Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Philadelphia Union

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia heads into Toyota Stadium searching for their first three points against FC Dallas.

FC Dallas will be hoping to spark some fireworks of their own on Fourth of July by pulling three points out of a home match with Philadelphia Union.

The Union fly into Frisco hoping to beat some more red, white and blue after already defeating New England Revolution 3-1 last Saturday.

Injury Report

Philadelphia will only be without one man, but the team have a few players questionable for Friday's match.

Out - Ethan White (R ankle sprain)

Questionable - F Conor Casey (low back strain), M Vincent Noguiera (L groin strain), F Aaron Wheeler (calf contusion)

Probable Lineup

The Union will most likely play in the 4-2-3-1 formation.

GK: Zac MacMath; LB Fabinho; CB: Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams; RB: Raymon Gaddis; LDM: Vincent Noguiera (given that he plays); RDM: Maurice Edu; LM Cristian Maidana; CM: Leo Fernandes; RM: Danny Cruz; F Antoine Hoppenot.

Key Matchup

Amobi Okagu vs. Tesho Akindele - Tesho is beginning to solidify himself into the FCD offense and as one of the best rookies in the league. If he gets the start, him stacking up against Okagu in the middle could be a tough match for the rookie. Okagu has started all 17 matches for the Union and is looking to keep strong in the back and not let the youngster make any big plays.

Keys to Three Points

Score. Yes, it's obvious to win a game you have to score, but after a lackluster performance this past Sunday in Columbus, it would be nice to see some soccer balls hit the back of the net. Andres Escobar and Akindele will have to get some shots in early and continue to trouble MacMath throughout the match.

Play strong, but not too strong. We're starting to see some regulars back on the pitch for FCD and it would be nice for those regulars to stay on the field for more than just a game. Body up against the opponent, but FCD can't risk another injury or another re-injury.

Work the wings. With Michel most likely getting the start out on the left for the Hoops, make sure to really work the ball to the outside to him. Michel can really make the most of opening the width for FCD and sending in good crosses for the forwards. Je-Vaugn Watson is also obviously capable of keeping that offensive threat present on the right side. Either way, just bring down the side then send into the middle.

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