Despite a growing list of absentees, D.C. United beat MLS champions Columbus last time out, and coach Hernan Losada is not planning to fill in on the substitutes bench just yet.
D.C. beat the Crew 4-2 in midweek and now faces CF Montreal on Sunday.
Losada’s team is unbeaten in its last four matches, while Montreal snapped a three-game losing streak by drawing with Atlanta United on Wednesday.
Though it got the points against Columbus, D.C. United was two substitutes short, and 39-year-old Losada joked before the game that he might have to get his cleats back on, just in case.
“There was space on the bench! It was possible, I was thinking about it, I was running a couple of times but I’m not fit enough,” Losada revealed after the win. “But what I’m going to try and do is run a half-marathon in September, in Washington, so I’m going to start to prepare for that. Hopefully there’s no need to put my cleats on and be on the bench!
“I want to congratulate all the players who are getting minutes, coming onto the field, fighting for each other, no matter who is starting, who is playing.They are giving their life for each other.”
Montreal is a point and two places behind D.C. in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s a team that plays with its qualities and is very impressive,” coach Wilfried Nancy said of D.C. “They don’t need to have possession for a long time to score goals. They are very good on the counterattack. It’s up to us to manage these moments. It will be necessary to be concentrated with the ball at the foot while monitoring their counterattacks.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
D.C. United – Ola Kamara
Kamara scored twice in United’s 4-2 win at Columbus, his fourth straight appearance with at least one goal. He is first D.C. player to do so since Darren Mattocks in May-June 2018.
CF Montreal – Djordje Mihailovic
Mihailovic provided assist in the draw with Atlanta. It was one of four chances he created, a team high.
KEY OPTA FACTS
Montreal has won three of its last five games at D.C.(D1 L1, including playoffs) after not winning any of its first six visits to D.C. (D3 L3). Montreal scored eight goals in the three wins and four total goals in the other eight games.
D.C. has won three straight home matches after winning just three of its previous 13 matches at Audi Field (D3 L7). This is D.C.’s longest home winning streak since running off five straight home wins to end the 2018 regular season.
Montreal snapped a three-match losing streak with a 2-2 draw against Atlanta on Wednesday, though they held a 2-0 lead. It marked the second time Montreal failed to win a match in which it led by two goals this season, also losing a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 draw with Nashville in April.
The last D.C. United player to score in more than four straight appearances was Luciano Emilio (six straight) in May-June 2008.
Both Atlanta’s Josef Martínez and Montreal’s Rudy Camacho scored and were sent off in the 2-2 draw between the sides on Wednesday. It was the first time opponents both scored and were sent off in a single match since Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders) and Pedro Morales (Vancouver Whitecaps) in October 2016.