MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: Talen Energy Stadium – Sunday, October 23 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Philadelphia 6/4 – Draw 9/4 – Red Bulls 17/10

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union welcome New York Red Bulls to Talen Energy Stadium, with the away side on the verge of being named Eastern Conference winners.

The Union haven’t had a lot to shout about in recent weeks. They haven’t won in six but the good news is that they should squeak into the playoffs.

Philadelphia are sitting 6th in the East and it would require a 13 goal swing for 7th placed New England to take that place, which on the face of it, sounds impossible.

Jim Curtin will be gunning for his side to put an end to their winless run, finish the season on a high and go into the playoffs with optimism.

Picture courtesy of philadelphiaunion.com

Picture courtesy of philadelphiaunion.com

New York Red Bulls task is simple, avoid a 13 goal swing and they will be named winners of the conference. The squad will be focused on winning the game and finishing the regular season unbeaten in 16.

Bradley Wright-Phillips will be hoping his teammates provide him with the service to fend off David Villa in the race for the Golden Boot.

Red Bulls come into this one having won 3-2 against Crew, they had been three goals to the good, so Jesse Marsch will want a tighter defensive display this weekend.

RBNY’s unbeaten run has been extremely impressive, they will be going into the playoffs full of confidence and ready to take on anyone.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew - Red Bulls Celebrate

Team News

Philadelphia have just the two injury concerns as there are questions about the fitness of both Josh Yaro and Warren Creavalle.

New York Red Bulls are expecting to be without four as Gideon Baah, Connor Lade, Justin Bilyeu and Daniel Royer are all expected to be out.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s last five: D/L/D/L/L

Red Bulls’ last five: D/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Unbeaten run – New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last 15 regular season outings.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – BWP is leading the way to win the MLS Golden Boot by one goal. His rival forward Villa has been challenging him all season. All BWP needs to do is play his usual game and the goals will come, he will not put himself before the team for the sake of the record. It is going to be a huge theme of decision day.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew - Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dax McCarty

Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-2 New York Red Bulls – Philadelphia Union’s winless run to extend to seven. They face a Red Bulls side who just don’t look like losing at the moment. Both of these sides will already have an eye on the playoffs. A Union win and results in their favour could see them move up to 5th, but a close loss seems a likely result.  

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union

Stadium: Stade Saputo – Saturday, May 14 – 17:00 ET (22:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Montreal 4/5 – Draw 13/5 – Philadelphia 100/30

Match Preview

Montreal Impact welcome Philadelphia Union to Stade Saputo this weekend in a key clash at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Montreal sit top of the East by one point. They come into this one off the back of their amazing second-half comeback away at Columbus, drawing 4-4 after being 4-1 down.

Mauro Biello’s side became the eighth team in MLS history to fight back from three goals down to earn at least a point and are looking in good shape.

However, the Impact have now drawn three on the bounce and will be looking to get back to winning ways here. They have only lost once at home in their four outings this season and will be confident of picking up a result.

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Philadelphia Union have been in a strong run of form coming into this tie. They are unbeaten in their last three games, winning one and drawing two and have only lost once in their last five.

The Union drew 2-2 with the Galaxy on Wednesday night and will be looking to extend their run here but know this is going to be a difficult tie, especially after a day’s less rest. They have won just one of their four games on the road in the 2016 campaign so far.

Jim Curtin’s side sit second in the East, trailing Montreal by one point, but they do have a game in hand so they’ll be looking to close the gap.

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Team News

Montreal Impact have five injury concerns ahead of this tie. Andres Romero, Cameron Porter, Donny Toia, Anthony Jackson-Hamel and Hassoun Camara are expected to miss out. Biello has no suspensions or players nearing suspension.

Philadelphia Union have two injury concerns. Maurice Edu is out, while Ken Tribbett is a doubt. Curtin also has no players nearing suspension to worry about.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s form: W/L/D/D/D

Philadelphia Union’s form: W/L/W/D/D

Key Stat: Homesick – Philadelphia have lost three of their four away matches so far this season.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – It seems Piatti is the man to watch in all of Montreal’s games this season. He played a vital role in his side’s comeback last time out, scoring twice. He has netted six goals in the 2016 regular season.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact Ignacio Piatti

Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 2-1 Philadelphia Union – Montreal to remain top of the East after another win at Stade Saputo. The Union have been in a great run of form but their struggles on the road could cost them here.

MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union

Venue: Toyota Stadium – Sunday, March 6 – 15:00 ET (20:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Dallas 8/13 – Draw 14/5 – Philadelphia 9/2

Match Preview

FC Dallas welcome Philadelphia Union to Toyota Stadium on Sunday as both sides look to get their 2016 MLS season off to a winning start.

This is a clash which matches up two teams that had completely contrasting season’s in 2015 as Dallas topped the Western Conference, and only New York Red Bulls got as many points as them across the whole of MLS (60).

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Union struggled in the Eastern Conference, finishing ninth with just 37 points as only Chicago Fire ended with a lower final tally.

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But 2016 provides a chance to wipe the slate clean and Dallas will be desperate to get off to a positive start as they begin the long marathon that is the hunt for the Supporters’ Shield title and road to the MLS Playoffs.

Oscar Pareja’s side enjoyed a successful preseason, winning all three of the games they played, including a 2-1 success over New England Revolution.

Dallas have welcomed talented Argentinian forward Maxi Urruti from the Portland Timbers in an attempt to bolster an already strong squad – he bagged two goals in preseason and will be hoping to continue his good start to life in Texas.

Philadelphia Union have been hard at work in preseason with six games in total, winning two, drawing two and losing two, although their most recent fixture was a 1-0 success over Toronto.

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Jim Curtin’s squad has a very different look about it compared to last year with a whole host of changes, so his main job will be trying to get this team to click as quickly as possible.

Perhaps the most promising addition is midfielder Chris Pontius who joins from DC United – the Union will be hoping he brings a stability to the team that will help them challenge for a playoff finish this year.

The only meeting between these two sides in 2015 saw Dallas come away with a 2-0 win from Philadelphia’s PPL Park thanks to goals from Tesho Akindele and Ryan Hollingshead.

Team News

FC Dallas have no injury concerns heading into their season opener, meaning Oscar Pareja has a full squad to choose from and will be expecting his side to be at their best right from the off. Rookie Timo Pitter will be pushing for a place in the squad after being the top goalscorer in preseason with three goals from midfield.

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Maurice Edu (hernia) and Tranquillo Barnetta (knee) are both injury doubts for Philadelphia Union. There is likely to be a number of players making their debuts for the Union, including Chris Pontius and Roland Alberg.

Key Points

FC Dallas’ preseason form: W/W/W

Philadelphia Union’s preseason form: L/L/D/W/D/W

Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have never won a game against FC Dallas in MLS (P8, D4, L4).

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The young Colombian was a once again a key player for Dallas in 2015 with nine goals and nine assists from 30 appearances and if he can hit the ground running, the Union may struggle to keep him at bay.

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Score Prediction

FC Dallas 2-1 Philadelphia Union – FC Dallas had the best home record in MLS in 2015, winning 13 of their 17 home games, amassing 41 points from a possible 51, as well as losing just twice. It’s a tough ask for the Union to get a result on the opening day, but they’ll certainly put up a tough fight to prove otherwise.

2016 MLS Season Preview: Philadelphia Union

As the 2016 MLS season edges closer, we’ll be publishing each team’s MLS 2016 Season Preview. Today we take a look at what Philadelphia Union will be looking to achieve this year…

Philadelphia Union endured one of their most disappointing year’s in MLS in 2015. A ninth placed Eastern Conference finish and 18th place finish overall is the lowest in their short history so far. The season started slowly with just one win from their opening 11 games and they never strung a run of games together in an inconsistent campaign. The Union did manage to reach the final of the US Open Cup, where they agonisingly lost on penalties to Sporting Kansas City. But in MLS, it was a year with few highlights to reflect on and it’s certainly a case of onwards and upwards from now on. All that has gone before needs to be brushed under the carpet so that head coach Jim Curtin can rebuild and focus on achieving better results in the future.

Last season’s finish:

Eastern Conference – Position: 9th – P34 – W10 – D7 – L17

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What needs to change this year?

