LAFC vs Philadelphia Union
Saturday, September 23 at 4:30 pm PT
Location: Subaru Park, Chester, Pennsylvania
Radio: 710 AM, ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera
Coming off a scoreless draw against St. Louis CITY SC Wednesday night, LAFC now travels to take on Eastern Conference rival Philadelphia Union on Saturday, September 23, at Subaru Park.
Despite multiple opportunities, including a Cristian Olivera, shot outside the 18-yard box that banged off the post, LAFC walked away with a point at CITYPARK. The Black & Gold dropped into third place (44 points) in the Western Conference standings after a Seattle Sounders win moved the Sounders (45 points) above LAFC with five matches to play.
The reigning MLS champs return to Subaru Park for the second time this year after playing to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Concacaf Champions League semifinal in late April.
Led by head coach Jim Curtin, the Union is looking to get its first-ever defeat over LAFC. Philadelphia is 0W-2L-5D in its history against its Western Conference rival.
In 2022 the Union came up just short of winning the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup trophies, losing both honors to the Black & Gold, and getting knocked out of the CCL by LAFC in 2023.
The Union have clinched an MLS Cup playoff spot and currently sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference Standings with 48 points, with six matches left. Their offensive attack is led by designated players Julián Carranza (12 goals) and Dániel Gazdag (13 goals) who have combined to score 25 of the team’s 51 goals this season.
THE BLACK & GOLD WILL WIN IF
It strikes first at Subaru Park. After denying the Union multiple chances to win a trophy over the past year, LAFC will encounter a hostile environment in Philly, where the hosts seek their first-ever win over LAFC.
Keep an eye on the combination play of LAFC forwards Denis Bouanga and Carlos Vela. The quality of their final touches up top can help LAFC avoid playing from behind against a team that has only one home loss in 2023.
UNION CAN WIN IF
They catch LAFC off-guard early. The Union has proven it can play lights-out at home (29 goals scored, 10 conceded) and will attempt to put the pressure on LAFC in the game’s opening moments.