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Match preview: Philadelphia Union vs New England Revolution

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Who: Philadelphia Union vs New England Revolution

What: MLS Regular Season

Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough Massachusetts

When: Saturday, October 21st, 6:00pm

Watch: Apple TV – MLS Season Pass

Whistle: REF: Tori Penso; AR1: Kathryn Nesbitt; AR2: Ryan Graves; 4TH: Luis Diego Arroyo; VAR: David Barrie; AVAR: Joshua Patlak.

The last regular season match of the 2023 MLS campaign has finally arrived. Philadelphia will be looking to hold onto 3rd in the Eastern Conference. While New England will look to improve from fifth before the playoffs. three points separate the sides in the standings, but only a 3-0 New England win will see them pass Philadelphia due to various tie-breakers.

New England will be doing more scoreboard watching during the match than Philadelphia, with the Revs watching how Columbus and Atlanta fair on Saturday. Philadelphia however, will be interested in Columbus’ result for playoff seeding reasons.

Scouting Report: New England Revolution

After a strong start to the season, New England has been falling down the standings recently and hasn’t hit form heading into the playoffs. The Revs only have one win the month of October, beating Charlotte. They have suffered back to back defeats to playoff sides Columbus and Nashville.

It’s been goals by committee in the attacking third for New England recently. Gustavo Bou, Giacomo Vrioni and Bobby Wood have all featured heavily with Wood leading the scoring out of the group with 7 goals. Feeding this trio is the always dangerous Carles Gil, who’s notched 11 goals himself on the year to go along with 14 assists.

Shielding the backline is recent England youth call-up Noel Buck, who plays in partnership with Canadian international Mark-Anothy Kaye. Emmanuel Boateng provides speed on the wing and Tomas Chancalay is a goal threat on the right side.

In defense, New England has MLS veterans Dave Romney and Andrew Farrell forming the backline partnership. On the left is Matt Polster while recent USMNT call up DeJuan Jones is a an attacking threat on the right. In goal is Earl Edwards, who has taken over for the recently departed Djordje Petrovic.

Injury Report: OUT:  Dylan Borrero, Brandon Bye, Damian Rivera, Ian Harkes; Questionable: Andrew Farrell.

Scouting Report: Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia has been in decent form heading into the playoffs, posting one win and two draws over the course of October. The Union will be coming off a draw at home against Nashville before the international break. Expect a full strength lineup to take the field in Foxborough.

The attack will stay consistent with the trio of Julian Carranza, Mikael Uhre and Daniel Gazdag expected to start. Tai Baribo, Quinn Sullivan and Chris Donovan remain options off the bench.

The midfield will stay relatively consistent, with several healthy options to pick from for Jim Curtin. Soon to be departing Captain Alejandro Bedoya should be expected to start, while Jack McGlynn and Leon Flach can also be options there along with Daniel Gazdag. Jesus Bueno should also be an option after recovering from a recent injury. Jose “El Brujo” Martinez will miss the match due to yellow card accumulation.

In defense, Jacob Glesnes is expected to start alongside Jack Elliott, but Damion Lowe is an option if rotation or an odd-numbered back line is needed. Lowe and Glesnes will have to be careful in this match, as both are a yellow card away from suspension. Kai Wagner will be on the left and Oliver Mbaizo will be on the right, with Andre Blake in goal.

Injury Report: Questionable: Jesus Bueno.

Suspension: Jose Martinez.

Key Match-Up: Transition Attacks

Both sides in this matchup are built to play without the ball and quickly hit on the counter. With Wagner for Philadelphia and Jones for New England, expect quick rushes up the field from defense up into the attacking midfielders for both sides.

Player to Watch: Mikael Uhre

Uhre hasn’t been bad for Philadelphia this year, but he has been unable to find consistent good form the entire year. If there was ever a time Philadelphia would be hoping their DP striker to catch fire it’s now. A hot attack heading into the playoffs would provide the Union with a lot of confidence moving forward.

Prediction: Philadelphia 1-1 New England 

A draw doesn’t help either side much in the playoff seeding battles, but an anxious and nervy match provides a goal for each side and ends in a draw.


Philadelphia: +225

New England: -105

Draw: +285


  1. The Union haven’t lost since August so they are due to lose soon. Better tomorrow than in the playoffs. New England 2-0 with Blake making a late save to protect the 4 seed.

    • John from 127 says:

      Bah Humbug.

      NE has lost the plot since the messy departure of Bruce Arena. Union win 2-1, Uhre from the run of play and Gazdag from the spot.

      C’mon the U!

  2. “Uhre hasn’t been bad for Philadelphia this year…” — I respectfully disagree. His performance (stone feet/heavy touches when offered wonderful transition passes from midfield as well as a lack of finishing flair, especially relative to Julian) has been THE biggest difference between the Union last season vs this season. While I agree that Curtin will start Uhre over Quinn, I am here for the latter supplanting the former any day now…

    • Chris Gibbons says:

      The U also gave up 13 more goals this year so far. Uhre hasn’t been himself – but neither have the Union… and they’re still among the class of the league.

  3. Either way, Union have to play one playoff game on turf—Revs or Atlanta—and we suck on turf. (I don’t have any actual stats to prove that, just recollections and that some of our better players have stated in the press that they hate playing on turf.) We’ll still have home field advantage, but it puts more pressure on, knowing we’ll likely lose the away game in a best of 3. I’d rather we play the Revs, Atlanta has a more threatening environment, and better (louder) fans.

    • If the Union win tonight, there is a decent chance that they play Nashville. All they would need would be for Nashville to win at home against New Jersey and Cincinnati to not lose at home against Atlanta.

  4. I thought yellow cards are wiped clean for the playoffs. Can someone clarify the situation with Glesnes and Lowe? Does that mean if either gets a yellow they will miss the first playoff match?

    • I tried to find that answer too but no matter how many ways I worded it, there was no clear answer to my search. I would hope, and what would make sense is that the clock starts over in the playoffs. Would hate to lose either in the 1st round

    • At least in the past, only red card suspensions (or post game disciplinary actions) have carried over.

  5. “Yellow card accumulation thresholds for players, coaches, and team officials are reset entering the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.”

  6. A player receiving three yellow cards will be suspended. For clarification, a player who receives a third cumulative yellow card in the Conference Semifinal is eligible to play in the Conference Championship where yellow card accumulation is reset.

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