MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Wednesday, May 25 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Orlando City 1/1 – Draw 5/2 – Philadelphia Union 13/5

Match Preview

Orlando City play host to Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night in the first of two games for both Eastern Conference sides’ this week.

Orlando have managed only one win in their last seven, with their win against Montreal Impact last weekend ending a run that saw Orlando spiral down the Eastern Conference. However, that victory saw them get back into the playoff slots and they will now be looking to kick on again.

With players like Julio Baptista, Cyle Larin, Antonio Nocerino and Kaka all looking to make an impact, there should be no reason for Orlando to not make the playoffs this season.

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Philadelphia Union are currently the best team in the Eastern Conference and have the best defence as well – an impressive turnaround when you consider their poor form last season.

Much of their success this season has been down to the goal scoring of CJ Sapong. His form hasn’t gone unnoticed, with a potential call-up to the USMNT being spoken about.

The Union’s form this season would be even more impressive if the Colorado Rapids weren’t top of the Supporters’ Shield standings at this stage, but their feats should still be applauded to this point.

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That being said, Philadelphia will definitely have their eyes on the Eastern Conference title this year, with a playoff place looking nailed on.

This will be the second meeting between the two sides this season. Philadelphia won 2-1 in the first clash thanks to a late Tranquillo Barnetta free-kick. The Lions have yet to beat the Union in three attempts.

Team News

Orlando City are without Pedro Ribeiro, Darwin Ceren, Seb Hines and Rafael Ramos all through injury.

Philadelphia Union are still missing Maurice Edu, who is recovering from a stress fracture. Anderson is still a doubt with a right shoulder dislocation.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: L/D/D/L/W

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

Key Stat: Orlando are undefeated in their last 12 home matches in MLS.

Key Player: Kaka – The former World Player of the Year turned on the magic last weekend against Montreal Impact where he assisted both goals. He’s the maverick of this Orlando side and will be extremely important on Wednesday night once again.

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Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-2 Philadelphia Union – Orlando’s unbeaten record at home will be hard for Philly to end. Yet the Union are unbeaten in their last five and look in great shape. This one has draw written all over it, though there should be some goals.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Talen Energy Stadium – Wednesday, May 11 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Philadelphia 6/4 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 9/5

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union welcome LA Galaxy to Talen Energy Stadium on Wednesday night in an interconference battle between two sides in good shape.

Philadelphia sit third in the East, just two points behind Montreal at the top but with two games in hand. Head coach Jim Curtin will be delighted with the start his side have made to 2016 and knows they must now push on.

The Union did not play last weekend and will hope the extended rest gives them an advantage here. They drew 1-1 with San Jose in their most recent match and are now unbeaten in six at home.

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A win on Wednesday would move the Union to the top of the Eastern Conference ahead of the weekend but the visit of an in-form Galaxy side means that three points are far from guaranteed.

The Galaxy come into this fixture off the back of their 4-2 win over New England on Sunday night, stretching their unbeaten run to seven.

Bruce Arena’s men have only lost once this term and are seemingly improving on the road, having not lost any of their last three away games.

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This will be the club’s first trip to an Eastern Conference side since last June. They only won one of five trips to an Eastern opponent last season and face a tough task in winning this contest.

LA sit second in the West heading into the game, just two points behind Colorado and have a game in hand over the Rapids at this stage, so they look to be in a strong position.

This will be just the ninth MLS meeting between these two sides. Philadelphia have only won one of the previous eight meetings (D1 L6) and have yet to beat the Galaxy at home since joining the league six years ago.

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Team News

Philadelphia Union will be without Maurice Edu once again as he continues to recover from a long-term leg injury, while Ken Tribbett is a doubt. CJ Sapong will spearhead the attack once again as the Union will hope their 11-day rest will help their cause here.

LA Galaxy will welcome back Ashley Cole from suspension here and he will hope to return to the lineup at left-back. Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard are fit again, having both played on Sunday night and it will be interesting to see if they are both ready to start here. Jeff Larentowicz made his first start in a Galaxy shirt last time out and will hope to retain his place. Alan Gordon remains a doubt with a groin injury.

Key Points

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

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have yet to beat LA Galaxy at home in MLS (D1 L2).

Key Player: Robbie Keane – The LA Galaxy talisman returned from injury in fine style at the weekend, scoring two first-half goals to help his side past New England. He now has four goals in four appearances this season and is a real threat whenever he plays.

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Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-1 LA Galaxy – There is little to choose between the two sides ahead of this one. Philadelphia are tough to break down at home and should be fresh off the back of an extended rest. However, the Galaxy look to be in great shape at the moment and have nearly a full squad available. Both will fancy their chances, though a score draw looks the most likely outcome.

Gallery: Exclusive images from Seattle’s win over Philadelphia

The Seattle Sounders moved off the bottom of the Western Conference with an important home win over Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening.

Seattle endured a tough start to 2016 but have now gone unbeaten through three-straight games and picked up their second consecutive home win by beating the Union on Saturday.

