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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Union-Timbers: Lineups and pre-match thoughts

Philadelphia Union (8-6-6, 30 points)
Cruz-Carroll-Farfan-Le Toux
Bench: Konopka, Fabinho, Kassel, Fernandes, Kleberson, Wheeler, Hoppenot

Portland Timbers (8-2-9, 33 points)
Harrington-Kah-Jean Baptise-Jewsbury
Bench: Kocic, Miller, Zizzo, Alhassan, Zemanski, Valencia, Danso

- If Jack McInerney was fit, he’d be starting, that was the refrain we heard from John Hackworth midweek. He’s apparently fit, since he’s paired with Conor Casey up top. A guy who often plays like he’s got something to prove, a snub in four games with the U.S. national team plus falling behind in the golden boot race may have him primed for a big game.

- This game, quite simply, will be won in the midfield. Brian Carroll will have to negate the efforts of Will Johnson and Darlington Nagbe going forward, while Michael Farfan and company will have to make it uncomfortable for Diego Chara and prevent him from orchestrating from deep in the midfield.

- Portland struggled a bit last week with just Ryan Johnson up top, though they still managed to get the win against the Galaxy. They go for a more attack-minded set up this time with Frederic Piquionne up top as well. Don’t expect a low-scoring affair here.

- The Union have had a lot of success on set pieces and on crosses from the wing. While Donovan Ricketts has had a great season, he’s still prone to perplexing walks off his line for balls played in. Expect that to be a point of emphasis for the Union tonight.

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