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Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC – prediction, team news, lineups



Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Major League Soccer clash between Philadelphia Union and New York City FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Philadelphia Union will look to bring an end to a dismal run of form in the MLS when they take on New York City FC in gameweek 13 at Subaru Park in midweek.

The hosts will enter the match in ninth place with 14 points after 11 games, while the visitors are fifth and one of three teams currently tied on 17 points after 12 games.

Match preview

© Reuters

Following a 2-2 draw against Atlanta United on April 15, Philadelphia Union held the only remaining undefeated record in MLS this season. However, since then, they have failed to secure a single league victory, recording three defeats and two draws in their last five fixtures.

After a visit to the capital, Jim Curtin’s team returned to Subaru Park on Saturday night, where they hosted Orlando City following a significant week for the club, during which they made headlines worldwide by signing 14-year-old prodigy Cavan Sullivan.

In that match, the two Eastern Conference teams produced five goals, underwent two lengthy VAR checks, and witnessed a whopping 15 minutes of second-half stoppage time. Ultimately, the away side secured the victory with a three-goal comeback after Mikael Uhre‘s opener in the 12th minute.

Uhre’s goal saw him surpass Jack McInerney to become the club’s sixth-highest scorer in history. Daniel Gazdag also got on the scoresheet on the same night and was honoured for breaking the club’s all-time scoring record, which also happened to coincide with the three-year anniversary of his signing.

While the Union have evidently been far from their best in recent weeks, they do have an excellent record against this opponent having won each of the last five league encounters dating back to December 2021.

New York City FC goalkeeper Matt Freese© Reuters

Meanwhile, New York City FC secured their first away victory of the season in dramatic fashion on Saturday night at BMO Field, defeating an in-form Toronto side 3-2 and marking the first time they have scored three goals in a league game since they beat the same opponent 3-0 in September last season.

Santiago Rodriguez, Malachi Jones and Andres Perea all got on the scoresheet against the Reds, but the standout performance of the night came from their goalkeeper Matt Freese, who made a season-high nine saves, eight of which were from inside the box.

However, after a thrilling nine minutes of stoppage time, tensions reached a boiling point, resulting in an altercation between the two teams, with John Herdman and Nick Cushing needing to be separated after exchanging a few heated words.

Chaos aside, that result was a significant one for NYCFC, as it was their first victory on the road, following three defeats and a draw in their preceding four away games this season.

NYCFC also seem to have found their goal-scoring form since the start of April, netting 10 goals in their last six league games after managing just four in their first six from the start of the campaign.

Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer form:

New York City FC Major League Soccer form:

Team News

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin takes the field on February 25, 2024© Reuters

Philadelphia have a few notable injury absentees at present, including first-choice goalkeeper Andre Blake, who is sidelined with a knee injury until mid-June, while Olivier Mbaizo is still recovering from a calf injury and is only expected to be ready to return later this month.

Markus Anderson (leg), Holden Trent (hand) and Isaiah LeFlore (knee) have been slated to return in the next few weeks, while Nick Pariano is flagged as a doubt for the midweek clash.

New York are missing two players at present with Argentine playmaker Maxi Moralez still recovering from knee surgery and defender Rio Hope-Gund ruled out with a leg injury.

With the quick turnaround between games, striker Mounsef Bakrar, who started 10 of the previous 11 league games, was left out of the squad for the weekend’s fixture against Toronto and should return to lead the line in this one.

Philadelphia Union possible starting lineup:
Semmle; Harriel, Glesnes, Lowe, Wagner; Sullivan, Bedoya, McGlynn, Flach; Gazdag, Uhre

New York City FC possible starting lineup:
Freese; Ilenic, Martins, Risa, Kevin O’Toole; Parks, Sands; Wolf, Rodriguez, Ojeda; Bakrar

SM words green background

We say: Philadelphia Union 2-2 New York City FC

While New York City come into this fixture with momentum, they have struggled in defence on the road are yet to register their first away clean sheet this season. Philadelphia, on the other hand, have scored two goals in all but one of their home games this season but have shipped eight in their last three alone.

There should be no shortage of goalmouth action in this one, but we feel these teams will cancel each other out by the final whistle.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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