FC Cincinnati vs DC United for the Major League Soccer championship match on Friday at the Nippert Stadium.
Almost achieving the best sequence of performances, in its first season in the top professional football league in the United States, it doesn’t mean Cincinnati has been playing well. After all, the team is in the last place of the league. Thus, two victories are enough to achieve their best streak.
That’s what Cincinnati did against Houston Dynamo (3-2, home) and Chicago Fire (2-1, away), repeating what they had done in March when they went through Portland (3-0 home) and New England Revolution (2 to 0, out). Before that, they had a sequence of six losses and a draw. Thus, a draw is enough to make the current series as their best moment in the dispute of the 2019 edition of MLS.
With 17 points (five wins, two draws and 13 losses), Cincinnati is on the twelfth place on the Eastern Conference leaderboard. It also features the league’s worst overall campaign, as Vancouver Whitecaps, the worst Western Conference team, has already accumulated 20 points.
The possibility of qualifying for the playoffs still exists, but even after the victories, it remains classified as remote. The difference for Toronto FC, seventh and last team in the playoff zone, was nine points at the beginning of the midweek game schedule.
As host, the team played for 24 points and won ten (three wins, one draw and four losses) having scored nine goals and suffered 13.
DC United has a smaller recent series than their rival this Friday. In the last three games, the team of the capital has collected two points. There were draws against Toronto FC (1 to 1) and New England Revolution (2 to 2) at home. As a visitor, they lost to FC Dallas (2-0).
But with a more substantial campaign throughout the tournament, they play comfortably in the playoffs qualifying zone. With 32 points (eight wins, eight draws and five losses), they started the midweek journey as vice-lead of the Eastern Conference. They are four points behind Philadelphia Union, leading, and seven ahead in comparison to Orlando City, eighth-placed and first team outside the standings leading to the postseason.
As a visitor, performance is lower. DC United appears as the fifth-best campaign on these criteria. Of the 27 points they played as column two, they took 12 (three wins, three draws and three losses) having scored eight goals and suffered nine.
DC United swings less but maintains only a median pattern of performances. Cincinnati gets a few moments of good performance, but it does not stay on that level for long. Thus, the predictions in a draw end up being a good option for the meeting of this Friday for the regular season of MLS.