Match previews / Union

Match preview: Philadelphia Union vs Charlotte FC

Photo: Marjorie Elzey 

Who: Philadelphia Union vs. Charlotte FC

What: MLS Regular Season

Where: Subaru Park, Chester, Pennsylvania

When: Wednesday, May 31, 7:30 p.m.

Watch: Apple TV+

Whistle: REF: Ted Unkel; AR1: Lyes Arfa; AR2: Chris Elliott; 4TH: Marcos DeOliveira; VAR: Sorin Stoica; AVAR: Craig Lowry

It’s another midweek matchday in the MLS season as Charlotte FC comes to Chester to face the Philadelphia Union.

Philadelphia has been riding an impressive unbeaten streak in league play, a run of seven games stretching back to mid April where they’ve picked up five wins and two draws. Charlotte has also put together a nice run of form in the month of May, posting four league wins and a lone loss to Nashville.

Scouting report: Charlotte FC

Charlotte has rebounded nicely after a poor start to the MLS season, finding themselves in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 6-3-6 for 21 points, just three points behind their opponents Philadelphia.

Scoring was an early problem that Charlotte has been able to solve as of late, Enzo Copetti and Karol Swiderski both have notched 4 goals from their striker positions, while midifielders Justin Meram and Brandon Cambridge have both scored braces this month.

In midfield, Charlotte fields former Union homegrown Derrick Jones in the center, with Brandt Bronico on the left and Ashley Westwood on the right. Westwood has notched 2 assists on the season, while Bronico has a goal and assist to his name.

Sporting a back four in defense, Charlotte does have some speed on the outside. Harrison Afful limes up on the left while Nathan Byrne is on the right. The center back pairing is Bill Tulioma, who recently was traded to Charlotte from Portland, and Adilson Malanda. In goal for Charlotte is Kristijan Kahlina.

Injury report: Out: Enzo Copetti, Kamil Jozwaik, Hamady Diop; Questionable: Ben Bender, Geroge Marks, McKinze Gaines.

Suspension report:  None

Scouting report: Philadelphia Union

The matches can’t come fast enough for the Philadelphia Union. After disappointing results in Champions League and the US Open Cup, Philadelphia now has their full focus on MLS league play. The Union have won four of their five games in May, picking up one draw in the process.

The attack of Julian Carranza, Mikael Uhre and Daniel Gazdag seems to have woken up again. Both Gazdag and Carranza have picked up braces in consecutive matches, respectively, and both have three goals in Philadelphia’s last two matches. Uhre has picked up an assist in each of the last two matches as well.

The Union midfield has seen a fairly consistent group take them on a nice run of form. The return of Jose Martinez certainly has helped, while the play of Leon Flach has greatly improved as well. Alejandro Bedoya had been dealing with a quad injury and Jack McGlynn remains away at the U-20 World Cup with the USMNT.

A switch to a back five has also had a tremendous impact on Philadelphia’s form. With Oliver Mbaizo and Kai Wagner acting more as wingbacks, the Union attack has been much more lethal. Damian Lowe’s addition as a third centerback has helped the play of Jack Elliott and Jacob Glesnes is having another stellar year. In goal for Philadelphia is reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake.

Injury report: Questionable: Alejandro Bedoya.

Suspension report:  None

Key matchup: Fitness 

It’s a short week and the sixth or seventh match this month for both teams. As the humidity and temperatures increase, fitness and depth become much more important for sides with playoff ambitions.

Player to watch: Leon Flach

Much of Flach’s game isn’t flashy, but his hard work and turn in form has been paying dividends for the Union, especially with Bedoya out. If Flach can keep his motor high and continue his chemistry with Martinez, the Union have found another strong lineup.

Prediction:  Philadelphia Union 2-0 Charlotte FC

Philadelphia keeps their unbeaten streak going as Uhre and Carranza find the net. Charlotte threatens but it’s another clean sheet for the home side.

Philadelphia = -185
Charlotte = +475
Draw = +300


  1. Can’t wait to see Derrick Jones tonight. Still have a picture of him when he played with my son for the Lower Merion Lightning team. Think it was the U16 team at the time.

  2. Chris Gibbons says:

    Revenge for last year’s 3-0 loss to these guys comes tonight.

  3. Good write up, Sean.
    Should be a good night for a match

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