DC United look to establish themselves as Eastern Conference leaders as they host Real Salt Lake.
Two games, two shutouts for DC United against two tough opponents, albeit one being a draw.
DC is back home after coming out with a scoreless tie in the Bronx against New York City FC in a game where the goalkeepers were the story. Luciano Acosta almost fired one through in the 11th minute leading to a lunging Sean Johnson save. For DC, goalkeeper Bill Hamid made spectacular saves all day, keeping NYC off the board in their home opener, saving all six shots on goal. The most spectacular came in the final moments to seal the draw on a diving header by Alexander Ring.
This after beating the defending champions in the season opener. Like a man possessed, Bill Hamid has been playing with a chip on his shoulder after being snubbed from USMNT action. In his younger days, Hamid loses his cool. A more controlled Hamid now channels that chip through dominating play.
DC United Injury News
- OUT: Defender Oniel Fisher (knee surgery)
- OUT: Defender Chris Odoi-Atsem (hodgkin’s lymphoma)
DC United Home MLS League Form
|04.03.2019||WIN||DC United v Opponent||2 – 0 (HT 1 – 0)|
|02.11.2018||LOSS||DC United v Columbus Crew||4 – 5 (HT 1 – 1)|
|21.10.2018||WIN||DC United v New York City FC||3 – 1 (HT 2 – 0)|
|18.10.2018||WIN||DC United v Toronto FC||1 – 0 (HT 1 – 0)|
|13.10.2018||WIN||DC United v FC Dallas||1 – 0 (HT 0 – 0)|
Real Salt Lake
Clean sheets all around as Real Salt Lake also comes in off a shutout of the Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-0. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando who just announced he’s retiring after the season, turned in his MLS record 145th shutout. The game was decided on Albert Rusnak’s second goal of the season, coming on a 21st minute penalty kick. Real Salt Lake controlled the early part, while Vancouver came out gunning in the second half. An outstanding defensive effort stood up the result.
Much of their success on defense can be attributed to Brazilian defensive midfielder, newcomer Everton Luiz, on loan from Italian squad S.P.A.L. Playing with his usual bruiser mentality and work teaming up alongside Kyle Beckerman was the driving force behind giving up only one goal in two games to start the season. It’s filled a gap left by Luke Mulholland, missing most of last year recovering from back surgery. They’ve plugged in players in the interim to no avail. With Luiz, the search for a solid replacement is over.
Real Salt Lake Injury News
- OUT: Midfielder Jordan Allen (knee injury, out for season)
- OUT: Defender Justen Glad (toe)
- DAY-TO-DAY: Joao Plata (undisclosed injury)
Real Salt Lake Away MLS League Form
|03.03.2019||DRAW||Houston Dynamo v Real Salt Lake||1 – 1 (HT 0 – 1)|
|11.11.2018||LOSS||Sporting Kansas City v Real Salt Lake||4 – 2 (HT 2 – 0)|
|02.11.2018||WIN||LAFC v Real Salt Lake||2 – 3 (HT 1 – 1)|
|21.10.2018||LOSS||Portland Timbers v Real Salt Lake||3 – 0 (HT 1 – 0)|
|30.09.2018||DRAW||Sporting Kansas City v Real Salt Lake||1 – 1 (HT 0 – 1)|
Here are how the odds to win the match look from the bookies ahead of the game.
Odds taken at 10:00 GMT 16/03/2019
Our Verdict and Best Bets
Expect a hard-fought match on both sides. If DC can solve Real Salt Lake’s defensive prowess, they have the opportunity to boost themselves atop the Eastern standings. This just feels like a draw is in the cards.