D.C. United aims to end one dubious streak Wednesday night, while Sporting Kansas City looks to keep their impressive one intact.
That is what's on the line in two mid-week MLS matches, as D.C. hosts the Montreal Impact and Sporting Kansas City leaves the confines of Livestrong Sporting Park, heading north to face the Vancouver Whitecaps.
For D.C., tonight marks a golden chance to win consecutive league games for the first time since June, 2009, a statistic that seems staggering for a franchise as storied and proud as United.
SKC, meanwhile, has started off the season 6-0-0 and will look to push that winning streak to seven against a rested Vancouver side coming off a bye week.
Here's a closer look at the night's MLS matches:
D.C. UNITED VS. MONTREAL IMPACT (7:30 p.m., MLS Live/Direct Kick)
There would not appear to be a better opportunity for D.C. to snap its streak than at home against an expansion side, especially one that has had no success on the road thus far.
Montreal brings an 0-5-0 road record into RFK Stadium, where head coach Jesse Marsch returns to the place his club career began in MLS' inaugural season.
The Impact have been playing better overall, with Saturday's result in Dallas slipping away in the final minutes after it appeared that Bernardo Corradi's penalty would stand until Blas Perez and Brek Shea scored late. After the Impact suffered some early-season miscues in the back, Marsch has settled on a tandem of Matteo Ferrari and Shavar Thomas in central defense, one that has stabilized things in front of goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
For D.C., the club has started to hit its stride, as it is unbeaten in four matches after starting the season 0-2. Reigning league MVP Dwyane De Rosario and standout rookie Nick DeLeon have been the catalysts behind the resurgence on the attacking end, while the defense has quietly gone about its business, conceding just twice in the last four games.
Injuries to centerbacks Emiliano Dudar and Dejan Jakovic could force Robbie Russell into central defense duty alongside Brandon McDonald, while goalkeeper Joe Willis, who has been steady since replacing the absent/injured Bill Hamid, may give way to the U.S. U-23 starter for the first time in weeks.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS VS. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (10 p.m., MLS Live/Direct Kick)
The Whitecaps will aim to do what no other team has been able to accomplish this season: Get at least a point off Sporting KC.
The Eastern Conference leaders have been dominant en route to six straight victories, but this will be the first time that they will have had to deal with a short week. Considering much of the club's success is based on its ability to apply high pressure from start to finish, fatigue — not to mention a potential emotional let down after an intense win over Real Salt Lake Saturday night — could come into play.
Making matters more complicated for SKC is that defensive midfielder Julio Cesar has been ruled out for the match with a hamstring injury suffered over the weekend.
For Vancouver, much was made of its attack after an offseason of stockpiling goal-prone players, but with just four goals in five games, it has been the defense that has been the driving force behind the club's improvement in its second season. That defense will need to be on its toes to contend with the likes of Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara and C.J. Sapong, while Camilo appears poised for his first start in three games to add a spark to the attack.
One matchup to watch is the one featuring two bruising Frenchmen, as Whitecaps striker Eric Hassli will look to break his scoring drought by getting past SKC centerback Aurelien Collin.
How do you see tonight's matches playing out? Do you think D.C. will finally get its second straight league win? Think Vancouver can knock off SKC?
Share your thoughts below.