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DC United vs. Chicago Fire | 2018 MLS Match Preview

D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 32

Audi Filed — Washington D.C.
October 7 - 1 pm ET

D.C. United are looking to extend an unbeaten streak to six games and possibly move about the playoff line in the Eastern Conference when they take on the Chicago Fire Sunday afternoon at Audi Field.

D.C. United are coming off a stunning 5-0 drubbing of Montreal and trail the sixth-place Impact by just two points with two games in hand. The Fire, meanwhile, were eliminated from playoff contention last week, but then knocked off LAFC, 3-1, at home.

This is the first meeting this season with the Fire hosting D.C. United on Decision Day presented by AT&T.

D.C. United

D.C. United (10-11-8) inched closer to the playoff line in the East with a 5-0 victory over the Impact last Saturday at Audi Field.

After Luciano Acosta scored the lone goal of the first half, he helped set up the first of two Wayne Rooney second-half goals to double D.C.’s lead three minutes into the second half. Acosta then set up two goals by Paul Arriola before Rooney closed things out with his second goal in the 82nd minute.

“It was a great night and a great crowd so from that perspective it was a success, but today we’re talking about Chicago, because the three points there don’t mean anything if we don’t get the three this weekend, and the three after that, and then the three after that,” Ben Olsen said. “So, this is a long month of staying highly focused and disciplined and not getting too caught up in the scores, and understanding that we have a lot of work to do.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Paul Arriola, M - Russell Canouse
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Taylor Kemp (labrum surgery), D - Nick DeLeon (knee injury), GK - David Ousted (elbow surgery), D - Chris Odoi-Atsem (fatigue), D - Vytas (hip injury), Kofi Opara (hip injury), F - Dane Kelly (metatarsal injury), D - Oniel Fisher (knee surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Bill Hamid — Kevin Ellis, Frederic Brillant, Steve Birnbaum, Joseph Mora — Russell Canouse, Junior Moreno — Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta, Yamil Asad — Wayne Rooney

  • Notes: Acosta leads MLS with 16 assists this season. Prior to this year, no D.C. United player had more than 12 assists in a season since 2010. … D.C. United are averaging 2.2 points per home game in league play this season (9W-2L-2D), the fourth-best average of any team. They had just six home wins in 2017.

Chicago Fire

Playing for nothing but pride, Chicago (8-16-7) showed plenty of it in a shock 3-1 win over LAFC at home Saturday afternoon.

Djordje Mihailovic opened the scoring with a phenomenal full volley followed by a Nemanja Nikolic penalty kick nine minutes later. Mihailovic then set up Aleksandar Katai, who tacked onto the Fire lead in the 66th minute, before Diego Rossi pulled LAFC back a goal seven minutes later.

“We showed that we are out of the playoffs, but we play until the end with every team in the league,” Veljko Paunovic said. “With contenders like today, the teams that already clinched playoffs and the teams that still have to fight for it. I think it’s very important to understand, today we were the team that didn’t give up on the season, we respected our opponent, we respected our opponents around the league also because we performed. This was just a great performance from our guys, this locker room is still alive, and this locker room has great people inside, great competitors who want to give their best and that’s all we ask.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Jorge Corrales, M - Brandt Bronico, M - Dax McCarty, D - Johan Kappelhof
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Matt Polster (MCL surgery), M/D - Diego Campos (left MCL injury), M - Mo Adams (right hamstring injury), F - Luis Solignac (right adductor injury), D - Christian Dean (right hamstring injury), D - Grant Lillard (left quad injury); QUESTIONABLE: GK - Patrick McLain (right hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Stefan Cleveland — Jorge Corrales, Johan Kappelhof, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Brandon Vincent — Dax McCarty, Brandt Bronico — Michael de Leeuw, Djordje Mihailovic, Raheem Edwards — Nemanja Nikolic

  • Notes: With his goal last week, Nikolic now has 39 goals in league play since the start of 2017. Only Josef Martinez (49) has more in that time. … Chicago haven’t won on the road in 10 games (7L-3D), tied for the third-longest winless run outside of Illinois in team history.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: D.C. United 22 wins, 87 goals … Chicago Fire 20 wins, 85 goals … 15 draws
  • At D.C.: D.C. United 15 wins, 54 goals … Fire 9 wins, 39 goals … 5 draws
  • Last meeting at D.C.: D.C. United 0, Chicago Fire 1 (May 20, 2017)


Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Eduardo Mariscal, Corey Parker
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: Mark Geiger

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Current Form

D.C. United

Season Stats

D.C. UnitedChicago Fire
29Games Played31
48Goals Conceded57
129Shots on Target123
324Fouls committed370
320Fouls suffered282

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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