Philly Sports Live

Match Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. FC Dallas

Union Casey

After picking up a big three points last Sunday against I-95 rivals the New York Red Bulls, led by a two goal performance from Conor Casey, the Union will have an even tougher task on hand this Saturday when they take on FC Dallas.

Philadelphia does have an advantage going into the match though; Dallas is traveling to PPL Park for this one on short rest, having just played a US Open Cup quarter-final that saw the Hoops knocked out of the tournament by the Portland Timbers in a 3-2 loss.  This is a huge plus for the Union, as Dallas may very well be at half strength both mentally and physically after such a disappointing loss.

Still, FC Dallas should not be taken likely, as they have been in first place for much of the season (they currently are third in the West).  Then there is the month of June, which as it wraps up, has been fairly good to the Hoops with a win and two draws to their name.

For the Union, June has been a touch better, with two 3-0 wins and a 1-1 draw against Toronto.  Take away their Open Cup disappointment, and it may actually have been the U’s best month of the season so far.  They can make it even better by picking up another three points.

With back to back wins and shutouts, Philadelphia will look to make it three in a row, both win wise, and for Zac MacMath, who is looking to bring his shutout streak up to 270 minutes.  It will also be Jack McInerney’s last match with the Union before he leaves for Gold Cup duty, being called up to the senior US National Team squad.  Look for him to try and show off his skills one more time before then.  Here is how the Union will most likely lineup come Saturday evening:

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Kleberson, especially with Keon Daniel away form the team on Trinidad & Tobago national team duty, should get the start if he’s healthy.  If not, and it’s a very big if, Hackworth may be forced to finally give a start to Roger Torres, especially with Danny Cruz out with a bone contusion.  Of course, he also has young players like Leo Fernandes and Don Anding available, so Torres seeing the pitch is still unlikely.

Earlier in the week on The Soccer Desk Podcast, the crew predicted a loss for the Union in this one, but after the Open Cup knock out for Dallas, it’s not a sure thing.  The Union will still have to work hard to pick up a victory, but it’s no longer out of the realm of possibility.  One thing is for sure, if the U do defeat Dallas, they may finally get that respect John Hackworth has so actively been chasing after.

Kick-off is set for 5:30 p.m. ET this Saturday live from PPL Park.  For the second week in a row, the Union will be featured in a nationally broadcast match, this time on the NBC Sports Network.  PSL and The Soccer Desk will have full post match coverage following the match.