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By the time this game kicks off on Sunday night, the Philadelphia Union may have already booked their place in this season’s MLS playoffs.
Depending on how a few different results go, the Union could earn their postseason invitation before they even touch the ball.
That said, if things do go in their favor, they’ll still need to clinch three points if they hope to host some playoff matches.
Keeping in mind that their following and final game of the season will be against a top side like New York City FC, the Union should be aiming for three points before then this weekend.
Especially up against a weakened squad like FC Cincinnati’s.
Cincinnati, with two games left on their schedule, will officially finish the season as the worst team in MLS this year.
No playoffs are on the horizon for them, which means no hopes for them this Sunday either.
Philadelphia for the win (-280)
The Union are so incredibly close to qualifying for this year’s MLS playoffs.
As mentioned earlier, by the time this game kicks off on Halloween, there’s a chance that they might even already have their place booked into the postseason.
And if it were to happen, it would be well-deserved for the 2020 Supporters’ Shield winners.
Although they’ve had a few hiccups along the way, it’s difficult to think of very many teams in the league who have consistently looked better than Philadelphia.
They’ve put up exceptional defensive numbers and have only allowed 34 goals in 32 matches.
Up top, names like Kacper Przybyłko and Jamiro Monteiro have been impressed with their attacking efforts.
During their latest playoff push, they’ve also been outstanding at home in the last two months.
In their last 14 games at Subaru Park, Philadelphia have only lost once at home.
As for that loss, it was a narrow and hard-fought 1-0 defeat to the #1 team in MLS, the New England Revolution.
Overall, the Union have been imperious on local turf and in their last four matches at Subaru Park, they’ve collected four victories in a row.
Looking at those four games, they’ve scored eight goals and only allowed one.
It’s impressive to see, and when recognizing that Cincinnati are the worst team in the league, three points appear all but guaranteed for the home side.
Praise is due to Przybyłko and Monteiro for their attacking efforts, but elsewhere, Kai Wagner and Alejandro Bedoya have also been just as important in support.
This was apparent in their latest 2-2 performance against Toronto FC.
Despite the fact that the Union dropped points in what was nearly another win for them, Wagner was crucial with his runs on the left flank that provided an assist in the match.
Outside of his defensive work as a left-back, Wagner has also chipped in with two goals and an assist since September.
As for Bedoya, he helped the Union hit the ground running against Toronto with a goal in the 1st minute.
The American midfielder has been a vital cog in the midfield as a well-rounded and experienced presence for Philadelphia.
Apologies to Cincinnati fans, but there’s just very little (if any) that is left for their club this season.
With two games to go, they are guaranteed to have the worst record in MLS this year and will be walking into the weekend with a 10-game losing streak.
It has been a dismal 2021 for the team.
Even earlier this week when they took a 3-1 advantage over Nashville SC, disaster struck them once again with an eventual and shocking finish that led to a 6-3 loss at home.
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|Philadelphia Union vs FC Cincinnati Information|
|Teams||Philadelphia Union vs FC Cincinnati|
|Location||Subaru Park (Chester, Pennsylvania)|
|Time||Sunday, October 31st at 4:30pm PT/7:30pm ET|
|How to Watch||ESPN+|
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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