Philadelphia Union Preview: Wide World of Wudder

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The Union keeps on putting a dominant stamp on this season after their 2-0 road win against New York Red Bulls this past weekend. They have an eight-point lead on the top of the east with four games to go and the momentum is absolutely on their side. To put in context how good of a season the team is having, they are the first team to triple their goals-for-to-goals-against totals this late in the season.

Union
HARRISON, NJ – SEPTEMBER 03: Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake (18) and Philadelphia Union defender Jakob Glesnes (5) during the Major League Soccer game between the New York Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union on September 3, 2022 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Through thirty games, the team has scored sixty-three goals and only given up twenty-one goals. Daniel Gazdag has added to his already stellar scoring season, notching his eighteenth goal while Mikael Uhre notched his eleventh. Andre Blake kept a 13th clean sheet tying the league lead in that category, and this team is starting to round into the best form in the conference.

Philadelphia Union vs Orlando City Preview

After another complete performance on the road, the Union comes back home to face off against the house of mouse team, Orlando City SC. The last time these two teams faced off, the Union walked away with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a Gazdag goal and a few VAR controversies. Let us see how Orlando City has been since the mid-July matchup, the player to watch out for in this game, and a prediction for this weekend’s game.

2022 MLS Season

Since Orlando faced the Union in mid-July, the team has been busy on two fronts: the MLS regular season and a deep US Open Cup run. In league play, the team is 4-2 for four wins and two losses in their last six games. To this point in the season, through twenty-eight games, the team has a record of 12-10-6 for twelve wins, ten losses, and six draws. This record is good for forty-two points and fifth place in the eastern conference.

The focus for this Orlando team has been the US Open Cup, where the team has made a miraculous run to the final. By the time this article comes out, they will either have won or lost against USL Championship side Sacramento Republic who have made a Cinderella run of their own to win the Open Cup potentially. It will be interesting to see if this Orlando side will rotate their roster after what will certainly be a tough game.

X-Factor

The player to watch out for has not changed since the last matchup with Orlando City. This would be none other than DP striker Ercan Kara. To this point in the season, through twenty-four games played, Kara has a scoring record of nine goals and two assists. This is a decent haul for this season, but Orlando fans certainly have been clamoring for more. While his scoring record might not be all that impressive, Kara still has the ability to impact a game with his physicality.

He has the ability to pull defenders in, allowing his teammates to run around him and crash the box. Kara works well with his attacking teammates to hold the ball up but is not afraid to make the runs into the box and create havoc for defenders. Jakob Glesnes and Jake Elliot will certainly have their hands full with Kara. It will be interesting to see if he does indeed start and how much time Orlando plays him out after such an important game mid-week.

Prediction

This will be an interesting game for the Union as Orlando has the Open Cup final midweek. Will Oscar Pareja rotate his roster after either an impressive win or a heartbreaking loss? Regardless of this, I fully expect the Union to come out swinging at home where they have accumulated a stellar record and made the Soob an absolute fortress.

With the form that the team is in, it is hard to see this team not grabbing all three points. Put this writer down for a 3-1 Union victory. Game time on Saturday is 7:30 pm.

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Mandatory Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

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