This Saturday, the Philadelphia Union will start a three game home stretch vs the Portland Timbers. The Union are coming into this game with a 0-2-2 record and are currently sitting in last place. While the Timbers are off to a hot start with a 3-1-1 record and currently standing at the top of the western conference. For the Union to be successful in this game, they will need to shut down Portland’s offense which averages 2.6 goals a game.
After starting the season with a shutout, the Union’s defense has given up 2 goals in each of their last three games. Last week’s game versus DC United, saw the Union come out flat footed against their I-95 rivals, leading two goals for DC United in the first half. The second half was a completely different story, with CJ Sapong and Fabian Herbers coming on as subs and creating dangerous chances for the Union.
A win this week could jump the Union up a few spots in the standings. But a loss or a draw would put the Union in a deep hole early in the season.
Things to watch for:
1. Can CJ Sapong score his 4th goal in 4 games?
2. Can the Union win their first game since August 27th, 2016?
3. Who will get the starting foward spot, CJ Sapong or Jay Simpson?
4. Who will get the starting right midfield spot, Ilsinho or Fabian Herbers?
5. Can the Union’s defense limit the Portland Timbers to 2 goals or less?