The first-place Union (9-4-5) will take on NYCFC (5-1-8) in New York City on Saturday night.
The Union are coming off of a road draw Wednesday against rejuvenated New England. NYC’s last action was a 2-1 Open Cup victory against D.C. United, who knocked the Union out of the domestic tournament this year.
The Union have the second fewest road losses (3-2-3) in the East and the second-best PPG (1.5) on the road in the East, while the Light Blues have not lost yet at home this year, going 4-0-2.
Our Philadelphia side will be without Andre Blake due to the Gold Cup again, while midfielder Marco Fabian (ankle injury) will play a limited role most likely. Warren Creavalle (right foot fracture) and Olivier Mbaizo (left knee sprain) are out due to injury.
NYCFC will be without Heber (hamstring) and Tony Rocha (hamstring). James Sands (arm) and Joe Scally (hip surgery) are both unavailable as well. In addition to them, NYC has three men out on international duty: Sean Johnson, Alex Callens, and Ronald Mataritta.
Even though the boys in (dark) blue are away, this may be a good time to steal three points from the Light Blues and hand them their first home loss. NYC is missing a lot of talent and may be vulnerable, even on their home pitch. It’ll be up to the Union to defend the direct ball smartly and finish their chances if they want a result.
Prediction: An away draw against a quality opponent carries no shame, and that’s what I believe will happen. Union 2 – NYCFC 2