D.C. United will face the Philadelphia Union tomorrow in the Fourth Round of Open Cup at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md. The Black-and-Red is in for a tough battle, as every game against the I-95 rival ends in a close result. Here are your keys to the match:
Shutdown the Stars
With 10 goals on the season, Jack McInerney is the leading goalscorer in MLS. McInerney will pose a challenge to the United back line, but the DCU defenders are more than capable of containing the 20-year-old forward. The Union has another MLS stat-leader on its roster in Sebastian LeToux. The dynamic forward is leading in assists (6). With great playmaking ability, the Black-and-Red needs to remain aware of him for all 90+ minutes. Finally, United needs to keep an eye on Brian Carroll, who netted the game-winner in the Union’s last Open Cup match, marking his third goal in the tournament. His other two were against none other than D.C. United.
United is struggling for goals right now, but the Union has given up more goals than it has scored (24). The Black-and-Red created chances on Saturday night against New England, getting 12 shots off—the same as the Revolution. With a road point under its belt, DCU has gained confidence in its ability to defend a team capable of scoring often. Now, D.C. United has to find its offensive rhythm— who better to open the scoring floodgates against than the Union?
Dig Deep, but Keep Cool
In the past two Open Cup matches between the I-95 rivals, there have been 11 yellow cards shown, two ejections from a second yellow card, and one straight red card. In DCU’s match against the Richmond Kickers, Chris Korb was shown two yellows and Carlos Ruiz was ejected with a red card. D.C. United will have to dig deep as a team tomorrow, but the squad will have to keep its composure and stay in control of the match.
To buy tickets for the Open Cup match, click here.