CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – It’s a critical match for the Philadelphia Union tonight as they welcome DC United.

Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference standings are tight.  How tight?  Depending upon tonight’s outcome, the Union could find themselves anywhere from 2nd to 5th by the time the sun rises tomorrow.

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Currently, Philadelphia is 4th, with 40 points.   DC United is 6th, with 38 points.

When Union starting goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon went down with a broken finger earlier this month, there was some concern that Philadelphia’s playoff hopes may have gone down with him.  But rookie Zac MacMath has stepped in and has shown why he was a first-round pick by the Union, as he has gone 1-0-3 with a pair of shutouts in his first four MLS starts.

“I feel a lot more comfortable as the games have gone on, and I’ve grown in confidence and have really gotten used to the back four,” MacMath tells KYW Newsradio, “and I think the team has really gotten used to having me back there, and it’s been good.”

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MacMath thinks he and the Union will have their hands full tonight with this DC United team.

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“Well, obviously, they’ve scored a lot of goals in the last two games (two against Chivas USA, four against Real Salt Lake), and have a really good attack,” he says.  “They’ve got (forward) Josh Wolff, (forward) Charlie Davies, (midfielder Dwayne) De Rosario, (midfielder Andy) Najar, (midfielder/forward Santino) Quaranta, and (midfielder Austin) da Luz.  They’ve got a really good attacking team and we are just going to focus on trying to shut down that attack and not give up any goals.”

These two teams played to a 2-2 tie back on July 2nd, down in Washington.

Tonight’s match should also be a special one for Union midfielder/forward Freddy Adu, who began his much anticipated MLS career with DC United back in 2004.

First kick tonight is set for 8:00pm.


Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060

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