Philadelphia Union quicks turns their focus to international competition as the club faces Eastern Conference foe Atlanta United FC in the first leg of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals. Kick off from Atlanta is set for 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FS1 and TUDN.
The Boys in Blue look to rebound from a 2-1 loss on Saturday to Inter Miami CF in their MLS Home Opener at Subaru Park after dominating the majority of the contest. While it was a scoreless first half that saw numerous physical plays, Jamiro Monteiro continued his impressive run of form with his third goal in all competitions that gave the Union a 1-0 lead. However Miami fought back into the contest with a pair of headed goals to snap the Union’s home winning streak that stretched over a full year.
The Union have looked strong in Champions League play, advancing to the Quarterfinals via a 5-0 aggregate score against Costa Rica’s Deportivo Saprissa. Kacper Przybylko netted the winning goal of the matchup with a header off a Olivier Mbaizo cross on the road. The Boys in Blue then took care of business at Subaru Park with a 4-0 victory to move on.
Atlanta United FC is in the Quarterfinals after a 2-0 aggregate win over Liga Deportivo Alajuelense with matching 1-0 results in both legs. Atlanta was forced to rely upon ATL UTD 2 goalkeeper Rocco Rios Novo for both contest after Brad Guzan was shown red in the first half of the opening leg. Guzan is expected back in the lineup against Philadelphia Union after serving his one-game suspension in the second leg.
Atlanta United comes into the match off a 3-1 win over Chicago Fire FC. Ezequiel Barco notched his second goal of 2021 in all competitions in the 23rd minute with a golazo but Chicago tied up the match in the 46th. An own goal off the leg of Fire defender Johan Kappelof turned the contest in ATL’s favor in the 65th minute of play and Emerson Hyndman scored the insurance goal in the dying minutes of the match.
Aside from Barco, Union fans will have their eyes on the substitute bench for first-year manager Gabriel Heinze. ATL continues to slowly bring the ever-dangerous Josef Martinez up to match fitness after he torn his ACL in 2020. Martinez has appeared in all four matches for the Five Stripes this season with his lone start coming in the club’s home leg against Alajuelense where he logged 66 minutes. Against Chicago, Martinez came off the bench and logged 23 minutes while attempting two shots.