Philadelphia Union have never been as defensively poor as they were in 2015. They leaked 55 goals, which is more than they have conceded in any other season previously. The offseason has seen the Union revamp their squad, giving it a very different look, with 15 players departing and 12 new faces coming in. They’ve signed six new defenders in an attempt to steady the ship and give themselves strength in depth at the back. But it isn’t just defensive issues that need addressing. They had the least potent attack in the Eastern Conference last year, scoring 42 goals – only four teams scored less across the whole of MLS. Jim Curtin must find a way for his side to be more competitive offensively as well.

Key changes to squad:

Ins: Matt Jones – Goalkeeper,  Anderson Conceicao – Defender, Joshua Yaro – Defender, Keegan Rosenberry – Defender, Taylor Washington – Defender, Cole Missimo – Defender, Ken Tribbett – Defender, Chris Pontius – Midfielder, Walter Restrepo – Midfielder, Roland Alberg – Midfielder, Ilsinho – Midfielder, Fabian Herbers – Forward

Outs: Zac MacMath – Goalkeeper, Ethan White Defender, Steven Vitoria – Defender, Cristian Maidana – Midfielder, Andrew Wenger – Midfielder, Fred – Midfielder, Michael Lahoud – Midfielder, Zach Pfeffer – Midfielder, Fernando Aristeguieta – Forward, Conor Casey – Forward

Key Player:

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Chris Pontius – Midfielder – The experienced 28 year old arrives at Philadelphia Union after six successful years with DC United. He’s just the type of player the Union need in the centre of the park and he will bring with him the kind of winning mentality that’s been missing. The likes of CJ Sapong and Sebastien Le Toux up front should benefit from having Pontius in the side.

One to Watch:

Roland Alberg – Midfielder – The Dutchman has signed from Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag where he made 105 league appearances, scoring 22 goals and making 16 assists. He’s likely to slot straight into the Union side and could bring valuable experience having played for a number of years in Europe. At the age of 25, he’s approaching the peak of his career, so the Union will be hoping they’ll see the best of him.

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Predicted Finish:

Eastern Conference – 9th – Philadelphia Union are certainly doing everything they can to make things work in 2016 with so much offseason activity. With so many changes, it’s going to take time for this team to gel. That’s not to say that things won’t fall into place eventually, but there are numerous other teams in MLS that appear to be in better shape than Philadelphia right now. It’s easy enough to point out the areas that need improving – they’re clear for all to see – but it’s a whole different task putting it into action and getting results on the pitch. The Union would be proving a lot of people wrong if they were to break into the top six this year, so it would certainly be a pleasant surprise if they could take the league by storm.

What are you expecting from Philadelphia Union in 2016?

What should AFC Bournemouth expect in friendly against Philadelphia Union?

Premier League newcomers AFC Bournemouth play their first preseason game on Tuesday night as Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union will play host to the Cherries at PPL Park in what should be an intriguing game.

Bournemouth won the Championship with relative ease last season and so Eddie Howe‘s side fully deserve their place in the top flight of English football. But they know it will be a tough season and so their preseason preparations must be executed perfectly.

A trip to the United States to face the Union will improve team spirit and will help the new signings gel with their teammates before they play their first game together on Tuesday night in what will be a real test.

Preparation

The fact that Philadelphia are in the middle of their domestic campaign will help them as fitness levels will be at the perfect level, whereas Eddie Howe’s squad have not played a game for over two months.

Preseason is all about improving match fitness but the Cherries may suffer against physically more equipped opponents at this stage of their summer.

As well as fitness, Bournemouth will be looking for a positive result and there is no doubt that returning to England with a win will be the aim here.

Many Bournemouth fans, and perhaps players too will likely be surprised by the quality of play that the Union will be able to demonstrate. Major League Soccer has improved dramatically each year and teams are now in a position to give even the strongest Premier League sides a test.

Form

Philadelphia are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference and sit 16th in the overall MLS standings. It’s not been a perfect season by any stretch for Jim Curtin’s side but they haven’t lost in three and beat Portland Timbers 3-0 at home on Saturday night – a game the Bournemouth players watched from inside the owner’s box at PPL Park.

Five of their six wins this season have come at PPL Park and they are always better in front of their owns fans.

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Philly lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace in a friendly last July and will be looking to put in a better performance this time around against the Premier League newboys.

