Match previews / Union

Match preview: Philadelphia Union vs Colorado Rapids

Photo: Paul Rudderrow

Who: Philadelphia Union vs. Colorado Rapids

What: MLS Regular Season

Where: Subaru Park, Chester, Pennsylvania

When: Saturday, August 27th, 7:30 p.m.

Watch: PHL17, ESPN+, Philadelphiaunion.com

Whistle: Not available at publication

Saturday brings a matchup of teams that haven’t met in recent years, as the Colorado Rapids had across the country to face the Philadelphia Union.

Last facing each other in May of 2019, Colorado and Philadelphia both enjoyed successful regular seasons last year. Colorado however has struggled to build on that strong 2021 season, as they currently sit 11th in the Western Conference, but only two points out of a playoff spot.

Philadelphia hold on to first in the Eastern Conference and are coming off a 6-0 win over D.C. United.

Scouting Report: Colorado Rapids

Coming off their great season in 2021, Colorado has struggled to find consistency so far in 2022. Highlighting that struggle in consistency is the fact that the Rapids’ largest winning streak this season sits at just two games, and the squad has not found a win in their last three matches. Colorado also recently lost former Philadelphia man Auston Trusty to Arsenal, as he moved in the summer.

Scoring most of the Rapids goals this season is Diego Rubio who currently has 12 goals and five assists so far this season and started the month hot, scoring in 3 straight games. Beneath him in the formation are Gyasi Zardes and Jonathan Lewis, with the two former USMNT men looking to make a statement in the run up to the World Cup. So far this season Zardes has picked up eight goals while Lewis has notched four.

In the midfield, Colorado has been looking for someone to pick up the creative duty after Kellyn Acosta moved to LAFC. Only two midfielders on the roster have recorded a goal this season, as Jack Price, Bryan Acosta and Max have been looking to get their first of the season. Acosta has provided three assists on the year and has proven to be effective in linking play.

Replacing Trusty in the back has been a challenge for Colorado, as Lalas Abubaka and another ex-Union man, Keegan Rosenberry, have been constants in the starting XI on the right side, while Lucas Esteves and Danny Wilson are looking to lock down the left side. In net for Colorado is William Yarbrough, who has kept seven clean sheets in his 26 starts so far this season.

Injury Report: Out: Braian Galvan, Aboubacar Keita, Oliver Larraz, Jack Price, Dantouma Toure

Suspension Report:  None

Scouting report: Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia appeared to be a side that was dipping a bit in form after struggling against Cincinnati and falling in a midweek matchup at Dallas. The Union then travelled to D.C. where they flipped their recent form on its head, winning 6-0.

Julian Carranza will look to continue his good form after collecting a second hat trick of the season on Saturday, while his strike partner Mikael Uhre is coming off a goal and assist of his own. Leading goal scorer Daniel Gazdag will also be looking to build on his performance on Saturday, which saw him notch a penalty and two assists.

In the midfield the Union have two names in ink in their lineup, as defensive midfielder Jose Martinez and captain Alejandro Bedoya rarely miss action for the Union. Martinez will be shielding the defensive back line while Bedoya will link the defense and attack. The only question is who will start on the left side of the Union’s midfield diamond, as a competition has broken out between youngsters Jack McGlynn and Leon Flach. Flach provides more defensive cover while McGlynn can unlock a bunkered defense. Expect McGlynn to be given the start at home against a cross country opponent.

In defense the Union will look unchanged as their center-back pairing of Jack Elliott and Jakob Glesnes have drawn media attention as the best pairing in the league this season. Left back Kai Wagner has also drawn media attention for end of season awards, as well as being the subject of transfer rumors to the Premier League. On the right Olivier Mbaizo has enjoyed a revival as he prepares for the World Cup with Cameroon. Andre Blake has also been subject of award voting as he continues to have a strong year.

Injury Report: None

Suspension Report:  None

Key Matchup: Fitness

Both of these sides are coming off a lot of matches so far this season, but only one is traveling across the country. It will be interesting to see how travel and quantity of matches will effect the Rapids, and if the Union will feel anything from their recent string of matches.

Player to Watch: Julian Carranza

It’s evident that Carranza can score at will against D.C. United, as half of his goals for the year have come against them. Can Carranza find his scoring form again after a hat trick?

Prediction:  Philadelphia 2-0 Colorado 

Travel gets the best of Colorado and Philly’s defense stands firm for an easy win at home.

Odds
Philadelphia = -170
Colorado = +400
Draw = +310

13 Comments

  1. According to MLS’s disciplinary report, Bryan Acosta is suspended from a red card (second yellow) last week.

  2. Hopefully our former U lad/Lancaster Mennonite grad Rosenberry gets some cheers when lineups are announced instead of the traditional “SUCKS”…

    • Andy Muenz says:

      More disappointed that Trusty isn’t there since I think it would have been his first trip back whereas Rosenberry was with Colorado when they were in Chester in 2019. I’ll still cheer for him though (at least pregame).

  3. Here’s the whistle update.
    .
    REF: Allen Chapman
    AR1: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
    AR2: Walt Heatherly
    4TH: Sergii Demianchuk
    VAR: Jair Marrufo
    AVAR: Fabio Tovar

  4. soccerdad720 says:

    Serious question, but might not be the appropriate place for it – forgive me please; but WHO is behind LAFC, and HOW do they keep signing BIG, BIG players? Aren’t there any limits?

    They just announced the signing of another former Barcelona/Real Betis forward from LaLiga….really?

  5. Soccerdad720: Based an MLS website article from 2016, “Apollo Global Management senior partner Larry Berg told Bloomberg that he has become lead managing owner of the club, which is set to begin play in MLS in 2018. Berg also said that Brandon Beck, co-founder of Riot Games and co-creator of the popular video game League of Legends, and Bennett Rosenthal, co-founder of Ares Management, are now co-managing owners of the club. All three are local to LA and had previously been limited partners in the club.“

  6. Gruncle Bob says:

    Jackie Moon is an LA FC part owner.

  7. Great news! Premier League Fan Fest coming to Philly (City Hall) weekend of Oct 15-16th. This would be perfect if the Union could hang on to the #1 seed and get a bye because they would be off that weekend, I believe. All the players would have more time to pay a visit too.

    • Very cool. More exciting to me than the World Cup announcement. That was a slam dunk…

      Philly was owed PL Fan Fest and seeing Rebecca!

      … and hosting MLS Cup 2022 in Chester! DOOP!

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