Regardless of the opponent or the situation, Danny Mwanga always will have a special feeling when he enters Lincoln Financial Field. That's where the second-year Union forward scored his first professional goal.
Since Chester's PPL Park hadn't been completed by the beginning of the Major League Soccer season last year, the Union played their first two home games at the Linc. The second game was on May 15, and Mwanga's goal during second-half stoppage time gave the Union a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas.
So, with that as a backdrop, Mwanga knows it will be a special moment when the Union face Spanish power Real Madrid on Saturday in a 9 p.m. friendly at Lincoln Financial Field as part of the World Football Challenge.
"For me, personally, it's going to be great," Mwanga said. "I scored my first professional goal there. I know they will have a lot of fans and we will have a lot of fans, and it will be an exciting game to watch."
This is the second consecutive friendly for the Union, who scored a 1-0 victory over English Premier League team Everton on Wednesday in front of a sellout crowd of 18,582 at PPL Park.
The Union will face a Real Madrid team that is in its preseason training but is taking its U.S. tour seriously.
This is the third and final game in the United States for Real Madrid, which opened with a 4-1 win over the Galaxy last Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The Galaxy are 1-0-1 this season against the Union.
Real Madrid then defeated Chivas Guadalajara, 3-0, on Wednesday in San Diego on a hat trick by Cristiano Ronaldo.
"They have scored a lot of goals and have made easy work of the teams they have played against so far," Union defender Sheanon Williams said.
So the Union know that Real Madrid won't be going through the motions.
"No question they are in good form already in preseason," Union assistant coach John Hackworth said. "They had a couple of high-quality opponents and have done well, and it will be a huge test for us on Saturday."
Of course, the Union also have been a major test for opponents. They are in first place in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference with an 8-4-7 record.
A friendly gives many players a chance to see action. The Union used 18 in Wednesday's game against Everton, and it wouldn't be surprising if a large number gets to play Saturday.
In addition to playing their first two MLS games at the Linc, the Union faced Manchester United there in a friendly last year on July 21. Man U. won that game, 1-0, in front of a crowd of 44,213.
"Although PPL Park is our home, the Linc is our home away from home," Hackworth said. "Every time we play there, the atmosphere and crowd are tremendous, and we are really looking forward to it."
While Real Madrid is gearing up for its season, which begins next month, the Union would like to stay sharp for their return to MLS action.
The Union's most recent MLS game was Sunday's 3-0 win at the New England Revolution. Their next MLS game is Friday at PPL Park against the Colorado Rapids, who are the defending league champions.
Before that, the players will savor the atmosphere and the competition they face from one of the world's most storied franchises.