MLS Originals Meet In Battle Between D.C. United And LA Galaxy

DCU GM Breaks Down Transfer Moves

After a busy week in the transfer market, D.C. United will look to get their focus back on the field, when they host the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday evening at Audi Field, in Washington, D.C. It will be the only regular season match up in MLS between United's Wayne Rooney and the Galaxy's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, two of the more prolific goal scorers in soccer over the past 10 to 15 years.

Kickoff is set for just after 7:30 PM ET, and will be shown on tv on FS1.

A week ago, United suffered their worst ever loss at Buzzard Point, when they fell 5-1 on national tv to the Philadelphia Union. It was a big game for the Black-and-Red, who could have moved to a tie atop the Eastern Conference standings. Instead, Chris Durkin injured his foot, and Junior Moreno got a red card, as United's playoff push over the final 10 games of the season didn't get off to a great start.

Then came the news that Wayne Rooney would head back to England at the end of the season, ending his stay with United after a season and a half. Then came a flurry of moves for United in the other direction, as the club brought in Ola Kamara, Felipe Martins, and Ema Boateng, looking to curb the recent run of results.

Kamara was brought in from China on a transfer and does not appear to be eligible to play against the Galaxy, who he scored 14 goals for in 2018. However, both Felipe and Martins could play some part against LA, making their club debuts shortly after arriving in the city.

Felipe, in particular, might be in line for a start on Sunday evening, given the options that will be absent at the defensive midfield positions. Durkin will likely be out for the month of August, along with Russell Canouse, who suffered a collapsed lung at the end of July against the Chicago Fire. In addition, Moreno picked up a first-half red card against the Union, conceding a penalty during a denial of a goal-scoring opportunity.

That left United with no natural defensive midfielders for the game against the Galaxy, before United brought in Felipe, who has been a thorn in the side of the Black-and-Red in eight seasons in MLS. Boateng could start in his debut as well but might be a substitute instead, capable of spelling either Paul Arriola or Lucas Rodriguez on either wing.

With Felipe the only everyday defensive midfield option available, head coach Ben Olsen might be forced in a slight formation change, having used a three man back line with two defensive midfielders over the past five games. 

Like United, LA comes into the game in 5th place in their conference, having recently been as high as second place. Last month, an emotional 3-2 win over city rivals LAFC seemed to set the Galaxy on course, but they've dropped their past two league games, losing 4-0 to the Portland Timbers, and 3-0 to Atlanta United, both on the road. 

With 16 goals this year, Zlatan is third in the league, behind Carlos Vela's 22 and Josef Martinez's 18. His former Manchester United teammate, Rooney, is tied for fifth in the league with 11 goals. The pair spent part of the 2000s and 2010s competing with each other on the field in European competitions, both for club and country, before becoming teammates in 2016. 

Tonight's game marks the Galaxy's first visit to United's second-year stadium. In 2018, just before the arrival of Rooney, the two MLS originals played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Dignity Health Sports Park, with the visitors climbing out of a two-goal deficit to earn a point. 

Predicted D.C. United Lineup (4-1-4-1): Bill Hamid, Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum, Frederic Brillant, Leonardo Jara, Felipe Martins, Lucas Rodriguez, Luciano Acosta, Paul Arriola, Ulises Segura, Wayne Rooney

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D.C. United Can't Overcome Reyna's First Half Goal, Fall 1-0 To 'Caps

With Wayne Rooney back in the lineup, D.C. United could not turn a plethora of shots into a goal on Saturday night, falling 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place. Yordy Reyna scored the game's only goal in the 18th minute, as United failed to pick up their first two-game winning streak since May. The loss dropped the Black-and-Red down into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of rivals the New York Red Bulls, who come to town on Wednesday.

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After scraping together a much-needed 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy on Sunday, D.C. United will look to make it two wins in a row tonight when they travel to Canada to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Black-and-Red haven't won two games in a row since May 4 and May 12, when they took down the Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City in back-to-back games at Audi Field. The win over LA last weekend catapulted United back into third place in the Eastern Conference, despite just three wins in their past 14 games.

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The inaugural Concacaf Nation kicks off in less than a month and in League C — the lowest tier of the competition — are 13 nations aiming to grow and gain promotion to League B in the next edition. The tournament is the first of its kind involving all 41 teams in the region and is a welcomed opportunity for many of the participants to convene and take part in more competitive matches than ever before, seven of which FIFA President Gianni Infantino recently visited to assess the development of the sport in the Caribbean.

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League B of the inaugural Concacaf Nations League has a couple of surprising teams to go along with several teams that could vie for a promotion spot, against all odds. Despite finishing Nations League qualifying on the same amount of points as three teams that ended up in League A, Jamaica and El Salvador fell to League B by virtue of their goal differential over the four qualifying games. 

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Just around the corner, the Concacaf Nations League tournament hits the group stage for the first installment of the tournament. After the qualifying stage that took place at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, the 41 teams in the region have been split up into three leagues, with group play starting during next month's international break. 

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Sans Rooney, Arriola And Rodriguez Fire United To Win Over Galaxy

Coming off a challenging week, and without their captain on the field, D.C. United put an end to a recent poor run of results, beating the LA Galaxy 2-1 at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. With Wayne Rooney out sick, and Luciano Acosta on the bench, Paul Arriola and Lucas Rodriguez scored on either side of the half, canceling out a second-half strike from Favio Alvarez.