ExLink - 08/18/18 - PHIvNYC

Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 25

Talen Energy Stadium — Chester
August 18 - 7 pm ET

WATCH: ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada)

After moving above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference a week ago, the Philadelphia Union are hopeful to stay there when they host New York City FC at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday night.

The Union leapfrogged over the New England Revolution (and above the playoff line) with a 3-2 win at Gillette Stadium last week, while NYCFC moved within a point of the Supporters’ Shield lead with a 3-2 victory of their own against 10-man Toronto FC.

In the last meeting between the sides in Chester, in April 2017, David Villa scored from 50 yards out to cap a 2-0 win, after Jack Harrison opened the scoring in the 52nd minute.

Philadelphia Union

Starting in place of the injured Mark McKenzie, central defender Jack Elliott was the unlikely offensive hero for Philadelphia (9-11-3) in a 3-2 win at New England last Saturday.

Elliott, who had one career MLS goal before the match, scored a brace within 10 minutes of the first half and, after Andrew Farrell and Wilfried Zahibo leveled for the hosts, Fafa Picault scored the decisive goal from the penalty spot in the 76th minute.

“Overall, I thought they stuck together in the hard moments,” Jim Curtin said. “In these Eastern Conference games down the stretch, a lot of times, it isn’t so much about the beautiful soccer that’s played, it’s about grit and heart and you saw that tonight from both teams really … I thought that our players made the badge proud tonight.”

  • Suspended: M - Fafa Picault
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Mark McKenzie (left knee sprain); QUESTIONABLE: M - Ilsinho (right quad strain), M - Adam Najem (right hamstring strain), D - Josh Yaro (illness)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Andre Blake — Keegan Rosenberry, Jack Elliott, Auston Trusty, Raymon Gaddis — Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya — CJ Sapong, Borek Docal, David Accam— Cory Burke

New York City FC

Speaking of braces, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored one for NYCFC (14-5-5), including a sensational late winner, in a 3-2 victory over Toronto FC at BMO Field Sunday afternoon.

In his first appearance since being sidelined for seven games, Villa opened the scoring in the 15th minute, four minutes after Jozy Altidore was sent off on a straight red card for kicking out at Alex Callens. TFC leveled twice on goals by Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez, but Tajouri-Shradi’s second — a left-footed volley — was the difference as NYCFC won for the fifth time in the last seven games.

“We were able to win without David because we have a strong team and strong players,” Dome Torrent said. “But obviously everyone knows that David is special for us because, as you’ve seen today, in his first action he was able to score a goal. Sometimes we play with David and Jo, sometimes we play four-four-two, and sometimes we play with wingers wide. We can play in different ways. For me it’s the best way to play football.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Tommy McNamara
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Yangel Herrera (ankle injury), D - Cedric Hountondji (hamstring injury), M - Valentin Castellanos (quad injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Sean Johnson — Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Alex Callens, Ronald Matarrita — Maxi Moralez, Alex Ring, Ebenezer Ofori — Rodney Wallace, David Villa, Jo Inge Berget

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Philadelphia Union 2 wins, 7 goals … New York City FC 4 wins, 11 goals … 1 draw
  • At Philadelphia: Union 2 wins, 5 goals … NYCFC 2 wins, 5 goals … 0 draws
  • Last meeting at Philadelphia: Philadelphia Union 0, New York City FC 2 (April 14, 2017)

Officials

Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante, Craig Lowry
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic