New York City FC v D.C. United - 4:55p on Univision and Twitter
Due to the midseason opening of their new stadium, D.C. United asked MLS to backload their schedule, and the result is games during the international break when a number of players - including Paul Arriola - are away representing their countries. The good news for USMNT fans is that with a number of players away there are opportunities for some players who haven’t been seeing as much of the field recently. Chris Durkin and Ian Harkes could both get a chance to start alongside Russell Canouse and Bill Hamid, who have been regular starters for the club since returning, as well as Steve Birnbaum, who at 27 is still in his prime but seems to have already been surpassed by a number of the younger center backs.
D.C. United are attempting a late season push for the playoffs, six points back of the final spot in the Eastern Conference with three more games, and opportunities to collect points, than 6th place Montreal. The team is coming off a 3-1 win over Atlanta United with Canouse picking up an assist on the third goal.
NYCFC sit in third place in the East, comfortably making the playoffs but unlikely to challenge for the Supporters Shield at this point as they’ve recently gone on a four game winless streak that has them seven points back of their cross town rivals. James Sands received his first MLS start in the 1-0 loss to the New England Revolution on Wednesday and based on comments from his coach looks to feature this Saturday. This is a nice development for USMNT fans who, outside of Sean Johnson, haven’t had much to watch on the NYCFC side of the ball.
That’s it for club games this weekend, but Stars and Stripes FC will have full coverage of the USMNT friendlies so we’ll be seeing you around.