LAFC vs Philadelphia Union
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Banc of California Stadium - Los Angeles, CA
TV: KCOP 13, Estrella 62.2
RADIO: 710 AM ESPN, ESPN App (Audio), 980 AM La Mera, La Mera
The Black & Gold face what could be their toughest test yet of 2022 as they are set to host the top ranked team in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Union in a prime time, Saturday night showdown at Banc of California Stadium.
After a 2-0 defeat of Minnesota United FC on May 1 to remain undefeated at home, LAFC remains in the lead for the race to claim the 2022 Supporters Shield.
LAFC has scored 21 goals this season, and their 7-1-1 record (22 points) is tied for the best start in Club history, equaling the 7-1-1 mark put up by the record-breaking and Supporter’s Shield winning 2019 squad.
The Philadelphia Union plays a unique, compact and organized style of attack which has led to 13 goals this season, while also providing a complimentary defense that works extremely hard in transition and has allowed the fewest goals in MLS with six.
Last time out the Union (5-1-3, 19 points) tied Nashville FC in the opening match at the brand-new Geodis Park to maintain the No. 1 spot in Eastern Conference standings.
Philadelphia Union IN-DEPTH
Philadelphia runs a 4-4-2 diamond formation, and are led by Mikael Uhre, Julian Carranza, Daniel Gazdag, and goalkeeper Andre Blake. The Union are the best set piece team in the MLS, with dangerous forwards in Uhre and Carranza that look to attack behind the defensive line or win second balls in hopes of immediately attacking the goal. Midfielder Gazdag always looks to create opportunities in the diamond formation, as they also sneak in Leon Flach and Alejandro Bedoya to the attack. Both are capable of carrying the ball up field and delivering early crosses into the box. LAFC will have a big test offensively as they face one of the best goalkeepers in the league in Blake. In addition, the Union has a high-impact defense that loves to counter press and close the middle of the field quickly to create a disadvantage, while their midfielders aim to drop-back and look to generate passes up field.
LAFC WILL WIN IF:
They play under control and not get wrapped up in the Union’s press, while looking to expose open spaces and challenge Philadelphia in aerial duels. The Black & Gold will also need to control the Union’s transition game while stepping up on defense to break their diamond formation.
PHILADELPHIA UNION CAN WIN IF:
They stick to their formation and remain consistent, compact, and organized, while winning the physical duels. If they are able to transition quickly while keeping LAFC unbalanced, they will find high-percentage shot on goals.
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Matchday poster inspired by The Last of Us, a 2013 action-adventure game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.