League-leading D.C. United travel north to Philadelphia to take on the Union this Sunday. Here is how we think United will do against one of the worst teams in the league; let us know what you think will happen in the comments!
I'd like to think that after Wednesday's cautionary tale against Orlando City SC that D.C. United will be ready to go Sunday night against the Union, who have scored three goals in five home games, or just as many goals as Chris Rolfe. Philly is in disarray in back, and in front, Antoine Hoppenot pulled out the "if you can't support us when we lose, don't support us when we win" card already. If Fabian Espindola is healthy enough to go, I'd imagine that D.C. rolls comfortably, a la 2-0 or 3-1. If not, D.C. still wins, but likely is a one goal contest, with Pontius and Boswell the goal scorers.
The Union have had a terrible start to the season and will be looking to start the salvage process against United. But, I don't think it happens on Sunday. The Black-and-Red have been on fire lately, and I think we finally get to see Halsti in the lineup at some point. This Philly team, in my opinion, is not very good and I look for our boys to exploit their many holes. Chris Rolfe continues his hot streak by scoring a goal, give me Arrieta for the 2nd, and Pontius bags the 3rd as DCU eradicates one of the worst teams in the league, 3-0.
Don't let the points fool you. The Montreal Impact are a better team than the Philadelphia Union. Have the Union even figured out if they're going to play with a goalkeeper? This will be a fun game to watch. NDL will finally break through his striker's block. DC United win, 2-0.
This should be the easiest road game of the season. The Union are in disarray on and off the field. They have nothing to feel good about right now. However, this is MLS; the distance between the top and the bottom can play tricks on the eyes. United is going to make slightly harder work of this than will seem necessary, but the defense will hold. United breaks through on a Chris Pontius goal, and then ices the game on a strike from Luis Silva. 2-0 United, and after the game Philly asks whether we'd be interested in trading Bill Hamid to them.
A reemergent Chris Pontius celebrates his birthday a few days late with a brace, and Luis Silva makes up for his own lackluster 2015 starting debut with a vintage tally. An uncharacteristic miscue at the back (I'm thinking unnecessary penalty, maybe?) gifts the Union a conciliatory goal, but the traveling supporters will bring a 3-1 win back home to the DMV.
It's easy to think that this game will be easy--which is exactly why it's probably going to be a lot trickier than it looks. MLS is MLS, and we all know it doesn't always make the sense it should. That said, I'm prepared to predict a win for United in this one, because they're the better side, plain and simple. I'll even say Hamid and his defense keep a clean sheet. Give me 2-0 to the Black-and-Red, with goals from Rolfe (#MagicHeadband) and Pontius (he's due for one).
If D.C. United are to contend for the top of the league, they need to be ruthless in games like this one. With that said, I think they are a contender for the top of the league, so I will go with a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union, even without Fabian Espindola.