CHESTER, Pa. – With the Philadelphia Union looking for their third straight win at Sporting Park, interim manager Jim Curtin will count on red-hot strikers Conor Casey and Sebastien Le Toux to provide the offensive punch in Friday’s nationally televised game vs. Sporting Kansas City (8 pm ET, NBCSN, free stream on NBCSports.com, TSN/RDS2 in Canada).
And, it seems, he’ll be leaning heavily on those two veterans for the rest of the season – without necessarily getting them any help in the transfer window.
“Everyone wants to say we need a forward, we need a forward,” Curtin said. “But this club does not need a forward right now. You have Conor Casey and Sebastien Le Toux, both of who are scoring goals like crazy. We’re second in the league in goals scored and we’re 15th in goals against. So that’s the direction we’re going.”
The Union have certainly been pouring in the goals of late and will look to stay hot against an Sporting KC side missing defensive anchor Matt Besler, who’s suspended after picking up two yellow cards last week.
The Union have scored three goals in six of their last nine league games, with Casey and Le Toux combining for 11 goals in league play since May 31.
“We need to ride Conor and Seba while they’re hot,” Curtin said. “And keep the balls out of our own goal.”
But Mbolhi isn’t traveling to Kansas City, meaning Zac MacMath will likely make his last start in net for the Union Friday night. Luckily for Philadelphia, MacMath and his teammates have done well at Sporting Park, earning upset wins in their last two trips there – both of which snapped long winless streaks.
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And Philly’s last win over the defending champs in their own building – a 2-1 triumph on May 14 – remains Kansas City’s only home loss in league play this season.
“Hopefully we’ll keep the luck on our side,” said Union midfielder Brian Carroll, who may get the start tonight with Michael Lahoud away with Sierra Leone on national team duty. "They’re a great team, rhey’ve got great fans at their place and that makes it a difficult environment to compete in.
“But we enjoy that type of atmosphere. We’re just going to go in there and roll up our sleeves and try to be a nuisance and do whatever we can to fight and scrap for what we can get.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.