Something must give way on Saturday night when the Philadelphia Union, one of Major League Soccer’s best defensive teams, takes on DC United’s sudden onslaught in Chester, Pennsylvania.
DC United move to the Philadelphia suburbs on July 3 after a rousing 7-1 home win over Toronto FC. The seven goals and the lead of six goals set both club records.
In five games since the 1-0 home win against Philadelphia on May 23, DC United (5-6-1, 16 points) have scored three wins, one draw and one setback in the league game, outperforming their opponents 12-3 the stretch.
DC United manager Hernan Losada said he liked the way his team stayed on the accelerator against Toronto, even though the result was no longer in question.
“We still did the fifth and the sixth,” said Losada. “And the attitude of the substitutes – those are the things that made me really proud. Everyone at this club is really ready to make history to start a new chapter in this beautiful club. That’s why I’m so proud.” . “
Seven different players scored for United in that game, including the club’s top scorer, Ola Kamara (five).
Philadelphia (5-3-5, 20 points) have won their last three home games and kept clean in every game, the first time since June and July 2017 that the Union have been eliminated at home three times in a row.
But the Union will be severely understaffed for the game, with starting goalkeeper Andre Blake in action with the Jamaican national team and a few others in national team service or injured. Philadelphia are 2-1-3 since playing with DC United on May 23.
“You could probably put our starting grid together pretty easily, as I’m sure DC United could,” said Union coach Jim Curtin. “(DC United) played us out for long stretches (the May 23rd game) and they were the team that was kind of an aggressor. They really go after you. They don’t give you the time or space.”
The Union currently has nine games unbeaten against DC United, going back to the start of the 2017 season with eight wins and one draw.