Inter305: Hi RFK Refugees Podcast, you are the reference for all DC United, and we are glad to talk to you today! Let’s start right away. How do you see Inter Miami CF, your team’s next opponent?
RFK Refugees Podcast: Honestly, we are glad that soccer is back in Miami after the last team folded in 2002. We hope to come and visit the stadium. We love the color scheme (Miami) chose, it does fit the city. On the field, we believe they will be a big spender (for new players) and Rodolpho Pizzaro is the player we can’t wait to watch in the MLS this year. They also have Luis Robles as a goal, who kept them alive against LAFC. We think Miami will have a season similar to Atlanta’s first year. They will make the playoffs and potentially host a game if they get another designated player during the off-season.
I305: Is DC United stronger than last year?
RFK: We believe they are. If we are looking at pure talent on the field, the answer is probably no. It is next to impossible to replace Wayne Rooney and Lucho Acosta. Although we think that as far as ego goes, they are in much better shape. Both Rooney and Acosta appeared to check out last season and it showed on the field. This year they have Ola Kamara, Edson Flores, Yamil Asad, and Julien Gressel to try and fill the gaps. Several teams would kill to have those options. If they connect and get on the same page (on the field), they can be dangerous. The obvious drawback is Paul Arriola’s injury. His work rate is irreplaceable, and expectations for this season have taken a hit with his injury. Without him, the talent on the team takes a significant hit. Time will tell whether the idea of a better team can outweigh the talent they had last year.
The real concern for DCU fans is the lack of depth
I305: So DC United lost at home and took 3 goals in. What can you tell us about game 1?
RFK: Honestly, the starting lineup has played about 150 minutes thus far (together) including pre-season. Both Asad and Flores had injuries that kept them out. It showed on the field. The team looked out of sync and like they were still learning each other tendencies. They had a decent 20 minutes in the first half. Also, the weather was a huge factor and certainly affected Gressel’s performance. Fortunately, with MLS’s forgiving season, they have some time to put it together. The real concern for many fans is the lack of depth, and it isn’t clear if (coach) Olsen trusts his depth right now. He used one sub against Colorado and that was basically to get Flores off the field. He then seemed OK with holding on for dear life (sic), which didn’t work out obviously. He said at the post-game conference that he didn’t want to sacrifice height onset players. DC’s backline was clearly drained by the end of the match. It is a pretty basic statement and doesn’t do much to help the criticism fans have toward him. We wanted him to put some fresher attacking players, (it) could have turned the game. Also, we could have learned some more about the depths players like Erick Sogra, Emmanuel Boateng and others.
I305: Do you think DC United is stronger than Inter Miami CF?
RFK: We feel this game will be a draw. Both teams have a lot of new players and some exiting players. We are curious to see who looks on the same page as the team. Both teams will have a week to work on chemistry, and this will ultimately decide who goes home with the 3 points. There will also be a battle between the two best goalkeepers of MLS over the last decade. This could come down to a goalkeeper duel if neither team can’t find quality chances.
I305: What are DC United Best strenghts?
RFK: There are two mains. Speed getting forward, and a solid defensive unity from 2019 (season). They will play some sort of half pressure on the opposing teams and play counter-attacks mainly. Winning the ball and go quickly push forward. They have Joseph Mora overlap and Russel Canouse overlap. Then, they rely on their two defensive midfielders Felipe and Moreno to hold things down in the middle and cover defensively. Edison Flores is the big signing. Dc United paid a record $5 million for the transfer fee. While he was still not quite there last Saturday, he showed some signs as to why DCU thinks he can be the guy this year. He passed the eye test. He is a good dribbler in small spaces and will undoubtedly have some incredible plays this season.
Saturday: A win 1-0 for DC
I305: What is your pronostic for the game?
RFK: We are going with 1-0 for DC. They will score early and play conservatively for the rest of the game. We hope for better team chemistry than we saw last season. They will be going up against (Inter Miami CF), another team in the process of figuring out their identity, which could benefit DC United.