FC Cincinnati v DC United, Friday July 19, 01:00
DC United have had a successful MLS season so far but they have shown signs of running out of steam in recent weeks so a fixture against the competition’s worst side could be just what they need.
First Time Opponents
FC Cincinnati are in their first MLS campaign and this will be their first game against DC United, so there is no head to head record to go on. The team from the capital have a mixed record against MLS newcomers in recent years. They were held to a 1-1 draw by debutants LAFC last season and in 2017, they beat Atlanta 3-1 but were thrashed 4-0 by Minnesota.
Green Shoots in Cincinnati
The likes of LAFC, New York City FC and Atlanta have all shown that it is possible to achieve success soon after joining MLS, but for many clubs, there is a steep learning curve, and in the case of Cincinnati, that curve has been particularly steep. They had early wins against Portland and New England, but a run of six defeats in seven saw the sacking of coach Alan Koch. The defeats continued under Yoann Damet, but consecutive wins over Houston and Chicago going into this game have given Cincinnati fans hope that they may have turned the corner.
DC Slowing Down
Inspired by Wayne Rooney, DC won seven of their first twelve, putting them in contention at the top of the Eastern Conference. But a run of one win in nine has weakened their position, although they remain second behind Philadelphia. Draws have been the problem, with six stalemates during that period, and they were held again by New England last time out. Coach Ben Olsen will be keen to start turning those draws into wins to ensure they don’t slip out of play-off contention.
Rooney and Co Big Favourites
With Cincinnati propping up the Eastern Conference table and DC riding high in second, it is no surprise to see the visitors a short priced 7/4 to pick up the win. But given Cincinnati’s recent upturn and DC United’s draw tendency, there may be some MLS punters who are tempted by the 5/2 available for a draw or even the 31/20 on an unlikely Cincinnati win.