New England Soccer Today

Five Things To Know: #DOOP

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

The Revolution will face the Philadelphia Union for the second time this season on Saturday at PPL Park. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm.

In their first encounter, the Union grabbed the lead right before halftime on a majestic Cristian Maidana free kick. But the Revolution hollered back in the second half thanks to goals from Charlie Davies and Teal Bunbury to claim a 2-1 comeback win on Apr. 19.

Here are five things to know about the Revolution’s weekend nemesis:

1. Spoiler alert: the Union still aren’t very good. Nearly every MLS team journeys though peaks and valleys during the course of its 34-game slate. Unfortunately for Philly’s supporters, their team has spent much of its time in the valley this year. Only a single point is keeping the Union out the basement, and their recent form (1-3-2 in their last six) hasn’t exactly inspired confidence that a comeback is around the corner.

2. They like to get wide. While the Union probably won’t be claiming much by way of hardware this year (unless the league decides to award a golden toilet trophy), their attack isn’t that terrible. Although they traded attack-minded fullback Sheanon Williams to Houston last month, the Union still pride themselves on solid wing play, with Fabinho and Raymond Gaddis joining the likes of Sebastian Le Toux and Andrew Wenger in advanced positions. Stretching the field has allowed striker C.J. Sapong (7 goals, 3 assists) to get on the end of more than a few opportunities this year.

3. Set pieces are the name of the Union’s game. As good as the Union are at pulling apart defenses, they’re just as capable of throwing a dagger into the opposition via the set piece. Maidana and Le Toux are especially dangerous in dead ball situations, so the Revolution must enter the match with a focus on defensive discipline in their own half, lest something like this happen to them again.

4. Keeping possession in the attacking half has not been their strong point. There’s no question that the Union have skillful players. Le Toux, Maidana, Vincent Nogueira, Fernando Aristeguieta and Maurice Edu are all players any MLS general manager would love to get their hands on. However, when it comes to the attack making their most of their opportunities, they continue to fall flat on their faces. Not only do they tend to lose possession fairly easily when they cross the halfway line, but they also take a number of ambitious, long-distance shots.

5. They’re coming off a big win. On the smartphone screen, beating Montreal 1-0 last weekend didn’t exactly send shock waves across the rest of the league. But in the Union locker room, it was a huge boost. The victory snapped a six-game winless rut, and more importantly, restored confidence in a team that was severely lacking it not long ago. Yes, one win does not make the Jim Curtain’s collection of talent LA Galaxy East. Yet, don’t forget what a slump-busting 1-0 win did for the Revolution not long ago.

One Comment

  1. pauloblitzz

    August 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Hopefully we keep our foot on the gas pedal and bang this one out

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