It's a league game. We're missing three key starters, all of them veterans who played big roles in the Open Cup title. The opponent is not one of the best teams in MLS but is fighting for their playoff lives. They also feature an attack that loves to get down the wings and cross for a big, bruising center forward. Basically everything about tonight's game against the Philadelphia Union screams LOSS for D.C. United.
Screw it, I'm predicting something else. (Spoiler: It's just a draw. No need to get crazy, here.)
Time: 7 pm EDT
Venue: The one cookie cutter to rule them all, RFK Stadium in the District
TV/Streaming: No traditional TV coverage in the local market, just the Direct Kick PPV option. Find it online at MLS Live. In either case, be ready for a Philly announcing crew.
Trolling the Opposition: In case you missed it earlier this week, our USOC triumph won Black and Red United a nearly three-year-old bet with Philly site the Brotherly Game. On Tuesday we collected on the stakes, a 24-hour takeover of their site. Revel in the trolling.
Match Previews: Start things off with the latest episode of Filibuster, where we say who and what we'd like to see on the field (in addition to reveling in winning another trophy more than anybody else in MLS). Then check out Benuski's lineup projection and ChestRockwell's scouting report on the Union. Finally, get inside the Philly fan's head with our guest post from Brotherly Game Managing Editor Murph. If you need more of that Philadelphia psyche, be sure to check out the Brotherly Game itself.
Projected D.C. Lineup: Bill Hamid in goal. Probably. In the back, we should get Chris Korb, Conor Shanosky, Ethan White and Dennis Iapichino. Possibly. Across midfield, we could get Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Jared Jeffrey and Chris Pontius. Or we might not. Up top, look for Luis Silva and Conor Doyle. Unless they aren't there. Then look for other people there. Seriously, who do you want to see start? What I'm saying is there's a chance for that, almost whatever it is. What we know is that Dwayne De Rosario (international duty), Dejan Jakovic (injury) and John Thorrington (injury) won't start. Outside of that, anything is possible, and the lineup sheet is Ben Olsen's oyster.
Match Prediction: Give me a scoring draw. That's it. There's too much flux in the possible formation and lineup - and who the hell knows whether and who will bother to show up for United - so I won't bother trying to pick anything more specific than that. The game will end tied, and not a 0-0.
What Are You Drinking?: I'm going back to the "higher alcohol tasty beer" for tonight, because I don't expect the game to be particularly enjoyable for either team. My go-to for that is Dogfish Head's Snake Dog IPA, and I just happen to have a few of them ready to go.
Y'all know how this works. Welcome to your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game commentary and conversation.