DC United vs. Tauro FC | CONCACAF Champions League Match Preview
D.C. United vs. Tauro FC
2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League
September 24 | 8 pm ET | RFK Stadium
TV: Fox Sports 2
D.C. United can win Group 4 with a win or draw Wednesday in the first of back-to-back games against Panamanian outfit Tauro FC in 2014-15 CCL action. United took control of the group with a hard-fought, 10-men away victory over Jamaican side Waterhouse FC last week, creating a tie top the group with each team on six points. But Waterhouse have played all four of their group games, giving United two tries against the group's bottom dwellers to advance to the quarterfinals, with the away tie set for Oct. 21 in Panama City.
READY AND RESTED: While the current Eastern Conference leaders are unlikely to need a full compliment of their star players against a Tauro side that was outscored 6-2 in their two games against Waterhouse – head coach Ben Olsen told media this week he’d use a mixture of starters and reserves – Argentine forward Fabian Espindola will be ready to go after serving a one-game suspension in D.C.’s 3-3 draw with the Chicago Fire over the weekend. Fellow striker Eddie Johnson, who was initially cleared from concussion symptoms prior to the Fire game, also sat out with a return of the side effects. He has once again been cleared to return to action.
PONTIUS START?: United midfielder Chris Pontius, who returned to action at the beginning of the month following a season-long hamstring injury, could see his first start of 2014 after seeing his minutes ramped up in three straight outings. He told the media this week he could go at least 60 minutes.
KEMP OUT: United left back Taylor Kemp will be unavailable as he serves a one-game suspension for picking up a red card against Waterhouse. Chris Korb, who returned to action in the Chicago game after being out with an injury since mid-August, is a likely candidate to replace Kemp.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Fabian Espindola, D.C. United: He saved United with two goals in their last CCL outing, putting them in the driver’s seat coming into this game. It’s unlikely he’d play the full 90, but he’s a good bet to start and put the game away early.
Luis Moreno, Tauro: The 33-year-old Panama international center back has been around the block, and will be no pushover for the D.C. attack.