Last season, United came back from an 0-3-1 start to finish win the Supporter's Shield, handed out to the team with the league's best regular season record. The club was widely considered the favorite to at least win the Eastern Conference this year, but after four games United (1-0-3) finds itself "in another disconcerting situation." In the past two matches, United has been outscored, 6-1, by opponents who failed to make the playoffs in the past three years. In particular, reigning MLS MVP Luciano Emilio has been disappointing, looking a shadow of his former goal-scoring self. The defense, too, has been inconsistent.
"Maybe we are just not having fun," team captain Jaime Moreno said. "We're not enjoying it like we should. It feels like we have too much pressure, trying to go out there and win games so quickly. We have enough experience to manage the game better." United Coach Tom Soehn says that after the recent stretch of games, "We have developed a lot of bad habits and sometimes ... you get lazy. You don't do some of the things you worked on all week. We have to get back to basics."