Greetings from Chester, venue for this afternoon’s MLS match between D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union.
In the print and online preview, United center back Jeff Parke explains why he asked the Union to trade him after last season.
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET.
D.C. area TV: Comcast SportsNet.
Pay packages: Direct Kick and MLS Live (subject to blackout).
Referee: Geoff Gamble (bio).
Game-time weather: 79 degrees, cloudy, 50 percent humidity, 16-mph wind, increasing chance of rain and thunderstorms.
You might notice faint ACC logos and lines on the field — they are remnants of a college lacrosse tournament here two weeks ago.
Last night in Richmond, where lightning caused a 30-minute delay, DCU rookie Christiano Francois scored his first professional goal, an 84th-minute finish, during the Kickers’ 4-0 victory over Arizona United. Collin Martin and Taylor Kemp assisted on the first and second goals, respectively. Martin, Kemp, Joe Willis and Conor Shanosky played 90 minutes, while Francois went the last 31. The Kickers will begin U.S. Open Cup play with a second-round match Wednesday against RVA FC, a fourth-tier NPSL club based in Richmond. [Details] Meantime, United announced rookie homegrown defender Jalen Robinson, initially loaned to Richmond, will spend the year with the Arizona club. He did not play last night.
United injuries: Chris Pontius (hamstring) is out for months and Sean Franklin (foot) will miss a second consecutive match. Nick DeLeon (hamstring) was listed as questionable and Eddie Johnson (hamstring) as probable. Status updates to come … UPDATE: Johnson is in, DeLeon is out.
DCU LINEUP: Hamid; Korb, Parke, Boswell, Fernandez; Rolfe, Arnaud, Kitchen, Neal; Johnson, Espindola. Subs: Dykstra, Birnbaum, Attakora, Jeffrey, Silva, Caskey, Doyle.
PHL LINEUP: MacMath; Gaddis, Okugo, Berry, Fabinho; Carroll, Edu, Nogueira, Maidana; Casey, Wenger. Subs: Blake, Williams, Wheeler, Bone, Cruz, Fernandes, Le Toux.
Your pregame, in-game and postgame thoughts are welcome in the comments section.