Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs Colorado Rapids
Venue: PPL Park – Saturday, March 7th – 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Philadelphia 1/1 – Draw 23/10 – Colorado 11/4
Philadelphia Union face the Colorado Rapids in the second game of the 2015 Major League Soccer season on Saturday afternoon and both sides will head into the game hoping for better campaigns this time around.
The Union missed out on the playoffs by seven points as they ended in sixth place in the Eastern Conference and ended the last campaign with just one win in their last seven.
Things were worse for the Rapids last term as they ended 2014 as the third-worst team in MLS and picked up just 32 points in 34 games. They ended last season without a win in 13 and will hope they can start the new season in much better form with an away win in Philadelphia.
The two sides met at PPL Park in July last year and played out an entertaining 3-3 draw in a game that saw the Union have two players sent off.
Colorado have never lost at PPL Park in four previous games and they will take confidence from that record.
The Union were solid at home in the second half of the 2014 campaign as they only lost one of their last 11 in front of their own fans.
Both sides have been busy this offseason and the most notable arrivals are Fernando Aristeguieta for the Union and Marcelo Sarvas for the Rapids.
A lot has changed off the field and these two will hope things can change on it too as they look to start 2015 better than they ended the last campaign.
Philadelphia Union will be without goalkeeper Andre Blake (knee) and midfielder Danny Cruz (hamstring) for their season opener. Fernando Aristeguieta and Steven Vitoria should make their debuts.
The Rapids have a few concerns for their opening game as defender Drew Moor (torn ACL) and Charles Eloundou (fitness) are both ruled out. Shane O’Neill is a doubt as he is suffering from a stomach bug while goalkeeper Zac MacMath is ineligible to play against the club he is on loan from. Marcelo Sarvas should make his debut in the centre of midfield.
Philadelphia Union’s form: N/A
Colorado Rapids’ form: N/A
Key Stat: There have been four red cards in the last three meetings between the sides at PPL Park.
Key Player: Fernando Aristeguieta – The Young Designated Player should make his debut in attack for the Union and will be a threat from the offset. Expect him to start life in MLS with a goal against a Rapids defence that conceded more goals than any other side in 2014.
Philadelphia Union 2-2 Colorado Rapids – This could be another open game between the two teams but there will be little to separate them. Philadelphia have yet to beat Colorado at home and the wait could go on as neither will want to start the new season with defeat. Score draw.