For D.C. United's previous game against the Philadelphia Union, we were pretty split on the result we thought our guys would get. This time, a little further into the season, we're still not all in agreement on what will happen, but we're fairly certain that United will come away with a result.
Recently knocked out of first place by NYCFC, the Philadelphia Union have been on a downward trajectory of late, losing their last two games and holding a worse record than D.C. United in the last five games. A screw somewhere seems to have come loose for the Union, while United seems to have just got its screw started into the right thread. So this is a match that United can steal. I predict D.C. wins, 1-0. Goal by Neagle. (Metaphor by Home Depot.)
These games are always a bogged down affair, but one can hope that with Bill Hamid being on fire and a confident defense, there will be a little more room in the park for the team to flow and create some offensive opportunities. I think they get it done. Give me a goal by Neagle and a goal by Saborio to offset the imminent Chris Pontius strike, and it's 2-1 to the Black-and-Red.
I drank rum on this week's Filibuster, so I fully expect United not to lose (because that's how this works). Philly is a team that can't help but get into shoot-outs of late, especially playing at home, so I think we'll see a fair bit more goalscoring than in DC's last visit to Chester. Give me a 2-2 draw, with first-half goals from Chris Pontius and Fabian Espindola and second-half tallies from Steve Birnbaum and CJ Sapong.
Last week I watched the Union play outright poorly en route to a 1-0 loss to an indisputably bad Houston side, and started to think United was in line for a road win. However, CJ Sapong was only held out of last week's starting lineup to make 100% sure he was fit to start this week. That radically changes the Union attack, and I suspect their high-ish press will put the Black-and-Red on the back foot.
Really, I kind of expect something similar to last week. The Union are to some degree in charge of the first hour of the game, but they only get one goal (via Sapong). As the subs cycle through, Philly loses their grip on the game just enough to create an opening, and United pounces. Fabian Espindola and Lucho Acosta combine to send Alhaji Kamara in behind to level the scores, and United rides out some late attacks to snag a 1-1 draw.
As is the case every week, I'm not entirely confident in the Black-and-Red and am generally confused by their inconsistency. And games against the Union are always dicey, so my instinct is that we will see an ugly, close game that both sides take turns dominating at different stretches. In the end, United take it—I'll predict 2-1 to the visitors, goals from Neagle and the elusive Own Goal.
We want your predictions, too! Let us know in the comments how you think things will go down.