The Opposition: Philadelphia Union
With another MLS All-Star game in the books, D.C. United will return to action this Sunday to take on the Philadelphia Union. The Black-and-Red are locked in a heated battle with the Union and Atlanta United for first place in the Eastern Conference standings. Three points at home could be crucial to launching D.C. United into that No. 1 spot. With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about D.C. United’s latest opponent.
The Philadelphia Union are No. 1 in the Eastern Conference standings with 39 points in 24 games. Their last five matches have been a mixed bag. They earned wins over Orlando City and the Chicago Fire, but suffered massive losses to the Chicago Fire and the Montreal Impact. They also drew against Orlando City in their second match against the Lions over a four-day span.
The Union’s most recent match was a 4-0 loss to the Montreal Impact on the road. The Impact were able to get things started early, with a fourth-minute goal from Lassi Lappalainen. Despite having more shots and dominating possession, the Union weren’t able to capitalize on their opportunities and the Impact walked away not only with a win but with a clean sheet.
Players to Watch
The Philadelphia Union have a different looking offense than they have in years past. Their top goal-scorer is a German striker named Kacper Przybylko. He signed with the team during the MLS Roster Freeze in September 2018, but made his first appearance with the club this season. He has nine goals and one assist so far this season, including three in his last five games. Jamiro Monteiro is another staple of this attack, although he hasn’t appeared for the Union since he nabbed two assists in their 3-1 win over Orlando at the beginning of July. Monteiro, along with David Accam, Ilsinho, and Marco Fabian, has four goals so far this season.
Goalkeeper Andre Blake has been with Philadelphia since 2014 but became the starter in 2016. He has started in 16 of the Union’s 24 games this season, including four out of their last five matches, and has tallied three clean sheets. But in their most recent match against the Impact, Philadelphia suffered from very poor defending. They have allowed an average of 2.2 goals per game, including two games where they allowed four goals.
August 4th will be the first meeting between these two teams in 2019. In 2018, the Philadelphia Union won both of their matches against the Black-and-Red. The first match in April was a tight game where the Union just edged D.C. United 3-2. Their first match at Audi Field in late August 2018 was a 2-0 victory, which included a goal from striker Fafa Picault.
D.C. United will kickoff against the Philadelphia Union at 7:30 on Sunday, August 4th. Tickets can be purchased here.