Philadelphia Union continues a busy stretch of its August schedule with a midweek matchup at FC Dallas on Wednesday, August 17th. Kick off from the Lone Star State is set for 9 p.m. ET with coverage starting at 8:30 p.m. ET with Union Pre-Kick Live on both NBC Sports Philadelphia and PhiladelphiaUnion.com.
Fans will have a variety of options to view the match so be sure to check how below how you can consume the match.
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia is where you can find Wednesday's Union match with Union Pre-Kick Live hosted by Dave Leno and Sebastien Le Toux starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. They'll hand it over to JP Dellacamera and Tommy Higginbotham with the duo calling the action beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
Radio: Click here to listen to FOX The Gambler where pregame coverage starts at 8:30 p.m. You can listen to the Union game via 102.5 FM, 104.5 HD2, the iHeart App and 1480 AM.
Stream: Coverage on PhiladelphiaUnion.com will begin starting at 8:30 p.m. ET with Union Pre-Kick Live hosted by Dave Leno and Sebastien Le Toux. They'll break down the lineups and match ups to watch before the match stream presented by BIMBO begins at 9 p.m. ET. Streaming is free for all viewers within the Philadelphia Union DMA.
One week ago, MLSSoccer sung the praises of Xherdan Shaqiri as the Chicago playmaker emerged as a difference-maker. Big Shaq was good against the Union last Saturday night, but the scoreline reflects how good an entire team has to be to contain Philly’s intensity and aggression.
This week, Dallas got the headlines from the league — and the Union once again get to test themselves against a hot opponent.
As MLSSoccer.com says, Dallas has been good in their last seven games. Even though the Texas side lost to NYC and drew with Austin, they went toe to toe with two of the best in the league. During this hot stretch, Dallas has given up only five goals in seven matches, and last weekend against San Jose they finally notched more than one goal in a game for the first time in a month.
The secret has been better, cleaner attacking transitions. The cost has been less time spent on the ball.
With Philly in town, it will be tough for the hosts to avoid the ball — the Union only 347 passes per road match, the second-lowest number in the league. So when Dallas does find itself in an attacking transition, they’ll need to make it count against the best defense in MLS.
But they could!
Jesus Ferreira is the real deal up top, and FCD is exceptionally good at protecting the center of the park. Against Chicago last weekend, the Union were able to play penetrating balls to Daniel Gazdag in the middle, and that eventually drew Chicago’s back line forward and let Mikael Uhre and Julian Carranza run wild. If Dallas prevents those looks, Philly will need to play quickly side-to-side and get another strong performance from Olivier Mbaizo so the hosts can’t lean toward Kai Wagner and prevent early crosses from the wings.
Importantly, Dallas doesn’t have the kind of transcendent playmaker that has given Philly fits on the road. Both Lucho Acosta and Shaqiri — when at home — helped drag the Union’s midfield out of the center, putting extra work on Jakob Glesnes and Jack Elliott.
For the Union to succeed, they’ll need to balance the desire to push bodies forward and win second balls from Wagner’s crosses with a necessary emphasis on their own defensive transitions, which have been so good all year but collapsed at times in Cincinnati two weeks ago.
On short rest, Jim Curtin will have some lineup decisions to make, and those could end up determining how aggressive Philly can be out of the gate.
The Union and FC Dallas will kick off late on Wednesday evening, with the 9 p.m. ET match broadcast live on NBC Sports Philadelphia and on PhiladelphiaUnion.com.