The Union come off of a disappointing draw in DC to play at New England. New England is currently holding the final playoff spot in the East, and earlier this week advanced to the final of the US Open Cup. New England beat the Union in a penalty shoot out in the quarter-final of the US Open Cup, and the Union want payback. The Revolution are a good team, but have recently been struggling in league play. It seems like their aspirations are set on winning US Open Cup, more than progressing up the Eastern Confernece table. Revenge against Revs could turn around the recent Union slump.
The Union are winless in four games. Last weekend it seemed like their winless streak was finished, but Philly let DC Equalize in the last few minutes of stoppage time. The Union need to turn around this slump, and New England is the perfect team to help them do this. New England played Wednesday night in a tough game against Chicago. They played a majority of their starters from the get go in the game, and brought other key players off the bench in the second half. The Revs beat a struggling Chicago team 3-1. While the high of making the US Open Cup final can help push a team, the Revolution now have to face a hungry and angry Union team.
The boys are hungry. They are on a four game winless streak, and want to see themselves back at the top of the East. To get their they need the results. Earlier in the season the Union beat New England 3-0. That Union team controlled the game and played great pressing and transition football. They pressed New England into mistakes in the midfield and then transitioned down the field to score their goals. They did this for the full ninety minutes and completely wore out the Revs. The Union have seemed to lose this hunger in the heat of the summer. They need to regain that hunger.
The addition of Alejandro Bedoya can help the Union regain that hunger. This will, most likely, be Bedoya’s first game for the Union. and he is in a key spot for the Union. In the first league match up Warren Creavalle played the number 8, and he had arguably his best game as a Union player he was breaking up plays and moving forward to start the attack; he even got an assist! This role will be crucial in beating New England, but who will play that role for the Union Saturday?
Alejandro Bedoya will, hopefully, play the 8 for the Union. Coach Curtin said that Bedoya was brought in to the team to fill one specific spot, but has not yet shown where that will be on the field. Logic dictates he will play the in the center of the midfield to help break up opposing teams build up and transition up the field. Bedoya excels in that role, and if he can do this consistently for the Union, Philly will have success, and the US National team will have a new number 8 as Bedoya is a consistent starter for Jurgen Klinsmann’s team. His addition will help the Union regain that hunger they’ve been lacking recently. The Union are also going to go into this game angry.
They lost a heart-breaking loss to New England in the quarterfinal of the US Open Cup. In that game the Union didn’t look good; they let up a soft goal right before half. A second half sub, Fabian Herbers was the only Union player to show the grit enough to find an equalizer. Stoppage time was a crap shoot, and then the shoot out. Uninspiring penalties from Philly led to New England’s win. Now the Union want revenge. There’s one Union player who is looking forward to this match more than anyone.
Charlie Davies is an ex-Revs player. He was loved by the fans, but was apparently unhappy with his standing in New England. He looked for a trade, and New England obliged. He comes to Philly as the back up striker to CJ Sapong, and has the chance in his second match with the club to face his old club. The Union are looking for revenge against the Revs, and how sweet would it be if the Union won big and Davies got his first goal for Philly against his old club!
The Union will need to play good team defense to get the result they want. Even if a little fatigued, the Revolution are still a dangerous attacking team. If the Union press well, and can actually do something in transition they should get the W. A win for the Union is a result that would greatly benefit Philly.
This weekend the NY Red Bulls and Montreal Impact play against each other. If the Union win, and one of those teams lose, the Union will advance ahead of the losing team. If that game ends in a draw, and Philly wins, then Philly will be tied with both teams at 34 points. Either way the Union need to win to move up further in the East. They can gain ground on NYRB and Montreal, and also on Toronto as they have the weekend off; a win put the Union two points behind Toronto leading into next week match against the Reds. And who knows, maybe NYCFC will lose to woeful Columbus and the Union will gain on them too.
First the Union need the win Saturday in New England. I’ll be traveling up with the Son’s pf Ben to watch it live. I’ll also live tweet the action, so make sure to follow me on Twitter here: @TGing21. Make sure you catch-all the action 7:30 EST on The Comcast Network or MLS Live, and come back to Philly Sports Network after the game for a recap, and a look to next weeks game against Toronto!
Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia Union Editor of Soccer Content
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