Philly Sports Live

Match Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire

Union PSL

The Union are coming off a strange past couple of weeks as far as wins and losses go.  On April 21st, Philadelphia took on DC United and walked away with their first ever win at RFK Stadium.  A week later, The U took on the New England Revolution, a team they had never lost against, and left Gillette Stadium with a somewhat embarrassing 2-0 loss.  This past Saturday, Seattle was in town, an despite two red cards shown to the Sounders, the match bizarrely played to a 2-2 draw after a blatant hand ball against Seattle wasn’t called for a penalty.

Come this Saturday, the Union walk into the Windy City, more specifically, Toyota Park to take on the Chicago Fire, a team Philly put up a good result against at the tail end of last season.  With the playoffs out of the picture last September, John Hackworth’s young Union side put on a fine offensive performance that included goals from Jack McInerney, former Union midfielder Gabriele Gomez, and Antoine Hoppenot, who put a clinical back heel finish into the back of the Chicago net.

Chicago, who have not been in form this season with five losses to their name and only two wins, will be looking to turn things around as they come home after suffering a 2-0 loss on the road to Montreal.  The Fire may have a bit of an advantage though as they get ready for Saturday afternoon’s contest, and that’s the Union back line.  After an injury to center back Jeff Parke that will keep him out of Saturday’s game, and a red card shown to Sheanon Williams, there will be a need for two defensive replacements.

With Williams out, Ray Gaddis will more than likely move to the right, with Gabe Farfan getting the start at left back.  Bakary Soumaré, who looked to have one foot out the door in Philadelphia, is all but confirmed to be taking Parke’s spot at center, a spot Soumaré thought would be his at the beginning of the season.  Despite the two changes, both Farfan and Soumaré are not just decent replacements, but good, viable options.

When it comes to the mid field and offensive side, don’t look for much of a change. After scoring two goals in 90 seconds last Saturday, Danny Cruz has a secure spot in the XI.  Keon Daniel and Michael Farfan should both start as well, with Brian Carroll the automatic with the arm band.  Up top, Casey and McInenery, no question.  Despite not having any goals the past two weeks, this dynamic duo can create chances at a moments notice.

Chicago vs. Philadelphia is set for a 1:30 p.m. ET kick-off tomorrow afternoon and will be televised on The NBC Sports Network.  Philly Sports Live will have live Twitter coverage of this one and a full post game wrap up right after the match.  You can also read the post game via The Soccer Desk.  As always, the TSD Podcast crew will also have a full breakdown of the match Monday evening.