Chad Marshall netted his second in as many weeks before halftime to open the scoring before rookie forward Jordan Morris opened his MLS account later on in the game, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Philadelphia’s cause wasn’t helped when Roland Alberg was sent off on 53 minutes but the visitors did get on the scoresheet when Sebastien Le Toux slotted in on 73 minutes. Though Seattle were able to hold on to seal an important 2-1 home win, moving them up to eighth in the West.

Check out some exclusive photos from the game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Denise McCooey.

Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union Warren Creavalle Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union Jordan Morris Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union Chad Marshall Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union Roland Alberg Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union Red Card Alberg Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union

 

 

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Philadelphia Union

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday, April 16 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 5/6 – Draw 5/2 – Philadelphia 100/30

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders welcome Philadelphia Union to CenturyLink Field on Saturday night in an intriguing matchup between two sides that have experienced contrasting starts to 2016.

Seattle lost their first three games of the campaign and looked in real trouble from the outset. However, a win over Montreal followed by a dramatic 1-1 draw at Houston have somewhat steadied the ship.

Sigi Schmid will now be looking for his side to kick on as they look to climb off the foot of the Western Conference.

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Scoring goals has been a problem so far for the Sounders. For a team that has been known for its fluid attacking movement over the past few seasons, scoring just four in five matches is a poor return and so things need to improve quickly in the final third.

Philadelphia have exceeded expectations up to this point. They sit joint-top of the Eastern Conference after winning three of their five games so far.

Jim Curtin will be delighted with the start his side have made. A busy offseason has proved successful so far with new signings gelling quickly. Another win here would really send a signal of intent across the league as the Union look to make the playoffs for just the second time in seven years.

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Their 2-1 win over Orlando last week was impressive but both of their losses have come on the road and so this will be a tricky test.

Last year’s only meeting between the two clubs saw the Union record a 1-0 home win. However, Seattle have won both of the last two home games against Philadelphia in MLS.

Team News

Seattle will be without three players once again as Roman Torres, Erik Friberg and Michael Farfan all remain sidelined with injuries.

Philadelphia will travel to Seattle without Maurice Edu yet again, while there are concerns over the fitness of playmaker Ilsinho as he is struggling with a hamstring injury.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: L/L/L/W/D

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

Key Stat: Seattle have won their last eight home games against Eastern Conference opponents.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The USMNT star scored his first goal of the season in Seattle’s win over Montreal two weeks ago, making him the third-highest goalscorer in club history in MLS matches. He will look to add to his tally against the Union here.

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps 2016 Clint Dempsey

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 1-1 Philadelphia Union – Seattle will hope their dramatic late goal against Houston last week can inspire their season to now improve. They won their last home game but face a real test against an in-form Union side here. Both will fancy their chances, although they could cancel each other out and so a score draw looks likely.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City

Venue: Talen Energy Stadium – Friday, April 8 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Philadelphia 5/4 – Draw 9/4 – Orlando 23/10

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union welcome Orlando City to Talen Energy Stadium in this week’s Friday night MLS clash as two early Eastern Conference pace-setters go head-to-head in an intriguing clash.

The Union have surprised many people so far, with victories over Columbus Crew and New England Revolution helping them to sit third in the East heading into the weekend.

Jim Curtin will be pleased with the displays of his side, although last week’s 1-0 loss to Chicago will have left him bitterly disappointed. An immediate response will be expected here.

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Philadelphia have only played one home game so far and will see Friday night’s encounter as the perfect opportunity to send out another statement of intent. A win over Orlando will send them top of the Eastern Conference and that will be the objective from the outset.

That will be no easy task, however. Orlando are playing some excellent football and their 4-1 demolition of reigning MLS Cup champions Portland on Sunday night send shockwaves across the league.

That victory coincided with the return of star man Kaka. Having him back in action only strengthens what is already an impressive squad at Adrian Heath’s disposal.

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The Lions are one of only two sides yet to lose an MLS game in 2016 and will expect to extend their unbeaten run to five on Friday night. A win at Philadelphia will ensure they remain top of the Eastern Conference for the weekend.

This will be the third meeting between the two sides in MLS. They met twice last year in Orlando’s inaugural season, with the only clash in Philadelphia ending 1-0 to the Union. The game in Orlando finished 0-0 so Orlando have yet to score a goal against Philadelphia.

Team News

Philadelphia will be without Warren Creavalle as he will serve a one-game suspension following his red card against Chicago last weekend. The Union will also still be without long-term absentee Maurice Edu, though they are the only two concerns for head coach Jim Curtin.

Orlando City will travel to Philadelphia without Brek Shea, as he will serve a one-game suspension following a Disciplinary Committee decision made by the league. Conor Donovan and David Mateos remain sidelined, while Tommy Redding and Cyle Larin are both doubts. Larin has a hamstring problem but is expected to be fit by Friday night.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s form: L/W/W/L

Orlando City’s form: D/D/W/W

Key Stat: Orlando have only lost one of their last ten MLS games in total and are one of only two unbeaten sides in the league in 2016.

Key Player: Kaka – The Brazilian star returned to action for Orlando on Sunday night and was instrumental in the impressive win over Portland. Expect him to show his class once again as Orlando look to remain unbeaten at the top of the Eastern Conference.

