The 2014 Philly Invasion is officially underway. If you're reading this on Saturday afternoon, it's likely because (like me) you were unable to hop the supporters' bus north and so will be watching this one from home, or from a local watering hole. Hopefully the traveling contingent will make the road trip feel enough like a home game that D.C. United actually wins a league match on the road, something that hasn't happened in nearly a year-and-a-half. If there's a team to do it against, it just might be United's closest geographic rival, too - tonight's opponents, the Philadelphia Union.
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Kickoff Time: 4pm EDT
Venue: PPL Park in Chester, Pa. (Screw you, AP Style Guide!)
TV/Streaming: For most of the rest of the year - through early fall, at any rate, every United match will be televised, either locally on CSN or nationally. This is one of the local telecasts, so get ready to enjoy Dave Johnson and Santino Quaranta. If you're outside of the DMV, check out the Direct Kick pay-per-view package or MLS Live if your more internet-inclined.
Projected DC XI: Ben Olsen hasn't been making many changes in recent weeks, and I don't expect him to diverge from that this week, with just one difference in his 4-4-2. Bill Hamid starts in goal behind an unchanged back four of Chris Korb, Bobby Boswell, Jeff Parke and Cristian Fernandez. The midfield is also unchanged: Nick DeLeon, Davy Arnaud, Perry Kitchen, Chris Rolfe. Up top, Eddie Johnson returns from injury, replacing Conor Doyle alongside Fabian Espindola.
Projected Philly XI: From our frenemies over at the Brotherly Game - 4-2-3-1 of Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Amobi Okugo, Aaron Wheeler, Raymon Gaddis; Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu; Cristian Maidana, Vincent Noguiera, Danny Cruz; Andrew Wenger
Look for the official lineups, once they're announced, in the comments.
Previews: Our Story Stream for this week is going to be the best place to get up to speed on this afternoon's affair, with a question exchange between ourselves and a Union blogger, the best scouting report on the Union you'll find anywhere, and lots, lots more. So, seriously, check it out. For the other side of the coin, check in on the coverage from our counterparts at the Brotherly Game, SB Nation's Philadelphia Union site.
Prediction: I say they finally get it done; today's the day D.C. United win their first road game in entirely too long. Los Capitalinos run out 2-0 winners behind goals from Eddie Johnson (at long last!) and Chris Rolfe. For more thoughts on how today will play out, click over to our predictions thread.
What Are You Drinking?: I want an old-fashioned beat down on the Union, so I'm going to fix myself an old fashioned to sip on this afternoon.
Rain or shine, this is your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game commentary and conversation. Vamos!