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D.C. United set to begin long-awaited second half of season at Audi Field

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D.C. United will christen its new stadium, Audi Box, on July 14. (Photograph through Katherine Frey/The Washington Put up)

When David Ousted stepped out of doors the group’s resort in Toronto, he wasn’t positive what town he used to be in. It used to be merely every other resort after arriving in a brand new position for but every other street recreation. That’s been the tale of D.C. United’s season since it all started 4 months in the past.

Up to now this yr, the gamers and body of workers have bounced from town to town across the league, with some maintaining with their D.C.-based households and kids from afar. Together with preseason video games, United’s go back and forth because the yr started totals kind of 40,00zero miles, which is farther than one-and-a-half journeys world wide.

United’s recreation towards Vancouver on Saturday marks a couple of welcome adjustments, ones the gamers hope may just lend a hand their last-place membership in finding higher effects. The matchup has the substances had to make a recreation significant — the hole of the town’s new, soccer-specific stadium, Audi Box; the most probably debut of English football celebrity Wayne Rooney; and the beginning of the long-anticipated, home-game-heavy half of of the season.

“We had been looking ahead to this sort of second,” United defender Frederic Brillant mentioned.

Since Might, the membership has performed in Utah, Massachusetts, Seattle, Toronto and California. In that point, United’s 350-mile go back and forth to Canada used to be the group’s closest MLS recreation. The go back and forth, Sensible mentioned, is taxing bodily however much more tricky mentally. D.C. United has began the season 2-Five-7 with a league-low 11 issues.

Within the first half of of the yr, United had two makeshift domestic video games — a draw as opposed to Houston at Maryland SoccerPlex and a win towards Columbus at Army-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Nonetheless, the ones suits didn’t really feel like domestic video games, Brillant mentioned.

Now, because of the hole of Audi Box, United unexpectedly will get to play in its personal stadium. Fifteen of its ultimate 20 video games shall be performed at domestic. The brand new stadium in Southwest D.C. has options, comparable to how the seats are situated at a steep incline and on the subject of the sector, that gamers be expecting will create an intimate setting. The membership has practiced within the stadium two times, seeking to make it really feel a little bit extra like domestic.

“Getting into there the primary recreation and making it a castle the place folks don’t wish to are available in and play, that’s going to be essential,” mentioned Ousted, the membership’s 33-year-old goalkeeper.

The gamers wish to be certain that their goals don’t get misplaced within the fanfare that surrounds the brand new venue and their latest teammate. Ousted mentioned the group has to keep in mind to peer Saturday for what it’s: a recreation D.C. United must win.

“We more or less knew the entire means that the primary half of of the yr used to be going to be exhausting,” Ousted mentioned. “We had been hoping for a bit of extra issues than we now have, however we’ve additionally been sensible in what we had been getting into for. This has all the time been the plan. Now we’re coming domestic, and now we wish to display the power of this group.”

D.C. United ranks final in its 11-team convention and is 13 issues again from a top-six spot had to make the playoffs. However United has performed 14 video games this season whilst its Japanese Convention friends have all performed no less than 17. A couple of groups have performed as many as 20 suits. United isn’t relatively way back to the desk presentations, however it might desire a important turnaround to begin to climb nearer to playoff rivalry.

Ousted doesn’t pay a lot consideration to the standings, however he mentioned he is aware of the group isn’t the place it must be. This subsequent half of of the season, he mentioned, is the membership’s likelihood to modify that.

“I believe everybody’s able for this,” United Trainer Ben Olsen mentioned final week. “It’s due time. The power side, whether or not it’s the stadium or the educational facility subsequent yr, the pocketbook’s opening up a bit of bit. I believe we’ve all been looking ahead to it . . . It’s time to take this membership to the following stage.”

Learn extra from The Put up:

D.C. United trades ahead Patrick Mullins to Columbus Workforce

Croatia makes historical past, and provides to England’s lengthy wait, with victory in International Cup semifinals

‘It’s coming domestic’: The tale at the back of England’s International Cup anthem

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