After just two days of rest and preparation, Philadelphia Union are headed to Cincinnati for another midweek matchup on Wednesday. Kickoff from Nippert Stadium is at 7:30 on PHL17 and PhiladelphiaUnion.com.
After an eventful first half against Montreal that saw the hosts play with 10 men for most of the match, the Union took advantage with four goals to nab three points on the road. It was a night to shine for the club’s homegrowns combining for five assists and a goal in the win.
Anthony Fontana added another goal making that three goals for him in less than 90 minutes over the last two matches. Coach Curtin was asked about Font’s role and if he will get a start in the near future and Curtin said he was confident in his abilities to go a full 90. “I think it's safe to say down the stretch he is certainly going to get an opportunity to start playing 90 minutes with the amount of games that are coming up, and I know he'll be ready to do that.”
Jose “Brujo” Martinez returns to the lineup after sitting out Montreal’s match due to yellow card accumulation. Coach Curtin coined El Brujo “a passionate and aggressive ball winner [that] wears his heart on his sleeve” and that sometimes come back to hurt him with yellow cards. A few other guys (Monteiro & Bedoya) are in danger of missing a match if they pick up another yellow card as well. The key to this match for those guys will be playing aggressive, but smart.
FC Cincinnati’s playmaking is lead by former Union standout, Haris Medunjanin. There’s no hard feelings between Haris and the club and while Haris will be met with pregame reunions from the guys, once the whistle blows it’s down to business. Coach Curtin acknowledged Haris’ skill and believes he is “the best passer in MLS.” His pinpoint accuracy is undeniable, just look at his incredible Olympico goal from last week. The second-year club sports just an 3-6-3 record, but their record arguably doesn’t accurately represent their defensive strength as they’ve conceded just four goals in their last five matches.
Players to Watch
El Brujo: Coming back after a missing a match due to yellow card accumulation, El Brujo will be Philly’s freshest legs on the field after just two days off between games for the rest of the squad.
Haris Medunjanin: "The Gentleman" will be reuniting with his former team, but wants the three points. “It’s nice in the beginning and you can say hi but when the game starts, it’s finished…we can talk when we take the three points.”