Tonight, we hope D.C. United enjoys the afterglow - instead of suffering the hangover - from their big U.S. Open Cup semifinal win over Chicago on Wednesday. The Black-and-Red return to their league campaign tonight against the Philadelphia Union. That's the same United campaign that improved to 3-15-4 with last weekend's win over Montreal. And tonight, we want to see it get better still.
Better's a strong word. Let's go with "less bad."
Time: 8 pm EDT
Venue: PPL Park, Chester, Pa.
TV/Streaming: I guess somebody up in Stamford, Conn. had a premonition that United would actually be an interesting team to watch this week, because this one is nationally televised on the NBC Sports Network. With the national broadcast, the stream won't be carried live on MLS Live. Instead, it'll be on NBC Sports LiveExtra, which you don't even have to pay for (assuming you're a customer of one of their cable/satellite partners).
Match Previews: Check our question exchange with Union site The Brotherly Game and be sure to listen to this week's Filibuster (which did double-duty previewing the midweek Open Cup game and Saturday's tilt). Dcunited.com has done their usual bunch of previews, and the official Union site has a couple of their own. The league site chips in with previews from United beat writer Nick Cammarota and Union beat guy Dave Zeitlin. Since the game is on NBCSN, it's only appropriate we check in with PST's take. And even though he won't be on the mic tonight, here's United play-by-play man Dave Johnson's preview.
D.C. Lineup Projection: Bill Hamid will return to his rightful place between the sticks, but that won't be the only change from midweek. Look for John Thorrington to make way for Jared Jeffrey and for Ben Olsen to play it safe with Luis Silva, leaving him out of the XI as well. We should also see the return of a familiar face to the XI. The formation is the same, though, 4-4-1-1 - Bill Hamid; Chris Korb, Dejan jakovic, Daniel Woolard, James Riley; Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, Jared Jeffrey, Chris Pontius; Dwayne De Rosario; Conor Doyle. For another take, see Benuski's projection.
Match Prediction: I think we're in for a bit of a let-down after two straight wins in all competitions. I do think United keeps the all-important games-without-being-shut-out streak alive, but Philly will manage to find the net as well. Give me a 1-1 draw that has more in common with World War I trench warfare than anything that could be called "the beautiful game."
What Are You Drinking?: Well, I have an admission to make; I'm not actually watching this game because I'm on vacation in a small house by a lake somewhere in Daniel Boone's country, and there isn't any TV or Internet. (I'm coming to you through the magic of time travel, or something.) There is the quite delicious Bluegrass Brewing Company, though, and I'm enjoying their fantastic saison.
With or without me in realtime, this is your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game commentary about the game, MLS and whatever else you care to discuss.
More from Black And Red United:
- Washington Spirit game recap: Hijinks, shenanigans, and oh yeah... a win!
- D.C. United Gets Something for Nothing through Charlie Davies
- MLS Players' Salaries: New D.C. United player acquisitions are performing well for little money
- Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United Preview: Behind Enemy Lines with the #DOOP-y guys at The Brotherly Game
- D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union lineup: Open Cup afterglow