Over 15,000 fans turned out to watch the game against Palace last year and so another good atmosphere is to be expected for Tuesday night’s game.

Tactics

Jim Curtin will no doubt be prioritising Saturday night’s game against Toronto FC and so star players will not feature for more than 45 minutes on Tuesday. But a strong team is to be expected as Philadelphia will likely line up in their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation – a system Bournemouth will come up against numerous times in the Premier League this year.

Maurice Edu has made more starts than any other Philadelphia player this season and the versatile American will likely continue in defence for the visit of AFC Bournemouth.

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At the other end, CJ Sapong and Cristian Maidana will need to be watched closely. Sapong has five goals and two assists in his last nine games, while Maidana assisted all three goals in the win over Portland on Saturday.

Eddie Howe will likely opt to start with the 4-4-2 system that worked so well last term and new signings Sylvain Distin, Christian Atsu, Tyrone Mings and Joshua King will all expect to feature.

What do you think the score will be in Tuesday night’s friendly?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew 

Venue: PPL Park – Wednesday, June 3rd – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Thursday, June 4th)

Match Odds: Philadelphia Union 13/10 – Draw 23/10 – Columbus Crew 21/10

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union take on Columbus Crew on Wednesday night in a key clash where both sides will be desperate to take all three points.

Philadelphia come into this one off the back of a 2-1 loss to DC United, which was their third loss in their last five games.

Jim Curtin‘s side has won two on the bounce prior to that though they have been in inconsistent form so far this campaign, which has seen them lose eight of their 14 regular season games. If they are to push for a playoff spot they are going to need to make their home form count, but things aren’t all that bad, as they are only two points adrift of the top six in the Eastern Conference.

Conceding goals has been a real problem for The Union and they haven’t been too good in front of goal either, scoring just 14 times this campaign, with Curtin’s forwards netting only six goals combined.

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Sebastien Le Toux notched his first of the season in the loss against DCU, but it was a disappointing result and The Union will be hoping to turn around their fortunes on Wednesday evening.

Columbus Crew come into the game after back-to-back draws. The Crew’s away form hasn’t been good but they will fancy their chances of picking up their first away win of the season in this one.

Gregg Berhalter will be delighted with Kei Kamara’s form as the forward has ten goals in 12 appearances so far this season and he looks on track to win the Golden Boot if he can keep it up.

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Columbus thumped The Union 4-1 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and will be hoping for much of the same this time out.

Team News

Philadelphia Union could be without up to seven players through injury. Andre Blake, Michael Lahoud, Steven Vitoria, Conor Casey, Antoine Hoppenot, Raymon Gaddis and Jimmy McLaughlin are doubtful. Vincent Nogueira is one booking away from a suspension.

Columbus Crew have just two injury concerns as Wil Trapp and Matt Lampson are sidelined, while Michael Parkhurst is suspended following his red card against Orlando City last weekend.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s last five: L/L/W/W/L

Columbus Crew’s last five: L/W/L/D/D

Key Stat: Columbus Crew have yet to win on the road this season. This will give Philadelphia confidence heading into the tie.

Key Player: Kei Kamara – The striker’s performances cannot be ignored when picking a key player for this one. He is in scintillating form and will look to add to his impressive tally.

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Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-1 Columbus Crew – A combination of Union’s inconsistent run of form and Crew SC’s inability to win on the road will inevitably lead to a draw here.

Union boss labels Red Bulls midfield as ‘best in league’ ahead of weekend clash

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin has admitted how difficult it will be to cope with the New York Red Bulls when they meet for an MLS clash at Red Bull Arena on Sunday evening.

“As you look ahead, it doesn’t get any easier with having to go to New York, a rival game, and then also DC at their place, so there will be a little bit of a revenge factor in that one,” he said in yesterday’s press conference.

“So two games coming up on the road against rivals in the Eastern Conference. Obviously every game is a big one in our league because anybody can beat anybody but New York will certainly be a tough task.”

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The Union boss was full of praise for Sunday’s opponents and despite a convincing 3-1 victory in preseason over the Red Bulls, Curtin knows it’s going to be tougher this time around.

“The team that’s in very good form, a team that high presses all over the field, I think the team that has the best midfield in the league going right now between Dax (McCarty), Sacha (Kljestan) and Felipe (Martins).

