DC United vs. Philadelphia Union | MLS Match Preview
D.C. UNITED vs PHILADELPHIA UNION
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
Oct. 12, 2013 (WEEK 33, MLS Game #302)
7 p.m. ET (TCN-Phi)
D.C. United will look to play the role of spoiler when they entertain Philadelphia Union in the third league meeting of the season between the Eastern Conference foes on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United will looking to put the brakes on a nine-game league winless run, coming off a 3-0 home loss to Chicago last weekend. Union are looking to remain in contention for a place in the MLS Cup Playoffs, sitting in the fifth and final postseason position after a second successive 1-0 win last weekend, at home vs. Toronto FC.
REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. AR1 (bench): C.J. Morgante; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Kreitzer; 4th: Robert Sibiga
MLS Career: 66 games; FC/gm: 22.6; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 8; pens: 9
DISABLED LIST: PHI: Greg Jordan
SUSPENDED: PHI: Fabinho (through Oct. 13); Sheanon Williams (caution accumulation; through Oct. 13)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DC: Chris Korb, Perry Kitchen … PHI: Brian Carroll, Danny Cruz, Michael Farfan
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: John Thorrington, Daniel Woolard, Kyle Porter, Dennis Iapichino, Luis Silva, Dejan Jakovic … PHI: Raymon Gaddis, Jeff Parke, Conor Casey, Keon Daniel, Amobi Okugo, Jack McInerney
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: DC: Dwayne De Rosario (Canada)
ALL-TIME (9 meetings): United 3 wins, 13 goals … Union 4 wins, 14 goals … Ties 2
AT RFK STADIUM (4 meetings): United 1 win, 7 goals … Union 1 win, 6 goals … Ties 2
4/21: DC 2, PHI 3 (Kitchen 17; Pajoy 47 – McInerney 7, 26; Casey 11)
8/10: PHI 2. DC 0 (Casey 35, 75)
- The teams are meeting for the third 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, then Conor Casey hit for a brace in a 2-0 Union victory Aug. 10 at PPL Park.
- 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: Ben Olsen vs. PHI: P8 W3 L3 D2 … John Hackworth vs. DC: P5 W2 L2 D1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- Union opened the scoring in the 35th minute. Right back Sheanon Williams sent in a high-arching cross that Sebastien Le Toux flicked on to the foot of Conor Casey, who managed to control the ball between defenders and poke it past D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid in one motion.
- Casey then sealed the win in the 75th minute when he calmly slotted home a cross from the left flank from Fabinho, who had been freed on the edge of the area from a pass by Le Toux.
- PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Fabinho - Danny Cruz (Michael Farfan 69), Keon Daniel, Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux (Michael Lahoud 90) - Jack McInerney, Conor Casey (Aaron Wheeler 85).
- D.C. UNITED (4-2-3-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Conor Shanosky, Ethan White, James Riley - Jared Jeffrey, Perry Kitchen - Kyle Porter (Dwayne De Rosario 46), Collin Martin (Michael Seaton 76), Taylor Kemp - Conor Doyle.
D.C. United saw winless run extended to nine matches in league play, falling 3-0 to the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 15 points from 31 matches.
- The Fire opened the scoring in the 24th minute. On the near side of the 18-yard box, Juan Luis Anangonu beat James Riley and then beat Daniel Woolard with a nimble cutback before slipping the ball to Larentowicz, who knocked it past United goalkeeper Joe Willis from a tight angle.
- Two minutes later, the Fire doubled the margin when center back Bakary Soumare blasted home a loose ball after Willis was drawn out of the goalmouth by a long free kick.
- Substitute Quincy Amarikwa iced the result with a diving header off a nifty cross from Dilly Duka in the 89th minute.
- Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson made eight saves on the evening to record his fifth clean sheet of the year.
- United head coach Ben Olsen made six changes to the team that crashed to a 4-1 defeat by Toronto FC at BMO Field. Perry Kitchen, James Riley, John Thorrington, Nick DeLeon, Luis Silva and Conor Doyle all came into the team, in place of Conor Shanosky, Taylor Kemp, Marcelo Saragosa, Kyle Porter, Lionard Pajoy and Michael Seaton.
- D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Joe Willis - Sainey Nyassi, Daniel Woolard, Perry Kitchen, James Riley - Collin Martin (Dwayne De Rosario 59), John Thorrington (Chris Pontius 43), Jared Jeffrey, Nick DeLeon - Luis Silva, Conor Doyle (Lewis Neal 71).
- United increased their club record with their 22nd defeat of the league campaign. The MLS record for losses in a single season is 25, set by MetroStars in 1999. United have won just three league matches this year; the league record for fewest wins in a season is 4, set in 2005 by Chivas USA.
- United were shut out at the attacking end for the 15th time this season in the loss to Chicago. It’s tied for the third-highest total in a single season in MLS history; the record is 17, set in 2010 by D.C. United.
- “We don’t want to talk about that too much, but it’s real,” United head coach Ben Olsen said. “We don’t want to be that team. That’s part of this equation. … We want to get out of this funk that we’re in, in the league. It’s not a healthy way to continue with all these losses.”
