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

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Union-Dynamo: Lineups and pre-game thoughts

Philadelphia Union (4-4-2)
Le Toux-Casey
Bench: Nikolov, Lahoud, Torres, Farfan, Wheeler, Hoppenot.

Houston Dynamo (4-4-2)
Bench: Marscheider, Ching, Cummings, Chabala, Lopez, Ownby, Carrasco. 

 - John Hackworth promised changes, and he’s delivered. Sort of. A beleaguered midfield gets a boost on the wings with Fabinho, who had deputized for the suspended Amobi Okugo in defense, coming in to presumably play on the left with Danny Cruz going to the right. Sebastien Le Toux moves up top to pair Conor Casey at his more natural striker position, while Jack McInerney heads to the bench.

- What isn’t changed, however, is the Union’s predictability in attack. With Keon Daniel in the center, there’s still an attacking stagnancy there, and the onus will be on Fabinho and Cruz to provide crosses to the two, 6-foot target met. Creative.

- But the Union may have a change of pace available on the bench in Roger Torres, who’s been limited to just 37 minutes in three MLS appearances this season. That breakthrough comes at the expense of Kleberson, who is not included in the 18-man roster today.

- Houston will have the services of newly-acquired Servando Carrasco, picked up from Seattle in exchange for Adam Moffat Friday, on the bench. Will Bruin and Cam Weaver start up top with Giles Barnes and Brad Davis doing the majority of the creating in midfield thanks to Oscar Boniek Garcia’s suspension.

- Let’s not mince words here: Both teams are winless in their last four. A win by either side puts the other team into full tailspin mode. The Union could put five points between them and the Dynamo tonight with a win. This is a game playoff teams must win.

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