Philadelphia Union vs. Chivas USA | MLS Match Preview

PHILADELPHIA UNION vs CHIVAS USA
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
July 12, 2013 (WEEK 20, MLS Game #177) 7:30 p.m. ET (TCN-Phi)

Two clubs looking to snap winless runs meet when Philadelphia Union play host to Chivas USA at PPL Park on Friday evening. Union return home off a two-game road swing their saw their winless streak extended to three games, last a 1-0 defeat at the Houston Dynamo. For Chivas USA, it’s even longer, now 13 league games without a victory following
their 1-1 draw at Montréal on the second game of their three-game road swing.

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REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. AR1 (bench): Brian Dunn; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Mark Kadlecik
MLS Career: 99 games; FC/gm: 25.1; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 34; pens: 25

DISABLED LIST: PHI: Greg Jordan … CHV: Daniel Antuñez
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: PHI: Brian Carroll, Conor Casey
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Raymon Gaddis, Michael Farfan, Jeff Parke … CHV: Mario de Luna, Bobby Burling, Carlos Alvarez, Gabriel Farfan
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: PHI: Keon Daniel (TRI), Jack McInerney (USA) … CHV: Steven Purdy (ESV)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (5 meetings): Union 3 wins, 9 goals … Chivas USA 0 wins, 4 goals … Ties 2
AT PHILADELPHIA (2 meetings): Union 3 wins, 6 goals … Chivas USA 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0

LAST YEAR (MLS)
4/21: CHV 0, PHI 1 (Adu 40)

  • The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
  • Union have never lost to Chivas USA in five meetings all-time. Philadelphia has won both matchups at PPL Park, last a 3-2 victory in 2011.
  • Union claimed a 1-0 win last year in Carson in their only meeting, their first road victory against Chivas USA.
  • Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. CHV: first game … José Luis Real v PHI: first game

PHILADELPHIA UNION
Philadelphia Union saw their winless run stretched to three matches, falling 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. Union sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 27 points from 19 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 59th minute. Giles Barnes raced forward from midfield into the box, before sending the ball wide to Jermaine Taylor. He then sent a driven cross into the center of the box where Ricardo Clark elevated to head it inside the far post.
  • Union team manager John Hackworth made two changes to the team that played to a 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Antoine Hoppenot and Aaron Wheeler started in place of Michael Farfan and Danny Cruz.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis (Matt Kassel 84) - Antoine Hoppenot, Brian Carroll, Leo Fernandes (Roger Torres 71), Sebastien Le Toux - Conor Casey, Aaron Wheeler (Don Anding 60)

TEAM NEWS

  • After being hauled back into draws with late equalizers in the previous two matches, Union were shut out at the attacking end for the first time since April 27 – a span of 10 matches – in the loss to Houston.
  • “This is a tough league; you’re going to win some and you’re going to lose some, especially when you play in these kinds of conditions with our third game in eight days,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “I thought our team put out a fantastic effort. It just wasn’t there tonight.”
  • Aaron Wheeler made his first MLS start, partnering Conor Casey in attack with Jack McInerney on national team duty.
  • With regular midfielders Danny Cruz (left hip contusion), Michael Farfan (left ankle contusion), Kleberson (right quad strain) and Michael Lahoud (sports hernia surgery) all sidelined to injury, Antoine Hoppenot made his first start of the season wide on the right of midfield.
  • “I think it was a great opportunity for some of our younger guys,” Hackworth said. “I had no problem with how they played. I think they all did great.”
  • Leo Fernandes maintained his starting position in the center of the park for a second consecutive match, asked to play underneath spearhead striker Casey and try to hold the ball up and win possession.
  • “I think I did pretty good. I’m just disappointed we couldn’t get the results we wanted. But I’m hoping more opportunities will come in the future. And I’ll be ready,” Fernandes said. “ … I just like the idea of having the ball at my feet. I like to control possession and try to make the game. I’d like to play there again.”
  • Don Anding made his MLS debut, coming on for the final half-hour. He had made his Union debut in the U.S. Open Cup fourth-round loss to D.C. United.
  • “It was hard,” Casey said. “We were missing a couple of guys and it’s a very difficult place to play here with the heat. With that said, we’ve still got to find a way to do a better job with the ball and make it a little easier on ourselves.”

READ: Union: Bocanegra's return says MLS return "says volumes about where our league has gone"

CHIVAS USA
Chivas USA had their league winless streak extended to 13 games, playing to a 1-1 draw with the Montréal Impact on Sunday afternoon at Stade Saputo. Chivas USA sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 14 points from 18 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Chivas USA broke through on 55 minutes. Jose Correa sent in a low cross which deflected back into the center of the box, and Eric Avila crushed it first-time off the crossbar and down onto the goal line. Avila collected the rebound and finally beat Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
  • The Impact found the equalizer 10 minutes from the end. Sanna Nyassi was released into the left side of the box, and defender Mario de Luna caught Nyassi with a sliding challenge, leading referee Allen Chapman to point to the spot. Patrice Bernier made no mistake with the resulting penalty, beating Kennedy to his left.
  • Chivas USA head coach José Luis Real made one change to the team that reached a scoreless draw with FC Dallas in Frisco. Carlos Borja came into the team in place of Edgar Mejia.
  • CHIVAS USA (4-4-2): Dan Kennedy - Carlos Borja, Walter Vilchez, Mario de Luna, Josue Soto - Eric Avila, Marky Delgado, Carlos Alvarez, Jorge Villafana (Bobby Burling 81) - Jose Correa (Julio Morales 63), Gabriel Farfan (Tristan Bowen 71).

READ: Chivas USA get Erick "Cubo" Torres from Chivas de Guadalajara on loan

TEAM NEWS

  • While Chivas USA still saw their winless streak extended to 13 games in league play, they recorded a third consecutive draw, their longest stretch without a loss since winning three and drawing one over four games from March 10-30.
  • “In my opinion, this game was the most important, the best for our team,” said Chivas head coach José Luis Real. “Because Montreal is at the top of the teams and our team was always at the top today.”
  • The winless streak is two games shy of the club record, set last Aug. 12 through the opening game this season.
  • “We had three road games and this was our second one in just a few days, so to come out and put in that kind of gritty performance is something to be proud of for the guys,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said. “We’re a little bit tired so I think that led to a mental mistake that cost us a penalty and cost us the three points.”
  • After a seven-game stretch where Chivas allowed multiple goals in each contest, conceding 20 goals over the span, the rojiblancos have now allowed three goals over their last four games, with no more than one in each.
  • “Every point is important in this league,” Kennedy said. “We’re at a stage where we’re growing up under our new coach. There’s been a lot of change, so you can see each game we’re growing a little bit.”
  • Following a spell with sister club CD Guadalajara in Mexico, where he missed three MLS contests, Eric Avila made his second consecutive start in his return and scored his second goal of the season, his first since March 30.
  • “I was away from the team for a bit, but I’m happy to be back with the team and playing again,” said Avila. “Scoring a goal felt really good. The thing is just to help my team; it’s all I care about. Scoring a goal was a bonus for me, but it felt really good.”
  • “Avila is a very important player for whichever team he plays for,” Real said. “We had him in very good form as he normally is, but at the end of the match he was drained. He’s a great player who helped us and will continue to help us. [Against FC Dallas] he had enough for 70 minutes, but he’s coming off a trip and recess, so he got tired.”