The Philadelphia Union will be playing on network television today in a national broadcast that could end with the visitors effectively (though not technically*) winning a trophy.
The Union need a win to clinch the Supporters’ Shield trophy, but they’ll need to do something they haven’t done in 2020 to do it: win a game in Ohio. The Union lost to the Columbus Crew 1-0 in their last visit and played FC Cincinnati to a scoreless draw.
“This city definitely deserves a trophy so I’m really excited to have the chance to do it,” Brenden Aaronson said in an interview with media on Friday.
Jose Martinez will be out again after testing positive for Covid-19 and Andre Blake is injured with a fracture in his hand. He left the game early on Wednesday night against Chicago and was replaced by Joe Bendik, who made his Union debut (and first game since he last played for Columbus last July) playing out the final minute of regulation and eight nervy minutes of stoppage time.
“Joe has you know almost 200 games of MLS experience,” head coach Jim Curtin said Friday. “He knows what this league is like, he knows what it’s like on the road so we have full confidence in him.”
The Crew have the stingiest defense in MLS this season with 17 goals conceded, but the Union haven’t been far behind, conceding just one more goal. Blake has been a big reason for that number being so low this season as he’s bailed his team out on multiple occasions with game-changing saves.
Overcoming adversity and getting guys to step up when called upon has been a key feature of the Union’s season so it’s only appropriate that they’ll need to win on the road with some key players missing to avoid a must win Decision Day showdown with the New England Revolution.
“The primary focus and only focus right now is on Columbus,” Curtin said.
Projected Starting Lineups
Philadelphia Union: 4-4-2 - Joe Bendik, Kai Wagner, Mark McKenzie, Jakob Glesnes, Olivier Mbaizo, Jack Elliott, Jamiro Monteiro, Alejandro Bedoya, Brenden Aaronson, Sergio Santos, Kacper Przybylko
Columbus Crew: (via MLS) Eloy Room, Valenzuela, Aboubacar Keita, Jonathan Mensah, Harrison Afful, Artur, Darlington Nagbe, Lucas Zelarayan, Pedro Santos, Luis Diaz, Gyasi Zardes
How to Watch
Where: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
When: 3:30 p.m., Sunday, November 1
TV: ABC, ESPN Deportes
Radio: Fox Sports The Gambler 1480 AM and 105.3 HD2
Audio Streaming: IHeart Radio App, Fox Sports The Gambler
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