Still Hungry Union, Chivas Look to Finish Strong
Philadelphia Union (6-12-6, 24 points, sixth place in Eastern Conference) vs. Chivas USA (7-13-4, 25 points, sixth place in Western Conference) at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
The teams tied 1-1 in their first meeting.
4 p.m. ET, Live Well HD Network/MyNetwork TV-WQMY/TeleFutura
Philadelphia and Chivas make up a pair of teams that most likely won’t be playing in the postseason this year – their respective 24 and 25 points aren't enough to compete with some of the more well-rounded clubs in the league.
But the match should be an evenly contested one as the sides have very similar talent levels – Union striker Sebastien Le Toux has knocked in 11 goals so far this year, for instance, while Chivas forward Justin Braun leads the way for the Goats with nine.
Winning this one will be about pride, and neither team wants to end the season looking poor.
The Union come into the match after a 10-day break from their last game at San Jose back on Sept. 15. Stymied by a determined Quakes team, Philadelphia were again left to rue a number of missed opportunities and the fact that they played a strong game for the most part. Forward Danny Mwanga, who had suffered a shoulder injury in their previous match, got 18 minutes of action at Buck Shaw and should be fully recovered for the start against Chivas on Saturday.
For Mwanga's strike partner, Le Toux, the team must continue to work even it's nearly out of the playoffs.
"Despite being in a similar situation to us in the standings, we know that they are going to come here and play a strong game," Le Toux told MLSsoccer.com. "We are ready to continue our hard work in the game and try to continue to score some goals by having good position on the ball.
"We will be ready because [we will be] playing at home," he continued. "Our fans [are] our power and strength, and we will try to play well against Chivas."
The Goats welcomed Kansas City to the Home Depot Center in their last match last Sunday and were handily beaten 2-0. Sandwiched between their rivalry match with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Oct. 3 is their first trip to PPL Park. Young forward Braun has easily been Chivas' top performer so far this season, as the 23-year-old has netted nine times and has also added three assists – both stats tops amongst his team.
"We're going to Philadelphia looking to get a result," midfielder Michael Lahoud told Chivas USA's website. "From here on out, it's got to be looking for three points wherever we go, whether it's at home or away from home.
"Philadelphia are kind of in the same situation as us, fighting for points, and we still believe that we have a chance and we need to approach this game like we do."
Heroes & Villains
Sebastien Le Toux vs. Michael Umana: The Union’s top attacking threat will be going up against the most cultured defender on Chivas’ roster. Starting and completing 23 of his team’s 24 matches, Umaña has been a consistent performer for Martin Vasquez and will look to shut down a very dangerous Le Toux, who can attack from a number of areas on the pitch. The winner of this mini-battle could help decide the outcome of the match.
Stat that makes you go “Hmm”
Le Toux has had a hand in 21 of the Union’s 27 goals this season (11 goals, 10 assists).