HARRISON, NJ - MARCH 13: A general view of the MLS, Fussball Herren, USA march ball on the field during the first half of the Major League Soccer game between the New York Red Bulls and Minnesota United on March 13, 2022 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire SOCCER: MAR 13 MLS - Minnesota United at New York Red Bulls Icon220332609

Many teams all across the MLS were desperate for three points last weekend. With only a few games left, the difference between a loss and a draw could be the difference between making playoffs or an uncomfortably long offseason. Because Chicago, Montreal and Orlando all dropped points on Saturday, DC United had already clinched their spot before their match kicked off. The onus was on Seattle Sounders to guarantee a spot for themselves, but DC United weren’t going to make it easy for them.

With six of the seven playoff spots still available in the West, Seattle Sounders‘ second-place position meant nothing heading into the game. And after 90 minutes against DC United, their playoff spot is still up in the air. Ben Olsen’s tactics were too much for Seattle to overcome as Brian Schmetzer’s team lost 2-0 at Audi Field. Find out how the match was won by DC United in this tactical analysis.


Ben Olsen made no changes to his starting XI that managed to win an important game against the Portland Timbers a week prior. In attack, DC maintained their 4-2-3-1 position but shifted into a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 when defending. Their defensive shape changed depending on whether they were committing two or three plays to press.

Brian Schmetzer also lined up in a 4-2-3-1. A red card in their last match against FC Dallas meant that Seattle was without centre-back Xavier Arreaga. This prompted Gustav Svensson to fill the void in the backline with Cristian Roldán shifting back into the holding midfield role in place of Svensson.

To read the full tactical analysis of this game – click here

Artwork by @chapulana

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