NOPE. 5 FC CINCINNATI at NO. 1 PHILADELPHIA UNION – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2022 – 8 p.m. ET – SUBARU PARK
HOW TO WATCH
National television: FS1 and FOX Deportes
Flow: FOX Sports
Local Radio: ESPN 1530
Broadcast Talents: JP Dellacera (game by game), Cobi Jones (analyst)
Talent Radio: Tom Gelehrter (play by play), Kevin McCloskey (analyst), Alex Stec (sideline)
Be sure to follow @FCCincinnati on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for live updates from the game.
SCOUTING PHILADELPHIA UNION (19-5-10, 67 PTS, 1ST CONFERENCE EAST)
The Head Coach: Jim Curtin (eighth full season as PHI head coach)
Captain: Alexandre Bedoya
Best striker : Daniel Gazdag (22)
First assistant: Kai Wagner (15)
Goals scored: 72 (most of 27 clubs)
Goals against: 26 (fewest out of 27 clubs)
Lens difference: 46
FC Cincinnati’s opponent on Thursday presents many challenges for the Orange and Blue:
– The Philadelphia Union went undefeated at Subaru Park this year (12-0-5).
– The Union have scored 49 home goals this season, tying the MLS record for most home goals in a single season.
– The Union produced the second-best defensive season in MLS history with 0.76 goals conceded per game. They have conceded just 26 goals this year, a new record for fewest goals against in a 34-game season.
– With 72 goals scored this season, Union beat their previous record of 58 in 2019. It is also the most goals scored by a single club since LAFC in 2019 (85) and their goal difference of 46 is the best since the LAFC team’s 48 of 2019. .
The impressive facts above are just a few reasons why head coach Jim Curtin’s team won the Eastern Conference seed and a bye to the Conference Semifinals. from the east.
Their three-headed offense is led by Daniel Gazdag, whose 22 goals were one shy of the league lead held by Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar. He leads the league in goals scored from penalties, converting all seven of his attempts this season. Add to his 10 assists, this season he became the sixth player in league history with at least 20 goals and 10 assists.
Julián Carranza (14) and Mikael Uhre (13) also hit double-digit goal tally, and only two of their combined 27 goals came in PK. Carranza, however, hasn’t been able to find the back of the net since August, in their 4-1 home win over Atlanta on August 31. It wasn’t for lack of shots though, he had four shots in each of his finals. two regular season games.
Veteran captain and former USMNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya is essential for the Union, on and off the pitch. But he has only played 16 minutes since September 10, suffering from a sprained hip flexor. 19-year-old Jack McGlynn has mostly served his role, while Leon Flach and José Martínez are part of Union’s superb midfield.
Then, of course, there’s the Philadelphia defense. Two of the three league-wide MLS finalists for Defender of the Year come from the Union in Jakob Glesnes and Kai Wagner. Glesnes, a Norwegian centre-back, was also the only outfield player in MLS to play every minute of the regular season, playing 3,060 minutes while receiving just two yellow cards. Glesnes led the team with 57 interceptions and had 26 tackles while conceding just 18 fouls.
Wagner, the team’s top assist, became the first defender in MLS history to have 15 assists in the regular season, tied for second in the league behind Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta. He also had 30 won tackles and led the team with a 73.1% leading duel percentage.
And their goalkeeper is among the best in the league. Jamaica international Andre Blake is a finalist for both Landon Donovan MLS MVP and Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year, an award he has already won twice in his career. His 15 clean sheets led MLS and his league-low 26 goals against set a new record for the fewest goals in a 34-game season. His 19 wins are the most in a season for a goalie since 2018 (Luis Robles, RBNY: 21).
Three players have started all 34 games this season for Philadelphia (Andre Blake, Daniel Gazdag, Jakob Glesnes), the first team to have three players start 34 games in the regular season since, also the Union, in 2019 (Jack Elliott, Ray Gaddis, Haris Medunjanin).
Curtin and the Union have the most points in MLS over the past five seasons, which includes securing the 2020 Supporters’ Shield. They finished tied with LAFC in points this year, but just missed out on the Shield due to fewer wins (21 for LAFC, 19 for PHI).
Despite the continued success, high dollar transfers of successful players developed by the Union to Europe, including Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie, and now five consecutive years in the MLS Cup qualifiers, the Union is looking for a first place in the MLS Cup. In 2020, after winning the Supporters’ Shield, they lost to the No. 8 seed New England Revolution in the first round before reaching and hosting the Eastern Conference final against the New York City FC last year. But they fell to the eventual champions, 2-1.
This year’s Union home record is well documented. In the nine MLS games since the Orange and Blue held the Union to a 1-1 home draw on June 18 at Subaru Park, the Union are 9-0-0, ahead of their opponents 40-5.
Thursday’s game will air nationally on FS1 and FOX Deportes and on radio locally on ESPN 1530.
For more information on the Orange and Blue’s first appearance in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, visit FC Cincinnati Playoff Central for more information.