Union fans certainly have a lot to feel good about in the last week. After an absolute massacre of DC United 7-0 at home, the Union went down to the swampy realm of Ft Lauderdale to take care of Inter Miami 2-1. Riding high on a two-game winning streak, the attention now turns back home to a team that all Union fans are all too familiar with these days.
Philadelphia Union vs New England Revolution
The Boston Robert Kraft’s, or as they are officially known, the New England Revolution. This is the second time the teams are facing each other this season, the prior meeting occurring during Memorial Day weekend and resulting in a 1-1 draw. Let us take a look at how New England has fared since the two teams’ last matchup, the player to now look out for, and the prediction for this upcoming matchup.
2022 MLS Season
Since the Union faced the Revolution a month and a half ago, the team has been doing ok but not great during that time. In the six games, since they played the Union, the Revolution are 2-1-3 for two wins, one loss, and three draws. Their overall season record now stands at 6-6-7 for six wins, six losses, and seven draws, which is good enough to have them in ninth place with twenty-five points, one point off the playoff spot. There has been a couple of huge changes to this team in the past month or so. The 2021 goalkeeper of the year, Matt Turner, finalized his move to Arsenal, which left a big hole to fill between the sticks for the team.
They have attempted to fill that hole by signing goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic. He is fared decently since his signing, but still absolutely has big gloves to fill. The bigger of the outgoing transfer news certainly had to be the transfer of star striker Adam Buksa to RC Lens in Ligue 1 for a solid $10 million transfer fee. This was absolutely a damn good piece of business from the team, but it certainly leaves a big question mark of where the goals will be coming from up top. They just recently signed Giacomo Vrioni from Juventus as a Designated Player, but he has yet to suit up for the team so it is yet to be determined if he can fill the massive scoring boots of Adam Buksa.
With Adam Buksa gone, the main player that the Union must look out for is the one player that can absolutely flip the game on its head. This man in question is the dynamic playmaker, Carlos Gil. To this point in the season, through nineteen games, Gil has amassed a record of four goals and ten assists, which is a solid haul for the man who is on the team to create the offense and allow his teammates to get into the best scoring chances. Gil is a player who only needs a half yard of space to get a nice pass-off, which is why the Union must stick close to him as they have in past games.
I have a feeling that El Brujo will have the job of limiting his effectiveness in the midfield and allowing the defense to focus on the forwards for the Revolution. As always, if Gil can get going, the Union will have a long night ahead of them. But, if the team can shut him down as they have lately, then the star playmaker will get frustrated and that certainly permeates through the entire team when he is off his game.
The Union is riding high on a two-game winning streak and I think that they have hit the Revolution at home in the Soob at the right time. The front three of Uhre, Carranza, and Gazdag are starting to heat up and that is a dangerous thing for the rest of the league. I see Jim Curtin going back to the usual lineup for this upcoming matchup, although we will have to see if Jack Elliott will be back for this upcoming game.
Regardless, I think Stuart Findlay will fill in admirably as he did for Jack in the game against Miami. If the team can shut down Carlos Gil, I have a good feeling that the team will be able to get in behind this Revolution defense that is prone to get stretched with direct play and balls over the top. The Union has been able to balance the direct counter-attacking play with some possession in these past few games and it adds another layer to the team’s attack. Put me down for a 2-1 Union win to add to this winning streak. Game time on Saturday is 7:30 pm.
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union, Andrew Zwarych