Andre Blake Return, Union Prepare to Host Sporting Kansas City

With the tough loss to Orlando City in the rearview, the Philadelphia Union look ahead to Saturday’s match at home against Sporting Kansas City. It comes with some reinforcements, as Andre Blake is set to return to the squad after suffering an adductor strain a few weeks ago. Getting Blake back is big for a Union squad that is 1-0-2 in their last three matches. Looking to get back on track, the Union needs all the help they can get, and Blake provides some much-needed help during a time when seven players on the senior roster are away on international duty (Martinez, Gazdag, Lowe, Odada, McGlynn, Sullivan, and Craig). Let’s dive into the keys for the Union going into Saturday night’s match.

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Key #1 – Julian Carranza

Julian Carranza will be returning from his one-match suspension due to yellow card accumulation in the match against Montreal. His ability in the final third was definitely missing during the Orlando City match. Having Carranza back will help lift the Union offense which is missing its key producer Daniel Gazdag. The Union has to get back on a positive note, and a match at home could be just what they needed after the previous matchday. Adding Carranza to the lineup should prove helpful.

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Key #2 – Andre Blake Set to Return

Getting back the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year from injury will significantly boost the Union. With the squad coming off of a tough loss, Andre Blake’s ability can help get the team back on track. Blake has a career record of 2-0-2 against Kansas City, conceding four goals against SKC and holding one clean sheet as well. With multiple members of the starting 11 away on international duty, the Union is in need of some help.

Key #3 – Glesnes, Elliot, Wagner, and Harriel/Mbaizo

To piggyback off of the previous key, the back four defenders in front of Blake are going to be vital in this match. The back line needs to limit the shots on goal to ease their goalkeeper back into league play. The defense needs to work well in the transition to the attack. Solid passing and strong defensive play will be necessary to secure a much-needed three points at home.

With the Union not playing at Subaru Park again for three weeks, getting a win on Saturday is necessary. Carrying the momentum into the CONCACAF Champions League matchup against Atlas set for Tuesday night would be helpful, as the next league matches they play at the friendly confines of Subaru Park isn’t until April 22nd. Needing to get wins to move up the table is key, as well as carrying through the CCL. All eyes will be on Subaru Park Saturday night at 7:30 pm.

Austin Hamell
Austin Hamell

Austin is the host of The Attacking Third (Tuesday nights at 9 pm). His passion for soccer started in the early 2000s because of his brother and father’s influence. He is a dedicated fan of all Philly sports and also is a fan of gaming.

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