2019 Schedule Analysis: August


An August run put the Union in prime position to beat Montreal and New England to a playoff spot in 2018, and Philly has four very winnable matches before a showdown with the defending champs this year. Another rich vein of form will do a lot to ensure Jim Curtin's side reaches a third postseason in four years. 

2019 Schedule Analysis: August - https://philadelphia-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/elfinderimages/Logos/2019%20Logos/DC_Primary.png

@ DC United - August 4

Who Were They Last Year?

  • Bad before Rooney, pretty dang good after. Or is it: Bad before Canouse/Hamid/Rooney/home games, pretty dang good after? 
  • Produced the play of the season, and a top 5 iconic play in MLS history against Orlando, but were donked out of the playoffs at home by Columbus
  • 4th in the Eastern Conference, 14-11-9 (GF: 60 GA: 50), at home 13-2-2 (GF: 37, GA: 17)

What Has Changed This Offseason?
The big addition is Lucas Rodriguez, a dynamic midfielder brought in to allow DC to become more than just a two-man attack through the center. Although they were able to bring Wayne Rooney into play by playing long or moving up the wings, DC can become an even more dangerous attack with another runner through the center exploiting Rooney's hold-up play, and Rodriguez could be that guy. 

The cost could be some defensive power in the middle, and Ben Olsen will be leaning heavily on Russell Canouse to protect a back four that can get stretched when pushing up in wide areas. None of the available center backs are strong defenders in space, so DC wants to keep a central triangle within the width of the 18 yard box. Adding Rodriguez, then, poses risks, but DC is looking to take advantage of their Rooney Window so it seems like a risk worth taking. 

The Union handled DC when they rolled into Audi Field last year, but the home side was only two days off a match against New York Red Bulls, so there are some easy excuses for Rooney and company to reach for. There's a good chance these two sides will be close to each other in the standings when they meet, and an August run could change the 2019 fortunes for one of these two long-tenured coaches. 

2019 Schedule Analysis: August - https://philadelphia-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/elfinderimages/Logos/2019%20Logos/HOU_Primary.png

vs Houston Dynamo - August 11

Who Were They Last Year?

  • Beat the Union in the 2018 US Open Cup final, and that's all you need to know. This is a revenge game and Philly will be up for it. 
  • No second point needed
  • 8th in the Western Conference, 10-16-8 (GF: 58 GA: 58), on the road 2-10-5 (GF: 22, GA: 34)

What Has Changed This Offseason?
Houston Dynamo lived and died on the wings of their wide men in 2017. Mauro Manotas broke out as a central striker in 2018 and... somehow the team went backward. Wha? 

Now the Dynamo are in an awkward transfer saga with Alberth "Seriously, have you seen my numbers, I'm a superstar" Elis and haven't upgraded the back half of their squad enough to generate real excitement. As of now, they look to be largely similar to their 2018 team, except perhaps without Elis. The secret sauce for Houston is Tomas Martinez, a stocky, fairly slow creator with a killer throughball who can create transition moments out of slow buildups. He helped create Houston's regular season goal against the Union last year and Philly will need to keep eyes on him at all times to cut out attacks before they develop. 

2019 Schedule Analysis: August - https://philadelphia-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/elfinderimages/Logos/2019%20Logos/CHI_Primary.png

@ Chicago Fire - August 17

At home: 6-7-4 (GF: 38 GA: 25). See our
July breakdown for more.

2019 Schedule Analysis: August - https://philadelphia-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/elfinderimages/Logos/2019%20Logos/DC_Primary.png

vs DC United - August 24

On the road 1-9-7 (GF: 23 GA: 33). See above for more. 

2019 Schedule Analysis: August - https://philadelphia-mp7static.mlsdigital.net/elfinderimages/Logos/2019%20Logos/ATL_Primary.png

vs Atlanta United - August 31

On the road 10-5-2 (GF: 28 GA: 25). 
See our
March breakdown for more.