June 8, 2018 / 11:54 PM / 2 months ago

D.C. United continues road swing against struggling Seattle

Much was made of expansion Los Angeles FC playing their first six matches on the road this season while their new stadium was completed.

But D.C. United has exceeded that.

D.C. (2-5-3) has played just two “home” matches this season, one at the Maryland Soccerplex and the other at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. United continue their road swing Saturday night against the Seattle Sounders (2-7-2) at CenturyLink Field in a matchup of teams in last place in their respective conferences.

D.C. has four more road games before its inaugural match July 14 at Audi Field.

“We’re very excited. We’ve been waiting for our own stadium for a decade,” D.C coach Ben Olsen said after last Saturday’s 1-1 draw against LAFC at Banc of California Stadium. “Los Angeles got this team (LAFC) and built this beautiful stadium so quickly, but we’ve been fighting for one for 10 years. It’s a special and transformative time for our club ...”

D.C. has claimed points in each of its past two matches, with a 3-1 victory at San Jose before the draw at LAFC.

“First of all, four points in two games is quite good for us,” D.C. midfielder Zoltan Stieber told MLSsoccer.com. “I think the chemistry is there, every game it’s getting better, so we have some good stuff going on the pitch and hopefully it can continue.”

The Sounders, the two-time defending Western Conference champions, are off to the worst start in the 10-year history of the franchise, in which they’ve made the playoffs every season.

The Sounders have been shut out more times (eight) than they have goals (seven) so far this season.

Midfielder Cristian Roldan called out his Seattle teammates after last Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Real Salt Lake, the team’s third straight shutout defeat.

“Disappointing, lackluster. Just felt that there wasn’t a sense of bite within our team,” Roldan said. “The morale of the team is obviously low right now, it’s down. But this is MLS. You win three games in a row, you’re right back in it.”

Seattle did get some reinforcements last weekend as leading scorer Will Bruin and midfielder Victor Rodriguez returned to the lineup. Bruin, the only Sounder with more than one goal this season (he has three), missed the previous two matches with a torn plantar fascia while Rodriguez made his season debut after being sidelined since the preseason with a knee sprain.

The Sounders are 8-2-2 all time against D.C. United, including a 4-1-1 mark at home. Seattle has not lost to D.C. in the past seven meetings (6-0-1) dating to 2011, including five wins in a row.

—Field Level Media

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