D.C. United’s 2019 preseason is nearing its end, with tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Union coming just 11 days before the regular season gets underway. It should be an intriguing test, as United — coming off of a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday — may well be sending out a team mostly comprised of second-choice players to face Philly’s projected starters for opening day.
Key player: Quincy Amarikwa
Per Steve Goff, United will have the option of putting Amarikwa into this game, and we’re anticipating a start for the well-traveled forward. That gives us a chance to see whether he can fit into Ben Olsen’s system, which is to say whether he can show the kind of first touch and off-the-ball intelligence to make himself and others dangerous.
As we said when he joined up with the Black-and-Red, he’s not necessarily a dangerous goalscorer on his own. Amarikwa is one of those players that, when he’s playing well, the whole team does well, even if his own goalscoring numbers end up being tepid. If we see the Union looking uncomfortable with runners off the ball, we’re probably also going to see Amarikwa getting space for himself to hold the ball up before moving it along quickly.
Location: Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex (Clearwater, FL)
Kickoff time: 7:00pm Eastern
Projected D.C. United starting 11: (4231) - Chris Seitz; Akeem Ward, Donovan Pines, Jalen Robinson, Allexon Saravia; Chris Durkin, Bryang Kayo; Shinya Kadono, Lucas Rodriguez, Griffin Yow; Quincy Amarikwa
Bench: Bill Hamid, Earl Edwards Jr., Frederic Brillant, Steven Birnbaum, Joseph Mora, Junior Moreno, Russell Canouse, Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta, Zoltan Stieber, Ulises Segura, Wayne Rooney
I’m guessing we’ll see this group get the first hour before the regular starters finish the final half-hour.
Projected Philadelphia starting 11: (4312) - Andre Blake; Ray Gaddis, Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty, Kai Wagner; Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, Derrick Jones; Marco Fabián; Sergio Santos, Cory Burke
All signs point to Jim Curtin sending out more or less a best 11. That includes Santos, a prized offseason acquisition, partnering Burke up top. That should be a very good test for what is probably going to be a young, raw United group.
Available TV: None
The Union are going to handle streaming tonight, and all signs point to it being available here . We’ll update this post if that changes.
Tonight’s game will stream on the Union’s Youtube page.
What are you drinking?: I’m sick as a dog (that’s why this post is coming out in the late afternoon and not the morning), so hot green tea with lemon.
This is the place for all your pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion. Vamos team of kids and trialists!