Three Questions with The Brotherly Game

COMMERCE CITY CO - SEPTEMBER 29: Drew Moor #3 of the Colorado Rapids and Andrew Jacobson #8 of the Philadelphia Union collide as they battle for control of the ball at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on September 29 2010 in Commerce City Colorado. The Rapids defeated the Union 4-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Certainly this is a bit last minute, but Scott Kessler from our Philadelphia Union site The Brotherly Game and I did indeed manage to find the time to exchange three questions with each other before the game tonight.

Check out their site soon to see my answers to his questions about the Rapids, below you can find his insights on tonight's opponents, the Union.

1. The Supporters Shield might be out of the question with the Galaxy on such a tear, but in the weak Eastern conference, how many points do you think that the Union are going to need in order to clinch that top spot in the conference?

Right now the Union have 31 points on 19 games played, which is 1.63 points per game. That's good enough for fifth in MLS, which is exactly where the Union are sitting if you look at the league as a single table. However, the Union average .16 points more than Columbus and over .30 more points per game than New York. At their current points rate, the Union will end up with about 55 points after 34 games. I think that the Eastern Conference will be easy enough for the Union to close up shop at around 47 points, with those last eight points putting them into position to compete for the Supporters Shield (they won't have a great chance of getting it, of course).

2. Give me an under-the-radar Union players that we might not know as much about who could make the difference today against the Rapids.

Keon Daniel. The Trinidad and Tobago midfielder has done well in his new role as an outside midfielder. The 25-year-old spent almost his entire professional career as a central attacking midfielder before coming to the Union. Since joining the club, Daniel has slowly, but steadily made his way into the starting line up. He's one of the only players on the team that puts in a decent cross to the box and has a wicked free kick that has yet to be released by the Union.

3. Since last the Rapids and Union played, the Union lost former Rapid Jordan Harvey. How has losing Harvey changed the outlook and style of the team, if at all?

It has. Harvey was never the type of fullback/outside back that meshed completely with head coach Piotr Nowak's style of attack. The reason why Sheanon Williams has grown so much in his first full season in MLS is because of his ability to move up and down the right side of the field with ease, getting back on defense whenever needed. Pushing high up the field is necessary as a full back in Nowak's system, especially when his so-called outside midfielders like to push inside when making runs (i.e. Justin Mapp). Harvey didn't have the speed or attacking ability to fulfill the role of a Nowak fullback, but he was a more than adequate defender. Farfan has managed to step up in his converted role and is on the path to becoming one of the best players at his position in MLS. He has that level of talent.

4. Starting Lineup and score?

Last game the Union should have won 1-0, if not for a weak penalty call. This time around I'll take a 2-0 win, considering Cummings (most likely) and Casey won't be playing.

GK: Mondragon; D: (left to right) Gabriel Farfan, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Williams; M: Brian Carroll (DCM), Daniel, Kyle Nakazawa, Mapp; F: Carlos Ruiz, Sebastien Le Toux
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