ExLink - 04/28/18 - PHIvDC

Philadelphia Union vs. DC United | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Philadelphia Union vs. DC United
2018 MLS Regular Season - Week 9
Talen Energy Stadium - Chester
April 28 - 3:30 pm ET
WATCH: UniMas, Twitter, MLS LIVE on DAZN (in Canada)

With one goal in their last five games, the offensively starved Philadelphia Union are hoping to break out out of a five-match winless streak against a D.C. United side that snapped their own five-match winless streak with a 1-0 victory over Columbus Crew SC two weeks ago.

If the Union are to emerge victorious, not allowing a goal will be the key. The Union have won four of their last six against D.C. United (1L-1D), keeping clean sheets in all four victories, per Opta.

Philadelphia Union

The goalless streak is 200 minutes and counting after Philadelphia (1-3-2) fell to FC Dallas, 2-0, last Saturday in Frisco. Mauro Diaz came off the bench to score from the penalty spot after Auston Trusty fouled Matt Hedges in the box in the 64th minute and Maxi Urruti sealed the win 10 minutes later. It is the Union’s second consecutive 2-0 defeat.

Jim Curtin made two changes, both on his backline, from a 2-0 loss to Orlando City SC the previous week, bringing on Raymon Gaddis and Mark McKenzie for Matthew Real and Jack Elliott. It was McKenzie’s first MLS start.

“It’s a challenge right now to keep the guys positive, keep their heads up,” Curtin said. “We’ll get back. We’ll sit down. We’ll look at the tape. We’ll make adjustments. I thought that the guys who came into the game actually showed some life, which is a positive. We’ll have some decisions to make now.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Fabinho (right meniscus surgery recovery), D - Richie Marquez (sports hernia surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Andre Blake — Keegan Rosenberry, Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty, Raymon Gaddis — Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya — Ilsinho, Borek Dockal, David Accam — C.J. Sapong

  • Notes: Philadelphia have underperformed their expected goals total by 7.12 goals, the largest margin in the league. Toronto (-6.78) are the only other club with a xG differential worse than -2.7 … The Union have scored just one goal in their last five games (3L-2D). They had scored multiple goals in each of the four games prior to this stretch, including six in their 2017 season finale.

D.C. United

D.C. United (1-3-2) are hoping to pick up where they left off when they defeated Columbus Crew SC, 1-0, two weeks ago before a bye in Week 8. It was the first win of the season for D.C., who ended the match with 10 men after Paul Arriola was sent off in the 51st minute.

Ben Olsen made three changes to his starting XI from a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City the previous week with Steve Clark earning the nod in net for David Ousted, Junior Moreno replacing Chris Durkin at the No. 6 and Patrick Mullins starting in place of Darren Mattocks at the No. 9.

Ulises Segura scored his first MLS goal in the opening minute for United.

“It was obviously a big result. It was very important for us to get the win,” Segura said. “We have a lot of new and good players. We just knew game by game that we were going to get better and better and start to play together. So maybe not the best way to finish the game, a little nerve-wracking, but at least we got the result.”

  • Suspended: M - Paul Arriola
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Taylor Kemp (groin), D - Chris Odoi-Atsem (concussion), M - Junior Moreno (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: M - Russell Canouse (knee)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Steve Clark — Nick DeLeon, Frederic Brillant, Steve Birnbaum, Joseph Mora — Chris Durkin, Ulises Segura — Zoltan Stieber, Luciano Acosta, Yamil Asad — Patrick Mullins

  • Notes: D.C. United’s win over Columbus was their first in which they’ve received a red card in league play since 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City on May 31, 2014. … The 1-0 win also snapped a nine-game winless run (6L-3D). They have won consecutive league games just twice since the start of 2017.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Philadelphia Union 9 wins, 31 goals … D.C. United 8 wins, 25 goals … 4 ties
  • At Philadelphia: Union 7 wins, 14 goals … D.C. United 3 wins, 7 goals … 0 ties
  • Last meeting at Philadelphia: Philadelphia Union 1, D.C. United 0 (June 24, 2017)


Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Matthew Nelson, Kyle Longville
4th Official: Robert Sibiga
VAR: Christina Unkel