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Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution | MLS is Back Tournament, Round of 16

2020 MLS is Back Tournament – Round of 16
Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Sat., July 25 – 10:30 PM ET

TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes; TSN in Canada

STREAMING: ESPN App; TSN App in Canada

Fans of these two clubs are eager to finally see their respective teams make the leap from playoff material to championship contenders, and they'll test their title credentials in the Round of 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament on Saturday evening. The Union (2W-1L-2D) and the Revs (1W-1L-3D) entered 2020 with heightened expectations after proving they were worthy postseason competition, and have both proven to be tough outs this season. The Revs, however, will likely be without a key contributor, and the youthful Union will be looking to take advantage.

The Union hold the slight edge in the regular season series between the two: 5W-3L-3D. The two teams have never met in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, but they did face off in two knockout matches in the U.S. Open Cup. The Union beat the Revs in the first meeting in the 2014 quarterfinals (2-0) and the Revs returned the favor in the 2016 quarters, advancing on penalty kicks.

Philadelphia Union

Jim Curtin's Union are a hard-working unit with few obvious weaknesses. Captain Alejandro Bedoya sets the tone in midfield alongside Brenden Aaronson, whose stock continues to rise. What's different about the MLS is Back Tournament is that Philly have been unabashed about their ambition to win it all well before they set foot in Orlando and they walked the walk in the group stage. Only the goal differential tiebreaker prevented them from topping Group A. 

The Union could be boosted by a first appearance of the season by forward Andrew Wooten, who Curtin said is capable of playing 20-25 minutes off the bench. Furthermore, Jose Martinez is likely to slot back in at the No. 6 spot after serving a one-game suspension.Project Starting XI

Updated team roster

  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: None
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

New England Revolution

The Revs, coached by National Soccer Hall of Famer Bruce Arena, are equally solid and well-balanced, relying on star players Gustavo Bou, Adam Buksa and playmaker Carles Gil for the magic moments in attack. That's why there's concern among Revolution supporters after Gil was seen wearing a protective boot during the final group game. He starred in New England's first two matches and then watched from the sidelines as his team picked up a 0-0 tie in the Group C finale. Arena has said that Gil is unlikely to feature on Saturday and the Revs are already preparing for the game without the man who has registered 15 assists in just 37 MLS appearances for the Revs.

"Obviously we miss him," Bou said. "We all know the class of a player he is and what he brings to the team. We need to understand that he’s not going to be on the team. And the team will do its best so that we don’t miss him too much on the field.”

 

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Luis Caicedo (M) - right knee injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Carles Gil (M) - left foot injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Series Matchup

  • Union: 4 wins, 19 goals
  • Revolution: 3 wins, 15 goals
  • 4 draws

Officials

  • Referee: Ismail Elfath
  • Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Chris Wattam
  • 4th Official: Ramy Touchan
  • VAR: Drew Fischer
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