D.C. United aims to end home woes vs. Galaxy (Jun 03, 2017)
Recent history suggests things could get even worse for D.C. United on Saturday when the LA Galaxy visits RFK Stadium for a final time.
D.C. United (4-7-2) is returning home after a two-match, coast-to-coast road trip that included a fortunate win in Vancouver last Saturday followed by an unfortunate loss in Orlando four days later.
But the surroundings of East Capitol Street have not been friendly recently, with D.C. United sustaining three consecutive scoreless defeats in its worst run of home form since at least 2013.
Throw in the midweek news that forward Patrick Mullins will miss an extended amount of time with a knee injury and coach Ben Olsen knows there is little margin for error.
"You have to stick it to them," Olsen told mlssoccer.com after D.C. United failed to capitalize on numerous chances. "Very rarely have I been singing the 'We need to finish our chances' story, so that part is a positive. But now we have to take the next step and put these chances away and get our defense a break."
D.C. United gets striker Jose Guillermo Ortiz back from suspension, and winger Patrick Nyarko (hamstring) saw his first game action since April 8 on Wednesday.
The Galaxy (5-5-2) head to D.C. to close a four-match away trip that began with three victories. With four road wins total, the Galaxy have already matched their number from the entire 2016 campaign, and a fifth would equal its highest total since 2014.
"It would, psychologically, be a good thing for the group going into games on the road, knowing you're able to do that," Galaxy coach Curt Onalfo told the LA Times.
After a slow start, Giovani dos Santos is tied for the team's goal scoring lead with six, including five in his last four games. With six goals and six assists, Romain Alessandrini entered the week ranked in the top five in goals and assists per 90 minutes across MLS.
The Galaxy are making their 21st and last visit to RFK Stadium as D.C. United leaves for its soccer-specific Audi Field next season. In 1996, LA was the first visiting team to play D.C. United in an MLS match at RFK.
Onalfo is at the helm of a team at RFK for the first time since he was fired as D.C. United coach in 2010. He will likely start third-string goalkeeper Jon Kempin, as Clement Diop is away on international duty and Brian Rowe is injured.