- Perry Kitchen, who had filled a holding role in the center of the midfield over the course of the season, was moved into central defense for the Chicago match. Sainey Nyassi, nominally an attacking winger, slotted in at right back.
- “[Kitchen] did fine. There are some nuances of that position that are new to him, but he’s such a competitor for a young kid that he gets away with it. He would have to play that position a bunch of games to get to where he needs to be,” Olsen said. “[Nyassi] played well in a position he’s not used to and created some dangerous opportunities on the right side, and I thought he could have even done more in the first half. It’s a tough score line and I don’t think it tells the whole story.”
- Center back Dejan Jakovic has been ruled out of action for the remainder of the season after suffering a left adductor injury in the U.S. Open Cup final. Midfielder John Thorrington will also not feature in United’s final three matches after suffering a calf strain that forced him off after 43 minutes vs. Chicago.
- “It’s been a bad season. If it’s been the worst, it’s been the worst,” Olsen said. “I’ve also tinkered for the last three months. I’ve had the luxury to play with things and make sure we’re in the right position for next year so we know who we are and what we need.”
- In attack, Olsen partnered Luis Silva with Conor Doyle with Jared Jeffrey playing a more attacking role in the center of the park.
- “Doyle had a good night except he didn’t score his chances, and for a forward that’s what you have to do, and he will be beating himself up but he does get in good positions. Aside from the scoring part, which is important, I thought he had a good night too,” said Olsen. Added Jeffrey: “Between the boxes we were dominant, but in the 18-yard box ñ on both sides ñ they beat us. When we play like that, we shouldn’t lose 3-0.”
Philadelphia Union won their second match on the trot by a 1-0 score line, getting a dramatic late winner for a victory against Toronto FC on Saturday evening at PPL Park. Union are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 45 points from 31 matches.
- The game's lone goal came five minutes into second-half stoppage time. From a free kick some 25 yards straight out from goal, Kleberson fired a free kick that sailed past TFC goalkeeper Joseph Bendik into the upper left corner of the goal.
- Goalkeeper Zac MacMath made four saves in backstopping his 12th clean sheet of the season.
- Union team manager John Hackworth made one change to the team that defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 at Sporting Park. Jack McInerney came back into the team, in place of Michael Lahoud.
- PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Danny Cruz (Jose Kleberson 79), Michael Farfan, Brian Carroll, Fabinho (ejected 77) - Jack McInerney (Antoine Hoppenot 57), Conor Casey (Sebastien Le Toux 68).
- Union have won back-to-back 1-0 results following their five-game winless run from Aug. 17-Sept. 14, their longest of the season. They have allowed just two goals in five games since conceding a season-high five in the 5-1 defeat by New England on Aug. 25.
- Remarkably, Union snatched a win against Toronto FC with their third goal in stoppage time in three games vs. TFC. Union have salvaged four points from those three matches with goals after the 90th minute.
- “I was asked earlier this week whether this is one of the most important games in our club history and absolutely it was because this game and this with the results from [Friday] night is enough to keep ourselves in the race and to keep ourselves above the red line,” said Union manager John Hackworth.
- The goal was the first in MLS for Kleberson. He had made just one league appearances – totaling 10 minutes ñ since the last of his four starts on the season, on June 1.
- “There is opportunity for players to have an impact in a game, and it’s got to be the right moment and I thought it was the right moment for Kleberson,” said Hackworth. “Two weeks ago I thought it was a fantastic opportunity for him to put a stamp on the game. Today, we were thinking about all the ways the coaching staff could practically influence the game or we could really come off the bench and provide a huge start and clearly we did.”
- Said Sheanon Williams: “Since he’s been here, he’s been the ultimate professional. I’m sure he’s not happy with the time he’s getting. He certainly made the most of his opportunity he had tonight. He’s worked so hard in practice and I’m extremely happy for him."
- For the 26th time in 27 league appearances this season, Antoine Hoppenot came off the substitutes’ bench. His 33-minute shift was his longest as a substitute in league play, and his longest since playing the full 90 minutes in his lone start July 6 vs. Houston.
- “Jack McInerney had a job to do, which was to get through the first half and do everything he could to get that goal – and he almost got it,” Hackworth said. “We know that bringing Antoine in with 30 minutes to go was to really open up the game. We thought that was going to be a true opportunity and Antoine got three really great looks. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get one of those in.”
- Said Hoppenot: “Coach told me before the game that he thought this was a great matchup for me. He told me I was probably going to get a lot of minutes if the game was tied or if we were down, so that I could try to get the team back into the game or get a win. Coming in, I knew I needed to create chances.”
- Jack McInerney made his first start in three matches, since Sept. 8, playing 57 minutes alongside Conor Casey in attack.
- “Conor [Casey] and Jack did a great job in the first half of tiring them out and bodying them up,” Hoppenot said. “You saw Jack a few times go body against body against a lot of guys. That tires them out. When you bring in two fast guys like me and [Le Toux] being able to run at them and run around them, it’s real tough for them to be able to change their pace like that.”