MLS game of the week: D.C. United vs. New England Revolution

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July 9th, 2019

Major League Soccer kicks off the weekend Friday night, as D.C. United hosts the New England Revolution.

New England Revolution at D.C. United, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

(D.C. United +110, New England +225 , Draw +245)

MLS free play: DC United (+110)

On paper this looks like an easy pick. D.C. United has struggled over its last five matches (1-1-3), while the Revolution has flourished so far under new head coach Bruce Arena (3-0-2). For the Revolution, Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo will have to bring it up front, while Edgar Castillo leads the back line with Andrew Farrell. New England is starting to get more balanced and playing like it believes in the system put forth by Arena so far. The Revolution is going to have to capitalize on  scoring chances, because D.C. United doesn't offer up many.

D.C. United will welcome back Paul Arriola and Junior Moreno into the lineup, who have been missing the past five weeks on international duty. Their additions to the attack will free up a lot of space for Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta, who will take the open lanes to their advantage. D.C. United's questions will center around whether its defense can play mistake-free soccer, because that's what has been its downfall the past few weeks. Defensive lapses shouldn't be happening this far into the season, so it will be interesting if head coach Ben Olsen tries to shake things up a bit in an effort to rejuvenate the team.

D.C. United needs three points to make up some ground on the Philadelphia Union, which sits at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. This is a prime chance to get those points against a team that is fighting to get above the playoff line. The return of Arriola is the difference, as D.C. gets one goal via the penalty spot (+515) and another one from Leo Jara to win 2-1.

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