Soccer

Preview: DC United taking on Philadelphia Union

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Preview: DC United taking on Philadelphia Union

It has been planes, trains and automobiles for DC United. Okay, no trains, the busses have been automobiles, but there have been a few planes and there is still a flight to catch after United’s U.S. Open fourth round match Tuesday in Philadelphia.

This whirlwind stretch of five games in less than two weeks will come to an end for United on Friday when it picks up its MLS schedule in Seattle. United will enter the month of July still on top of the Eastern Conference table and on a three-game unbeaten run including four points taken from its just completed road trip to Chicago and Toronto.

United head coach Ben Olsen is crafting a strong candidacy for MLS coach-of the-year with how he has managed his roster in multiple competitions.  The skillful use of every healthy player on United’s books has the club still on course for its fourth Open Cup tile and first since 2013.

For the Union its journey in 2015 has been inconsistent. The Union advanced to the Open Cup with a win on penalty kicks over USL Pro Rochester Rhinos after a scoreless draw. In MLS play the Union has been harder to figure out. There was a recent 5-1 drubbing in Los Angles, but the Union is unbeaten in its last two league matches and is very much in the playoff picture.

 

The challenge:

  1. Keeps the rotation going.  To be sure the stakes are higher now in the U.S. Open Cup, but so is the collective level of United’s play.  Just in league play United has now used 19 different starting lineups in 20 matches. Last Wednesday when United defeated the Fire 1-0 in Chicago, it unveiled an impressive three-man central midfield with Luis Silva and Facundo Coria playing in front of Markus Halsti. Jairo Arrieta was the lone striker against Chicago.  It is possible we could see a similar formation against Philadelphia. Conor Doyle who scored the goal against Chicago was not in the 18 on Saturday and is likely to be involved Tuesday against the Union. Doyle is having his best stretch in a United uniform since joining the team in 2013.
  2. Breaking down the Union.  Like United, Tuesday’s match will be the Union’s third match in less than a week. Also like United it has been a good week for the Union with a 1-0 win over Seattle and a 2-2 draw with Montreal through the rain and wind of this past Saturday. Originally starting this season with the NASL Carolina Railhawks Brian Sylvestre has made a difference as the Union’s first choice goalkeeper. United witnessed Sylvestre’s talent in a 1-0 loss to the Union earlier this season at PPL Park. Maurice Edu remains an organizing force for the Union, but if United is able find joy on the flanks there will be opportunities.

 

The winner of Tuesday’s match will meet the winner of Round of 16 match between the New York Red Bulls and the NASL New York Cosnos.

 

Washington Spirit and Australian national players try American treats for first time

Washington Spirit and Australian national players try American treats for first time

Washington Spirit and Australian national players Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison sat down with NBC Sports Washington to taste test a few American favorites and rate the treats. For the first time ever, Aussies Logarzo and Harrison each tried a Twinkie and took a sip of Coke.  

For Harrison, the initial comment after taking a bite was disgust, "Ew."  

However, Logarzo gave the twinkie a 10 out of 10, "if I was seven years old." 

Both players enjoyed the Coke and had tasted it before. 

The Washington Spirit are returning home to their stomping grounds to host Portland Thorns FC at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 17.

Both the Spirit and Thorns are coming off wins from last weekend, with the Spirit defeating Sky Blue FC 3-2 and the Thorns beating the Orlando Pride 3-1. This weekend is a chance for both teams to move up in the NWSL standings. The Spirit currently sits in 6th place (2-1-1), just one spot behind the Thorns in 5th place (2-0-2).

If the Spirit secure a win against the Thorns they could move up as high as second place in the NWSL table, their highest ranking since 2016.

Both the Spirit and the Thorns will be missing a few contributors to their rosters who are currently preparing with the U.S. Women’s National team for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Spirit forward Mallory Pugh and midfielder Rose Lavelle will be absent and Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, midfielders Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan, forward Christine Sinclair and defender Emily Sonnett will be absent as well.

This has been a big week for the Spirit. Both defender Cheyna Matthews and goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe received accolades for their contributions in the league.

During the 22nd and 68th minutes of last weeks game against Sky Blue FC, Matthews scored to put Washington ahead. Matthews was nominated for the NWSL’s week five Goal of the Week.

In addition, Bledsoe was named the Westfield W-League’s goalkeeper of the year after helping Sydney FC claim the 2019 W-League title. Bledsoe is only the third American goalkeeper to receive this award.

Spirit vs. Thorns FC takes place at the Maryland SoccerPlex, on the team's first annual Armed Forces Night. The Spirit will show appreciation to veterans and active duty service members at halftime and provide discounted priced tickets to the game.

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth Premier League Championship Sunday: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Associated Press Images

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth Premier League Championship Sunday: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

After successfully avoiding relegation from the Premier League once again, Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth square off on Championship Sunday at Selhurst Park on  NBC Sports Washington. 

Both clubs are heading into the final day with some momentum, Crystal Palace winning two of their last three matches and Bournemouth coming off a 1-0 victory over Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday. 

While both clubs have secured safety, Crystal Palace will be looking to avenge a 2-1 loss in October, when a late Junior Stanislas penalty gave Bournemouth all three points. 

Want to watch Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth on NBC Sports Washington? Here are all the details:

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth How to Watch

What: Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth, English Premier League Matchday 38

Where: Selhurst Park, London, UK

When: 10:00 a.m. ET Sunday, May 12

TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington

Stream: NBCSports.com/Live or the NBC Sports app. 

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth Preview

Record: Crystal Palace (13-7-17, 46 points), AFC Bournemouth (13-6-18, 45 points)

Last Game: 3-2 win at Cardiff City, 5/4 (Crystal Palace), 1-0 win vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 5/4 (AFC Bournemouth) 

Last Head-to-Head Matchup: AFC Bournemouth 2-1 win on 10/1/2018

Top Scorers: Luka Milivojevic, 12 goals (Crystal Palace), Callum Wilson, 14 goals (AFC Bournemouth)