Luciano Acosta

DC United 2019 Season Preview by ExiledMLS

The opening of Audi Field and the addition of Wayne Rooney at the halfway point of the 2018 season propelled DC United into an unlikely playoff appearance after a 11-2-4 run in the second half of the season. With a balanced schedule, a brand new home stadium, and an even more talented squad, the black-and-red have set their eyes on the possibility of winning silverware in 2019.

2018 In Review

In last year’s 2018 season preview for DC United, we generally predicted that it could be a season of two halves, and it was! (It feels good to be right once in a while, doesn’t it?) Up until the grand opening of Audi Field in July, the black-and-red played 13 away games and just 4 home games in the first half of the season. Two of these four home games were at alternate venues in the DMV area. Not surprisingly, DC had a 3-9-5 record and just 14 points at the half-way point of the 2018 season.

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Postseason Preview: DC United by Joseph Lowery

D.C. United are one of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer. In one of the most incredible turnarounds in MLS history, D.C. have gone from Eastern Conference cellar dwellers to clinching a playoff spot. You have to go all the way back to August 26th (two months ago!) to find their last loss. What changed between the struggling D.C. United team we saw at the beginning of the season and the confident, playoff bound team they are now?

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The case for pulling the goalie in soccer and the math behind Ben Olsen's madness by Jared Young

The game is ice hockey. One team is behind a goal as the seconds wind down. Conventional thinking for the head coach of the losing team is to direct the goalie off the ice while a substitute enters the game. This gives the team a six to five player advantage at one end of the ice, but gives the leading team a much higher chance of adding to their lead. Starting in 2013 NHL teams became more aggressive with this strategy, and a paper released earlier this year proposed that teams should get at least three times as aggressive as they are. The math clearly lines up with the strategy.

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Expected Narratives: Wazza Saves DC and Josef Martinez is not an Elite Finisher by Ian L.

Ah, Rivalry Week sponsored by Heineken. Who doesn’t want to ride for this twice annual celebration of American soccer’s most storied rivalries and also some ones that MLS just went and made up? Frankly speaking, rivalry week can kiss m-(Editor’s note: I redacted like a whole paragraph here, you’re welcome. Also, Heineken is gross.) - because Atlanta and Orlando are not a real rivalry just because some marketing executive bought a billboar-(Editor’s note: yeah some more here as well) ight- and even if these ARE the most exciting rivalries in the league why not spread those out so you can have a compelling match every couple of weeks? I don’t know folks. I hate rivalry week. It makes the fans extra ultzy, it sort of cheapens the real rivalries, and all these kids will simply not get off of my lawn. Is it mainly because I never spell Heineken right? Mainly. Yes. Whatever.

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Setting the Table: Week 12 by Eric Walcott

Welcome to Setting the Table, this week featuring a whole lot of Houston vs Chicago. Each week we take some time to focus on the best chance creators in MLS from the last weekend. If you want to see the best chances that were wasted check out Lowered Expectations. Here we focus on chances that ended with the ball in the back of the net.

#5 Nemanja Nikolic to Diego Campos, Chicago Fire, 16th minute, 0.369 expected goals
Passes in sequence: 2

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D.C. United 2017 Season Preview by ExiledMLS

The 2016 season was a story of two very different halves for the black and red. The first half of the season saw DC United struggle mightily to produce goals (and wins), and they were 5-6-6 by the halfway point in the season. Although coach Ben Olsen had most of the same players at his disposal from 2015 and the addition of Argentine playmaker Luciano Acosta on loan from Boca Juniors, the team just could not find their form. United was still largely depending on the flat 4-4-2 of the last two seasons, and Acosta wasn’t able to find his way into the starting lineup amongst Olsen’s veterans from the year prior. DC was the third least productive team in the league in 2015 (averaging only 11 shots per game), and that carried through into the start of 2016.

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