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A decent six-game unbeaten streak in the MLS for Orlando City came to an end this past weekend against the New England Revolution. Another mountainous challenge stands in their way in the form of the Philadelphia Union in the next game. Orlando City have already beaten the Union once this season, and that too in their own backyard. It may not look surprising now, considering Orlando City’s splendid away record this season.
While Orlando City lost a six-game unbeaten streak before this crunch encounter, Philadelphia Union saw San Jose Earthquakes end their nine-game unbeaten streak, during which they won seven matches. A win this past weekend would have lifted the side up into third place, but that was not the case. However, the 2022 MLS runners-up still have one game in hand, and if they beat Orlando City, they can still move up into third.
The odds favor the hosts in this encounter despite Orlando City’s poor record at home. The result of the reverse fixture has also played a part in this. However, Philadelphia Union have better momentum and could win this tie to keep their pursuit for the summit on.
Including the reverse fixture of March this year, the two sides have met each other 17 times in the MLS. Orlando City have the better record, with seven wins under their belt. Meanwhile, Philadelphia Union have been victorious in five encounters.
Five matches between the two have ended in draws, but none of them have come in the past five encounters. During those five games, Philadelphia Union have won three games, and the other two went in favor of Orlando City.
Orlando City have had a fair share of trouble in their own backyard this season. Additionally, their record at home against Philadelphia Union is not great. In seven home games against the Union, Orlando City have only won twice.
Philadelphia Union have also won two of those seven, with the remaining three games ending in draws. When the 2022 MLS runners-up visited the Exploria Stadium last season, they nabbed all three points after a narrow 1-0 win, courtesy of a 39th-minute Daniel Gazdag strike.
Away games are usually more challenging than the ones played in a team’s own backyard. That, however, is not the case with Orlando City this season. The club holds the best away record in the league across both divisions.
However, when the focus shifts to home form, Orlando City drop down towards the bottom of the table. In their own backyard, they have picked up the joint-fewest points in the Eastern Conference – a record they share with New York Red Bulls and Charlotte FC.
The club had gathered decent momentum over the past few weeks before they were handed their first defeat in six games by New England Revolution. Now the next challenge is at home, and considering their form at home, it will be no easy task for Orlando City to beat the Union.
Despite losing 3-1 this past weekend against the New England Revolution, Orlando City finished the game with the most attempts. They also matched their opponent’s shot-on-target number and looked sharper in the second half.
This has been a consistent occurrence in their game. Over the last six games, Orlando City have caused more problems for their opponents in the second half. For the next game, they either have to bring that performance into the first half or make the second half even more prolific.
Penetrating the robust Philadelphia Union defense will be a telling task for Orlando City, which is why they will need their strikers to be potent in the final third. Facundo Torres has been hogging the limelight for Orlando City with five goals and two assists in 15 appearances.
The Uruguayan has attracted interest from several football clubs, including English Premier League side Arsenal. Torres did not feature in the last game but has scored three goals and pocketed one assist in his last two starts. He will be eager to add another to his tally.
A stellar nine-game unbeaten streak came to an end this past weekend for Philadelphia Union when they were beaten 2-1 by a resilient San Jose Earthquakes side. This was their first defeat in the MLS since April, when they lost to FC Cincinnati.
After narrowly missing out on their maiden MLS title last year, all eyes are on the prize this season for Philadelphia Union. To turn that possibility into reality, the club will need to bounce back from occasional hiccups immediately.
Two undesirable outcomes in a row will hamper the Union’s momentum and positioning on the table. With other title contenders like FC Cincinnati and Nashville SC flying high, Philadelphia Union cannot afford to slip up and fail to win the title yet again.
Starting with the game against Orlando City, Philadelphia Union will be on the road for four out of the next five games in the MLS. After the next game, they will return home to host Inter Miami before playing three consecutive away games.
Philadelphia Union have lost just one out of nine home games this season, but on the road, they have lost four of eight. Over the next few weeks, the Union will have the opportunity to work on their away form when they are up against teams like Atlanta United and Nashville SC,
Daniel Gazdag finished last season’s league campaign with 24 goals and 6 assists for Philadelphia Union. This season has also gotten off to an extremely promising start, with seven goals and five assists in 16 appearances.
However, a concerning factor for the Union is that the Hungarian has not scored in the last three games. Relying heavily on him could cost Philadelphia Union valuable points if he fails to find the back of the net.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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