The Philadelphia Union (2-1-3 7pts 8th place in the East) take on FC Cincinnati (4-2-0 14pts 1st place in the East) in a clash of last year’s Eastern Conference Champs vs. this year’s current one seed in Eastern Conference. Cincinnati has been off to a red-hot start. They are without a single loss during the 2023 campaign thus far through 6 games. Cincy holds a goal differential of +4 by means of 8 goals tallied and 4 goals against.
Cincinnati has four clean sheets already this year behind United States goalkeeper Roman Celentano who’s been outstanding in net for FC with a goals-against average of 0.66 per game. They will look to extend their 6-game unbeaten streak Saturday night versus a Union team who looks to have found a little bit of their mojo Tuesday night with a 1-0 win over Atlas FC in the 1st leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. Philadelphia is headed to Cincinnati.
Philadelphia is Headed to Cincinnati
Philly is coming off back-to-back clean sheets thanks to the return of Jamaican Goalkeeper Andre Blake. In his first 2 games back from a grade 1 adductor strain, Andre has seen 7 shots on goal, disposing of every single one of them with ease. With Andre back in the net, this gives the Philadelphia Union backline a little more flexibility to push up the field and create more attacks.
Jack Mcglynn got the start in the midfield Tuesday night. His passing was exceptional, posting stats of 100 touches, 66-81 passing, and 21 passes into the final third. It will be key to see what Jim Curtin does with Jack going forward. He seems to be the most creative player on the pitch for Philadelphia when given the opportunity.
Missing Key Player
The Union will be without Kai Wagner this weekend. Wagner missed the last game due to a grade 1 hamstring injury. If that’s the case, Nate Harriel will be asked to fill in for Wagner again. Nate was solid in place of Kai. He took control of the left side of the field and not giving many opportunities to Atlas up that flank. Philadelphia will look to get back in the win column in leagues play Saturday night. They will continue the momentum gained from their previous match-up.
Players to Watch
After struggling to find his form this year, Julian Carranza will have to start producing for a Union team. The Union has been lacking quality in the attacking third if they want to get back to the top of the Eastern Conference. Carranza was key last year for the success of this team posting 14 goals and 9 assists in 31 starts. We have to expect him to get back to form in one of these games. I think this will be the match Carranza finds the back of the net for his first DOOP since game 1 of the season. He scored two goals to start off the year.
My name is Diego Bianchi born and raised in Philadelphia. I’m a sports analyst, writer, and show host covering Philadelphia sports for Edge of Philly Sports. I also am a credentialed media member covering the Philadelphia Union for EOP. My passion for sports started since forever ago. At least, it feels like that. Thanks to my amazing family. I love doing this every day. You can catch me every Monday night on the Sully Squad at 6 PM on Edge of Philly Sports.