D.C. United have one loss in their last eight games but are not
yet in position for their first playoff berth since 2007. One of
the team’s latest acquisitions may help it move closer toward
ending that drought.
Dwayne De Rosario is expected to make his highly anticipated
debut for D.C. when it welcomes Eastern Conference-leading
Philadelphia to RFK Stadium on Saturday night.
United are 2-1-5 in their last eight and sit one point behind
Houston for the 10th spot in the postseason race.
That may change with De Rosario now on the team. The five-time
Best XI honoree and two-time MLS Cup MVP was acquired from New York
on Monday for midfielder Dax McCarty.
De Rosario, who has played on four league championship squads,
has 80 goals over his 11 seasons and needs one more to pass Brian
McBride for 11th on the all-time list.
“We signed one of the best players MLS has ever seen,” coach Ben
Olsen told the league’s official website. “In order to gain a
quality piece we gave up a quality player in Dax McCarty, but we
feel that De Rosario is a game-changer that will help us in our
push for playoffs.”
D.C. (4-5-6) also acquired defender Brandon McDonald from San
Jose on Monday in exchange for allocation money.
The injury-plagued United could use the help after defenders Jed
Zayner (knee) and Daniel Woolard (back) were hurt earlier this
week. Leading scorer Charlie Davies, however, returned to practice
after suffering a minor ankle sprain in a 2-all draw with Houston
“It’s good,” he said. “I’m looking forward to Saturday.”
Davies, whose eight goals have him tied for the league lead,
gave his team a short-lived lead in the second half against the
Dynamo with his second in as many games.
He might have a more difficult time scoring against the Union,
who have allowed eight goals during a 3-1-3 stretch.
Philadelphia (7-4-5) gave up two of those to visiting Chivas USA
last Saturday but had one of its best scoring performances of the
season in a 3-2 win, its first in five matches.
After sitting out one game to nurse an injured knee, Danny
Mwanga scored the tiebreaking goal – and his team-best fifth of the
season – in the 82nd minute.
“We’ve found a very good group of players and we’ve started to
believe we can do something special,” coach Peter Nowak said. “I
hope and wish it will continue this way.”
To keep rolling, Nowak’s team could use a better performance on
the road, where it’s 2-4-1. Philadelphia needs one win to match the
total from its 2010 inaugural season.
“Being consistent on the road is one thing we want to improve,”
the former United coach said.
The Union beat D.C. 3-2 in their home debut last year as
Sebastien Le Toux scored all three goals, but they fell 2-0 at RFK
on Aug. 22.