The Philadelphia Union are in a position much like D.C. United faced in 2010. With an MLS regular season quickly slipping away, the only hope left for the club is a quirky little tournament known as the U.S. Open Cup. That's the only way this season can be meaningful in a positive way for the Union.
United is thankfully in a much different spot this year. Not last, but first place in the Eastern Conference. But that doesn't mean that the team will be taking the Open Cup any lighter than usual. This team places a high-priority on winning trophies. Always has. The quest for No. 13 continues.
Game time: 7:30 PM
Television: None. I'll be attempting to match Benuski's epic feat from last week by providing live commentary in the comments below.
Projected starting lineup: With only Dwayne De Rosario and Dejan Jakovic missing due to World Cup Qualifying, United will use most of its best starting lineup, but with a few probable exceptions. I think the team will give the goalkeeper job to Joe Willis for the next few rounds of this tournament, but will give him plenty of surrounding support with Daniel Woolard, Emiliano Dudar, Brandon McDonald, and Chris Korb in front of him. Perry Kitchen and Branko Boskovic will both return to starting in the midfield, with Nick DeLeon and Andy Najar on the wings. Maicon Santos and Hamdi Salihi are the likely forward pairing.
Prediction: Just like last week, I'm going with a 2-1 overtime win for D.C.
What are you drinking? There's talk of a spontaneous B&RU meetup at the Beer Garden at the SoccerPlex, which has some nice beer for a nice $5 price tag, including Dog Fish IPA and Flying Dog In Heat Wheat. I'll be around at some point. I'm wearing a pale yellow polo shirt and look exactly like my profile picture, but five years older.
This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion, and the most detailed (and likely most sarcastic) live blog you'll find for this match.