Date: Saturday, June 24th
Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, Pa.)
Referees: REF: SORIN STOICA AR1: Jeff Muschik AR2: Peter Balciunas 4TH: Mark Kadlecik
Television: 6ABC (Philadelphia market), News Channel 8 (Washington, D.C. market)
Streaming: MLS Live
All-time record: The Union and D.C. are level at eight wins, eight losses, and four draws in MLS play all time. This will be the rubber match of the season as well, with each team winning one down in the District. The Union and D.C. are also split in U.S. Open Cup play, with each team holding two victories over the other.
What Philadelphia will look like
The Union have been content to play roughly the same lineup from game to game, so don’t expect many changes over last week’s match against the New York Red Bulls. Alejandro Bedoya will get the nod as his injury seems to be healed (and the fact that Derrick Jones is suspended due to his red card). Beyond that, you may see Josh Yaro inserted for either Oguchi Onyewu or Jack Elliott but even that would be a bit of a deviation from the norm.
What D.C. will look like
D.C. may look a bit tired, as they played on Wednesday night Atlanta United at home. A couple of players with Union ties could get the nod to start. Deshorn Brown looked decent in his 29 minute return to MLS, while Sebastien Le Toux played all 90 minutes against Atlanta. It really depends on whether or not Ben Olsen thinks Le Toux can go up against his old team or if Lloyd Sam would be a better option.
What to expect
As this is MLS Rivalry Week, expect this rivalry to continue to be entertaining. Personally I love the Union-United rivalry. The fans have a good rapport with one another, and there’s always on-field sparks between the two teams. I would expect nothing less this time around. Both of these teams are disappointed with where they sit on the table, and both would love nothing more than to get a critical three points from the other.
The key point will be the Union’s defense. D.C. hasn’t been able to score much this season, only netting 12 goals in their 16 games this season. The Union haven’t let in all that many goals (20 on the year) but seem to let them in at the worst possible time, allowing four goals after the 80 minute mark in the past two games. If the Union can defend well and play a complete 90 minutes, they should be able to take the points.