Game: Philadelphia Union vs. DC United
Time: 5:00 PM Eastern, 2:00 PM Pacific, 10:00 PM UTC
Venue: Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex (Clearwater, Fla.)
Streaming: Philadelphia Union's YouTube Page
All-Time Record: The series is split 7 wins, 7 losses, and 4 draws
These two teams just met earlier this month in a closed door scrimmage which ended in a 1-1 draw. This time we get to see the match! Yay!
What D.C. United will look like:
United have one big difference moving into 2017, at least from a Union perspective, and that’s the addition of Sebastien Le Toux. The all-time epitome of a Philadelphia Union player is now suiting up for yet another Union close rival. Now DC United haven’t just added the former Union talisman, they’ve also added Jose Guillermo Ortiz and former Montreal Impact defender Maxim Tissot (as of yesterday).
DC will be looking to find a nice mesh with the old and new players and did so earlier this week with a commanding 3-0 over USL side St. Louis. If anything, United should be looking for a better outing against MLS opposition after being drubbed by Montreal 4-2 last weekend. This is United’s final tune-up before they open the season up against Sporting Kansas City at home and I expect them to treat it much like a regular season match.
What Philadelphia will look like:
The Union would be lying if they said they weren’t at least a little disappointed in their 2-2 draw with Montreal which saw them concede a late equalizer. The good news? They look consistent and comfortable on the ball for large stretches of the game. A sign of things to come may be the artist formerly known as Ilsinho having more shots on goal. The Brazilian midfielder had another rip from outside the box that found the back of the old onion bag (just getting you used to hearing that this season Tommy Smyth lovers and haters). More Ilsinho shots can only be a good thing, as it adds a dimension to his game that wasn’t really there last year.
The Union will be treating this as if it was the first game of the season and they should be once again fielding a similar starting XI that we saw last time out.
What to expect:
These two sides never put together a poor showing against each other. The rivalry always seems to bring out something interesting to take away regardless of whether its regular season or preseason. Bragging rights is always up for grabs, and I wouldn’t let either side fool you when it comes down to it: These games always have some meaning. Now that all said, am I expecting a heated affair? No, of course not. I am, however, expecting a competitive atmosphere to the game as both teams will be putting the finishing touches on preparation for yet another MLS season.