Last week's win was D.C. United's most satisfying result of 2016, but the Black-and-Red's previous wins have been followed up by a home loss and a road draw against MLS's bottom club, respectively. United has not been able to string two quality results - or two truly high-quality performances - together yet this season, and that has been a huge point of emphasis at training and in the locker room. Tonight, on the road against a very solid Philadelphia Union side, it will take nothing less than a quality performance to give the Black-and-Red their first winning streak of the year.
D.C. United Projected 11: Coming off of a win, I don't expect changes. United will stick with Travis Worra in goal, and the back four will unsurprisingly be Sean Franklin, Steve Birnbaum, Bobby Boswell, and Taylor Kemp. In the midfield, we'll see the established quartet: Patrick Nyarko, Marcelo Sarvas, Nick DeLeon, and Lamar Neagle (though Nyarko and Neagle may swap wings). Luciano Acosta will get the start again - whether that's between the midfield and front line, or simply as a second forward, we'll see - and Alvaro Saborio will lead the line.
Off the bench, bringing Fabian Espindola into the game (for Acosta or Saborio) is probably going to be Ben Olsen's first move. Olsen brought Jared Jeffrey in for Neagle last week, moving DeLeon to the wing, and that could be a defensive move if United is winning. Julian Buescher also made the bench last week, so I anticipate him or Rob Vincent being the third sub. The rest of the bench will be Tally Hall, Kofi Opare, and Luke Mishu.
Match previews: Earlier this week, we checked on how United feels about the "rivalry" between these teams while also assembling a lineup based on players that had suited up for both clubs. More recently, we looked at the likely Union starting lineup, how United can take all three points, and finally tried to predict the outcome of tonight's game.
Referee: Jaime Herrera (who has just one prior game as an MLS referee)
What are you drinking?: I'll be enjoying a Duckpin Pale Ale by Baltimore's Union Craft Brewing.
Prediction: I think the Union are going to have more of the play, but United will hang in there and likely only find themselves down 1-0 (naturally, that goal will come from Chris Pontius. Prepare your heart.) despite having to defend often. That will set the stage for some sort of scrappy equalizer from Neagle, possibly after a set piece.
This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion.