Know Your Enemy: Rooney and a possibly suspect defense


Wayne Rooney

One of the best European strikers of his generation, if Rooney plays you’ll know DC is taking a shot at the USOC this season. Rooney is that rare combination of playmaker and goalscorer that always seems to end up in the right place at the right time and anticipates the runs of everyone around him.

Overperforming defense

DC United has the fourth best Goals Against Average in Major League Soccer.

They also have the seventh-worst Expected Goals Against Average. Bill Hamid is good, but there’s only one Stefan Frei in the league. Frei continually allows Seattle to outperform their xGA, but he’s an outlier. In other words, the DC United defense might rest on fairly shaky foundations.

Midfield battle

The Union have leaned heavily on Ale Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, and Jamiro Monteiro in midfield, and DC has put a similar burden on Russell Canouse and Junior Moreno. If typical starters play, Philly’s dynamic No 8s and deep distributor extraordinaire will prove a stern test for the guys tasked with protecting DC’s back four.

Philadelphia’s run to the 2019 US Open Cup begins on Wednesday, June 12 at DC United’s Audi Field. The match will be broadcast on ESPN+.