Warren Creavalle got surprise start for Philadelphia Union in playoffs

Warren Creavalle - Philadelphia Union - solo

The Philadelphia Union have made a change in the starting XI for the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoff match against New York City FC. Head coach Jim Curtin has opted to start defensive midfielder Warren Creavalle in place of right winger CJ Sapong, with Alejandro Bedoya switching from his midfield position to the wing.

Creavalle made just six starts in the regular season and played a total of 681 minutes. He did not play in the Union's final two matches of the regular season. Sapong has not scored since Aug. 29.

The Union midfield was overrun in their 3-1 loss against NYCFC on Decision Day presented by AT&T and in his analysis of the match, Bobby Warshaw highlighted this switch as a potential change Curtin could make for Wednesday's match. 

1) Insert Derrick Jones or Warren Creavalle into the midfield.

Dockal and Medunjanin struggled to cover ground and close space; they need someone more athletic and with more energy. Bedoya is above average in both, but not to Jones’ or Creavalle’s level. Jones or Creavalle could cover more ground and limit NYC’s space and options throughout midfield. The auxiliary move would be to slide Bedoya to the right. Sapong or Burke would have to exit the lineup, but something needs to give to get more pressure on the ball in midfield.

UPDATE: Curtin's move did not appear to work as Creavalle was pulled at halftime with the score 2-0. The Union would go on to lose 3-1.