Union stun Sounders, ending win streak with late winner

What looked at first to be a prime opportunity for Seattle Sounders FC to get their 10th straight win against Philadelphia Union on their home turf turned into a shocking loss as a Stefan Frei mistake in the 93rd minute of the match lead to a winner for Fafa Picault and the Union.

Early in the match Sounders looked like they’d take an early lead, putting dangerous crosses through the Union box and creating a number of chances but couldn’t find the back of the net, hitting the woodwork twice and having other shots trickle just wide of the target.

The Union grew into the match after the first 30 minutes and played physical defense to slow down Seattle’s attack. The physical play took a toll on the Sounders as first Raul Ruidiaz came off with an ankle injury in the 29th minute before being replaced by Will Bruin in the 34th and Chad Marshall would come off at the half after suffering a head injury in the 24th minute.

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Seattle would get more chances in the second half, out shooting the Union 10 to 4, but couldn’t find a way past Union ‘keeper, Andre Blake, as several dangerous crosses through the box failed to result in a goal.

Philadelphia thought they had opened the scoring in the 65th minute as Cory Burke got in behind the Seattle defense and beat Frei near post but the goal was overturned after video review showed Burke to be offside, but the momentum had shifted in the Union’s favor.

It looked as though the Sounders had caught another break in the in the 89th minute when Jack Elliott received his second yellow card of the match meaning Seattle would have seven minutes with stoppage time to get a winner while a man up but instead it was the Union who would get the goal.

As Frei tried to play a back-pass short, he misjudged the pass and instead found Picault who went between Frei’s legs to give the Union a surprising lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

While it would be easy to blame the Seattle goalkeeper for the loss, Frei was spectacular for the majority of the match including a point-blank save on Elliot in the 32nd minute.

With their winning streak ended at nine, Seattle will look to rebound as they head to Los Angeles to face the LA Galaxy on Sunday in what could be an important match for both club’s playoff aspirations.


In pictures: Timbers make it 15 unbeaten with 3-0 win over Union

The Portland Timbers tied a club record by stretching their unbeaten run to 15 on Saturday night. Portland scored two penalties on the way to a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Union at Providence Park.

The teams went into half-time with the score locked at 0-0 but Portland head coach Giovanni Savarese told his players to go after the Union after the break. And they did.

Penalties scored by Diego Valeri and Dairon Asprilla put Portland 2-0 up before David Guzman headed in the final goal in the 87th minute. Asprilla and Guzman scored their first goals of the season on the night.

The result moved Portland up into second place in the Western Conference and stretched their home unbeaten run to 10. For Philadelphia, they sit seventh in the East, two point behind New England and Montreal, who currently occupy the final two playoff spots with 12 games to go.

Portland’s impressive run stretches all the way back to mid-April, when they beat Minnesota 3-2 in their 2018 home opener. The Timbers failed to win any of their five opening games to the season – all of which were played on the road – so the fact they’re now sitting second is remarkable.

Check out exclusive photos from Saturday’s game at Providence Park below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer, Denise McCooey:

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting KC vs. Philadelphia Union
Venue: Children’s Mercy Park – Thursday, July 6 – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)
Match Odds: Sporting KC 4/7 – Draw 14/5 – Philadelphia 9/2


Sporting Kansas City welcome Philadelphia Union to Children’s Mercy Park for their lone meeting of the season on Thursday night. The hosts will look to go into the Gold Cup break with another victory to leave them clear at the top of the Western Conference.

SKC had to settle for a home draw with Portland on Saturday. Many will still feel that was a positive result given the key absentees on international duty.

Peter Vermes knows his team are in a strong position at the midway point of the campaign. He will fully expect his team to continue to set the pace at the top of the West for the remainder of the season.

Sporting Kansas City’s impressive home form makes them strong favourites for Thursday’s game. They haven’t lost at home in MLS for over a year. Defensively, they’ve only shipped four goals in nine games at Children’s Mercy Park this term.

Philadelphia arrive off the back of Saturday’s 3-0 win over New England. That victory put them back into a position to challenge for a playoff spot in the East.

However, they still have a lot to work on if they are to be playing postseason soccer this year. Inconsistency has prevented them from building any form, although things have been steadily building since May.

Jim Curtin would love to head back to Philly with at least a point from Thursday’s clash. They’ve only won one of their last eight away games in all competitions. But their record in Kansas City isn’t all that bad.

In eight trips to SKC, the Union have lost four, won two and drawn two. Impressively, they’ve scored on their last five visits, winning as many as they’ve lost in that time.

Team News

Sporting KC will once again be without key trio Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Dom Dwyer. All three are with the USMNT for the Gold Cup. Roger Espinoza will miss out as a result of yellow card accumulation.

Maurice Edu, Fabian Herbers and Warren Creavalle all remain out for the Union. Brian Carroll and Richie Marquez are listed as doubts. Alejandro Bedoya is away with the USMNT, while Andre Blake is due to meet up with the Jamaica squad so John McCarthy will take over in goal.

Sporting Kansas City vs Philadelphia Union: Key Points

Sporting KC’s form: W/D/D/W/D

Philadelphia Union’s form: L/L/L/W/W

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City are unbeaten at home in MLS for over 13 months. They have gone 18 league games without defeat, winning 13 of those games.

Key Player: Benny Feilhaber – The SKC midfielder made a speedy return from a potentially worrying ankle injury at the weekend. He will now look to lead the hosts to victory with so many key players away with the USMNT.

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Sporting Kansas City 1-1 Philadelphia Union – Sporting KC would likely prove too strong for Philadelphia if they were at full strength. But the absences of Besler, Zusi and Dwyer significantly weaken them. The Union will fancy their chances of leaving with a point and that’s how we see it going. Score draw.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs New England Revolution
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium – Sunday, July 2 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)
Match Odds: Philadelphia 11/10 – Draw 12/5 – New England 11/5

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union take on New England Revolution in an important Eastern Conference battle on Sunday evening. The two sides are separated by just a point as we enter the second half of the season, so this should be an exciting matchup.

Both will be disappointed to be outside the playoffs at the halfway point but they have more than enough time to turn their form around and make a charge for success over the next few months.

The Union snapped a three-game losing streak with their 1-0 win over DC United last weekend but followed that up with a disappointing penalty shootout loss to the New York Red Bulls in Wednesday’s US Open Cup clash.

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Jim Curtin’s men have won four of their last five MLS games at Talen Energy Stadium. That will feel the home fans with confidence ahead of this crunch tie.

New England had a lot more luck in their US Open Cup game on Wednesday. They edged past DC United 2-1 to pick spirits up after a tough couple of weeks. They’ve lost their last two league games and know this is a must-win game.

The Revs have really struggled away from home this season. They haven’t won a single game and have lost six of their nine road trips in MLS this term. They must end that worrying trend quickly to have any chance of securing a playoff spot come the end of October.

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This will be the 19th MLS meeting between the two sides and the first of two clashes in July, with the Revs hosting Philadelphia at the end of the month in the reverse fixture. The Union hold the advantage based on previous games, having won nine of the 18 matchups and outscoring the Revs 31-24.

Team News

Philadelphia Union will once again be without captain Alejandro Bedoya as a result of his involvement with the USMNT for the upcoming Gold Cup. Maurice Edu remains out through injury, along with Richie Marquez, Brian Carroll, Fabian Herbers and Warren Creavalle.

New England travel to Philly without Xavier Kouassi, who is struggling with a thigh strain, while fellow midfielder Daigo Kobayashi is a doubt with a hamstring injury. Juan Agudelo is away with the USMNT squad for their friendly with Ghana on Saturday and won’t be involved here.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s form: W/L/L/L/W

NE Revolution’s form: L/D/W/L/L

Key Stat: New England are the only Eastern Conference side yet to win an away game in MLS in 2017. They have picked up just three points from a possible 27 on the road.

Key Player: Lee Nguyen – If New England are going to take anything from Sunday’s clash, they’ll need their star man to put in a strong performance. He has six goals and seven assists in 17 games this season and will expect to add to that tally against a Philadelphia side that have conceded more home goals than any other side in the East this campaign.

Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 2-1 New England Revolution – This is likely to be a close-fought battle in what is an important clash between two sides that need three points to get back into playoff contention. New England’s terrible away form makes it hard to see them winning here. While the Union will hope to keep their good run at Talen Energy Stadium going by picking up another narrow victory. Both will expect to score but this one should be close.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs Montreal Impact

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. Montreal Impact 
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium – Saturday, April 22 -13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Match Odds: Philadelphia Union 19/20 – Draw 12/5 – Montreal Impact 13/5

Match Preview

The two bottom sides in the Eastern Conference go head-to-head on Saturday night and as both sides will see this game as a winnable game, it could make for a good watch.

Still yet to register a win this season, Philadelphia are far from where they should be at this stage. And with four successive losses there are no signs of things improving anytime soon. The players aren’t performing and Jim Curtin is under pressure as a result.

Home form is a huge issue for the Union, having taken only one point from a possible nine at the Talen Energy Stadium this year. Much of this could be put down to the fact they have yet to win the battle for possession of the ball in any of their home games – something that’s unlikely to change against Montreal on Saturday.

The Impact are currently second-bottom in the East, which is far below expectations of this team as it possesses some serious talent. With only one win so far, something has to change very soon.

The return of Ignacio Piatti saw them take all three points against 10-man Atlanta last week, and he’ll be hoping to lead Montreal up the table now.

They have lost both of their away games at Western opposition this season but have picked up draws in both trips to Eastern rivals. Philadelphia are in a bad way and so the Impact will be looking for all three points here.

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There has been a red card in three of the Impact’s four away games this season so keeping 11 men on the pitch will be key if they are to pick up their first win on the road this term.

These two sides met three times last season, with the Impact going unbeaten against the Union. They picked up a 5-1 win either side of 1-1 draws but have yet to win away at Philadelphia in MLS.

Team News

Philadelphia Union are without some key first team players as Josh Yaro (shoulder) and Maurice Edu (ankle) remain out. John McCarthy is out with concussion and Ken Tribbett is out with an ankle sprain. Warren Creavalle is questionable with a calf contusion.

Montreal Impact will be missing Shamit Shome and Andres Romero with foot and hamstring injuries, respectively. Victor Cabrera is a doubt with a leg injury.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s form: D/L/L/L/L

Montreal Impact’s form: D/D/D/L/W

Key Stat: Montreal have failed to beat Philadelphia in the last six meetings between the two sides.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – Arguably on his day the best player in the league, Piatti possesses the ability to change games extremely quickly and is often the difference-maker. We expect much of the same in this clash as he will look to inspire Montreal to back-to-back wins following his return from injury.

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Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-3 Montreal Impact – Going on recent form its difficult to see either side as a clear favourite, although given a clear lack of confidence from the Union we expect it to be comfortable for Montreal, who will be looking to build on last week’s win over Atlanta.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union
Venue: Orlando City Stadium – Saturday, March 18 – 19:30 ET (23:30 GMT) 
Match Odds: Orlando 19/20 – Draw 5/2 – Philadelphia 5/2

Match Preview

Orlando City welcome Philadelphia Union to their new home for just the second game of their campaign on Saturday evening, with the visitors still looking for their first win of 2017.

The Lions have had two weeks to prepare for this game following the postponement of last Saturday’s game at New England. That has given Jason Kreis extra time to prepare for the Union but also means that match fitness levels might be inferior to those of the Philadelphia players.

Orlando opened the season with a 1-0 victory over NYCFC to give the new Orlando City Stadium a perfect opening night. Another incredible atmosphere is expected here and the hosts will hope that can inspire them to three more points.

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Philadelphia are still looking for their first win of the season after back-to-back draws so far. Their opening 0-0 draw at Vancouver was followed by last Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Toronto.

The Union led in that game and missed a penalty at a pivotal time but showed good spirit to earn a point after going behind in the second half. They will looking to remain unbeaten this week but will fancy their chances of getting three important points against an Eastern Conference rival.

