United-FC Cincinnati Preview
FC Cincinnati are without a win in five games, and were soundly beaten last time out, but D.C. United coach Hernan Losada is anticipating a stern challenge.
D.C. travel to Cincinnati on Saturday aiming for a win which would further consolidate their push for the playoffs.
Jaap Stam's Cincinnati team, meanwhile, sit seven points back in 12th in the Eastern Conference, just four above bottom side Inter Miami.
"They have a coach who likes to play soccer, build from the back, they have very good players who in an individual action can decide the game," Losada said of Cincinnati, who were beaten 3-0 by high flying Nashville SC in their last game.
"We need to be careful like we always respect all the opponents, protect ourselves from their strengths and try to attack their weaknesses. Every game is tough in MLS, when you see the results, everyone has the opportunity to take points against everyone.
"It's about form, the players you have available and scoring the opportunities we create. On the road you have to be efficient with the chances you create, and have a solid organization. We need to be careful with them in the same way they will be careful with some of our players."
Stam, meanwhile, pointed to the fixture congestion as a possible reason for his side's dip in form.
"We ask a lot from the players that we are starting game-in, game-out, every game this week," Stam said.
"And then players, they become tired as well and they find it very hard to deliver the same quality. You're still hoping that these players can do that but it is difficult. Is it then that we have choices to make?"
FC Cincinnati - Kenneth Vermeer
With Cincinnati struggling for goals, they need their goalkeeper to keep clean sheets at the other end. Kenneth Vermeer, formerly of Feyenoord and Ajax, has only kept two shutouts this year.
D.C. United - Ola Kamara
Ola Kamara scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season for D.C. United in the 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
- D.C. United is unbeaten in four all-time meetings with Cincinnati, winning twice and drawing twice. D.C. has won two of the three games in Cincinnati (D1).
- Cincinnati is winless in eight straight home matches (D2 L6) though its managed to draw the last two at home. Cincinnati has conceded at least once in 10 straight home matches, tied with Inter Miami for the longest active streak in MLS.
- D.C. has lost only two of its last eight matches (W4 D2) after a run of five losses in six games (W1) from late April to late May. The 1-0 win over the Red Bulls on Sunday was D.C.'s fourth clean sheet in this eight-match run after keeping just two in its previous 20 matches.
- Cincinnati has conceded 29 goals with an xG conceded of 25.6, meaning Cincinnati has conceded 3.4 more goals than expected this season. Only Toronto (4.3) and D.C. United (3.6) have underperformed their xG conceded by more than Cincinnati.
- Kamara has as many goals in 10 appearances this season as he had in 28 appearances over his first two seasons with D.C. United (seven).
Updated July 30, 2021