Both sides looking to kickstart a run
It has been an up and down week for D.C. United as they defeated Atlanta United 2-1 during the week and then fell to the Philadelphia Union on the weekend by a score of 1-0. Their loss to Philadelphia saw their scoring woes return as Lamar Neagle failed to convert a penalty kick late in the match.
The loss to the Union not only pin them in tenth in the Eastern Conference, they only lead current last-place Montreal Impact by a single point. The Impact has two games in hand, which spells trouble for the Black and Red. The cup can be used as a bright spot in a rather dull season, as seen in D.C. United's 2013 Cup winning season.
New England, having won the competition once in 2007, has had a tough run of matches in league play. The past three MLS matches they had to face Toronto FC twice and the Chicago Fire. After defeating Toronto in the first match 3-0, they fell to Chicago 2-1 and then were defeated by Toronto 2-0.
Both teams have struggled to find the net this year. D.C. United is last in the Eastern Conference (and the entire MLS) in goals scored with twelve so far. New England is second last in the East with only seventeen. The last time these two teams have played, it finished in a 2-2 draw at Gillette Stadium. The two sides could use a match to finally start scoring more this season.
Keys to win
To put it simply, both teams need to figure out their attack. D.C. United is still figuring out how Deshorn Brown will be used and what he can do. So far his pace and positioning have allowed other players such as Luciano Acosta to find themselves with more room to work with. This could be vital in breaking down New England's defense.
This match will also see how goalkeeper Travis Worra will fair in upcoming matches. The starter Bill Hamid has been called up to the USMNT for the Gold Cup, meaning Worra will be between the sticks for the time being.
New England will need to keep their defense strong and frustrate the capital club. The Revs don't have to worry about a consistent scorer for United but do have to worry about players coming out of the dark and shocking the Boston-based team.
New England: Out - Xavier Kouassi (quad). Questionable - Daigo Kobayashi (hamstring)
D.C. United: Out - Rob Vincent (knee), Nick DeLeon (lower abdominal strain), Sean Franklin (hamstring), Patrick Mullins (knee surgery), Bobby Boswell (groin)
New England: Kelyn Rowe (United States), Juan Agudelo (United States), Gershon Koffie (Ghana)
DC United: Bill Hamid (United States)
Date: Wednesday, June 28
Kick-off: 7:30 PM EST
Location: Jordan Field (Boston, MA)
The winner of this match will host the winner of the New York Red Bulls and the Union.