D.C. United have the fewest points in MLS play and are dealing with arguably the league’s most arduous schedule.
The squad will try to break through Saturday night when it is on the road for the third of eight consecutive away matches as it visits the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium.
D.C. United (1-5-2) are winless in six road matches (0-5-1) and won’t play at home until July 14, when brand-new Audi Field opens.
The road issues certainly aren’t limited to this season as D.C. United are just 1-15-2 in their past 18 away matches.
The most recent setback was a bit frustrating, as defender Joseph Mora received a red card 22 minutes into the match and D.C. United played with 10 men the rest of the way in a 3-2 loss at Real Salt Lake.
Coach Ben Olsen saw progress but not enough for a breakthrough win.
“There’s going to be 15 (to) 20 minutes of games on the road where you have to grind and you have to figure out and dig in and make a play, or make a save, bail a teammate out to get a road result,” Olsen told reporters.
Mora will sit out Saturday due to the red card.
San Jose (2-5-3) is displaying progress with a victory and a tie over its past two games, both on the road.
The Earthquakes played the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 2-2 draw on Wednesday, just four days after an impressive 3-1 win over Minnesota United.
“In general I think there’s a fine line between winning and losing,” San Jose coach Mikael Stahre told reporters. “We came out really poor this season for sure.
“I think we deserve better but we need to still improve, but I think now we’re on the right track. ... We’ve got four points out of six, that’s good, so let’s win against D.C. now.”
Forward Danny Hoesen has been superb for San Jose with a team-best five goals. Midfielder Magnus Eriksson has added three.
Forward Darren Mattocks has tallied a team-best three goals for D.C. United. Midfielder Yamil Asad (two) is the only other player with more than one for an organization that hopes to add English striker Wayne Rooney in July. Only two MLS teams have scored fewer than D.C.’s 10 goals this season.
—Field Level Media