The Union face a streaking Lions side Friday night in Chester.
Despite having most of the ball for the last two matches, the Union have emerged with exactly one point out of six in the last two weeks, getting torn apart in Colorado 3-0 and then only potting one of a plethora of chances against San Jose at home to salvage a 1-1 draw. That will have to change if they want to remain relevant in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Their job will get no easier this week as they face an Orlando City side who’s won their last two matches, a 4-3 win against RBNY and a 3-2 win against Portland, both in Florida.
This is a team the Union have had significant success against in the past nonetheless. Most recently, they tore the Lions apart 6-1 in the season finale at home last year, with C.J. Sapong setting both a personal record for goals in a season (16) along with the Union club record. To keep that success going, the Union will have to start scoring on more of their chances. They cannot realistically expect goalkeeper Andre Blake to keep a clean sheet every night. They’ll also need to keep tabs on a pair of US Nationals: midfielder Sacha Kljestan will look to create chances, and forward Dom Dwyer will look to finish them. Also dangerous is Justin Meram, who leads the club in shots. Joe Bendik (who has appeared in multiple Union free kick highlights) will most likely be in goal.
Do the Union get three points from this? They’ve had possession and created a lot of chances so far, but have little to show for it. Is this the game they erupt? Let’s hope so.
Union 3, Lions 1