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Both these sides are expected to be fighting for a similar position come the end of the season, with both likely to be fighting for one of the final playoff spots in the East. It might only be Week 3 but this is an important fixture for both sets of fans.

This will be the sixth MLS clash between the two sides since Orlando entered the league two years ago. Philadelphia hold the advantage based on previous meetings, having put up a 2-1-2 record against the Lions so far.

Team News

Orlando will be without Kaka as the star man is out for at least another month with that hamstring injury sustained early in the win over NYCFC. Rafael Ramos, Tony Rocha and Kevin Alston are all ruled out with hamstring injuries too. Giles Barnes is set to start his first MLS game for Orlando in Kaka’s absence.

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Philadelphia striker Jay Simpson scored on his home debut last week but was forced off with a rib injury just moments after heading in the opening goal. He is a doubt for Saturday’s game as a result, while the same applies to Ilsinho, Charlie Davies and Ken Tribbett. Maurice Edu and Josh Yaro are still sidelined.

Key Points

Orlando City’s form: W

Philadelphia Union’s form: D/D

Key Stat: Philadelphia have not won any of their last ten MLS games, dating back to a 2-0 home win over SKC in August.

Key Player: Giles Barnes – Barnes wasn’t set to be an automatic starter in this Orlando side following his offseason switch to Florida but has been thrust into the limelight following Kaka’s injury. He came off the bench and grabbed the assist to guide the Lions to victory two weeks ago so the hosts need him to be just as efficient in the final third here.

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Score Prediction

Orlando City 1-0 Philadelphia Union – This is likely to be a close battle between two sides that know this is a winnable fixture. Philadelphia haven’t won in ten and are unlikely to spoil Orlando’s extended home party on Saturday. The Lions defended well against NYCFC and might be able to earn a repeat result if they can create enough chances without Kaka in the team.

MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Knockout Round) – Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union

Venue: BMO Field – Wednesday, October 26 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST) 

Match Odds: Toronto 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Philadelphia 15/4

Match Preview

Toronto FC host Philadelphia Union in the first MLS Playoff clash of 2016 on Wednesday night, with these Eastern Conference rivals both in fairly poor form coming into the Knockout Round.

Toronto won their first game in six on the final day of the regular season on Sunday, but Philadelphia fell 2-0 at home to the Red Bulls and are now winless in seven coming into the postseason.

Toronto are heavy favourites to advance here. This is just their second-ever playoff appearance, but they will be desperate to do better than last season’s Knockout Round exit at the hands of Montreal.

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Greg Vanney knows his side should be winning this game but he must ensure his players stick to the gameplan and avoid any silly mistakes if they are to advance to the Conference Semifinals on Sunday.

For Jim Curtin and his Philadelphia side, this is a worrying position to be in. Yes, they are in the playoffs and will be thrilled to have held on to a top six finish. But at the same time, they are in horrendous form and look to be dead and buried before this one has even started.

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That does mean the pressure is slightly off them though, and they may look to take advantage of the fact that Toronto need to take the game to them on Wednesday night.

The Union earned a 1-1 draw at Toronto just over a month ago and will be looking to frustrate the hosts again here in what should be an intriguing opener to the 2016 MLS Playoffs.

Team News

Toronto have just the one injury concern as Ashtone Morgan remains a doubt as he continues to recover from foot surgery. Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore look set to continue in attack, with Michael Bradley playing behind in midfield.

Philadelphia Union are fortunate to only have one player ruled out here too, with Joshua Yaro still sidelined with concussion as well as a knee sprain. Jim Curtin had six players overcome knocks to be involved in the final-day loss against the Red Bulls and will need to pick his best possible team to have any chance of getting a result here.

Key Points

Toronto FC’s last five: D/D/L/D/W

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

Key Stat: Philadelphia have not beaten Toronto in any of their last five clashes in MLS, losing four of those to Wednesday’s hosts. The Reds had won four on the bounce against the Union before their 1-1 draw a month ago.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Atomic Ant is well and truly back for Toronto. He spent around six weeks on the sidelines but is back just in time for the playoffs and will be looking to fire the Reds to success over the next few weeks. Philadelphia will struggle to cope with his attacking threat if he’s on song and he’ll be the centre of attention for sure.

Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC 2016



Score Prediction

Toronto FC 3-1 Philadelphia Union – Neither of these sides come into the playoffs in the sort of form they would want, but home advantage is always a huge factor, especially in the single-legged Knockout Round. Toronto are tough to break down and have Giovinco back at their disposal, so they shouldn’t have too much trouble brushing the Union aside here.

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

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

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Saturday, October 1 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST) 

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – Philadelphia 9/2

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls host Philadelphia Union as two of the East’s top sides go to battle as the regular season moves to within three weeks of completion.

Both these sides are set for the playoffs but they are still looking to finish as high as possible, with the top two in the conference rewarded with a first-round playoff bye.

The Red Bulls have been sensational in recent months. They are unbeaten in 13 games – a franchise record – and despite some frustrating late collapses, they look like a complete team.

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Jesse Marsch will be delighted with the turnaround after a terrible start and will now be looking to win the Eastern Conference for a second successive season.

They beat Montreal 1-0 at home last week and are just a point behind Toronto going into the weekend.

For Philadelphia, it’s about trying to build some form back up ahead of the postseason. They haven’t won in four now and have yet to guarantee a top six finish so it’s important they bounce back.

A 1-1 draw at Toronto last time out wasn’t bad but defeats at Portland and Chicago prior to that will have frustrated Jim Curtin.

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The Union don’t have the best of records at Red Bull Arena, having only won one of their eight regular season trips there, so they aren’t expected to end their four-game winless streak on Saturday.

The reverse fixture this season ended 2-2 back in July, with Sacha Kljestan’s brace cancelled out by second-half CJ Sapong and Chris Pontius goals. The sides will meet again in Philadelphia on the final day of the regular season in three weeks.

Team News

The Red Bulls are still set to be without Ronald Zubar, Connor Lade and Gideon Baah for the visit of Philadelphia, while Omer Damari is a doubt and is unlikely to feature. Felipe is one booking away from suspension and needs to watch his step.

Philadelphia have one definite absentee, with Joshua Yaro sidelined as a result of concussion, while there are doubts over Maurice Edu, Walter Restrepo and Tranquillo Barnetta.

Key Points

NY Red Bulls’ last five: W/W/D/D/W

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

Key Stat: The Red Bulls haven’t lost in 13 MLS games and are unbeaten in 12 at Red Bull Arena, keeping clean sheets in eight of those games in front of their own fans. Fortress.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls talisman goes from strength to strength and is on his way to the MLS Golden Boot for the second time in three seasons. It’s incredible to think it took him until Week 8 to score this season but he now has 20 for the season, one ahead of David Villa going into the weekend.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC - Bradley Wright-Phillips Celebrates

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-0 Philadelphia Union – The Red Bulls have proven to be an absolute force in MLS. They started poorly but Jesse Marsch has his team in great shape ahead of the playoffs. They should stretch their unbeaten run to 14 here with another home clean sheet also likely.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Philadelphia Union

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

Venue: BMO Field – Saturday, September 24 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)

Match Odds: Toronto FC 7/10 – Draw 11/4 – Philadelphia Union 7/2

Match Preview

Toronto FC welcome Eastern Conference rivals Philadelphia Union to BMO Field this weekend with both sides well in the running for a playoff finish.

Toronto need just one point to book their place in the knockout rounds but they will be battling all the way to try and win the Supporters’ Shield.

If Toronto can rally late on and win the Supporters’ Shield they will be the first Canadian side to do so in MLS history and they would be giving themselves a chance of a domestic treble, having already won the Canadian Championship earlier on in the year.

Greg Vanney will be expecting nothing less than three points from his side in this one. They drew their last game 3-3 at home against RBNY, showing great desire to not give up on the points having been 3-1 down.

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Philadelphia Union come into this one in contention for a playoff finish. They sit 4th in the East on 41 points trailing Toronto, who are top, by six.

The Union are now winless in their last three, picking up just one point from nine. They lost 2-1 against Portland last time out.

