The Philadelphia Union look to increase their unbeaten streak to four straight matches when they visit D.C. United on Sunday night at Washington D.C.
The Union (2-2-2, 8 points) have overcome a slow start to go 2-0-1 during the undefeated stretch that includes a 1-0 win over the visiting New York Red Bulls on May 15.
D.C. United (2-4-0, 6 points) have dropped four of their past five matches after opening with a victory. They lost 1-0 to Orlando City on May 16.
Even though Philadelphia hasn’t lost since May 1, the club has scored just five goals in its six matches.
Union coach Jim Curtin is exploring ways to get the attack moving so he used striker Kacper Przybylko as an attacking midfielder for 20 of his 32 minutes off the bench against the Red Bulls.
It certainly is a role change for the 6-foot-4 Przybylko, who scored 23 goals over the previous two seasons. The 28-year-old from Poland has one this season.
“Kacper can arrive later in the box where he’s a little more free and doesn’t have two center backs draped on him like he often does in the game,” Curtin told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Obviously, it gives us a huge advantage on attacking set pieces just because of the sheer size and physicality it gives us.
“So that’s something that I’d like to add, another layer or wrinkle or whatever you want to call it, to our group.”
Cory Burke scored Philadelphia’s goal against the Red Bulls. It is his team-leading second of the campaign.
D.C. United fell behind in the seventh minute during the loss to Orlando City and struggled to create scoring chances against a team that tucked it in to protect the lead.
The tactics frustrated first-year coach Hernan Losada, who chastised the Lions in his postgame comments.
“If there is one way to lose, this is the way,” Losada said. “A way where you dominate the whole game, a way where the opponent doesn’t know what else to do to neutralize the game, to make time, to park the bus.
“It’s like they didn’t want to play after they scored the goal. … If there is a team that played to win, it was D.C. United.”
Veteran forward Paul Arriola made his first start of the season and played 64 minutes for D.C. United. He recently returned from a quadriceps injury.
–Field Level Media
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