Philly Sports Live

Match Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. Chivas USA [UPDATE]

Garfangoat

The Union are back home at PPL Park tomorrow night after what can only be called a disappointing two match road trip.  As they prepare to take on Chivas USA, Philadelphia is coming off a draw in Salt Lake and a loss in Houston, which broke the U’s five game unbeaten streak.  While playing the league’s worst team might seem like a walk in the park, the timing of the match couldn’t be worse.

The Goats have just received the services of US international Carlos Bocanegra, who is making his much anticipated return to MLS.  Add on top of that the fact that Chivas just played what was quite possibly their best game of the season against Montreal.  It may not have been a win (1-1 draw), but it might have been their first complete match.

Philadelphia meanwhile are looking for some answers after a tightly contested 1-0 loss to the Dynamo.  While neither team deserved a win, the Union were a little unlucky, as Tally Hall was largely responsible for keeping Houston in the match.  After deploying a five man attacking threat during the match at BBVA that didn’t really work out, John Hackworth will most likely put out an XI against Chivas that more closely resembles, if not identical, to what he put out against Salt Lake, a match in all rights, the Union should have won.

Union vs Chivas lineup

The big inclusion here is former Australian A-League player, Fabio Alves.  Alves, who hails from Brazil, was picked up by the Union as a free agent on June 28th, bringing in much needed defensive depth.  Despite this being his first match available for Philadelphia, after two lackluster performances from Ray Gaddis, it would be extremely interesting if Hackworth chose not to play him.  Look for the player also know as Fabinho to be in the XI tomorrow.

Danny Cruz should also be back for this match.  He was questionable for Saturday’s match against Houston and was close to being match fit, but just wasn’t ready come game time.  Knowing just how hard he works, there is no doubt he should be ready come 7:30 tomorrow evening.  Of course, with the return of his twin brother Gabriele, Michael Farfan is sure to get the start, as these two are sure to have a friendly sibling rivalry throughout this one.

As mentioned earlier, Carlos Bocanegra is back, and he’ll be available for tomorrow night’s contest.  The Union will have to to press hard for a goal, as they’ll first have to get through him.  Of course, there is always the chance that Boca will have some first match jitters while making the transition back to MLS, so advantage Union there.

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow evening, coming your way from the banks of the Delaware at PPL Park.  The Comcast Network will be bringing you all the action, with JP Dellacamera and Alejandro Moreno bringing you the pre-game show at 7:00.  As always, PSL will have a full match recap directly following tomorrow’s match.  Meanwhile, make sure you head over to PSL’s sister site, The Soccer Desk, for continuing coverage of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

UPDATE: Philly.com’s Jonathan Tannenwald is reporting that Carlos Bocanegra is battling an illness and may not play tomorrow evening.