Carpe Diem (D.C. United Pre-match)

September 23, 2017

The Quakes travel to RFK one last time to face D.C. United today at 4:00pm. With games versus Portland, Chicago, and Vancouver on the horizon, the Quakes need to seize the day and take home three points. A loss or a draw could see the San Jose overtaken by Houston, Dallas, or RSL by day’s end.

Line Up Predictions

D.C. United should feature a 4-2-3-1 with Bill Hamid in goal, Steve Birnbaum and Kofi Opare as the center-backs, with Sean Franklin at left-back and Nick DeLeon at right-back. Marcelo Sarvas and Russell Canouse should feature in the double-pivot with the trio of Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta, and Zoltan Steiber leading the attack. At forward, expect Patrick Mullins to start over Deshorn Brown.

The Quakes’ return to a four-back defense helped net a win last week versus Houston. The formation was listed as a 4-4-2, but played more like a 4-3-3 with Hoesen, Urena, and Wondo finally sharing a start. Defensively, Nick Lima should be healthy enough to play at right-back over Kofi Sarkodie with Shea Salinas dropping back from his usual midfield role to play left-back. Francois Affolter and Andres Imperiale will probably start as the center-backs, although neither have played very consistently all season. In the midfield, Godoy should start as the defensive mid with Vako and Tommy Thompson on the wings. However, Kofi Sarkodie and Jackson Yueill might see starts if Lima is still rehabbing and getting back into match shape, and if Leitch has decided that Yueill should see more starts after last week’s win. Tarbell will be in goal with Matt Bersano as the back-up (Bingham didn’t make the trip due to a back injury).

Final Score Predictions

The Quakes’ defense has holes, especially with a Jekyll-and-Hyde center-back in Andres Imperiale and an inconsistent Francois Affolter. However, D.C. United is the league’s worst offense with just 23 goals all season and one of the league’s worst defenses for a league-worst -26 goal differential. Don’t expect a high scoring game from DCU, but don’t expect a shut-out either. Also, with Vako, Urena, Hoesen, and Wondo all potentially starting, expect the Quakes to capitalize on a weak DCU defense and net at least two in RFK, probably Vako and Hoesen. Final score prediction: 3-1 San Jose.

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