Match Preview

Match Preview: D.C. United at Philadelphia Union  


There’s only three places you should be on Friday night:

  1. At Subaru Park watching D.C. United.
  2. At Mission Navy Yard watching D.C. United.
  3. At home, tuned in to ESPN, of course, watching D.C. United.

It’s Heineken Rivalry Week in Major League Soccer, which means the stakes are a little bit higher and that’s no different for these two teams.

The Union aren’t the first club that comes to mind when you think of D.C. United rivals, but these Eastern Conference foes have produced some highly competitive, highly entertaining matches in recent meetings—most recently, a 3-1 Heineken Rivalry Week victory for the Black-and-Red.

D.C. United look to build on Monday’s momentous victory away to Orlando City SC. Doing so on the road against the Union (2nd Eastern Conference, 7-9-2) will be a tall task. But if Monday was any indication, this team is not to be written off—especially not with the form Taxi Fountas has been in.

Last Time Out 

There were fireworks in Orlando on Monday night, and not just because of the 4th of July festivities. 

The Black-and-Red put on a show of their own at Exploria Stadium, led by another jaw-dropping display from Taxi Fountas in what will likely go down as one of the most thrilling games of the 2022 MLS season

Before Orlando fans could blink, midfielder Drew Skundrich pounced on a loose ball, found Chris Durkin in the box who found the dangerman Taxi Fountas for his first goal of the night. Just three minutes later, Fountas was there again to muscle a Michael Estrada pass into the back of the net. 

Anyone who has watched the newcomer this season could smell another one coming in the second half, and in the 51st minute, he found his first MLS hat trick and etched his name into the history books once again.

The job wasn’t done yet, however. Orlando clawed back to stay in the game, but in the end, goals from Kimarni Smith and Nigel Robertha who came on as substitutes late in the game, made the difference. 

Smith recorded his first goal for D.C. United and Robertha found his first of the season to secure a crucial 5-3 victory for D.C. United.

Scouting Report

Philadelphia played to a scoreless draw against Columbus on Sunday—their 8th draw in their last 11 games.

They’ve proven all year that they’re a difficult team to beat, in large part thanks to a rock solid defense, anchored by one of the best keepers in the league in Andre Blake.

They’ve conceded the least amount of goals of any team in the league (13). But most of those have come in recent weeks, costing them points in the end. They’re a strong side, but they’re not invincible.

And with the adrenaline still flowing from Monday’s match, D.C. United is poised to prove that.

"Coming off this win has been very great for all of us," Taxi Fountas said via a translator during his pre-match press conference on Wednesday. "It's given us a lot of pride moving it gives us great anticipation moving into the coming game."

Next Home Match

Following the trip to Philly, D.C. United take on Columbus Crew at Audi Field on Wednesday, July 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET.