Philadelphia Union VS FC Dallas Preview

Two games, two points, undefeated. Philadelphia host an FC Dallas side who have taken maximum points from their opening two ordeals. It’s also an FC Dallas side that are yet to lose against Philadelphia on the road so there’s more than just the three points at stake.

Philly will be without backup keeper Andre Blake and also without the services of forward C.J. Sapong. Whilst the absence of Blake should not be too much of a setback, if something were to happen to the Union’s breakout striker Aristeguieta, there may not be many replacements who can perform to the same level which is concerning.

Fernando Aristeguieta will be the main talking point for the Union coming into this game. We mentioned last week about how we would have a much easier time against the defence in game 2 and he did. Dallas The 22-year-old forward scored two goals after completing five shots. He has proven to be clinical in front of the net so the CB’s will have a tough time containing him. Dallas simply cannot afford to give him space. In the past, games have been very dominant with possession favouring the Texas side. All it takes is one counter attack and the magic that was missing last season may just sparkle into life.

The main weaknesses the Union seem to have this far are defending set pieces and lead protecting. Salt lake capitalised on that greatly and were able to steal a 3-3 draw in the strangest of matches. When Dallas come to town the result may not be so fortunate since they have been known to blister in some great attacking free kicks, so expect coach Curtin to have hammered some composure into his back line to avoid taking any unnecessary risks come game day.

The main strengths the Union carry however seem to be counter attacking and breaking down the wing. Something that could be quite handy given Dallas’ fast flowing style of football that sees them throw players up the field to flood the opposition. If the back four can keep the likes of Perez secluded and quickly send a ball to Le Toux then it’s going to provide the Union with their best chance of a win.

Though Aristeguieta was the man who put the ball in the net, it was midfielder Cristian Maidana who was the unsung hero. With the Argentinian playmaker injured, Curtin could either call on Zach Pfeffer to replace him (who we did an article on earlier this week) or revert to the 4-4-2 he started the season with. With the emphatic first half displayed last game however I don’t think a formation change will be in order and Curtin will want to install a sense of familiarity amongst his players. Expect the more direct playing Pfeffer to make his first start of the season having picked up 18 minutes off the bench combined in his first two games. He may well prove to be that burst of energy that the Union need in Centre Midfield

Whilst Dallas has looked strong, they have looked a little lacking early on. Philadelphia has looked full of yet to be released potential. If Curtin can find the missing link which sits somewhere between threading the ball out to the wings and retaining composure defensively. If they can do that whilst keeping the offensive pressure high to combat Dallas, I think they could steal their first three points of the season, however I can see this game becoming a third consecutive draw at 1-1 with a Dallas goal being fed from a set piece.

Philadelphia 1-1 FC Dallas