Match previews / Union

Match preview: Philadelphia Union vs New York City FC

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Who: Philadelphia Union (7-5-7, 28 points – 5th in East) vs New York City FC (9-5-4, 31 points – 2nd in East)

What: MLS Regular Season

Where: Subaru Park, Chester, Pennsylvania

When: Wednesday, August 18th, 7:30pm

Watch: PHL17, ESPN+

Whistle: Not available at time of publication

Despite only meeting once in the 2020 season, New York City and Philadelphia have meet a total of 14 times since the Pigeons’ introduction to MLS in 2015, with City gathering nine wins, three losses and one draw. New York earned their last win in these teams last meeting at Subaru Park, a 2-0 win back on May 1. New York City got off to a fast start in that match, scoring just five minutes in. A Jose Martinez red card saw the Union’s hopes of equalizing dashed, and Valentin Castellanos put the game away in the 65th minute.

Scouting Report: New York City FC

New York City is a side that is familiar with Philadelphia, notching more wins against the Union than any other team in their MLS history. City also has the added benefit of being in good form, currently on a six-game unbeaten run with four wins and two draws.

Spurring New York on their unbeaten run has been their potent offense, which is averaging 2 goals each match. Providing the goals is Castellanos, who struck a brace last time out against Inter Miami. Ishmael Tajouri-Shradi is also a threat on the right, and he has a habit of scoring against Philadelphia. Be on the lookout for Maxi Moralez as well, who is always a threat in attack with his speed and skill.

In the midfield, NYCFC sports two Americans in Keaton Parks and Alfredo Morales. Both are box to box midfielders looking to cover ground and have the occasional chance at goal.

In the back, City has up and comer James Sands who had a strong Gold Cup with the US. Maxine Chanot has been a long time fixture as the other center back, with Anton Tinnerholm getting up and down the right side of the field. In net is Sean Johnson, who has quietly been one of the better goalkeepers in MLS since joining City. Look for him to make a big save when the Pigeons need it.

Injury Report: Herber – Out

Suspension Report: None

Scouting report: Union

Philadelphia had a deserved break over the weekend as the squad traveled back from Mexico City from their CONCACAF Champions League match with Club America. It was a disappointing 2-nil defeat for the Union in Champions League, who are looking to bounce back at home in the league. Philadelphia has hit a good run of from in league play at home, putting together a seven-game unbeaten streak, their last home defeat came at the hands of NYCFC.

There shouldn’t be much rotation from the Philadelphia squad from their matchup in Mexico. Olivier Mbazio looks set to start after suffering an injury against Club America. Jack Elliott and Jacob Glesnes should look to build on their performances in Mexico, as well Kai Wagner.

In the midfield expect the diamond formation of Jose Martinez, Alejandro Bedoya, Leon Flach and Daniel Gazdag. Philadelphia’s midfield is looking to find their groove again after it was announced Jamiro Monteiro was seeking a transfer out. Gazdag is still looking for his first goal from the run of play after slotting home a penalty against Toronto last time at Subaru Park.

Up front the pairing of Kacper Przybylko and Sergio Santos should feature as Santos has been in good form in the recent run up of games, while Przybylko provides an aerial threat and hold up play. The Union could also look to the bench with Cory Burke who can provide a spark. New man Matheus Davo should also be in the squad and can feature in a subs role.

Injury Report: Anthony Fontana – Out

Suspension Report:  None

Key Matchup Midfield battle

Midfield play has always been a crucial part of the match when these two teams meet. Whoever is able to control the ball and involve their playmakers more will most likely win the match. Daniel Gazdag and Maxi Moralez will be vital to their respective teams success.

Player to Watch: Daniel Gazdag

Gazdag has been creating chemistry with his teammates and has had some nice assists since joining the side. He is still looking for his first goal in the run of play, and the absence of Jamiro Monteiro will only create more pressure on Gazdag to create more chances and goals for Philadelphia.

Prediction:  Philadelphia 1 – 1 NYCFC

A back and forth game ends 1-1 with NYCFC extending their unbeaten run while Philadelphia extends their home unbeaten run to eight games.

Philadelphia = +138
NYCFC = -178
Draw = +255


  1. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Jesus Bueno has not yet received his visa, as I understand it, so he is not in country and therefore unavailable.
    MLS Disciplinary summary says that Mbaizo is suspended for yellow card accumulation.
    here are the PRO officials assigned.
    Philadelphia Union vs New York City FC
    Subaru Park (7:30PM ET)
    REF: Drew Fischer
    AR1: Logan Brown
    AR2: Cameron Blanchard
    4TH: Joshua Encarnacion
    VAR: Geoff Gamble
    AVAR: Craig Lowry

    • In other words the Union are totally screwed by an incompetent ref who couldn’t bother to do his job as VAR last week and look at Corey Burke getting fouled in the box.

      • McMohansky says:

        Nevermind the *unintentional* hand to the face that knocked Mbaizo’s tooth out and left him rattled.

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Glesnes is suspended after his next yellow card. Santos, Elliott, and Martinez are suspended after their next two.

  3. Atomic Spartan says:

    “Fontana -Out”.

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    Let’s get our shit together and start something here.
    no time better.

    • I wouldn’t count on it. Something tells me it’s gonna be looooong two months for the union. No JM, no midfield, no speed and no depth. No playoffs. Last year was an anomaly. Doesn’t make me happy watching my team struggle. I hope I’m wrong.

  5. In Tanner We Trust says:

    Anybody see Brenden Aaronson’s winning goal to get one step closer to UCL? He continues to improve and I imagine a move to a bigger club could come soon.

  6. In Tanner We Trust says:

    Monteiro is on the bench! So many questions!

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