D.C. United face an uphill climb if they wish to punch their ticket to the MLS Cup Playoffs.
First things first: Ninth-place D.C. United (13-15-5, 44 points) must post a road victory over Toronto FC (6-17-10, 28 points) on Sunday afternoon. That’s a tall order in its own right for a D.C. United club that is just 2-10-4 away from home this season.
In addition, D.C. United also must see the seventh-place New York Red Bulls lose to Nashville SC and eighth-place CF Montreal lose or tie against Orlando City SC.
D.C. United hasn’t done themselves any favors with their recent play. They fell to 1-4-1 in their past six matches following a 3-1 setback to the Columbus Crew on Oct. 30.
Paul Arriola scored in that contest as well as D.C.’s 7-1 romp over Toronto on July 3.
Ola Kamara, whose 17 goals are one shy of the MLS lead, also tallied in the previous encounter with Toronto.
“That was a long time ago,” D.C. United coach Hernan Losada said of the lopsided match result. “Both teams were in different moments, in different places. Many players who played that game won’t be able to play this time.”
Toronto’s 7-1 setback to D.C. United spelled the end of first-year coach Chris Armas, who was fired the following day.
“For us, (Sunday’s match is) just business as usual,” said Toronto’s Javier Perez, who was promoted from assistant coach after Armas was fired. “It’s one more game that, for us, it’s always the game that we have (in front of us). It’s one game at a time, and this time it’s D.C.”
Toronto FC are coming in off a high after securing a 2-1 win over Pacific FC on Wednesday to advance to a sixth straight Canadian Championship final. As for MLS action, the Reds are winless in their past five matches (0-2-3) and reside one goal shy of a franchise-worst 64 conceded during the 2018 season.
Jacob Shaffelburg collected a goal and an assist and Jozy Altidore also tallied against Pacific FC. Altidore is tied with Jonathan Osorio for the team lead in goals with four.
–Field Level Media