When Chris Pontius made the move from D.C. United to the Philadelphia Union this past winter, the 2009 first round draft pick became the latest in a long line of players to have played for both clubs. Since the Union came into the league in 2010, there have been 14 players who have played, or more accurately, have been on the rosters of each team. And that's just strictly players (more on that later).
7 of those players went directly from one team to the other. One of those players even went from the first club to the second, and then back to the first. No points for guessing which player that is, but he'll show up here on the list as the first name on the team sheet.
So without further Adu, here is the United/Union lineup!
GK: Chase Harrison. Okay this one is somewhat of a reach. I was going to go with Troy Perkins, who was selected in the allocation by United after they traded the world away for that spot from the Union. But Harrison is a goalkeeper, and technically was on both teams, even if he only ever made one MLS appearance for either side. He was part of United's set up for just over a month in 2010, and then spent parts of two seasons in Chester, making one MLS appearance.
LB: Justin Mapp. This is the last time we will need some leeway in our lineup, since we are a bit short on defenders. Mapp is normally a midfielder, but his left foot is so good, that we can just ask him to bomb forward and whip crosses in all day. It seems like an eterenity ago, but Mapp started his MLS career with United back in 2002. That was his only season with the Black-and-Red, and he spent 2010 and 2011 with the Union.
CB: Jeff Parke. The first of two players who were actually traded for each other. Parke had a decent run in MLS, before he wanted to make his way back closer to home in 2013. The Seattle Sounders and the Union obliged, bringing the once capped Parke to Philadelphia, close to his Downington hometown. A year later, the Union sent Parke packing to D.C., trading him for Ethan White and other considerations. Parke appeared just 13 times for United, before a concussion ended his career.
CB: Ethan White. White was United's third ever homegrown signing. White made his first appearance for United against the Union in the US Open Cup in 2011. He spent two more seasons with United, racking up 38 MLS appearances before being traded to the Union for Parke. White spent two seasons with the Union, before joining New York City FC this year.
RB: Chris Albright. An actual right back for our formation! Ben Olsen called Albright one of his best friends, and it's easy to see why. Albright played with Olsen at the University of Virginia, and then was drafted a year after Olsen by the same United. In addition, they both wore the red, white, and blue together. Albright spent three years with United to start his career, and ended his career with the Union in 2011. Albright is currently the Technical Director for the Union.
DM: Brian Carroll. There's one other option here, but the obvious choice is Brian Carroll, the only Carroll to also take the field for the Union. Carroll spent the first five years of his career with United, then played for three seasons with the Columbus Crew, before moving to the Union for their second season. He has amassed 352 appearances in MLS in his career.
LM: Chris Pontius. Easy choice here. Pontius spent the first seven years of his career with United, breaking out in 2012, when he was the MVP off the MLS All-Star game played on the Union's field at the former PPL Park. Injuries riddled the final three years of his career, but Pontius has enjoyed a renaissance with Philadelphia, scoring four and assisting two others already this season.
RM: Fred. The man so good, MLS allowed him to go by his first name on the back of his jersey. Fred happens to be the answer to our trivia question, by the way. Coming over from Australia, Fred joined United in 2007. After three successful seasons in the nation's capital, Fred moved up to join the Union. A year later, he was back wearing black and red. Fred went back to Australia for a couple of years after 2011, but rejoined the Union for 2014 and 2015. The ultimate representative on our team here.
AM: Freddy Adu. The youngest ever player to appear in a MLS game makes an appearance on our team here. The American Pele spent some rocky years with United, never really fitting into the team as was projected. 100 moves later, Adu was back in MLS in 2011, playing for the Union. Things were going well for Adu, until they weren't. He works in this team just so long as he gets along with the manager....
ST: Lionard Pajoy. This might be the most unpopular player in the squad, though his strike partner might give him a run for his money. Pajoy joined the Union in 2012, but was traded later in the season for Danny Cruz (hey, you'll see him later). Pajoy scored the winner for United against the Union that year, but never really settled in under Ben Olsen, and was done with MLS after United's disastrous 2013 campaign.
ST: Carlos Ruiz. This is the old guy who always somehow finds a way to score for Guatemala against the US. El Pescadito had quite the career in MLS and abroad before he returned back to MLS in 2011, with the Union. He scored one spectacular goal for the Union, with the five others probably the result of harassing defenders. United picked up Ruiz ahead of the 2013 season, but that went awry. Not to much surprise. He never scored for the Black-and-Red.
Bench: Andrew Jacobson, Danny Cruz, Michael Farfan. All could have had a shout for playing in our midfield, but just missed out. Cruz and Farfan lasted only a season with United, while Jacobson only spent a season with both teams. If need be, we could play a 2-7-1 in the midfield.
Manager: Piotr Nowak. He's the only candidate for a manager, being the only manager who led both teams. Nowak is probably a bit more loved by the United half, having guided the team to the 2004 MLS Cup. The Union might not have the same feelings. Nowak was the manager the only season the Union made it to the playoffs, but his firing and subsequent lawsuit against the Union for wrongful termination have left some sour feelings. Still, he managed most of these players at one point or another, making him the perfect, if only, candidate.
Sporting Director: Earnie Stewart. Okay, I threw this in just to give Stewart some love. Stewart only spent two seasons in MLS, playing for United in '03 and '04 before ending his career. But he is one of the most successful players ever for the US national team, and he won a MLS Cup with United in '04. And now, as the Sporting Director for the Union, he is overseeing the Union as they look to make the playoffs for just the second time in their existence.