Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: PPL Park – Wednesday, June 24 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: Philadelphia Union 13/10 – Draw 12/5 – Seattle Sounders 2/1
Arguably the worst side in MLS, Philadelphia have the worst points-per-game ratio in the league and are the only team to average below a point a game with 0.88 per match so far.
And having lost three out of their last four, Philadelphia need a win, and soon. If there was a good time to play Seattle, this would be it as the Sounders will be without Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins for the trip to PPL Park on Wednesday.
The Union lost 5-1 at LA Galaxy last time out and need to try and bounce back from that heavy defeat here against last season’s MLS Supporters’ Shield winners.
Philadelphia Union’s record: P17 W4 D3 L10
As mentioned before, Martins and Dempsey will be missing from the Sounders’ starting lineup and with Chad Barrett also out, the Sounders are struggling with attacking options.
Incidentally, it was all three of those strikers who struck in last year’s Open Cup final win against the Union as the Sounders lifted the trophy at PPL Park.Embed from Getty Images
Sigi Schmid will likely field Lamar Neagle as the lone striker once again as he did in Saturday’s disappointing home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes.
Despite losing to the Quakes for the second time this year, they remain top of an extremely strong Western Conference, for the time being, and know they need to return home with three points from Wednesday’s clash in Philly.
Seattle Sounders’ 2015 MLS record: P16 – W9 – D2 – L5
Losing two of their last three represents a dip in form but Seattle will see this trip to Philadelphia as the perfect chance to grab three points and they should do so.
The Sounders have won three of the last four meetings between the sides, including last season’s Open Cup final after extra-time, and will be the more confident of the two sides as a result.
Philadelphia Union could be without three of their strikeforce as Fernando Aristeguieta, Conor Casey and Sebastien Le Toux are all doubts. CJ Sapong may start as the lone striker once again.
Seattle Sounders are missing Obafemi Martins, Osvaldo Alonso and Chad Barrett through injury, while Gonzalo Pineda is a doubt. Clint Dempsey is still serving a three-game suspension so Lamar Neagle is expected to start up front again.
Philadelphia Union’s last five: W/L/W/L/L
Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/W/L/W/L
Key Stat: Philadelphia have only kept one clean sheet against the Sounders in MLS regular season matches – a 2-0 win in 2011.
Key Player: Lamar Neagle – The dynamic utility man will have a hard time filling in for Martins and Dempsey but he will hold the key to the final result in this one.
Philadelphia Union 1-2 Seattle Sounders – Seattle are without their star frontmen in Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins but they should still have enough to dispatch the Union by the odd goal.