It’s early days in the season but already we have a meeting between two of the big contenders but who has the quality to take the points on Sunday?
When Wayne Rooney signed for DC United they were bottom of the Eastern Conference, but a superb run saw them reach the play-offs for the first time since 2015. Rooney got 12 goals and seven assists in that wonderful run and he was heavily involved as DC got off to a winning start against last year’s champions: Atlanta United.
Rooney’s partner in crime at DC is Luciano Acosta, who scored and set one up in their 2-0 win in their first game of the season, Acosta looks at fantastic odds for a goal in this fixture, he’s priced at 12.0 first and 4.5 to score anytime. The Argentine linked up excellently with Rooney from the get go last season and their partnership looks to be continuing to flourish and they’ll hope for similar success as they saw against New York City last season as they secured a point at the Yankee Stadium as well as beating NYC FC at home 3-1 during their play-off charge.
Their win against Atlanta in the opening fixture takes DC to 12 MLS matches without defeat and they’ll be keen to do some damage to another of the Eastern Conference’s big guns and really put down a marker to the rest of the competition. DC are priced at 4.0 to win the game, with draw no bet at 3.2.
The Blues raced in a 2-0 lead in their MLS opener against Orlando City but were pegged back in the second half and left with just a point. After losing David Villa to Japanese side Vissel Kobe, it would be fair to say New York lack the x factor that he gave to their side. Although his legs may have dwindled, his quality had not, and similar to Rooney at DC he was the driving force of the side and served to raise the games of others around him as well as creating his own magical moments.
Their main creative force in the opening game was debutant Alexandru Mitrita. The Romanian showed several moments of quality and was the most eye catching member of the squad from their first game, his set piece deliveries were dangerous too and could be a real weapon for the hosts to utilise.
New captain Alexander Ring was on target in the 2-2 draw and has big boots to fill after the departure of Villa, the man they call ‘The Ringmaster’ stepped up well in to his new role and was tenacious in the midfield and took his chance well when it came.
For both sides these early games will be about feeling out their competition as well as their own squad. The season is long and arduous with a lot of twists and turns, and as DC showed last season it’s about how you finish rather than how you start. But both will want to get their motors going early on, a win for either here would be noted by the rest of the MLS clubs and if someone is to come away from this fixture with three points they may be pigeon holed as early contenders.
Atlanta’s opening day defeat and loss of Miguel Almiron to Newcastle has made them look more vulnerable than they did at any point last season and they’ll be pushed all the way if they want to retain their crown. There has been over 2.5 goals in six of NYC’s last seven MLS games and with DC bringing their firepower we may see more of the same. Over 2.5 goals is priced at 1.5.
DC United draw no bet @ 3.2
Both teams to score @ 1.5
Over 2.5 goals @ 1.5
Draw @ 3.75