Unbeaten St. Louis City will face similar style vs. D.C. United

League: MLS

Posted on: 23 Mar, 2024 at 02:32 AM

Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis City will look to continue their unbeaten start to the MLS season when they host short-handed D.C. United on Saturday night.

St. Louis (1-0-3, 6 points) played to an impressive 3-3 draw at the Los Angeles Galaxy last weekend, a wild match in which both teams held second-half leads.

Led by two goals each from Celio Pompeu and Samuel Adeniran, St. Louis City have scored multiple goals in each of the past three matches. And in D.C. (1-1-2, 5 points), they face a team that plays a similar high-press style.

St. Louis coach Bradley Carnell and D.C. United boss Troy Lesesne were once the interim head coach at the New York Red Bulls, an organization built on that pressing philosophy. That tactical similarity could mean the difference in Saturday's contest is based on very small margins.

"I think it becomes (about) mentality, the willingness: What am I willing to do to get the better of my opponent," Carnell said. "We know they have a good squad. They are feeling good about themselves as well, and deservedly so."

St. Louis City have avoided international call-ups during the ongoing March window. D.C. United were less fortunate, with Aaron Herrera (Guatemala) and Matti Peltola (Finland) both absent.

D.C. defender Steve Birnbaum (knee) and defensive midfielder Russell Canouse (knee) are out because of longer-term injuries. Defender Pedro Santos will serve a one-game suspension after his red card late in last weekend's 3-1 defeat to Inter Miami.

But Lesesne got leading scorer Christian Benteke back last weekend after missing two games with a thigh injury.

"I think the only thing that we didn't really prepare for was a couple of the injuries that we just discussed and also Pedro getting a red card," Lesesne said. "That also threw a little bit of a loop for us in terms of the overall squad depth that we'll have for this week. But that's something that we talked about transparently in the beginning of the week. And I think that it's an opportunity there for some different players."

--Field Level Media