The Union made their first-ever eastern conference final. Now, they have to wait to learn who they’ll play on Sunday, and where the location of the match will be. The winner of New England-NYCFC will determine both of those questions. Could the Union be off to Foxboro, or will they be able to play the eastern conference final at Subaru Park? A win for New England means a road game for the Union; an NYCFC win means Philly would host the conference final. So that brings us to the question who’d you rather face?
Who’d you rather face?
It’s probably a whole lot less of a question this week as Union fans would most likely want to see the Union play for a chance to go to MLS Cup in Subaru Park, but the question still does need to be asked. Either matchup will be one of, if not the toughest match of the year for Philadelphia, so let’s look at the two potential matchups and see why there’s a case for each to be more important than the other.
The case for New England
New England is one of the only teams in the eastern conference that had the Union’s number in the 2021 season. In the three matches played, the Union only took one point from a possible nine. That draw was an early season one. Philly then dropped an away match where most of their starters were out resting ahead of the first leg of the CCL semifinal which was a few days later. The last game was at Subaru Park where the Union only had 17 players available for selection, they lost that match too. Could a full-strength Union take it to New England to make it past the MLS’ points record setters to get to MLS Cup?
At this point, why not? This Union team seems like they could be a team of destiny. They seem able to grind out results even with their strikers being in absolutely poor form. Who’s to say they wouldn’t go to Foxboro and find a way to beat the best team in MLS. As for the question, of would anyone want to face New England, I don’t think many if any would want to. The very few who would, probably just want the satisfaction of their team ending the Supporters Shield champion Revolution.
The case for NYCFC
NYCFC is a team that seemed to be falling at the end of the regular season. That is until the last few matches where they found their scoring touch, and Golden Boot Valentin “Taty” Castellanos led their line. He scored in their round one playoff match against Atlanta which flipped the game to NYCFC. He also scored against the Union on Decision Day and has been a thorn in the side of Philly for the majority of his MLS career. With all that being said, I’m sure the Union would want a crack at Taty and NYCFC in the eastern conference finals as it would mean playing in front of the loud and faithful Union fans one more time!
Philly has shown they can hit an extra gear when at home in front of the rowdy crowd that packs Subaru Park. Add the chance to make it to a first-ever MLS Cup, and that momentum should be enough for the 2-seed Union to take it to and beat 4-seed NYCFC. Who’d you rather face: New England or NYCFC? The answer for almost everyone has to be NYCFC. Play yet another win-or-go-home match on the banks of the Delaware River, and the chances of making the MLS Cup go up!
New England vs NYCFC: Tuesday, November 30 @ 7:45 pm EST
Don’t miss the match that will determine who the Union will face and where they will play in the eastern conference final! The game kicks off tonight at 7:45 pm EST on FS1.
If you wanted to join a community of people watching this match to react live to all the action, then be sure to come and join the Doop by the River watch party. Us boys of the podcast will be chatting and commenting on the game as all the events unfold! Be sure to keep an eye on the Doop by the River socials for more information on how to join the watch party!
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union, Andrew Zwarych