“A team that if I’m being honest gave us a lot of issues in the preseason even though the scoreline was very much in our favour.

“They created a ton and were very good against us, so a team we respect, we know that are going to be good, a coach I’m very familiar with in Jesse Marsch and any time you go on the road in this league, it’s difficult to get a win but that’s going to have to be our task.”

Can Philadelphia Union get a positive result against the in-form New York Red Bulls at the weekend?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. DC United

Venue: PPL Park – Sunday, May 17th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Monday, May 18th)

Match Odds: Philadelphia Union 7/5 – Draw 23/10 – DC United 19/10

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union take on DC United at PPL Park on Sunday evening in an MLS clash between two sides at opposite ends of the Eastern Conference.

The Union have statistically been the worst side in MLS this season, other than Montreal Impact, as they sit one place above the bottom of both the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings.

Jim Curtin‘s side have also conceded more goals (21) than any other team – that’s seven more than the next worst defence, which is Houston who have let in 14.

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Philadelphia’s most recent outing saw them comfortably swept aside in a 3-0 defeat away at the Vancouver Whitecaps, extending their run of consecutive defeats to four games – the Union have won just one of their opening 11 games (D3, L7).

The only points the Union have picked up in the last nine games came courtesy of a win and a draw in back-to-back games against fellow strugglers New York City.

By stark contrast, DC United’s start to the season has been excellent as six wins, three draws and one defeat from their opening ten games is enough to see them at the top of the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings.

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Ben Olsen will be delighted with how efficient the performances of his DC team have been, conceding fewer goals (8) than any other side so far, and they’re now unbeaten in their last eight games (W5, D3) with the most recent success a 2-1 victory at home to Orlando City last weekend.

Chris Rolfe has led the line well with three goals and three assists, but the key to DC’s success so far has been the overall team ethos as nine different players have already contributed to the 13 goals they’ve scored this season, showing that the load has been shared equally.

DC United won both of the games between these two sides in 2014 by a 1-0 scoreline. Philadelphia’s most recent victory over DC was a 2-0 win back in August 2013.

Team News

Philadelphia Union are suffering with a very long list of absentees which only adds to their ongoing problems. Rookie Richie Marquez will miss the game through suspension following his red card against Vancouver. Steven Vitoria is struggling with a knee injury and loanee goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre is likely to deputise in goal once again as John McCarthy continues his recovery from concussion. Fernando Aristeguieta (international duty), Andre Blake (knee) and Mike Lahoud (leg) are all unavailable, while C. J. Sapong remains out for non-footballing reasons. Antoine Hoppenot (hamstring) and Fred (hamstring) are also doubts.

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DC United will be without the injured Steve Birnbaum, Collin Martin and Markus Halsti. Forward Fabian Espindola missed the Orlando game with a slight knee problem but could return to the squad for this clash.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s last five: D/L/L/L/L

DC United’s last five: D/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have won just two of their last 18 games in MLS (D6, L10) combining the end of the 2014 with start of the 2015 season.

Key Player: Perry Kitchen – The 23-year-old hasn’t missed a single minute of the MLS season so far and has been a vital component in the DC United machine at the heart of the midfield. His performances are one of the reasons that DC have been so hard to break down.

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Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 0-1 DC United – DC United will expect to win this one against a Philadelphia side that are struggling at the moment with both casualties and form. It’s tough to see any other outcome than a DC victory.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs Toronto FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC

Venue: PPL Park – Saturday, May 2nd – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports)

Match Odds: Philadelphia 5/4 – Draw 12/5 – Toronto 21/10

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union host Toronto FC on Saturday night in an intriguing Eastern Conference clash with both sides looking to climb the table after slow starts.

The Union have only won once this season, in a 2-1 home victory against New York City FC, and come into Saturday’s game off back-to-back defeats.

Jim Curtin’s side were thumped 4-1 at Columbus Crew last Saturday and need to try and find some form to prevent them from falling too far behind the pack in the hunt for playoff football.

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They’re level with Saturday’s opponents, Toronto, on six points after eight weeks and both will see this as a winnable game.

The Reds picked up just their second win of the season at Orlando City last weekend to end a four-game losing streak and the trip to PPL Park will be the last of their seven-game away run to open the campaign.