If results go against Philadelphia they could slip down into 5th. There is still a chance of finishing below the red line and if that happens from this point it would be a devastating end to the regular season.

Philadelphia just need to get out of this run of bad form. They’ve won just three of their last 11 regular season games and that kind of form would make it difficult to challenge in the playoffs. They are more than capable and a positive result here would certainly give them confidence.

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Team News

The Toronto roster remains riddled with injury woes as Jay Chapman and Ashtone Morgan are both out, while Mark Bloom, Tosaint Ricketts and Clint Irwin are all doubts. Sebastian Giovinco could well still be out but the Toronto faithful will be hoping this could be the game he makes his return.

Philadelphia have three injury concerns ahead of this tie as Maurice Edu, Ken Tribbett and Warren Creavalle are all doubts. Josh Yaro is suspended following his yellow card accumulation.

Key Points

Toronto FC’s last five: W/W/L/W/D

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

Key Stat: Toronto have won their last four matches against Philadelphia Union in all competitions.

Key Player: Jozy Altidore – The Toronto forward is stepping up well in the absence of his strike partner Giovinco. He netted two important goals in their 3-3 draw last time out and he will be looking to fire Toronto to all three points in this one.

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Score Prediction

Toronto FC 2-1 Philadelphia Union – Toronto to take all three points and continue their push for the Supporters’ Shield. Philadelphia will be disappointed to extend their winless run but away sides have struggled to take points at BMO Field this season.

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 – Saturday, June 18 – 13:00 ET (18:00 BST) 

Match Odds: NYCFC 13/10 – Draw 23/10 – Philadelphia 21/10

Match Preview

New York City FC host Philadelphia Union as Major League Soccer springs back into life following a two-week international break for the Copa America Centenario.

These Eastern Conference rivals will hope that they can pick back up following the short break, with the visiting Union looking to keep their place at the top of the East.

NYCFC will be desperate to improve on recent results here. Patrick Vieira has had a long time to prepare for this game and will not want to see the club’s four-game winless run extended on Saturday.

MLS: NYCFC vs. Orlando Patrick Vieira

That said, there is little to suggest the club will go on and win this game in front of their own fans. They have been very poor at home this year, winning just one of nine at Yankee Stadium – a return that is far from good enough.

Philadelphia will look to capitalise on any New York City slip-ups as they are looking to set a club record if they can stretch their unbeaten run to nine games on Saturday afternoon.

The Union have been excellent this term and beat Columbus 3-2 in their last outing. They have only managed to win one away game so far, but they come into this one unbeaten in three-straight games on the road.

Jim Curtin’s side are four points clear at the top of the East but will be looking to continue picking up points as they chase Supporters’ Shield leaders Colorado Rapids, who sit five points ahead at this stage.

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This will be the second meeting between the sides this season. Philadelphia beat NYCFC 2-0 at Talen Energy Stadium back in April thanks to goals from Chris Pontius and CJ Sapong before halftime. That result kickstarted their current eight-game unbeaten run and so they will no doubt be tough to beat here.

Team News

New York City will still be without Connor Brandt and Federico Bravo for this clash. Ronald Matarrita was the only international absentee and his Costa Rica side have been eliminated from the Copa America so he should be available for selection.

Philadelphia are still without Maurice Edu, while Josh Yaro is a doubt with a shoulder problem. Andre Blake was with Jamaica at the Copa America but they are no longer involved in the competition and so he is back with his Union teammates.

Key Points

New York City’s last five: W/D/L/D/L

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

Key Stat: Leaky – New York City have conceded 13 goals in their last four home games – an average of 3.25 per game.

Key Player: Chris Pontius – The Union midfielder has been in great form since moving from DC United during the offseason. He has five goals for the season and has already netted against NYCFC this term. Expect him to threaten Josh Saunders’ goal on Saturday evening.

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Score Prediction

New York City FC 1-1 Philadelphia Union – Both sides might be a little rusty after the two-week break but they will both know this is an important game. New York City don’t find it too difficult to find the net at home but they just can’t seem to win in front of their own fans. Philadelphia don’t tend to win much away, but they are a solid outfit this term and will settle for another draw on Saturday.