United-Chivas USA Preview

The Associated Press

Considering D.C. United and Chivas USA have combined for four wins since the end of March, there's really only one way these teams can feel about their lone meeting of the season.

Happy to see the other.

The league's two worst teams meet Sunday with Chivas hoping to keep United winless away from home.

It's been a forgettable 2013 within league play for both Chivas (5-15-7) and D.C. (3-18-5), though United's focus over the next few weeks will shift to their U.S. Open Cup final against Real Salt Lake on Oct. 1.

Chivas has nothing similar to look forward to, though it should have a reasonable chance at three points Sunday. It's 2-1-1 in its last four home games and scored multiple goals for just the fifth time this season in the most recent one, a 3-2 win over New York on Aug. 25.

It repeated the feat last Sunday in a 2-all draw at Vancouver, but came up empty three days later in a 1-0 loss at Seattle.

"After two tough games on the road we're just trying to build off our last home win against New York and come out with the mentality that a win is what we're looking for," center back Bobby Burling told the team's official website. "Anything else other than that is unacceptable right now."

Chivas' offensive resurgence can largely be attributed to the emergence of Erick Torres. The 20-year-old striker scored twice against the Red Bulls and delivered both goals against the Whitecaps.

Like Chivas, United have just two league wins since the beginning of April, and D.C. has totaled only four goals while going 0-10-3 on the road.

United have scored in their last two away from home, though Nick DeLeon's goal in the 36th minute last Saturday wasn't enough to produce a point in a 2-1 loss at New York.

But facing Chivas, which has allowed a league-worst 48 goals, has United thinking three points.

"We talked about it earlier (this week). This is a winnable game for us," midfielder Chris Pontius told the team's official website. "I think every game we go into we have the mindset of winning, but especially this game here and then coming back home, hopefully we can be on a nice little run (leading into the Open Cup final)."

Pontius has been training in full this week after missing the last seven matches. He has just one goal in 15 matches this season after scoring 12 in 2012.

D.C. could use some offense Sunday. Dwayne De Rosario, Kyle Porter and Dejan Jakovic are all away on international duty, though Chivas is missing Daniel Antunez, Caleb Calvert, Jaime Frias, Tim Melia and Jorge Villafana to injury.

United coach Ben Olsen's mindset for Sunday's game could easily be the same for Chivas.

"We need it," Olsen said. "With wins comes a belief that you can win. That part has been missing, which is the case with Chivas, which is the case with Toronto. They're not out of games, it just comes down to sometimes a little bit of belief and we've got to find that."

D.C. beat Chivas 1-0 at home last season and won its last road game in the series 3-0 in 2011.

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