The Union are back in action tonight after a short layoff, having played Toronto FC on Friday night. Tonight they’re in Columbus to square off against Crew SC, who they played to a scoreless draw at Talen Energy Stadium in mid-March.
Columbus has had a solid season so far, as they currently sit comfortably above the red line, albeit with a game or two in hand on their competitors. Their match against the Union was their only slight blemish in their first four gameweeks, as they came out victorious in their other three outings. That hot start was followed by a three-game losing streak, with two of those coming away from MAPFRE Stadium. They’ve gotten back on track recently, though, coming into tonight’s encounter undefeated in their past three.
Looking for something, anything, on the road
The Union have struck out on all three of their away games so far this season, joining Toronto FC as the only other team without any points on the road. The team’s failures away from home are not new, of course. Last year they won only one of their 18 away games, but the trend reaches much further back than that:
If you make a list of the Union's last 10 road wins in MLS, Chivas is on it.— Matthew De George (@sportsdoctormd) May 5, 2018
Chivas USA ceased to exist following the 2014 season. Great!
Tonight’s game bears no special importance aside from the fact that it’s an away game against a team that the Union are battling for a playoff spot. Though there may be no fanfare surrounding it, these are games where the Union have to actually show up. Everyone who’s watched this team over the years knows that they flat-out stink on the road, and more often than not, that signifies a team that flat-out stinks in general. The Union don’t need to be world-beaters away from home, but they have to win at least a few games like this per season if they’re going to give themselves a fighting chance come the fall.
Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Lalas Abubakar, Milton Valenzuela; Wil Trapp, Artur; Cristian Martinez, Federico Higuain, Niko Hansen; Gyasi Zardes
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake; Keegan Rosenberry, Jack Elliott, Auston Trusty, Fabinho; Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin; Ilsinho, Bořek Dočkal, David Accam; CJ Sapong
How to watch
Where: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
When: 7:30 PM ET, May 9, 2018
Streaming: ESPN+, MLS Live on DAZN (Canada)