|Major League Soccer|
· Int'l Soccer
Saturday, May 19, 2012 (All times Eastern)
Toronto FC (0-8-0) at D.C. United (6-4-3), 7:30 p.m.
Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) - D.C. United has already matched its home win total from last year, and point-less Toronto FC is all that stands between another home win in the second of a three-game homestand Saturday.
United defeated the Colorado Rapids, 2-0, on Wednesday for its fourth home win this season in Major League Soccer, and is just one point behind Red Bull New York for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Although D.C. (6-4-3) has played two more matches than New York, its home form is a sign it could just be a contender for the regular-season conference title this season.
D.C. United won just seven home games over the last two seasons, but four wins and two draws this season in seven fixtures has made RFK Stadium a tough place to visit for the first time in years.
United took care of Colorado with Dwayne De Rosario and Hamdi Salihi paired up top for the first time, and Salihi had his third goal in his last four games.
"When you score is always good, it gives you confidence," Salihi said. "I've said this before, I've always believed in myself and in my quality. I work the same way every day, it doesn't matter if I score in one game or if I don't, I work the same way."
Salihi's run includes a goal against Toronto (0-8-0) on May 5, when United won 2-0 at BMO Field in the teams' first meeting this season. He enters the second meeting in good form, and with United getting a little healthier.
Perry Kitchen looked to have suffered a major knee injury last weekend against the Houston Dynamo, but played the full match against Colorado. And United was also able to field designated player Branko Boskovic from the start for the first time since April 18.
"DeRo and Branko are great players and it's not difficult to play with them because they can find you everywhere," Salihi said. "It's always good to play with players like this. I'm especially happy for Branko because he is coming back and he played a great game."
TFC has also dealt with injuries this season, including to designated players Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans. But Koevermans played midweek, as Toronto tied Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 1-1, in the Canadian Championship on Wednesday.
Toronto has not played in MLS since its meeting with United earlier this month and will try to carry its non-league form, which includes two wins and three draws against MLS opponents, into league play.
TFC set the league record for consecutive losses to start the season with its loss to United at home and the overall record in regulation is 10. The overall record, including shootout losses, is 12.
"We are walking on egg shells and once it cracks everything falls apart and I don't think that should be happening," Toronto's Julian de Guzman said.
Toronto's Ryan Johnson admitted it has been a tough start in league play, but the team has to just focus on the future.
"The whole league so far has been a killer in the morale," Johnson said. "We've just got to look at the positive things that we did and keep building on that because if we keep focusing on the negative we'll never get out of this funk."
05/18 16:05:52 ET
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