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

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Union-D.C. United: Lineups and pre-game thoughts

D.C. United (3-4-3 or 4-5-1)
Bench: Willis, Martin, Seaton, Nyassi, Pajoy, Porter, Shanosky

Philadelphia Union (4-2-3-1)
Gaddis-Parke-Okugo-Le Toux
Bench: Nikolov, Kassel, Gilberto, Fernandes, McInerney, Wheeler, Hoppenot

- Questions abound here that won’t be answered until kickoff. On what side does Sebastien Le Toux, the organization’s all-time leading scorer, play as a fullback? (I’d guess right.) Who occupies the central role in the midfield attacking triumvirate? (I’d go with Kleberson.) And which sides do Danny Cruz and the other midfielder occupy? (Who knows?)

- Here’s one thing you knew for sure: That the Union was likely going to utilize two holding midfielders – as it did against Sporting Kansas City – to aid the rebuilt backline that is missing Fabinho and Sheanon Williams due to suspension. Michael Lahoud would be the logical choice to pair Brian Carroll had he not been missing due to injury, but instead it’s Keon Daniel, who could provide a little more going forward.

- It’s an interesting Union bench. Gilberto makes his first appearance after it was all but said that he wouldn’t have a role this season, while Matt Kassel is the nearest approximation to a defensive sub. The biggest role of the group today could be played by Aaron Wheeler, especially if this game becomes the type of ugly, set-piece game it has the potential to be.

- And there’s a bit of confusion at the D.C. XI. It’s possible the Perry Kitchen slots into the center of defense, making it a 4-5-1. But as written, it appears to be a 3-4-3, which would be, uh, unusual. Either way, look for Nick DeLeon and Chris Pontius to be manning the flanks and attacking the fullbacks. Luis Silva should slot into the space behind Conor Doyle.

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