Mar 3, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; D.C. United midfielder Yamil Asad (22) celebrates with forward Darren Mattocks (11) and teammates as he scores as goal against the Orlando City during the first half at Orlando City Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Photo: Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Photo: Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United vs. D.C. United: Four questions

Atlanta United will host D.C. United on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The Five Stripes were defeated by Houston 4-0 last week. D.C. United sustained a 1-1 tie at Orlando City.

The Washington Post’s Steven Goff, one of the most respected soccer journalists in North America, answered four questions about D.C. United ahead of Sunday’s game. You can follow him on twitter @SoccerInsider.

Q. Why did DC United have so much success last season against Atlanta United and do you think it can replicate that success?

A. D.C. was successful against Atlanta last year in large part because it countered effectively and found Atlanta susceptible to defending in transition. It also helped that D.C. never had to play at the new stadium -- one day match at Georgia Tech and two at RFK. In an otherwise miserable season, DCU fully enjoyed its encounters with ATL.

Q. How is Yamil Asad fitting in to the team tactically?

A. Asad started on the left wing in preseason and in the season opener at Orlando. The coaching staff loves his skill set and won't hesitate, when needed, to play him centrally as well. The return of fellow Argentine Luciano Acosta from suspension promises to enhance Asad's game this weekend (though it's unclear whether Acosta will start).

Q. What is the matchup to watch?

A. Junior Moreno, United's new defensive midfielder from the Venezuelan national team, attempting to disrupt (Miguel) Almiron, (Darlington) Nagbe and Co.

Q. Who is the team’s most important player this season?

A. Hard to say if there's one player that stands out. Asad will be vital to an attack that went scoreless 17 times last season. (Luciano) Acosta needs to create. (Darren) Mattocks or (Patrick) Mullins needs to finish. And (Frederic) Brillant and (Steve) Birnbaum need to form a strong tandem in central defense.