This Saturday at 7 PM, the Philadelphia Union host DC United in a clash between two upper table Eastern Conference teams.
The Union are coming off a heart-breaking 1-0 loss in Houston which was fair but nonetheless devastating, the decisive blow struck by former Union man Chaco Maidana on a free kick just outside the top of the box. DC is riding a 1-1 draw they earned in Rio Tinto stadium from Real Salt Lake. The Union are second in the East with 26 points earned in 18 matches; DC is fifth with 21 points earned in 17 matches.
United made news this week by trading for Red Bull New York stalwart Lloyd Sam yesterday, sending general allocation money to New York for the 31-year-old winger. Sam clearly has something left in the tank but has been fighting for minutes in a Red Bulls lineup which is rounding into form nicely. His availability for the match Saturday is dubious at best.
This is the second of three meetings this year between the two teams. They met back on May 20th, a 1-0 win by the Union in Chester. Richie Marquez finished a Sebastien Le Toux cross in second-half stoppage time for the winning tally. The two teams will meet August 6th in RFK stadium as well.
Possible first XI: Blake; Fabinho, Marquez, Yaro, Rosenberry; Creavalle, Barnetta; Pontius, Alberg, Ilsinho; Sapong
Prediction: the Union shake off their mid-season league malaise and right the ship by putting a couple home against DC, taking all three points. Union 2, DC United 1