Will DCU be without both captains in pivitol Game 2?

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Will DCU be without both captains in pivitol Game 2?

D.C. United knows exactly what they must do on Sunday. In order to keep their playoff hopes alive and advance to the Cup Finals, they must win by three goals.  

It isn't an impossible task. In fact, it's one that this club has managed three times already this season. This time, however, they may have to do so with the aid of their two leading goal scorers, who happened to play an integral role in each of the aforementioned victories.  

Chris Pontius, who left Game 1 in Houston on Sunday with a strained groin, may not be ready to go for the second crucial leg of the series.  Pontius, the club's most productive man on offense, has yet to practice with the club this week.

"[Pontius' injury] at this point looks a bit more severe than [Brandon McDonald and Marcelo Saragosa], but there's still a chance that he'll be OK as well."

Dwayne DeRosario, out since early September with a sprained MCL, is currently listed as probable on the MLS injury report.  At the time, the 2011 MLS MVP had notched seven goals on the season and ranked second in the league with 12 assists.  

"[De Rosario] looks good, energized, fresh," said teammate Nick DeLeon. "He looks like he's ready to play."

Olsen wouldn't confirm, but agreed that the chances of seeing De Rosario's return to the pitch this Sunday are good.  But ater missing more than two months, however, the midfielder will not likely be back to true form.

"He looks pretty good at training. The stamina side is different in the playoffs as opposed to a regular game, but that's coming along. We're not sure how many minutes he has in him really, but he certainly can score and change games so you might be able to see him on Sunday."

The team has had to find a way to scrap together wins throughout the season with various players going down and backups stepping in. Goal scoring is distributed fairly evenly on the stat sheet and United is no stranger to moving parts.   

"Someone who hasn't done anything special in one game, the next they're scoring the game-winning goal," said DeLeon. "I have no doubt that someone will step in and fill [Pontius'] role and do just as good or even better."

In desperate need of at least a two goal lead in regulation time in Game 2, Olsen will have to make tweaks to both his game plan and roster.  

"We're certainly going to have to be a little bit more aggressive but nothing really has to change. We've had success at home playing the way we play at home. It's not a thing where we need two goals in the first 20 minutes. If we're in good shape towards the end of this game with a lead, I like our chances. But we can't give one up, we can't be silly on set pieces that they have shown they're pretty darn good at.

"We know we have to be aggressive, we know we have to go after them, but we also have to be patient. It's that fine balance. We know they're not going to want to just sit back, they're going to want to attack as well. It's a little bit of a chess match in that sense."

Nike releases images of new U.S. Soccer jerseys, receives criticism of familiar design

Nike releases images of new U.S. Soccer jerseys, receives criticism of familiar design

The U.S. National Teams will rock a new look coming up soon. Instead of a blue and white color pallet on their existing jerseys, the new kit Nike unveiled today will be two shades of red. 

The U.S. men will first wear the red kits for their March 24th World Cup qualifying match against Honduras. The U.S. women will don them sooner, for the 2017 SheBelieves Cup from March 1 to 7. 

Similar to the previous designs, the new shirts will have color block sleeves with the words "1 Nation" and "1 Team" appearing on the inside hem. Men's team jerseys are crewneck, while womens are v-neck. 

Like all new uniforms, these have drawn some criticism, specifically for their resemblance to Portugal's 2016 home kit and England's 2016 away kit. 

What do you think; too similar or still too similar? Because it's hard to find the differences...

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It's official: U.S. Soccer hires Bruce Arena to replace Jurgen Klinsmann

It's official: U.S. Soccer hires Bruce Arena to replace Jurgen Klinsmann

NEW YORK – Bruce Arena is returning to coach the U.S. national soccer team, a decade after he was fired.

The winningest coach in American national team history, Arena took over Tuesday, one day after Jurgen Klinsmann was fired. The 65-year-old Arena starts work Dec. 1.

With the U.S. 0-2 in the final round of World Cup qualifying, the U.S. Soccer Federation wants to spark a turnaround when the playoffs resume March 24 with a home game against Honduras.

"His experience at the international level, understanding of the requirements needed to lead a team through World Cup qualifying, and proven ability to build a successful team were all aspects we felt were vital for the next coach," USSF President Sunil Gulati, who fired Arena in 2006, said in a statement. "I know Bruce will be fully committed to preparing the players for the next eight qualifying games and earning a berth to an eighth straight FIFA World Cup."

Arena first took over as national team coach after the 1998 World Cup and led the U.S. to a 71-30-29 record.

"I'm looking forward to working with a strong group of players that understand the challenge in front of them after the first two games," Arena said in a statement. "Working as a team, I'm confident that we'll take the right steps forward to qualify"

A wisecracking Brooklynite known for blunt talk and sarcasm, he coached the University of Virginia from 1978-95, then led D.C. United to titles in Major League Soccer's first two seasons before losing in the 1998 final. He guided the Americans to the team's best World Cup finish since 1930, a 1-0 loss to Germany in the 2002 quarterfinals.

He was let go after the team's first-round elimination by Ghana in 2006. Arena coached the New York Red Bulls of MLS from July 2006 to November 2007, then was hired the following August by the Galaxy. He led the team to MLS titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Arena was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2010.

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