A draw is likely to be the result of this match
New York City FC and Philadelphia have played out some thrilling games in recent history, and this one could also be a close contest.
Four of the last six meetings between the two sides have been decided by a single goal margin. Only one game ended in a 2-0 win for New York, while the other was a draw.
Both sides love taking the attacking route, but with two solid defenses facing off, it is not going to be easy for either team. A draw is likely to be the result of this match, but with both sides getting on the scoresheet.
New York City FC are expected to dominate possession against Philadelphia Union, but it will be interesting to see how far up they push throughout the game. They find it hard to get back into shape when their opponents counter, and that could play into Union’s hands.
Philadelphia are not a team that keeps hold of the ball a lot, and they prefer sitting back and working on the counters. They do play a lot of long balls as well, and if City press high, they will manage to create a few chances easily.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 5 of Philadelphia’s last 6 away games in the MLS. However, things are not the same when it comes to facing New York City FC.
A scored draw with at least one goal in either half is predicted for this weekend.
New York City FC are undefeated in 11 of their last 12 MLS matches and will be confident going into their game on Saturday. However, the defending champions have not made the best of starts to the season.
They lost on the opening day to LA Galaxy after being on the receiving end of a 90th-minute goal by Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez. They failed to put on a good display at the Dignity Health Sports Park as the home side were dominant in every department.
Things did improve when they visited Vancouver Whitecaps, but they were held to a goalless draw by the Canadian side. The champions dominated with 70% of the possession and 19 shots but never really threatened Thomas Hasal. Just 4 shots were on target, but the Vancouver shot-stopper was forced into a save only once.
New York needed a break from the league, and the match against Comunicaciones FC in the CONCACAF Champions League helped. They won 3-1 at home and managed to dominate once again. Valentin Castellanos stepped up with a goal and two assists – getting all the players a must-needed confidence boost.
The break helped them get their first win of the MLS season as well. They won their first home game of the season 4-1 against CF Montreal and put on a commanding display. They held onto the ball well, managed to create good chances, and converted the half-chances as well.
Comunicaciones, however, gave New York a reality check midweek after coming back from 3-1 down in the first leg to win 4-2. However, the MLS side did manage to go through to the semi-final thanks to the away goals rule after the tie ended 5-5.
In short, the season so far has been hit-or-miss for New York City, but they are rather impenetrable while playing at home and haven’t lost a game there since September 2021.
Philadelphia are undefeated in 9 of their last 10 MLS matches.
That loss, incidentally, was against New York City FC back in December.
The champions won 2-1 on the night after coming back from a goal down. Alexander Callens scored an unfortunate own goal before Maxi Moralez and Talles Magno pulled things back.
The Unions’ manager Jim Curtin will be looking to put that loss behind him and keep their unbeaten run in the league this season going. They have started with organization and composure this season and sit third in the Supporters’ Shield table right now, while holding onto 2nd place in the Eastern Conference.
They kicked off their season with a 1-1 draw at home to Minnesota United. Despite having 19 attempts at goal and keeping possession in their opponent’s half, they could not break down their defense beyond that single goal.
Things got better for Curtin’s side in the second game of the season as they managed to pull off a 2-0 win on the road against CF Montreal.
The home side were the ones controlling the game but two quick goals early in the second half saw the Union walk away with the three points.
Alejandro Bedoya, who went off injured later in the game, scored the equalizer in the 53rd minute before Dániel Gazdag gave them the lead in the 56th minute.
Most importantly, this game was evidence of the Union’s ability to be dogged and resistant: they went down to 10 men in the 71st minute after Julián Carranza picked up two yellow cards in 7 minutes, but they managed to hold on for the win without further damage.
Back at home in the third game against the San Jose Earthquakes, Philadelphia played with a different setup.
They sat back deep in their half and were only attacking on counters. The plan worked out – and this time it was a nod to Curtin and his team’s versatility – as they won 2-0 with a goal in either half despite having just 31 of the ball in the game.
|New York City FC vs Philadelphia Union|
|Teams||New York City FC vs Philadelphia Union|
|Time||Saturday, March 19 at 1pm EST|
|How to watch||MLS LIVE on ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN, YES Network, 6abc|
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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