- Pair of former MLS heavyweights currently languishing at bottom of Eastern Conference with three losses apiece
- DC United hosts Chicago Fire on May 13th, with both looking to kick their season into a higher gear
- Read on for a full preview, odds, and the best bet for Thursday’s contest
It’s hard to believe in 2021, but DC United vs Chicago Fire was once a marquee Major League Soccer matchup. One or the other appeared in the first five MLS Cups, with the pair meeting in the 1998 championship game, won by the Fire as Chicago capped off an expansion season for the ages.
Recent years haven’t been so kind to either club, and 2021 is no different. Both missed the playoffs a year ago and are a long way away from championship contention, with the pair coming off a hat trick of losses entering their first meeting of the season, on Thursday, May 13th at 8:00 pm EST at Audi Field.
DC United vs Chicago Fire Odds
|Matchup||Spread||Moneyline||Total at PointsBet|
|DC United vs Chicago Fire||DC -1.0 (+425) | CHI +1.0 (-200)||DC +155 | CHI +160
|Ov 2.5 (-145) | Un 2.5 (+115)|
Odds as of May 12
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Disappointment In DC
A 2-1 win over New York City on opening weekend seemed to point the way to greener pastures for DC United, who finished second-to-last in the Eastern Conference last year. But Hernan Losada’s team have only piled on the disappointment since, losing three straight by a combined score of 8-2.
However, if there’s any silver lining to be found, it would be in the fact that all three of those games were on the road, so Thursday’s game marks the first return to Audi Field since that season-opening win over New York. DC only won two out of 12 games at home last year, so DC fans might be better off looking for that silver lining elsewhere.
United By Injury
If there’s one common theme for DC this year, it’s that the team is an utter state of disrepair owing to injury. First-choice goalkeeper Bill Hamid has been out all season with a groin issue, so Losada’s has been using veteran Chris Seitz in his place. The gamble has hardly paid off, as the 34-year-old has conceded nine goals in four games, giving up three goals on the only three shots he faced in last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Columbus.
14 players absent for @dcunited!!!
Hernán Losada is playing with 🔥
I totally understand trying to change a culture and mentality but in this manner after the longest offseason ever….one has to question the method to the madness at some point. #DCU #MLS https://t.co/34Jbdyfjgv
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) May 8, 2021
But while Hamid’s absence might be the most glaring, Yordy Reyna, Kevin Paredes, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Griffin Yow and Jacob Green are all out injured, too, leaving Losada to field a patchwork lineup.
DC United vs Chicago Fire Stats
|1-3-0||2021 MLS Record (W-L-D)||0-3-1|
Hardly On Fire
The highlight of Chicago’s campaign so far has been the season-opening 2-2 draw with New England, a game in which the Fire jumped out to a 2-0 lead inside the first 12 minutes, only to see that lead wiped out by halftime.
Raphael Wicky’s team has only scored one goal since and has been shut out in two straight games as the Fire, looking to end a three-season playoff drought, only sit ahead of last-place Cincinnati on goal difference.
— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) May 8, 2021
Chicago is missing wingers Stanislav Ivanov and Fabian Herbers but will hope that Robert Beric, who scored 12 goals last season, can regain his scoring touch after registering just one goal through the first four games.
History On United’s Side
Given the heavyweight tussles these two sides have taken part in, it’s only natural that both teams have given as good as they’ve gotten. In 62 all-time meetings, DC has a slight edge, with 23 wins, versus 21 losses and 18 draws, scoring 93 goals and conceding 91.
But games held in DC have been altogether more tilted in United’s favor, with DC winning 16 of the 31 games, losing nine and drawing six.
However, the past five meetings have between the teams have been fairly equitable, with each taking a win apiece and splitting three draws.
Pick: Draw (+260) and Under 2.5 (+115)