Date: Sunday, October 22nd
Time: 4:00 p.m. Eastern, 3:00 p.m. Central, 1:00 p.m. Pacific, 9:00 p.m. UTC
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Referees: REF: JOSEPH DICKERSON AR1: Kermit Quisenberry AR2: Claudiu Badea 4TH: Jorge Gonzalez VAR: Mark Geiger
Television: 6ABC (Philadelphia market), WRDQ 27 (Central Florida market)
Streaming: MLS Live
The series between Orlando City and Philadelphia is even, with each team winning two, losing two, and drawing twice.
What Philadelphia will look like
With nothing but pride to play for, you’d think the Union would look to play the kids, try out a weird formation, or generally throw caution to the wind. That won’t necessarily be the case, as most of the kids are with Bethlehem Steel FC. Look for CJ Sapong to start to give him a shot at breaking Sebastien Le Toux’s single-season goal scoring record for the Union. Ray Gaddis will also start on the right, as Keegan Rosenberry has been suspended by the team for a disciplinary issue.
Beyond that though, who knows. The back four have been a bit of a revolving door this year, so there’s no grain to go against no matter who is put out there. Brian Carroll announced his retirement after the game - will he start over Haris Medunjanin? Will he be a sub? Will he watch from the stands? Who knows.
If Ilsinho plays, it means he will be back with the Union in 2018. If you have strong feelings about this either way you’ll either be thrilled or disappointed. I’d expect Roland Alberg to play in what will probably be his final game in a Union uniform.
What Orlando City will look like
Orlando comes to town out of the playoffs and without Kaka, who announced his intentions to leave Orlando at the end of the season. Will he retire? Will he go and play somewhere else? Does it matter to Union fans?
Cyle Larin is another who is projected to miss the match, as he’s been missing starts due to a hip injury. Dom Dwyer is available though and will most likely get the nod. Union nemesis Joe Bendik will probably get the start in goal, but beyond that it’s really a guessing game. Orlando could play the kids, try out a weird formation, or generally throw caution to the wind.
What to expect
Don’t expect anything. This could be a fiery affair, as guys who are playing for a job next year are looking to put in a performance that will get them noticed - or it could be a completely tame affair where everyone tries to not get hurt and not make too big of mistakes. Predictions for this game are a fool’s errand because of all of the possible permutations we could expect to see.