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Away at Audi Field: Toronto FC vs DC United match preview

TFC take the field on American soil for the first time since July down in DC

Toronto FC v DC United - MLS Is Back Tournament
Ola Kamara #9 of D.C. United and Chris Mavinga #23 of Toronto FC race to the ball during a match in the MLS Is Back Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

ST.JOHN’S, Canada— After an all-Canadian six match stretch, Toronto FC is south of the border and in the nation’s capital to take on familiar foes D.C. United on Saturday evening.

TFC were last in action ten days ago when Jozy Altidore silenced the minuscule Stade Saputo crowd, grabbing a late winner to secure a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact, a result which ultimately helped them into the Voyageurs Cup final.

For D.C., it’s two Saturday night home games in a row as the Black-and-Red look to bounce back from a disappointing 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Audi Field last weekend.

Going two straight matches without a goal and scoring just four in an eight game stretch, Ben Olsen’s group will be desperate to get on the score sheet and back into the Eastern conference playoff race.

Olsen was relatively hush midweek on a number of his players dealing with injuries and how it might impact their availability for the weekend. Captain Steve Birnbaum and starting keeper Bill Hamid are both questions marks to feature against TFC, while midfielder Paul Arriola remains sidelined with a significant knee injury.

Reds captain Michael Bradley remains out for the time being, joined on the injured list by potential replacement Liam Fraser. With no injuries suffered in Montreal, expect the same starting XI that topped the Impact to take the field on Saturday.

Animosity has been the theme between these two sides in recent memory. Exactly eleven months ago to the day, TFC put four past Hamid in extra time to top DC 5-1 at BMO Field in MLS Cup playoff action.

Fast forward to July 13th of this year and Toronto looked destined for another lopsided victory in this fixture. 2-0 up and in cruise control with 10 minutes remaining in their MLS is Back tournament opener, TFC allowed 10 man D.C. to snatch two goals at the death and earn the most unlikely point in a 2-2 draw.

The objective for Greg Vanney’s group will be simple heading into this one: Play a complete 90 minutes.

For D.C, they’ll have something to say about the final outcome right up until the last whistle, as has been the case when these two go head to head of late.

In what will surely be a hotly contested affair, expect some fireworks at Audi Field Saturday night as two teams searching for three points and a jump in the Eastern conference table do battle.

Additional Notes:

  • TFC and D.C. have played to a draw in five of their last seven meetings excluding the 5-1 ET Toronto victory from last October.
  • D.C. United last scored two or more goals in a game in their 2-2 draw against Toronto back on July 13th.