eli by limiting his influence just enough to earn a valuable road point. Containing the Honduran is easier said than done, but the teams who have managed to do so have been the ones to take points from the Dynamo. Elis was kept off the score sheet three out of four times in losses to the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders and stalemates with both Real Salt Lake and Portland.

While chances are D.C. United will not face a near-record shots again, they will need to show the same composure and organization at the back that helped steal a point in Toronto if they are to stifle another talented front line and escape the pressure-cooker of BBVA Compass Stadium with a result.

D.C. United Can't Hold First-Half Lead, Lose 2-1 To NYCFC In Open Cup

D.C. United took a first-half lead in their Round of 16 U.S. Open Cup game against New York City FC at Audi Field on Wednesday night but couldn't make it count, falling 2-1 to exit the cup competition. Alexandru Mitrita scored in the 38th minute, and then Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored the winner in the 41st minute, in the first-ever Open Cup game between the two sides.

D.C. United Eye U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals With NYCFC Visit

Olsen Talks Open Cup And 2nd Half Of Season

A week after a dramatic late win over the Philadelphia Union, D.C. United host New York City FC at Audi Field on Wednesday night, hoping to advance to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup for the first time since 2013. The winner of the game on Wednesday night — the first matchup between the two Eastern Conference foes in the Open Cup — will go on to face either the New England Revolution or Orlando City in the quarterfinal stage.

USA Ease Past Guyana 4-0 To Open Up Gold Cup

The United States put up a scoreline that many predicted on Tuesday night, as Gregg Berhalter's side opened up their Gold Cup with a 4-0 win over Guyana at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota. Paul Arriola opened the scoring in the first half for the USA, and Tyler Boyd scored his first two goals for the team in his second cap after switching allegiances from New Zealand last month.

From Totti & Roma To Sarri & Juventus, Serie A's Top 6 Are In Chaos

Italy is nothing if not dramatic. 

US Men's National Team Open Gold Cup Against Debutants Guyana

After a tumultuous month, the USA finally begins their Gold Cup campaign this evening when they take on Guyana at Allianz Field, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Gregg Berhalter will be hoping to get his team back on track after ugly friendly losses to Jamaica and Venezuela earlier this month. The game kicks off at 10 PM ET and will be broadcast on FS1 and UniMas.

4 Positives In A Difficult Major League Soccer Debut From FC Cincinnati

What looked to be a picturesque maiden voyage for FC Cincinnati quickly ran aground. The Orange and Blue have produced a solitary victory in the 12 matches since their bright 2-1-1 start and find themselves looking up at the rest of the league with 11 points. As the Gold Cup break provides a brief opportunity to reboot and prepare for a grueling summer and fall, it’s time to have a look at the top storylines from the first half of Cincinnati’s inaugural season in Major League Soccer.

Maurizio Sarri May Not Be Pep Guardiola, But He Could Be Juventus' Answer

On Sunday the rumors finally became official: Maurizio Sarri is the new Juventus coach.

Christian Pulisic Holds Keys For USMNT Success At Gold Cup

After two recent friendly defeats, there are now more questions about Gregg Berhalter's USA side heading into the Gold Cup than there were a month ago. Injuries have robbed the manager of a couple of players in his squad, most notably Tyler Adams and John Brooks. Those two absences alone, though, don't account for worrying signs in the losses to Jamaica and Venezuela, games in which the U.S. failed to score a single goal.

5 Players To Watch At The 2019 Gold Cup Including Pizarro, Steffen, & More

The 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup is nearly upon us as 16 nations are set to square off for the title in a revamped format. Although Mexico and the United States are once again the favorites — only Canada have added a title — the 15th edition of the tournament features a number of intriguing storylines and Concacaf play is always full of surprises. 

Mexico Remain Gold Cup Favorites Despite Long List Of Absences

With recent friendly stumbles for the U.S., it seems like Mexico should be far and away favorites for the upcoming Gold Cup. But the most decorated Gold Cup team has a couple of issues of their own, even though the depth that Mexico possesses is unmatched in the Concacaf region.