Six matches remain for D.C.United in league play and the once-proud club has two primary targets circled:
One isn’t actually in the league, it’s the U.S. Open Cup final coming up early next month. The problem is, Real Salt Lake hosts that contest, so that’s already an uphill climb. But, as Ben Olsen’s team understands that is the only way to salvage a thing from this season gone seriously askew, they will draw a circle around it and pour out the entire bag of tricks for the long trip into Utah.
What else for United? Well, avoiding some marks of ignominy is about it. And there is still some work ahead.
After drawing with the LA Galaxy on Saturday, Olsen’s team has three home matches remaining, the best opportunities to pick up wins. With a 3-19-6 record, United needs two wins to keep from drawing level on fewest wins over a season in league history.
Tampa Bay (in 2001, the year before it disbanded) and Chivas USA (in 2005, its expansion season) also won just four matches over the entire campaign.
Olsen’s team would actually have to win half its remaining matches just to match United’s poorest season, a 6-20-4 mark in 2010. (That’s the year Olsen took over in mid-season for Curt Onalfo.)
With a couple more goals Saturday, the team does have a good shot at avoiding the league mark for fewest goals. That’s 21, also set by D.C. United in 2010. This year’s United had 18 goals with those six matches remaining.
(MORE: D.C. United draws at home with LA Galaxy)
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
[ RELATED: Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico ]
Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]
Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.