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D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union: TV schedule, lineups, prediction and GameThread

It's awful early in the year for phrases like "must win" and "last stand" to be bandied about, but in this evening's matchup between two Eastern Conference teams desperate for points, they may not be far off.

Paul Frederiksen-US PRESSWIRE

Happy United Day, everyone. Tonight, we'll learn if the series of brawls, during which soccer games break out, will continue. As Goff quantifies in the Post's preview, recent matches between D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union have tended toward the absurd and the violent. Suffice to say that lots of cards of both colors have been given out over the last few years when United and Philly meet, and to the D.C. players - if not necessarily all of the fans - this rivalry is right up there with the Metros.

At any rate, the rivalry renews tonight, as Sebastian LaToux et companie truck down I-95 to visit RFK Stadium for the first time in 2013. Oh, and it'll be on national television, so I'm sure everyone will be on their best behavior.

Time: 5 pm EDT.

Venue: The friendly confines of Robert Francis Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, DC.

TV: ESPN2, which I think means we'll be treated to Adrian Healy and Taylor Twellman in the booth.

Projected D.C. Lineup: As usual, the defense writes itself: Bill Hamid in goal, and a back four comprising Chris Korb, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic and Daniel Woolard. The midfield is a little trickier, but I'll hope to see Kyle Porter start on the right in place of Marcos Sanchez but otherwise the same as we saw last week, Perry Kitchen and Raphael Augusto in the middle and Chris Pontius wide left. Up top, I'd expect Dwayne De Rosario to return to the starting XI to partner a coin toss winner between Rafael da Souza and Lionard Pajoy.

Prediction: I think United's defense is good enough to get the job done against the Union, but the question mark - as it's been all year - is the attack. If United get on the board first, I think they get three points, but that's the trick, isn't it? I'm on record this week as predicting a disappointing draw, so I'll stick with that and hope that I'm proven wrong by a surprisingly strong showing by the Black-and-Red tonight.

This is your spot for pre-game, in-game and post-game discussion.