Match Preview

Union carry momentum into rivalry showdown against D.C. United

The I-95 rivalry renews on Wednesday night at Subaru Park with the action free on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV and FS1.

Philadelphia Union has risen the Eastern Conference standings over the past few weeks, sitting in fifth place through 11 league matches and only two points from third with a game in hand. The Boys in Blue have accomplished that feat via a four-match unbeaten streak in league play dating back to April 15. While getting hot isn’t something new for Union fans, what’s been most impressive has been the fact three of those results came on the road. With the focus solely on league play, the Union have turned to their depth to take on larger roles on the road. That will be even more imperative starting on Wednesday night as all three Union homegrowns have departed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

During the streak the Union have had 18 different players take to the field and event trotted out a new formation which Jim Curtin said fans might see more going forward, especially on the road. That 5-3-2 was on display in Colorado as the Union battled back for a 2-1 win to push their winning streak to three. After VAR awarded the Rapids a penalty kick, the Boys in Blue fought back with Kai Wagner unleashing a long-range smash that was nominated for the MLS Goal of the Matchday just before the break. That momentum carried into the second half as Olivier Mbaizo attacked the space behind the hosts’ right flank and cut back a pass centrally for a Julian Carranza blast at the top of the box.

Wednesday’s match will be the 37th all-time meeting between the two sides with Philly owning the lion’s share of the success especially in recent history. Dating back to 2019, the Boys in Blue have taken all three points in all but two of their X matchups. Subaru Park has been a fortress for the Union but has been one D.C. United has struggled to find success having not won in Chester, PA., since 2014 (10 straight across all competitions). Julian Carranza stole one of the many headlines that came out from the two matchups in 2022 with the forward scoring back-to-back hat tricks against the side. The Union won their two matches against D.C. by a total of 13-0 last season. That 13 goals scored and the +13 goal differential are both the best in any two-match span against a single opponent in MLS history.

D.C. United and head coach Wayne Rooney find themselves in the midst of a very congested Eastern Conference race. With 15 points through 12 matches, the club is one of seven teams with that amount of points in the East. The visitors have had a tough coming out of the gates in matches, falling behind last time out against Nashville SC with a 27th minute goal. They battled back for a draw however with Theodore Ku-Dipietro finding an equalizer in the 83rd minute to get their sixth result after falling behind since 2022.

Fans can catch the rivalry contest presented by Coors Light on Wednesday night starting at 7:30 p.m. ET with the action free on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV and FS1.