They will play at BMO Field for the first time this season next week but need to focus on this game first against a Philadelphia team that has the worst defensive record in MLS.

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Toronto have attacking stars such as Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco to unleash on that leaky Union defence that has conceded 17 times in nine games, and that will be a concern for Philadelphia supporters.

One thing to note is that Toronto have never won at PPL Park in MLS. The Union have won the last three meetings, including both last season, without conceding a goal.

Team News

Philadelphia could be without five players. Eric Bird (hernia) remains out, while Antoine Hoppenot (hamstring), Fernando Aristeguieta (thigh), Vincent Nogueira (ankle) and Steven Vitoria (groin) are all doubtful. Maurice Edu is likely to start in defence again but he will need to be careful as he is one booking away from suspension.

Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney will be without Clement Simonin (knee), while Steven Caldwell (achilles) and Mark Bloom (thigh) remain doubts. Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco are starting to gel together and both will start in attack again for the Reds on Saturday night.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s last five: L/W/D/L/L

Toronto FC’s last five: L/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Toronto have not beaten Philadelphia in their last seven meetings, losing the last three on the bounce without scoring a goal.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Italian playmaker is starting to look like the superstar Toronto hoped they had signed. He has three goals and three assists in six appearances so far and will be a real threat for the Union to deal with.

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Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-3 Toronto FC – Toronto to snap that seven-game winless run against the Union with a convincing performance and victory. Philadelphia have looked extremely vulnerable this season and their defensive frailties will be exploited by a dangerous Reds attack.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Thursday, April 16 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: NYCFC 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – Philadelphia 23/10

Match Preview

New York City FC and Philadelphia Union face off for the second time in five days when the Union travel to Yankee Stadium on Thursday night for a key Eastern Conference clash.

Philadelphia won their first game of the season against NYCFC on Saturday and that 2-1 victory put them on the same number of points as the MLS Expansion Franchise with five.

The Union won the game in stoppage time thanks to a Vincent Nogueira goal and NYCFC will be desperate to shake off a three-game winless streak with revenge on Thursday.

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David Villa scored his second of the season in the defeat last weekend, scoring the team’s first goal in 241 minutes of play and Jason Kreis needs his team to start scoring more frequently if they are to make the playoffs this year.

The Union have the worst defensive record in MLS after six weeks and so NYCFC will expect to find the net at least once in this key midweek clash.

Philadelphia will be confident after getting that first win and travel to NYCFC knowing they can move as high as second with a win, though they would need to score plenty of goals to make their goal difference up in that case.

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New York City have only won once so far, but that was at home, and supporters will expect to beat the Union in what should be an entertaining affair.

Team News

New York City FC will be without George John (knee), while Shay Facey is a doubt (hip) and is unlikely to feature. Mix Diskerud won’t make the game after playing for the USA against Mexico on Wednesday night and so Jason Kreis is likely to give Kwadwo Poku a start in midfield alongside Ned Grabavoy. David Villa and Adam Nemec are likely to start in attack once again.

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Philadelphia Union coach, Jim Curtin, could be without six players for the trip to New York. Eric Bird (hernia) and Fabinho (foot) are both out, while Cristian Maidana (knee), Raymond Lee (quad), Fernando Aristeguieta (quad) and Maurice Edu (hamstring) are all doubts. Edu is expected to make the game and will likely play at centre-back for the third consecutive game, while Aristeguieta will hope to be fit to start alongside Sebastien Le Toux in attack.

Key Points

New York City FC’s form: D/W/D/L/L

Philadelphia Union’s form: D/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Saturday’s loss to the Union was Jason Kreis’ first in seven against Philadelphia in MLS. He will be desperate to stop that from becoming two on Thursday.

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Key Player: David Villa – Perhaps an obvious choice, but Villa will have the home support on his side and will look to lead his team to a much needed victory on Thursday night. He scored his second ever MLS goal against Philadelphia on Saturday and will look to cause all kinds of problems in this one.

Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-2 Philadelphia Union – This should be an entertaining game between two sides that will want the win. New York City will be desperate for revenge but the Union will be buoyed by their win on Saturday. That should lead to a close game and a score draw looks to be the most likely outcome.