Washington, D.C. – D.C. United hosts the Chicago Fire in a massive clash at RFK Stadium on Wednesday, but it is likely to fall short of United's last outing in terms of talking points.
Sunday's 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union was overshadowed by a missed penalty kick from Dwayne De Rosario, three red cards in the closing minutes and an on-field skirmish between teammates Chris Korb and Brandon McDonald.
But according to Korb, that bust-up was blown out of proportion and D.C. is ready to move on.
"We're all like a family here, so it's like fighting with your brother," Korb said following Tuesday's training session. "At the end of the game, yeah, we were barking at each other. But it's over after five minutes when we're in the locker room.
"We've got to take care of that a little better, but it's not a big deal. I think it kind of got blown out of proportion."
United must regroup in time for Wednesday's crucial tilt that could have massive playoff implications.
Only four points separate D.C. and Chicago as the Fire occupy fourth place, one spot better than United.
A win for D.C. would move the club four points ahead of the sixth-place Montreal Impact, strengthening its standing for a playoff berth.
On the flip side, a win for Chicago would lift the Fire to a tie with Red Bull New York for second place in the East.
Chicago, entering Wednesday's match on a three-game winning streak, most recently edged the New England Revolution in a 2-1 win at Toyota Park.
Despite the victory, head coach Frank Klopas still sees plenty of room for improvement.
"At the end of the night, I didn't think that we were particularly good with the ball. We had a lot of turnovers and were sloppy with our passing," said Klopas. "On the other hand, we created a lot of chances. Even though we were ahead in the stats in possession, we were not sharp. We need to finish our chances. It's great that we're creating, but we need to focus in the final third and put teams away."
Sherjill MacDonald was certainly a bright spot for the Fire in the defeat of New England. The Designated Player bagged the game-winner in the 25th minute for his first MLS goal.
"Physically, he's very strong," Klopas said. "He's comfortable with his back to goal. His timing is very good. He can protect the ball. He also makes good runs down the channels. Now he needs to keep pushing himself in games to get fitter and sharper."