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Philadelphia Union will look to add to their winning momentum against New York City after clinching a 2-0 win over better-placed Nashville in the Eastern Conference points table. Meanwhile, New York City will have their task cut out against a formidable opponent as they look to convert their two-match haul of one point into three.
In their last outing, the Jim Curtin-managed club was reduced to 10-man in injury time despite securing a 2-0 win in the 84th minute from a spot kick converted by their Hungarian star midfielder Daniel Gazdag.
He completed his brace to help his team clinch all three points after netting the opener from the spot in the 40th minute. Philadelphia Union will take a lot of positives from the match, as their opponents were reduced to nine-man after losing American full-backs Shaquell Moore and Daniel Lovitz in the second half.
New York City FC, on the contrary, have been on a testing run as they have failed to find the winner in their last two outings. The Nick Cushing-managed side scored the opening goal through Justin Haak in their last fixture against Columbus. However, they could not hold on to the solo goal advantage as a 10-man Columbus scored the equalizer in injury time through Sean Zawadzki.
Philadelphia Union will likely run riot against a struggling New York City in their upcoming fixture on Saturday.
Philadelphia Union has a long-standing rivalry with New York City FC since 2018. The clubs have faced off 21 times in the MLS in these years. The head-to-head records for these sides have been neck and neck, with Philadelphia Union winning nine matches but New York City FC edging them with ten wins. Meanwhile, two fixtures have ended in a draw.
However, in their last four outings, Philadelphia Union has dominated the rivalry by winning all the matches since March 19, 2022. The last time New York City FC won a match against their worthy opponents was in December 2021.
In their previous meeting that took place in the ongoing season of the MLS, Philadelphia Union defeated New York City FC 3-1. Cushing deployed his 4-2-3-1 formation in the fixture, while Curtin opted for an attacking 3-5-2 combination.
New York City relied on Richard Ledezma as their lone striker in the starting XI. He was supported by Brazilian winger Gabriel Pereira, midfielder Santiago Rodrigues, and American winger Andres Jasson in the midfield.
Curtin, meanwhile, showed faith in his three-man-at-the-back defense, with Jack Elliot featuring as the central defender while Jakob Glesnes and Damion Lowe played as the full-backs. Philadelphia Union Julian Carranza started as a forward along with his Danish compatriot Mikael Uhre.
Pereira (30’) opened the scoring for the home side in the first half, while Carranza scored a brace in the added time of first-half to give the visitors a lead. Meanwhile, Philadelphia Union secured all three points through their third goal off Gazdag from the spot in the 53rd minute. The win took the unbeaten streak for Philadelphia to seven matches in the MLS.
Philadelphia has dominated at the fortress, winning four out of their last five matches. They have not lost a single match in their last five outings. Meanwhile, New York City FC has struggled to get all three points on board in their last five away fixtures. The club has recorded four draws and only one win.
Argentine forward Carranza is currently chasing the golden boot in the 2023 MLS season. He has netted 10 times in 21 fixtures and will be heading into the match against New York City after scoring a brace against the opponent in the last meeting. He is only three goals behind the most goals scorer in the 2023 MLS season. The 23-year-old was also on the scoresheet in Philadelphia’s last outing against Nashville earlier this week.
Carranza, however, will not be the only worry for New York City as his compatriot and forward Uhre will look to inflict more misery on the opponents. Uhre has featured in 21 fixtures for Philadelphia in the ongoing season and netted seven times.
Another major threat for New York City will be Philadelphia Union’s No.10 Gazdag. The Hungarian has netted nine times for the club and also assisted as many times. He has also been reliable with the spot kicks for the club and has a 100 percent conversion rate in the ongoing season.
Curtin might rely on his three-man-at-back formation or choose to opt for a 4-4-2 diamond combination in the upcoming match against New York City FC. His tactics include high-temp, high pressing, and transition to pass the ball forward. The club has not been bothered when not in possession of the proceedings, as they have found ways to win the ball back on most occasions. Uhre and Carranza have been physical in their approach and hard pressing. They will be the key men to watch out for in the upcoming fixture against New York City.
New York City FC stepped into July with a slender 1-0 win over Montreal. However, since that fixture, the club has settled for two consecutive draws and failed to find a winner. The major worry for Cushing is that his side is deprived of a proper striker.
In these testing situations, the Brazilian winger Pereira has found the back of the net, six times in 21 appearances. He is the leading goal scorer for the club in the ongoing season. His Uruguayan compatriot and attacking midfielder Santiago Rodriguez has scored four times and assisted as many.
Young American midfielder Ledezma will, meanwhile, look to put his best foot forward for the club in search of a goal after having assisted five times in this season.
Cushing is likely to opt for a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation in the fixture against Philadelphia Union. The club has relied on their possession-heavy style of play and hard pressing to retain possession. However, New York City has failed to display creativity in the midfield and find clinical finishes.
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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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