The Philadelphia Union will host the New England Revolution on Saturday at Subaru Park, taking on one of just two MLS squads without a home loss.
The Revs lost 4-2 at New York City FC on Saturday, knocking them out of contention for the playoffs, while Philadelphia topped the Eastern Conference after defeating Inter Miami 2-1 on the road.
New England Revolution
Philadelphia scored more goals in one game last Friday to demolish DC United 7-0 than they had in their previous eight league contests combined.
That many goals were the most this side has ever scored in a single MLS match, and it temporarily dissuaded some who had complained that they lacked a number nine.
The defense of Jim Curtin’s team has never been in question, especially in the City of Brotherly Love, where they have recorded five clean sheets in 2022.
The Union haven’t given up a goal in the first half in five straight games and have given up the fewest goals in the league, seven fewer than the next-best side.
Their shrewd and aggressive midfield play has made it simple for the backline to keep their positions and clear any danger that might be in their path, suggesting that they may be finding their rhythm. There is no questioning their performances, since they just lost twice in 2022, the fewest at this point in a regular season in franchise history, despite longstanding criticism that they lacked flair and sufficient offensive intent.
In their previous match, the Revolution were awarded a record three penalties, two of which were scored in the Bronx last weekend. This was a literal penalty for them.
Bruce Arena, as you might expect, was not happy with the penalty decisions. He claimed afterwards that someone should have apologized to his team for what he believed to be some questionable refereeing decisions, including a red card that reduced them to 10 men minutes before halftime.
Whether or not it was controversial, the four goals surrendered were the most New England had given up in a regular-season match since 2019, when they gave up four or more three times, including a 6-1 thrashing to the Union at Subaru Park at the beginning of May.
They continue to struggle on defense, giving up the fourth-most goals in the Eastern Conference so far.
Due to their roster’s strong identity and ability to work effectively together, the Revs have been quite sharp on the attacking end despite a lot of player turnover with players being purchased and sold.
A belief exists that this team could be dangerous in the second half of the season if they can demonstrate a little more structure on the back end. Their depth helped them win their first Supporters’ Shield championship in 2021.
The Union are well-equipped to handle the Revs’ dangerous attacking players since they are possibly the most structurally sound team in the league and are currently operating at peak efficiency, but expect them to be in a bad mood following the way they lost their previous match.