Date: Sunday, October 1st
Time: 1:00 p.m. Eastern, 12:00 p.m. Central, 10:00 a.m. Pacific, 6:00 p.m. UTC
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Referees: REF: ALAN KELLY AR1: Danny Thornberry AR2: Eric Boria 4TH: Marcos DeOliveira VAR: Fotis Bazakos
Television: United States - ESPN (English), ESPN Deportes (Spanish); Canada - TVA Sports
Radio: ESPN Deportes Radio (Spanish)
Streaming: WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes+
The Philadelphia Union have won three, lost four, and drawn two against the Seattle Sounders in MLS play. They also lost once to Seattle in the U.S. Open Cup (2014 Final).
What Philadelphia will look like
It remains to be seen if the knocks that Keegan Rosenberry and Warren Creavalle picked up last time out against Atlanta United FC are serious enough to warrant keeping them out. Rosenberry looked shaky against Atlanta, but to be fair the same could be said about most every right back tasked with facing the Atlanta offense.
Creavalle has also found excellent form lately, and his absence would pose a definite quandary for Jim Curtin. If Curtin did not want to return to the 4-2-3-1, he could insert Derrick Jones and drop Haris Medunjanin deeper where Creavalle would normally play - or perhaps if the stars aligned we could see the return of Maurice Edu at central defensive midfielder after being injured for the past two years. If Edu still can’t go and Jones isn’t showing well in training, the Union could revert back to the 4-2-3-1 with Roland Alberg given yet another shot to take the starting 10 role.
Beyond that I wouldn’t expect many changes over Wednesday’s match. Giliano Wijnaldum would likely get the nod over Fabinho, but beyond that I don’t see much changing against Seattle.
What Seattle will look like
Seattle comes in having lost just once in their last fifteen games. That said, they are not invincible - especially when playing on the road. Seattle is 3W 7L 6D away from CenturyLink Field this year and lost their last match on the road 2-0 to Real Salt Lake.
The Sounders also come in having issues with injuries. Brad Evans, Jordan Morris, and Calum Mallace are all out injured, while Osvaldo Alonso and Román Torres also picked up injuries against the Vancouver Whitecaps the last time out which could limit their involvement against the Union.
Don’t be fooled though. Seattle still has Clint Dempsey up top with Nicolás Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan behind him. This is not a team that anyone should take lightly, regardless of who is injured and how far they’ve traveled.
What to expect
Often times it’s a matter of timing. Sometimes things time themselves out perfectly and teams can take advantage of the opportunity. The Union have been presented with a huge opportunity against a much stronger team. Can they buck the overall trend of this season and capitalize on this timing, or will we simply continue through the motions through the remaining matches?