The Union look to rebound after being bounced from the Open Cup against New England in Chester.
After pushing the New York Red Bulls to the brink in Harrison before succumbing in a shootout, the Union look to get back on track against the Revs on Sunday. The grueling two-hour affair will have nearly certainly sapped some legs and may force manager Jim Curtin to juggle the lineup again. Complicating matters further is a knock Andre Blake picked up last weekend, which kept him out of the Open Cup match even as a backup.
Of concern also is C.J. Sapong, who had to leave the Open Cup match after a hard challenge. C.J. is a physical specimen, but the amount of abuse and physicality he faces on a weekly basis would wear down even the heartiest of men. If he can’t go or if they want to be cautious, we may see Jay Simpson at the point of the 4-2-3-1. Alejandro Bedoya is missing too, gone for international duty, which may mean another appearance for youngster Derrick Jones.
New England will be without Diego Fagundez, who was suspended for a match for violent conduct against Sebastian Giovinco.
The Union sit five points out of a playoff spot, with Sunday’s fixture marking the halfway point to their season. One of the teams ahead of them is the Revs, and a win would jump them ahead of New England.
This is the time of season when a team’s depth starts getting tested due to suspensions, injuries, and international call-ups, and Curtin will be pressed to make hard decisions. One of the players who hopes to make Curtin’s decisions a little harder is none other than Maurice Edu, who participated fully in practice today. So much time has gone by since the team could rely on Edu that they’ve acquired parts to fill in at the places he would have slotted; Haris Medunjanin is playing well at defensive midfield, Bedoya as the box-to-box midfielder, and Oguchi Onyewu is experiencing a renaissance at center back. Where a healthy Edu would slot in is a mystery right now, but a problem a manager would love to have.
One point won’t do on Sunday. The Union should get three, and I think they do.
Union 2, Revs 1