Philadelphia Union vs. DC United | MLS Match Preview

PHIVDC, 8-10-2013

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PHILADELPHIA UNION vs D.C. UNITED
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
August 10, 2013 (WEEK 24, MLS Game #216) 8 p.m. ET (NBC SN)

Philadelphia Union and D.C. United meet for a second time this season in league play when the Eastern Conference foes face off at PPL Park on Saturday evening before an NBC Sports Network audience. Union saw a three-game unbeaten run come to an last time out in a 2-1 home loss to the Chicago Fire. United are coming off a 3-1 home win vs. Montréal in league play last weekend – then reached the final of the U.S. Open Cup at midweek with a win at Chicago.

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REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Bill Dittmar; AR2 (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 90 games; FC/gm: 24.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 15; pens: 13

DISABLED LIST: PHI: Greg Jordan
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DC: Perry Kitchen
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Brian Carroll, Raymon Gaddis, Michael Farfan, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Danny Cruz … DC: Daniel Woolard, John Thorrington, Chris Korb, Kyle Porter
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Union 3 wins, 12 goals … United 3 wins, 13 goals … Ties 2
AT PHILADELPHIA (3 meetings): Union 2 wins, 6 goals … United 2 wins, 6 goals … Ties 0
FUTURE MATCH: 10/12: D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union, 7 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season in league play. Jack McInerney scored a pair of goals to pace Union to a 3-2 victory April 21 at RFK Stadium.
  • The teams also met in the U.S. Open Cup for a third consecutive year, United getting a hat trick from Dwayne De Rosario for a 3-1 fourth-round victory on June 12 at the Maryland Soccerplex.
  • Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. DC: P4 W1 L2 D1 … Ben Olsen vs. PHI: P7 W3 L2 D2

LAST MEETING (MLS)
4/27: DC 2, PHI 3 (Kitchen 17; Pajoy 47 – McInerney 7, 26; Casey 11)

  • Union opened the scoring in the seventh minute. Brian Carroll slid and intercepted a pass, knocking it to forward Conor Casey, who then played a through ball to Jack McInerney. He split United’s center backs and blasted a left-footed shot past D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
  • Four minutes later, Philadelphia made it 2-0 when former United midfielder Danny Cruz found Casey open at the top of the 18-yard box with a pass from the right flank for a shot that beat Hamid low and to his left.
  • United cut the lead in the 17th minute. After a partially cleared freekick was recirculated around the area, Brandon McDonald put in an angled ball for Dwayne De Rosario, who cut it back for Perry Kitchen to pound it home from the heart of the area.
  • But Union restored their two-goal advantage in the 26th minute. Defender Sheanon Williams delivered a long throw-in toward the middle of the area where Amobi Okugo’s flick header put the ball at the feet of Jack McInerney, and he didn’t miss at the far post.
  • United were able to pull a goal again in the 48th minute, when Lionard Pajoy headed a Daniel Woolard cross past Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath, but they could get no closer.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-2-3-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard (Carlos Ruiz 70), Marcelo Saragosa (Raphael Augusto 46 / Robbie Russell 84), Perry Kitchen - Kyle Porter, Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius - Lionard Pajoy.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Danny Cruz (Gabriel Farfan 87), Keon Daniel, Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan (Michael Lahoud 68) - Conor Casey, Jack McInerney (Antoine Hoppenot 77).

PHILADELPHIA UNION
Philadelphia Union saw their undefeated streak come to an end after three matches, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening at PPL Park. Union sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 34 points from 23 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Fire took the lead on the road in the ninth minute. A low Joel Lindpere cross sailed across the box was met by Patrick Nyarko with a rocket of a shot that beat Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath to the far post.
  • But the home side pulled even at the hour mark in a bizarre goal. Following a Sebastien Le Toux cross, defender Sheanon Williams went for a header but ended up using what appeared to be the back of his foot while on the ground to beat Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
  • The game-winner came in the 75th minute. After receiving a sharp ball from Nyarko in the left side of the area, Mike Magee beat a sliding MacMath with a top-shelf blast while one-on-one with the 'keeper.
  • Union team manager John Hackworth made one change to the team that defeated Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1-0 at BC Place. Conor Casey came back from suspension in place of Keon Daniel.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis (Fabinho 46) - Danny Cruz (Antoine Hoppenot 83), Michael Farfan (Leo Fernandes 73), Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux - Conor Casey, Jack McInerney.

TEAM NEWS

  • Union lost at PPL Park for the first time since May 15, snapping a six-game undefeated run on their home ground.
  • “It was not our best night, in any way, shape or form,” Union team manager John Hackworth said. “We started off poorly and got back into the game a little bit. But big picture, that’s not the kind of soccer we want to play.”
  • Union scored a third goal this season from a free kick service, and have now scored eight goals from deadball situations, second-most in MLS (behind FC Dallas’ 11).
  • “There’s an advantage to getting opportunity and capturing it and that’s something we need to capture at home. We’ve had good runs, good service in the box,” said Hackworth. “The night was up and down, but on that sequence it was really important that we put ourselves in that position by pushing them more than we did in the first half and that’s a good sign. Especially with a team that’s extremely dangerous moving forward. We were getting chances on the break, but nothing that could help us.”
  • Sebastien Le Toux increased his lead atop the MLS assist leader table with his 10th of the season, his first since July 12.
  • There was an injury concern as fullback Raymon Gaddis had to come off at halftime with an ankle injury. Gaddis has started every league match for Union this season.
  • “He rolled his ankle really badly. We tried to tape it up on the sideline and get him back in the last three minutes, but it’s just really unfortunate,” said Hackworth.
  • Jack McInerney was again partnered by Conor Casey in attack, his third consecutive match in the starting lineup after missing three matches while on CONCACAF Gold Cup duty. McInerney last scored on June 1.
  • “It gets frustrating,” McInerney said. “For forwards, it’s all about getting on a little streak. I haven’t scored in a while and it’s frustrating. I really need to just get one of those tap-ins like I got in the beginning of the season to get rolling again.”
  • Said Hackworth: “There could be a lot of reasons, but real goal scorers have been coming through and it just didn’t seem like the chances were happening. He’s a very confident man and knows what he wants in play. He also understands how difficult it is.”
  • Union also made an addition for the stretch run by acquiring Brazilian midfielder Gilberto. “When the opportunity was presented to bring in Gilberto, we felt that it was a move with a lot of upside,” Hackworth said. “He’s a young guy with a lot of potential and we are excited to add him to our roster.”

