The more things change, the more they stay the same as DC United are 2-0 on the season behind 11 saves across two matches from Bill Hamid. DC may miss Kevin Paredes on the attacking end, but Brad Smith has kept things going on the defensive side of the ball. Andy Najar has been rewarded with a new contract and things are looking up in the capitol city after Hernan Losada missed the playoffs in his inaugural season in charge.
But the Fire look to spoil the party with some improvement of their own. Chicago has yet to score or allow a goal which is surprising considering how leaky the defense has been but 17-year-old Gabriel Slonina has been impressive to begin the season. The addition of Rafel Czichoz has steadied the back line and it feels like only a matter of time until one of Kacper Przybylko's shots finds the back of the net. Having scored double digit goals in two of the last three seasons for the Philadelphia Union, Przyblko and Xhereden Shaqiri will form a partnership before long once they make it through these early days.
Here's our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Saturday, March 12 | Time: 7:30 p.m.
- Location: Audi Field -- Washington, District of Colombia
- Live stream: ESPN+ and fuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: DC United +117; Draw +245; Chicago Fire +235 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Team: Without Moses Nyeman after his sending off versus Cincinnati and with Russell Canouse still questionable, Sofiane Djeffal will likely start in central midfield after coming on as a sub in the first two matches. Considering the partnership that Nyeman and Drew Skundrich have in helping protect the center-backs and getting the ball to the attacking midfielders, it will be a big change for a team that has been performing well. DC should be able to exploit the wings with Smith and Gressel as wing backs because Chicago will make it hard to go down the center of the pitch.
Chicago Fire: Another reason for the fire's defensive improvement is adding an experienced Bundesliga defender in Rafel Czichos, as he has been able to marshal the other members of the back line. DC has scored four goals across their first two matches this season, so he'll have some work to do. Maybe Fabian Herbers can also put up a good performance against his podcast partner Julian Gressel as he has yet to score this season after calling out Gonzalo Higuain.
DC has too much firepower and finally puts a goal past the fire to keep their perfect record. Pick: DC United 2, Chicago Fire 0