Has the team finally found its confidence under Rooney?
After a pair of solid results that’s seen the team unbeaten in their last 2, there’s a glimmer of hope. Knocking off New York City FC in their adopted home of New Jersey, with a scoreline of 2-1. United arguably had their best display under coach Wayne Rooney. Chilean midfielder Martin Rodriguez connected with Steven Birnbaum, directly off a set piece in the 57th minute. Notching a win against a team sitting amongst the top 4 in the East proves they can compete with the best.
Following, another positive display against the Colorado Rapids, especially in the first half, D.C United should have come out victorious. Signing from Crystal Palace on August 4th, 2022 for $6,000,000, the District finally added some firepower up front. Christain Benteke had the dream scenario, making his home debut, exactly a month after signing, at Audi Field on Sunday, September 4th. With a chance to score, 1-on-1 late against the Rapid’s goalkeeper William Yarbrough, Benteke failed to convert his penalty.
Captain Steven Birnbaum has been on a terrific run of form, with the central defender constantly performing at a high level. Heading the go-ahead goal against NYCFC, Birnbaum earned himself a spot on the MLS Team of the Week.
On the other hand, Taxi Fountas, while still in concussion protocol, is slated for a return next week. It’ll be very interesting to see how a Benteke & Taxi partnership will work out for United. Having two high-level strikers leading the line, the lethal pairing should score a ton of goals.
Furthermore, with only 5 games remaining in the regular season, let’s see how the team closes out the year. Surprisingly, 4 out of 5 of these final games are against teams that aren’t sitting at the top of their conferences. Undoubtedly, Montreal CF is the sternest test, with the team locked in for a promising playoff run. Henceforth, United have all the ability to string a significant amount of momentum to propel their confidence heading into the 2023 MLS season.