READ: Union riled up, frustrated, ahead of DC United encounter

D.C. UNITED
D.C. United snapped their winless streak at five games in impressive fashion, rolling to a 3-1 victory against the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 13 points from 22 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • United opened the scoring after just 19 minutes, again through Luis Silva. Nick DeLeon had his shot blocked, but the ball bounced directly to Silva. He then held the ball in the box before blasting a right-footed shot that hit the far post and bounced in.
  • The Impact leveled the score in the 52nd minute on a nifty give-and-go by Jeb Brovsky and Davy Arnaud, the fullback neatly finishing from inside the area.
  • But United regained the lead in the 68th minute. Defender James Riley flighted in a perfect cross and Conor Doyle finished off a strong run with a flicked header past Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
  • Then, in stoppage time with the Impact pressing for the leveler, Doyle and Jared Jeffery broke toward Perkins on a 2-on-0 and Doyle set Jeffery up for the empty net tap-in.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made three changes to the team that fell 2-1 to the New England Revolution at RFK Stadium. Chris Korb, Perry Kitchen and Dwayne De Rosario came into the team in place of Taylor Kemp, John Thorrington and Conor Doyle.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-1-1): Joe Willis - Chris Korb, Daniel Woolard, Dejan Jakovic, James Riley - Kyle Porter, Perry Kitchen, Jared Jeffrey, Nick DeLeon (Collin Martin 76) - Luis Silva (Sainey Nyassi 69) - Dwayne De Rosario (Conor Doyle 64).

 

READ: D.C. United receive draft pick from New England in exchange for Charlie Davies' rights

TEAM NEWS

  • United scored a league season-high three goals in the win vs. Montréal, winning by multiple goals in an MLS game for the first time. They had won two Open Cup ties by 3-1 scorelines (vs. Philadelphia and New England).
  • Luis Silva scored for a third consecutive match since coming to United from Toronto FC, as Dwayne De Rosario made his first start since June 29, playing as the spearhead striker in attack.
  • “They’re very like-minded players, so the trick there is spacing and making sure we can stretch their center backs at times. … That allows them to continually push their line because there’s no real threat high,” said Olsen. “When we did that, I thought they were good. Again, that’s the first time [they played together], so you need four, five or six games together to really get that understanding.”
  • Conor Doyle, signed on loan from Derby County on July 18, scored his first professional goal in a league match after coming off the bench for the final 26 minutes.
  • “He scored a goal and had an assist, so it’s a good start. He’s a nice pickup. We haven’t used him as a sub, so it was nice to see that he can do that for us,” said Olsen. “Whether that is his role or not in the future, I’m not sure. But it’s nice to know that he has the mentality to come in and change the game.”
  • Jared Jeffrey, signed through a waiver draft after playing in the reserves with German club Mainz, also scored his first MLS goal to cap the victory.
  • Said Silva: “It’s changed the chemistry of the team a little bit. Obviously we’ve got young bodies in there and the coach is giving them the confidence to produce and come in and play our game. There’s nothing better than that.”
  • Goalkeeper Joe Willis was given a fifth consecutive start even as Bill Hamid returned from CONCACAF Gold Cup duty with the USA.
  • “I’ll tell you right now, it has nothing to do against Bill [Hamid] and the faith that we have in him,” said Olsen. “I wanted to get Joe one more game going into Wednesday. And I thought he had a pretty good game.”
  • Perry Kitchen returned to the lineup after a one-match absence. “We put Perry [Kitchen] defensive and more central, rather than a two-way mid and I thought it, at times, looked good,” said Olsen. “There were some holes and miscommunication … we were aggressive – the way our outside backs went about the game, to me, was probably the difference in the way we played.”
  • On Wednesday, D.C. United reached the U.S. Open Cup final for the fifth time, defeating the Chicago Fire 2-0 at Toyota Park. Dwayne De Rosario (44) and Nick DeLeon (48) sent United to the title match with goals on either side of halftime.
  • Here’s the United team: Joe Willis; James Riley, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard, Chris Korb; John Thorrington, Luis Silva (Conor Doyle 57), Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon (Chris Pontius 74), Kyle Porter; Dwayne De Rosario
  • “It’s been such a struggle in the league that I think after we got to the quarters there was a real focus on our part to understand that this was extremely important and if we’re going to have a chance to win anything this year our best shot is the Open Cup,” said Olsen. “What I’m encouraged about is that the last two games we look like a team. We have actually played some good stuff and we look like we have some rhythm and our attack is more dangerous. Part of that is we are getting guys fit and getting guys rhythm.”