United can't afford mental letdown against Impact

United can't afford mental letdown against Impact
May 16, 2014, 10:45 am
Share This Post

On paper Saturday’s game against the Montreal Impact (7 p.m. on CSN) sets up well for D.C. United. On the field where the game is actually played United needs to be wary of an Impact side with only one win on the season, but a potentially dangerous attack.

The Impact has also had a very busy week. On Wednesday Montreal was able to secure a 4-2 win over FC Edmonton to advance to the final of the Amway Canadian Championship. It was hard fought game and an encouraging response after the Impact reduced to ten men lost at home 3-0 to Sporting Kansas City.

Ben Olsen:

“Our mental approach to this game will be an indicator of our growth and maturity. We know they have had a taxing schedule and our struggling in league play. We need to make sure we take them as seriously as they deserve to be taken.”

The challenge:

  1. Beware of the counterattack. When D.C. United enjoys possession it will be important to avoid careless passes. The Impact is always ready to pounce and its offense takes advantage of its speed on the counterattack. Acquired from Philadelphia Jack McInerney plays the striker role and is a clinical finisher. He had two goals in their win against Edmonton. Felipe sits below McInerney with Sanna Nyassi on the left and Justin Mapp on the right in midfield. Mapp is given a lot of freedom and his matchup against United left back Cristian Fernandez will be intriguing.

  2. Eddie Johnson’s response. When Jurgen Klinsmann selected his pool of 30 players for the World Cup preparation camp, Eddie Johnson was not included. Johnson was very much a part of qualifying and his omission came as bit of surprise even with his goal less season so far in MLS. To be sure there is pressure on Johnson to score. He still has contributed. Johnson’s presence has preoccupied opposing team’s central defenders and that has given Fabian Espindola more space to operate. With focus solely now on United for Johnson, he may play with more freedom and that might end his goal-scoring drought.