In a match that each team, being 3 Pts apart and fighting to get above the Red Line, may look back on as the turning point to making or missing the playoffs, the New England Revolution (6-9-5, 23 Pts, 10th place Eastern Conference) welcome the Philadelphia Union (7-9-5, 26 Pts, 8th place). The Union are 5 Pts below the 6th Place Columbus Crew, with a game in hand.
The U lead the all time series 10-5-4, easily winning three out of the last four meetings (all clean sheets), tying the fourth. The last match was a 3-0 W at home back on July 2nd.
Last Time Outs:
The Union won the second of an away/home series with the Crew, 3-0 on Wednesday. The Revs also won their last time out, 4-3 against the LA Galaxy back on July 22nd.
Know About New England
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2, diamond midfield):
GK Cody Cropper D’s Chris Tierney, Benjamin Angoua, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Andrew Farrell, MF’s Xavier Kouassi, Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen, F’s Teal Bunbury, Juan Agudelo
While not the leading scorer, the Rev’s most versatile and dangerous player is Fagundez. He has appeared in all but one MLS match. By virtue of his pin-point passing, he leads the team with seven assists, netting four goals as well. He did not play in their last meeting, so the Union will have to video up on him, and keep him closely marked. The other player to watch is leading scorer Nguyen, with 8 goals.
Projected Starting Lineup (4-2-3-1):
GK John McCarthy, D’s Giliano Wijnaldum, Oguchi Onyewu, Jack Elliott, Raymon Gaddis, MF’s Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Chris Pontius, Ilsinho, Marcus Epps, F C. J. Sapong
Sapong got his career high 10th goal of the season last game, and has scored four goals in the last three matches against the Revolution. He also got the first goal in each. Andre Blake was injured in the CONCACAF Gold Cup loss for Jamaica against the United States last Wednesday, so McCarthy gets another start. Yes it is a small sample size, four games played – all starts – but @jmacdaddy77 has the fifth best save % in the league at 73.7, stopping 14 of 19 shots, with four goals against, and the one shut-out in the last match.
While New England has scored seven more goals than Philadelphia (33-26) they have also allowed 10 more (34-24). They are pretty even on most other stats. The Revs have had a few extra days off, but even with that advantage the U have shown that depth is a strength for this team. The Union should also get a lift from the return of Gold Cup champ Pontius. As I said at the top this could be a pivotal match as NE would tie Philadelphia with a win, while the three points for the U would move them into a tie for 7th place with Orlando City SC, if they lose to Atlanta United FC earlier in the day.
I see it being a typically close conference match-up with the Union edging the Revolution 2-1.