Orlando City will open the MLS season at home for a fourth consecutive year. The Lions will host Eastern Conference foes D.C. United as both teams look to get off to a quick start to their 2018 campaigns. Here is everything you need to know about D.C. United:
New Faces to Watch
We all know City has had a big makeover, but D.C. United made a handful of key moves as well. Starting in the back, D.C. sold long-time starter Bill Hamid to FC Midtjylland. To plug the hole from Hamid’s absence, United brought in two shot-stopping options in David Ousted and Steve Clark to compete for the starting job in net. Both are MLS veterans and capable starters.
Joining the new keeper duo in the back, is center back Frederic Brillant who D.C. acquired via a trade with NYCFC in the offseason. Brillant’s addition will bring stability to the backline with Steven Birnbaum after the departure of Bobby Boswell last season.
Moving up the park, D.C. United has added three key pieces in more advanced roles. First, they added speedy strike threat Darren Mattocks who gives the team a different look compared to their more traditional target striker, Patrick Mullins.
In the attacking midfield area, United made moves to add Zoltan Stieber and Yamil Asad. Both provide D.C. Head Coach Ben Olsen with plenty of options. You add those two to the mix with Luciano Acosta and Paul Arriola and D.C. has a threatening look just behind their striker options.
D.C. has won three and lost one during their 2018 preseason campaign. They began their preseason buildup with a 2-1 loss to Swedish Club Malmo. Following that they responded with back-to-back 2-1 wins against the Jacksonville Armada and the Philadelphia Union. The club rounded out the preseason with a 4-2 win over USL expansion side Las Vegas Lights.
Who is Hot?
Two guys tearing it up in the preseason heading into Saturday are United’s number ten, Luciano Acosta, and new forward acquisition, Darren Mattocks. The diminutive Acosta has scored in three of four preseason matches while Mattocks has netted a goal in each preseason test.
The Lions will be carrying a three-game winning streak against D.C. United heading into Saturday’s 2018 home opener. You have to go all the way back to September of 2016 to City’s last loss against D.C., a 4-2 loss at RFK. Since that loss, City has outscored United 8-3 in their last three meetings.