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Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-2 Orlando City – This should be an intriguing clash between two sides looking to take the Eastern Conference by storm this season. Both will expect to find the net but Orlando look very strong, with Kaka’s return making them appear unstoppable at this early stage. An away victory is expected, though the Union won’t go down without a fight.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union

Venue: Toyota Park – Saturday, April 2 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)

Match Odds: Chicago Fire 11/10 – Draw 12/5 – Philadelphia Union 12/5 

Match Preview

Chicago Fire host Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening following the international break, with the home side still in pursuit of their first win of the season.

Life under new coach Veljko Paunovic has started slowly but he has installed a new system, and with it, a stronger defensive work ethic which should start to yield results sooner rather than later.

Paunovic also trusts his younger players, proven by the fact rookie Brandon Vincent has played every minute so far in a wing back role and seems to be settling in well.

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Only time will tell how well the Fire adapt under their new boss but three points will be expected on Saturday.

Philadelphia Union have started 2016 with two impressive wins after an opening day defeat at the hands of FC Dallas. Since then they have managed to defeat Columbus Crew 2-1 away from home, before blowing away New England Revolution 3-0 before the international break.

Much of their early success is down to the consistency of new recruits Chris Pontius and Keegan Rosenberry who have fit in well thus far. CJ Sapong is providing a good platform for the team to build on in attack and Jim Curtin will be delighted with what he has seen to this point.

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Things are looking up for the Union who still have Maurice Edu to come back into the fold later in the season, and who knows, they could be pushing for the playoffs come September.

These two sides met three times last year, with each winning once. The most recent meeting saw the pair play out an exhilarating 3-3 draw in Philadelphia, though Chicago won the lone meeting at Toyota Park 1-0.

Team News

Chicago Fire will be without Patrick McLain, while Sean Johnson and David Accam are both doubts but should be fit enough to make the squad come kickoff.

Philadelphia Union are still without Maurice Edu for the foreseeable future. Tranquillo Barnetta, Vincent Nogueira and Cole Missimo are all doubts but will hope to recover in time to feature.

Key Points

Chicago Fire’s form: L/D/D

Philadelphia Union’s form: L/W/W

Key Stat: Chicago are unbeaten in six-straight MLS meetings with the Union. A run that stretches back to August 2013.

Key Player: CJ Sapong  The Union striker has been in excellent form early on this term and has played a crucial part in recent wins, scoring twice last time out against New England. We expect this form to continue in what is certainly a winnable game for Philadelphia.

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Score Prediction

Chicago Fire 1-2 Philadelphia Union – Chicago are yet to register a win this term, while Philadelphia have won two on the bounce. We’re expecting the Union to edge this one, but a very open and exciting match could be played out at Toyota Park on Saturday evening.

Podcast: Houston Dynamo, Philadelphia Union & Crystal Palace discussed

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast, Zack Walford sits down with Louis East and Lewis Addley to reflect on Week 2’s MLS action, in which Houston Dynamo and Philadelphia Union picked up impressive wins.

The team will then look at Premier League side Crystal Palace and their recent struggles, with relegation starting to look like a real possibility.

Be sure to comment below or get in touch on Twitter with your thoughts.

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?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City 

Venue: PPL Park – Sunday, October 25 – 17:00 ET (21:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Philadelphia Union 13/10 – Draw 5/2 – Orlando City 19/10

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union welcome Orlando City to PPL Park in their final game of the regular season with the away side chasing an unlikely playoff spot.

Philadelphia haven’t had much to shout about this season but will be hoping to end on a high and deny Orlando any slim chance they have of making the knockout rounds.

The home side come into this one of the back of their 4-1 thumping at the hands of New York Red Bulls.

The have a lot to improve on for next season and will want to come back stronger in 2016 with a push for the playoffs.

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Orlando City can still make the playoffs, but they require New England Revolution to lose and an eight goal difference swing in their favour, unlikely, but stranger things have happened.

We can expect the away side to go for it from the off, that’s all they can do here, but they have to ensure they don’t leave themselves vulnerable at the back.

They come into this one off the back of their 2-1 win over New York City FC, their 5th win on the bounce, form which has seen a late playoff serge.

This has been a solid first season for Orlando and they have the potential to become a force in MLS.

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Team News

Philadelphia Union have three injury concerns. Jimmy McLaughlin, Brian Sylvester and Maurice Edu are all out. Steven Vitoria is suspended.

Orlando City have six injuries to deal with. Kevin Molino, Conor Donovan, Earl Edwards Jr. and Tally Hall are all out. Rafael Ramos and Tommy Redding are doubts.

Key Points

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

Orlando City’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Orlando City have scored at least two goals in their last three MLS games.

Key Player: Kaka – The Brazilian masterclass has plenty of experience in the biggest games, if Orlando are to stand any chance of making the playoffs they need goals, Kaka obviously has the ability to provide and finish chances against any opponent.

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Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-3 Orlando City – Orlando to push hard for the eight goal swing, but ultimately leave themselves suspect to the counter.