Union, Revolution focus on match, big picture (Jul 02, 2017)
Even with the MLS Cup playoffs a ways off, the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union will have an eye on the postseason when they meet Sunday at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa.
New England (5-7-5) and Philadelphia (5-7-4) are ninth and 10th in the Eastern Conference, five and six points shy of a playoff spot, respectively, entering their matchup.
"It's an important game for us. We need to win this game if we want to compete for the playoff spots," Philadelphia's Haris Medunjanin told PhiladelphiaUnion.com.
The Revs are coming off back-to-back losses in MLS play, falling 2-1 to the Chicago Fire on June 17 and 2-0 to Toronto FC on June 23.
However, New England managed a 2-1 win over D.C. United on Wednesday in U.S. Open Cup play to advance to the quarterfinals.
"(That Open Cup victory is) going to help us hopefully get the ball rolling and get these last couple (MLS) games behind us, and get our season back on track," Revs goalkeeper Cody Cropper told RevolutionSoccer.net.
The Union were not as fortunate in their Open Cup match against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, losing 1-1 (5-3) in a penalty kick shootout.
However, Philadelphia has won five of its last eight MLS matches. The Union blanked D.C. United 1-0 in their last league game on June 24, with Fafa Picault netting the winner in the first half.
Goal-scoring has been an issue for Philadelphia this season, as its 21 goals rank sixth to last in MLS. New England's 27 goals rank eighth in the league.
Medunjanin should take the bulk of playing time in the midfield from Alejandro Bedoya, who is away on international duty.
Maurice Edu (left tibia stress fracture) will be sidelined for the Union and Andre Blake (left rib contusion), Warren Creavalle (right hamstring strain),Fabian Herbers (right adductor strain) and Ilsinho (left calf contusion) are all questionable for Sunday's match.
New England will be without Xavier Kouassi (left quad strain) and Daigo Kobayashi (hamstring injury) and Antonio Delamea (fractured nose) are both questionable.
Diego Fagundez is also sidelined for the Revs with a Disciplinary Committee suspension. Juan Agudelo, Kelyn Rowe and Gershon Koffie are away on international duty.