MLS: Stellar at home, D.C. United enters ‘crunch time’ vs. Nashville

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Home cooking has been rather fulfilling this season for D.C. United.

D.C. United (12-12-4, 40 points) will bid for their fifth straight home win and ninth in their past 10 matches at Audi Field on Saturday when they host Nashville SC (11-3-14, 47 points) in Washington.

D.C. United followed up two-goal victories at home over FC Cincinnati and Minnesota United with a 2-1 road loss to Orlando City on Oct. 2. Saturday’s hosts also are out to avenge a 5-2 setback in Nashville on Aug. 15 as they enter the final six matches of their regular-season slate.

“It’s crunch time,” said Julian Gressel, who scored his team’s lone goal against the Lions. “It’s the last two weeks of the season, the last few games, and obviously not an easy schedule for us. Obviously, we’re at home, so we want to play our style, we want to show well, like we have been at Audi Field, and we want to continue that trend.

“Obviously we can learn a lot from the game against Nashville last time around and try and be better on the day.”

Ola Kamara scored one of his MLS-leading 17 goals in the previous match versus Nashville SC.

While D.C. United enter the weekend tied with New York City FC and CF Montreal for fifth place in the Eastern Conference, Nashville SC reside two points ahead of Philadelphia for second place.

Nashville SC have recorded three straight draws, a streak that includes a pair of scoreless ties on the road. The most recent draw against New York City FC on Oct. 3 allowed New England to clinch first place in the Eastern Conference.

C.J. Sapong and Alex Muyl each scored twice and Hany Mukhtar also tallied in the previous encounter with D.C. United.

Mukhtar, who leads the team with 13 goals, told the Tennessean that he has adjusted quite nicely to his second season in Nashville.

“I would say I’m on a good level,” Mukhtar said. “But I deeply believe that I can do even better and can improve some parts of my game. … It’s a tough question, but I would say this is one of the best seasons I’ve ever had in professional soccer.”

–Field Level Media

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