Date: Saturday, April 1
Time: 7:00pm EDT, 6:00pm CDT, 4:00pm PDT, 12:00pm UTC
Venue: RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.)
Television: The Comcast Network, NewsChannel 8
Streaming: MLS Live (Subscription Only)
Referees: REF: RICARDO SALAZAR AR1: Ian Anderson AR2: Peter Balciunas 4TH: Sorin Stoica
All-time record: 7-7-4, 2 GD
What D.C. will look like:
Its been an ugly first three games for the Black and Red. With just one point to start the season, a 0-0 draw against Sporting Kansas City, United aren’t too keen on letting Philadelphia continuing that trend. An always rowdy match-up between the two I-95 rivals will look to produce more fireworks, especially with D.C. fielding one of the Union’s former champions in Sebastien Le Toux.
Even given his close friendship with Union manager Jim Curtin, a Ben Olsen side never gives the Union a pass - and I wouldn’t expect it this time either. Just because United only has one point from its three matches doesn’t mean the likes of Luciano Acosta, Patrick Mullins, and Bill Hamid will lie down at the feet of Philadelphia. At home, looking to send the Sons of Ben packing home with tears down their cheeks I won’t expect the same United side that’s been lining up the last month.
What Philadelphia will look like:
The Union really needed that break. A little time to heal and reevaluate their position given some disappointing results to start the season. Even with a good half of soccer played against Toronto FC the Union still couldn’t round out a complete performance, instead settling for a draw. Against Orlando City the following week, the Union played possibly their most disappointing soccer in 2017 and the break couldn’t have come sooner.
With the team a little rested I would look for them to come out firing a bit, but given their history not change much. Give Plan A another look despite Alejandro Bedoya’s very recent success out wide right for the US National Team this past week. If Bedoya is to succeed with Philadelphia, his partnership with Haris Medunjanin will have to drastically improve. It would be disappointing to see these two talented players have their styles clash and crash the team due to tactical deficiencies.
What to expect:
Expect the usual in this heated affair. We’re past the stage of being denied this rivalry by D.C. and its in full speed. I don’t expect any inches to be let up. The problem with this is that a sloppy style fits D.C. United just fine. The Union were unable to deal with Toronto’s rough style in the second half of their 2-2 draw a few weeks ago. I wouldn’t expect the Union to be suddenly adept at dealing with sloppy play and hard nosed defense.
Projected Line-up: GK Andre Blake, LB Fabinho, LCB Oguchi Oneywu, RCB Richie Marquez, RB Keegan Rosenberry; CDM Haris Medunjanin, CDM Derrick Jones; LM Chris Pontius, CAM Alejandro Bedoya, RM Fabian Herbers; ST Jay Simpson
Result: D.C. United 1-1 Philadelphia Union