D.C. United has a lot of work to do on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium if they want to make it through to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. In the first leg against Costa Rican side LD Alajuelenese, United fell on the road by a scored of 5-2. In a hectic road game, United found themselves down early, conceding two goals in the first 22 minutes. But goals from Fabian Espindola and Steve Birnbaum brought the game within reach. Two more goals from Alajuelenese made the score 4-2 as the game came to a close. Only down by two goals, United was in a bad spot but they certainly could have come back from a two-goal deficit quite easily. In the last minute of the game, sloppy defending lead to Jonathan MacDonald of Alajuelenese scoring a fifth goal against the MLS side. On Wednesday at home the hosts have to keep a clean sheet and score three goals or score four goals and allow just one.
According to TiqIQ, the average price of tickets for DC United to this game is $38, with a get-in price of just $3. At the very least this will be a worthwhile game to attend at that price given the start of MLS season this upcoming weekend. Hipmunk has affordable flights to Washington DC and a variety of hotels in Washington DC to help you see this game live.
The major question for D.C. United is the health of their star goalkeeper, Bill Hamid. Hamid missed the first leg due to a shoulder injury he sustained at national team training. In his place was Andrew Dykstra, who made several key mistakes in the first leg. The first goal for Alajuelenese was entirely the backup goalkeepers fault as he mistimed his rush and took out the attacker for a penalty kick. Down 2-1, Dykstra made another crucial mistake that allowed their opponents to score a third. A low cross went straight into his arms but he spilled the ball and an opportunistic opponent tapped it into the goal. If Hamid is not able to play on Wednesday night then United will have to hope that their backup goalkeeper can improve his play.
The home side will also need to shore up their defensive problems and play at a much higher level because allowing just one goal could be their demise. The defense will have to cover for the United attackers of Chris Pontius, Fabian Espindola and Jairo Arrieta, who have to score multiple goals in the second leg of this CONCACAF Champions League matchup.