Playing D.C. United in the home opener at Lincoln Financial Field was one thing.
But playing them at RFK Stadium is going to hold even more meaning for Fred.
The Philadelphia Union midfielder spent three seasons with D.C. United, scoring and he has been anxiously anticipating Sunday’s match.
“It’s going to be special for me,” Fred said after training on Thursday. “I played three years there and I’m very excited to come back."
Fred emerged as one of the top midfielders in the league in 2007 with D.C. United but was hampered by injuries the next two seasons.
[inline_node:286701]He’s healthy now and making an impact with the Union -- even if the numbers may not be there -- as they continually improve in this inaugural season.
“We’re a young team with a lot of young players growing together in MLS,” said Fred, who was acquired by the Union in a pre-draft deal for GK Troy Perkins, a trade that also netted Philadelphia the #7 overall pick and subsequently Jack McInerney. “We’re looking for consistency and we’re doing better.”
The Union enter this match with a record of 4-10-5, including a 3-2 win over D.C. for the club's first-ever win. United are dead-last in MLS at 3-14-3.
In Philadelphia's 19 matches, the club could easily have come away with several other victories.
“I don’t think it’s bad luck,” Fred said. “I think we have been playing well. I think we have to be more concentrated and attacking and looking for a goal.”
Fred has scored two goals this season. Another one against his former club would sure be meaningful.
“I think it’s important for me to score a goal because I’m a professional,” Fred said matter-of-factly. “I’m a professional playing for the Philadelphia Union and I want to score a goal against whichever team we’re playing.”
Union Coach John Hackworth believes that wins will come if the club continues on the same consistent path with its training and preparation.
“We feel like we have been very unlucky with this recent little stretch,” Hackworth said. “Looking back, we probably could have been nine to 12 points better. But you can’t change it. I’m a big believer in that if you continue to do the right things, the bounces and breaks will come back to you. I believe in time the breaks will come."