LONDON (AP) – D.C. United coach Ben Olsen simulated conditions on the road in order to help his team get a win at home.
That tactic won't be needed during this week's difficult stretch.
United begins a two-game trip Thursday night against the last-place Chicago Fire, with Olsen's team trying to extend its six-game road unbeaten streak.
D.C. (7-6-9) snapped a seven-game home winless streak with a 4-0 victory over expansion Vancouver on Saturday. Olsen made his team stay in a hotel the night before the game in order to make it feel like a road game.
Now United plays twice on the road in four days after going 3-0-3 over its previous six. The club travels to face Kansas City on Sunday after this trip to Chicago (2-7-14).
"We're going to need a lot of bodies," Olsen said. "They'll come quickly. This is kind of a short week for Chicago and then we have two days rest before Kansas City.
"We'll deal with Chicago solely, put our best team forward there, and hopefully we can continue with our away mentality that we've had. We've been pretty sharp on the road so hopefully that will continue."
Goalkeeper Bill Hamid will be back for D.C. after he was suspended for the Vancouver contest. Fill-in goalie Joe Willis picked up the team's fourth clean sheet in six games.
United's defense has improved in recent games. D.C. conceded four goals three times in a five-game stretch in April.
"We're focused, concentrating for the whole 90 (minutes) and not just the back four," defender Dejan Jakovic told United's official website. "We're defending as a team and also punishing teams."
Chris Pontius was named MLS player of the week after he scored twice Saturday.
The Fire, meanwhile, posted their league-high 14th draw with a 2-all result Saturday at New York that also extended their winless streak to nine matches (0-3-6).
"Obviously, it's a good point on the road," coach Frank Klopas said. "It's good. Now we have to go back home and get three points."
Chicago has scored twice in consecutive games for the first time all year. Dominic Oduro scored for the second straight game Saturday, and Sebastian Grazzini added his first goal.
Olsen has indicated he will rotate his players on this trip in order to manage their minutes effectively.
"If we can get four (points) out of these next two, I think we're in good shape," he said.
D.C. had its three-game win streak at Chicago snapped with last season's scoreless draw Oct. 16, 2010.