On Saturday evening DC United will attempt to extend their five game unbeaten run against the San Jose Earthquakes in the first match between these two sides this season. The Earthquakes are themselves on a seven game unbeaten run so this match will feature two inform teams looking to keep their momentum heading into the middle of the season. DC United returns home after a two game road trip in which they took 4 points — 3 from the Portland Timbers and 1 from the LA Galaxy. The Earthquakes meanwhile will start a road trip that will also include a match in Kansas City before returning home to host the Galaxy.
DC United has had impressive home form, barring an embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Red Bulls, and are backed by their diehard supporters. It will be just under a month since the black and red have hosted a league match at RFK Stadium when they drew with MLS Champion Colorado Rapids. DC were one of two teams to first break the cross-coast win streak with their win at Portland and now San Jose will look to do the same. The Earthquakes will be looking to keep the intensity from their match against Houston alive where they pressured the goal incessantly and were led by a remarkable performance from their keeper, Jon Busch.
San Jose has shown some great second half performances recently and are being dubbed by their local media as a second half team. When Steven Lenhart was asked about how the club has become so dominant in the second half he joked, “We just come in here and have dance parties and then everyone’s good to go.” DC United has also picked up some points in the second half this season, most notably with their opening match against Columbus, the home match against the Galaxy and most recently, the two goals they scored against Portland.
Ben Olsen went on the local alternative rock station where he is long time friends with the morning show DJ. When asked about the upcoming match against San Jose he was optimistic about the game. “There’s no team that is unbeatable, it’s so close [between teams] the way the league sets it up. Right now we should start getting some real points. We should not focus on being a team that is just in it, we need to be a little more cutthroat and get 3 points. We play San Jose and they are as hot as anyone right now and it’s two teams that are hot right now and it will be a good event.” When Olsen was asked how the team is approaching the game against the Olsen reiterated his stance about every player giving it their all. “In games we’ve done well in we’ve been outworking teams and we’ve been outfighting teams. Games that have haunted us we just haven’t been as clinical in the final third.”
The work ethic by the club will be strengthened by the fact that both Dax McCarty and Charlie Davies put in strong performances in the mid-week reserve game against the New England Revolution. Both players played a solid 45 minutes and look to ease their way back into a starting job after injuries sustained in recent weeks. The return of the two stars that have anchored United’s resurgence this year will help the work rate and backed by the home fans United should be able to pick up 3 points if they can finish the chances that their midfield have become accustomed to creating.
Editor’s note: DC United against San Jose Earthquakes will air on MLS Direct Kick Saturday, June 11 at 7:30pm ET.