Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United
What: Preseason Match in Suncoast Invitational When: Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m.
Where: Al Lang Stadium
TV: None Radio: None Online: Philadelphiaunion.com/live
Social: Follow the action via Twitter: @TheUMatchDay
The Union will play their first game in the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Suncoast Invitational tournament tomorrow at 4 p.m. against rivals D.C. United. A live stream of the match will be available on the Philadelphia Union website.
D.C. United have already played one match in the Suncoast Invitational, defeating the hosts Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0 on Saturday night with a goal from Fabián Espíndola.
This will be the first time the I-95 rivals meet in 2016 after three encounters in the 2015 MLS regular season in which the Union won one game and lost two. They also met in the U.S. Open Cup where the Union defeated Ben Olsen’s men 2-1 in the Round of 16 despite playing a man down for the majority of the match.
The Union head into the match with two games under their belt in the 2016 preseason stretch. On Saturday, Feb. 6, the Union faced NASL’s Jacksonville Armada FC in a game that resulted in a 1-0 loss despite the Union having many chances on goal. In that game, the Union made 31 player rotations as head coach Jim Curtin and the technical staff tried several combinations with the new players.
Last Thursday, Feb. 11, the team fell 4-2 to the Chicago Fire in which rookies Fabian Herbers and Cole Missimo found the back of the net for the Union. Despite the loss, with the progression of the games, the Union look more like a unit as the players are starting to gel together.
After arriving in Clearwater late Monday afternoon, the team held an evening training session at Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex that timed perfectly with the sunset.
The session started with stretches and warm-ups but soon moved into passing and attacking drills. The team then moved into a small-fielded scrimmage where John McCarthy and Matt Jones had their turns in goal and competed for the number two spot. The training ended with fitness stations.
Wednesday’s game will be the first of four in the Suncoast Invitational for the Union. They will also face Tampa Bay Rowdies, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC in the tournament.