preview: D.C. United vs Philadelphia Union Open Cup - 2013

Open Cup Preview: D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union

D.C. United will take on the Philadelphia Union tonight at 7 p.m. at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md. This will be the 4th time the I-95 rivals face off this year, and will bring the overall total games to six by the end of the regular season (1-1-1). Ahead of the sure-to-be hard fought battle, we take a look at the match up.

WATCH: Livestream coverage of the match to begin just before kickoff

In the Third Round of the Open Cup, the Union faced the Ocean City Nor’Easters and walked away with a 2-1 win over the USL-PDL team. With the first goal coming from Jack McInerney and the game-winner from Brian Carroll, the Union surpassed the Nor’Easters, who found the net once after McInerney’s tally.

The Black-and-Red overcame USL PRO affiliate Richmond Kickers in 0-0 draw that went in to penalty kicks (4-2). D.C. United goalkeepers Joe Willis and Andrew Dysktra—on loan with the Kickers—faced off in a PK duel. After six penalty shots, United took the W, with each DCU player netting his PK.

D.C. United and the Union have met twice thus far in Open Cup. First, the two teams met in the Qualifying Round in 2011. The Black-and-Red advanced after the scoreless game went into penalty kicks (4-2). Last year, United faced Philadelphia in the Fourth Round in a game that saw five yellow cards before one player from each side were ejected for a second yellow; The Union advanced after beating United 2-1.

After grabbing a solid road point in New England, spirits are higher this week. DCU kept a clean sheet and defended as a team. The Revolution and United had equal possession and both took 12 shots during the match. Holding a team that has scored 15 goals on the season to 0 for 90 minutes is a sign of good things to come ahead of this Open Cup match. Buy your tickets now.

D.C. United returns to RFK this Saturday, when it hosts Toronto FC in MLS regular season play. Purchase tickets now.