The Union faced FC Dallas Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field, where Peter Nowak's club recorded their only win of the season. After trailing most of the game, the Union's Danny Mwanga tied it up in stoppage time. It was Mwanga's first goal of the season.
The Union's next game is on the road against Houston on Saturday, May 29.
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Lincoln Financial Field
TV: WPVI 6.2 (J.P. Dellacamera and Kyle Martino)/Telefutura (Jorge Perez Navarro, Diego Balado and Iván Kasanzew)
Is it a coincidence that the Union's only win of the season in their only home game so far? We'll find out today. FC Dallas are in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Western Conference on 10 points, with two wins and four draws. This is a team that can be beaten, but it will take more than just the return of Sebastien Le Toux (if he plays) for the Union to win.
Dallas has one of Major League Soccer's elite strikers in Jeff Cunningham. He's is 33 years old, but he's still capable of winning a game almost singlehandedly in MLS. He will have to be contained.
The challenge will be to contain Cunningham without fouling him too much. It's too easy to see a situation where he beats a Union defender off the dribble, then gets whacked on his way to goal. That kind of play is almost certain to produce a card.
Looking at both teams' probable starters, I'm surprised that Roger Torres isn't in the Union's list. I also can't help being a little skeptical of a listed XI that has Danny Mwanga and Jack McInerney playing behind Shea Salinas. We'll see which players are actually on the field this afternoon.
Philadelphia Union (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Chris Seitz
Defenders: Jordan Harvey, Michael Orozco, Danny Califf, Cristian Arrieta
Midfielders: Andrew Jacobson, Fred, Danny Mwanga, Jack McInerney
Forwards: Shea Salinas, Alejandro Moreno
FC Dallas (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Dario Sala
Defenders: Heath Pearce, Ugo Ihemelu, George John, Zach Loyd
Midfielders: Dax McCarty, Daniel Hernandez; Brek Shea, David Ferreira, Atiba Harris
Forward: Jeff Cunningham
The injury report has one player on each team: Philadelphia defender Toni Stahl is out with a left knee strain, and Dallas defender Kyle Davies is questionable with a right arm fracture. Perhaps he should call Franz Beckenbauer.
Ricardo Salazar is today's referee. His linesmen are Thomas Supple on the bench side, and James Conlee on the opposite side. Tony Russo is the fourth official.
It's a great day for a soccer game. But if you can't make it to the Linc, this is the next best place to be.