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Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 14

Talen Energy Stadium — Chester
May 30 - 7:30 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada)

Two teams trying to push ahead of the playoff line in the East square off at Talen Energy Stadium as the Philadelphia Union bring a three-match unbeaten streak, following a 0-0 draw against the New York Red Bulls, against a Chicago Fire team that went on the road to defeat Orlando City SC, 2-1, last week.

The Union are 5W-2L-2D at home against the Fire in league play, never once getting shut out. They have scored 3+ goals in each of their last three home matches against Chicago (2W-1D), per Opta.

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin went with an unchanged lineup from the squad that defeated Real Salt Lake, 4-1, for their second straight win the week prior, in an attempt to cool off the red-hot Red Bulls.

Philadelphia (4-5-3) were unlucky not to come away with all three points with Marcus Epps being denied twice in the first half — first by Tim Parker on a goal-line clearance and then by goalkeeper Ryan Meara — and then C.J. Sapong put his second-half penalty kick wide as Meara dived the other way.

“This takes a lot out of guys' legs, a game with this intensity and this heat, but I think every one of our guys grew a bit in the game, even the older guys, I think they raised their level, as well,” Curtin said after the match. “A unique game, I thought a good game, and as exciting as you can have, but these types of games we see young players growing and developing on both teams.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Richie Marquez (sports hernia surgery), D - Joshua Yaro (concussion)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Andre Blake — Raymon Gaddis, Auston Trusty, Mark McKenzie, Keegan Rosenberry — Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya — Fafa Picault, Borek Dockal, Marcus Epps — C.J. Sapong

  • Notes: This will be David Accam’s first game against Chicago since being traded in the offseason. Accam had 33 goals in 78 games for the Fire, including a career-best 14 last season. He has yet to score a goal for the Union in 12 games this year. … Philadelphia have won two of their last three games (1D), scoring six goals over the three matches. They had won one of their prior eight matches (5L-2D), scoring just four goals.

Chicago Fire

Veljko Paunovic made four changes to his starting XI from the side that fell to the Houston Dynamo, 3-2, the previous week, with Patrick McLain earning his first start in net, Jonathan Campbell returning at centerback and Jorge Corrales and Daniel Johnson starting on both ends of a four-man midfield.

Aleksandar Katai’s blistering goal put Chicago (4-6-2) in front in the 13th minute before Cristian Higuita leveled for the Lions just before the half-hour mark. The match appeared destined for a 1-1 draw until Alan Gordon did Alan Gordon things, coming off the bench to net the 82nd-minute winner for the Fire, who finished the match with 10 men after Mohammed Adams was sent off for violent conduct in the 89th minute.

“In moments we were tactical, in moments we were smart, and in moments we were good technically also and other moments we were lucky to be honest and that's all you have to do,” Paunovic said after the match.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Johan Kappelhof, D - Kevin Ellis
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F - Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D - Matt Polster (MCL surgery), M - Jon Bakero (right ankle) F - Elliot Collier (left gastroc), M - Dax McCarty (right hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: F - Luis Solignac (left quad)

Projected Starting XI
(3-4-3, right to left)
GK: Patrick McLain — Jonathan Campbell, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Kevin Ellis — Daniel Johnson, Johan Kappelhoff, Mo Adams, Jorge Corrales — Diego Campos, Nemanja Nikolic, Aleksandar Katai

  • Notes: Since the start of 2010, Gordon has 22 goals as a substitute in MLS play. No other player has more than 12 such goals over that time frame. … The Fire have allowed multiple goals in 10 of their last 14 MLS road games (4W-8L-2D). They’ve kept just one clean sheet over that time.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Philadelphia Union 7 wins, 28 goals … Chicago Fire 8 wins, 30 goals … 5 ties
  • At Philadelphia: Union 5 wins, 17 goals … Fire 2 wins, 14 goals … 2 ties
  • Last meeting at Philadelphia: Philadelphia Union 3, Chicago Fire 1 (Sept. 23, 2017)

Officials

Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Danny Thornberry
4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez

Read More

Current Form

Philadelphia
W
L
L
W
W
D
Chicago
D
L
W
L
L
W

Season Stats

Philadelphia UnionChicago Fire
12Games Played12
4Wins4
5Losses6
3Draws2
12Goals17
15Goals Conceded21
135Shots90
63Shots on Target49
150Fouls committed132
104Fouls suffered113
21Offside29
69Corners59

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
PHI71211121
CHI24510171.4
01234+Avg
PHI211111.7
CHI132101.4
01234+Avg
PHI501000.3
CHI113001.4

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
PHI43320151.2
CHI23421211.8
01234+Avg
PHI222001
CHI212111.7
01234+Avg
PHI211201.5
CHI022101.8
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