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Preview: Chivas USA vs. D.C. United, September 8th, 2013

Only the Houston Dynamo stood between D.C. United and a chance to add to their impressive trophy cabinet. Instead of building on last year's playoff run, 2013 has seen the Black and Red more shades of black and blue as they play Chivas USA at the StubHub Center Sunday, September 8th, 6:00 P.M. (TV: MLSLIVE, KWHY, KWHY; Radio (Spanish only) 690 AM).

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you missed it, be sure to check out our Three Questions exchange with Adam Taylor of Black and Red United.

Now then, let's preview this match!

Tale of the Tape:

Chivas USA: 22 points (5-14-8), 9th place in Western Conference, 17th place overall; Goal Difference: -22 (26/47); Last six matches: L-D-L-W-D-L

D.C. United: 14 points (3-18-5), 10thplace in Eastern Conference, 19th place overall; Goal Difference: -27 (16/43); Last six matches: L-W-L-L-D-L

Key Match-up: Erick Torres and Julio Morales vs. the D.C. United triangle:

The game will hinge on one team's ability to create and capitalize on their chances. D.C. United has a solid defensive midfielder in Perry Kitchen who graduated from Generation adidas after his rookie season. Second year player Luis Silva has added punch to the attack in the central attacking role. Their ability to keep possession and disrupt Torres and Morales's tempo when they don't, can alter the Chivas USA game plan.

Why Chivas USA will win this match:

Let's just roll the numbers: D.C. United are 0-16-1 when allowing the first goal and 0-12-0 when trailing at the half. Chivas USA has scored in five of their last seven contents, each time scoring the first goal.

Easier said than done. The Rojiblancos will need to possess the ball more if only to blunt the DCU attack. If Real succeeds in shift the team to 4-2-4 while on the attack, the Chivas attack becomes multi-faceted and could further sully a DC backline's bad reputation.

Why D.C. United will win this match:

Last year's injury to Dwayne DeRosario emboldened the D.C. United squad with a sense of purpose, read: the "no one in the world believes in us." So it's one game, but the team's youth movement has been the catalyst in the DCU's recent improvement. Further, key players loaned out to USL Pro Champion Richmond Kickers will be re-integrating to the lineup.

With the veterans gone, the age of the squad diminished and the style of play more democratic, Chivas could be getting a dose of their own medicine.

New looks, new dimensions and, heck, the confidence of being a winner could certainly provide spunk to the spirited D.C. United youth corps.

Why this match will end in a draw:

Honestly, I'm predicting it to end nil-nil but the bookies-who make their living off of hedging these things correctly--differ projecting two to three goals (We don't advocate betting but it's interesting to see what the bookies are thinking).

Notable absences:

Chivas: Carlos Bocanegra (Questionable, right heel contusion)

DC United: Dwayne De Rosario, Dejan Jakovic, Kyle Porter (Canadian international call-up).

What do you think? Leave your comments below!