MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, June 29, 2013
(All times Eastern)
Vancouver (6-5-4) at D.C. United (2-11-3), 7 p.m.
Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) - D.C. United will hope to build upon its
second victory of the season when it welcomes Vancouver Whitecaps FC to RFK
Stadium on Saturday.
United put an end to its abysmal 13-game winless run last weekend by picking
up a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.
The club has not had much to celebrate this season as it comes into the
weekend at the bottom of the Eastern Conference on nine points.
But after further examination, D.C. appears to be heading in the right
direction; United has lost just once in its last five outings across all
competitions. Ben Olsen's men followed up Saturday's defeat of San Jose with a
3-1 victory over the New England Revolution on Wednesday to advance to the
U.S. Open Cup semifinals.
"I'm excited about the last couple of weeks, and we've seen (the team) moving
in the right direction," Olsen said after the Open Cup win. "These guys
deserve a little bit of joy right now. It's been a tough time, and we seem to
have (regained) our health. Some young guys are also stepping in and doing the
job. Conor Shanosky gets another win, (Taylor) Kemp comes in and helps us,
Casey (Townsend) comes in and helps us, (Lionard) Pajoy comes in and helps us,
so everybody's contributing right now, and I think the spirit is good.
"Can we turn it around now against Vancouver (on Saturday)? Again, putting so
much into (the Open Cup) to get a result - we're going to have to make some
changes. But I think our spirit right now (will allow us) to start doing a
little bit better in the league."
United's task of improving its league form starts with the objective of
containing a surging Whitecaps offense.
Vancouver has won two straight league contests by a combined score of 7-4 with
strikers Kenny Miller and Camilo Sanvezzo playing starring roles worthy of
back-to-back Player of the Week honors. Miller bagged a brace in Vancouver's
4-3 victory over the Revs on June 15 while Sanvezzo produced two goals and an
assist for the 'Caps in their 3-1 defeat of Chivas USA on June 19.
The victory over Chivas was a positive sign for head coach Martin Rennie, who
was pleased to see his side avoid a hangover from the defeat of New England.
"Coming off a big game on Saturday where it was such a lively game with a lot
of energy used, sometimes the next game can be a bit flat especially when it
comes so soon but we didn't succumb to that so in the end I thought it was an
excellent win, fourth in our last six, so with a few days off we can enjoy
those days a lot more after (Wednesday night)," Rennie said.
Vancouver comes into Saturday's fixture off of a short break having not played
since last Wednesday's win over Chivas. United, by comparison, has played
twice since the 'Caps last took to the pitch.
But according to Whitecaps midfielder Russell Teibert, a break during a good
run of form is not always ideal.
"I'd rather keep playing, to be honest," Teibert said. "I'm working hard and
putting myself in the right places. As a team we're on a roll - but I'll take
06/28 17:09:23 ET