The Philadelphia Union (1-2-2, 5 Pts, 8th Place Eastern Conference) made some noise this week signing defender Olivier Mbaizo whom they had seen in spring training, and then with their USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel FC.
“Olivier is a guy that has from the moment he came in for preseason with the group showed he’s an MLS quality player,” Head Coach Jim Curtin said. “He’s a guy that now is a true defender, likes to defend one verse one, has really good timing when he gets forward and serves a good cross. He’s a good guy to have in with the group and is pushing to get on the field.”
The thing is defense has not been their biggest problem. That has been finding the back of the net, just 3 goals in 5 games, two of those in the first match.
They will have learn again how to do that on the road against FC Dallas (2-0-3, 9 Pts, 5th Place Western Conference)
Union/Dallas Series History:
The teams have met 10 times with Dallas winning five, mixed in with four draws.
The last match finally saw a Union win, 3-1 , on 8/5/17. This match had a historical angle, as it was the first time VAR was used in an MLS game, negating a Dallas goal in the 79′.
Last Time Out:
FC Dallas took three road points with a 1-0 win over New England Revolution. The U are coming off their third non-win at home in a forgettable 2-0 loss to Orlando City SC.
FC Dallas also have some issues at home, as they are 1-0-3 on a four match home stand to start the season, scoring three goals in one, and the other three were 1-1 draws.
MF Roland Lamah is the man to watch on offense. He leads the team with three goals, and tied for first with two assists. Last season he had 11 goals and three assists in 32 matches.
The new defender who further lowers the age of already the youngest in MLS, notwithstanding, it is the scorers – especially the ballyhooed newcomers MFs, David Accam and Borek Dockal – that need to put the onion in the bag. Between them they have no goals and only one assist. That last stat is the main reason the rest of the attacking four, Fafa Picault and CJ Sapong, only Sapong has scored. Sapong himself has missed many chances he has had to get past that one goal.
I tend to lean on the optimistic side in my predictions, but I have a hard time doing so in this one. My inclination is to call this a draw, mainly because of Dallas results at home this season, but the Union still are trying to gel up front, and I see this young back line giving up one more than the offense gets, 2-1 FC Dallas.