After one of their best months in club history, Philadelphia Union look to stay on their impressive run as they travel to FC Cincinnati on Saturday night. In their previous match earlier this season, the two teams played to a very hard fought 1-1 draw. Historically, the Union have played very well against FC Cincinnati, having never failed to get a result against the Ohio side. The Boys in Blue head west with the hopes of getting another big result on the road this weekend to push them further in their Supporters’ Shield hopes. These are our Founders Brewing Co. Pressing Points.
Uhre Thriving After Adjustments
Forward Mikael Uhre seems to have found his stride with the Union after a slow start to his tenure in Chester. With five goals in as many matches for the Danish striker, he has played a large role in the club’s recent success.
“I think you saw him score goals against Houston that were really indicative of a confident forward,” Curtin said during his press conference on Thursday. “He combined in midfield, he still worked hard defensively, but then he set up those centerbacks, and by the end of the game, and the start of the second half especially, he’s running in behind on breakaways, which really suits his skillset.
After the Orlando City game, Uhre met with Curtin to discuss ways he can get more involved in the game. Curtin talked about how this was a big step in helping him breakthrough in the MLS.
“I give him full credit… to recognize, ‘how can I even take it to another level?’ I think that little meeting went a long way for both of us, for me and for Mikael, to get him on the ball a little bit more, and hopefully now this propels us the rest of the season.”
With Jose Martinez coming back this week from his one game suspension, Curtin and his technical staff are going to have some tough decisions to make as he has a full squad to pick from in the middle of the pitch. Homegrown Jack McGlynn has made a case to stay in the Starting XI after filling in for both Martinez and Alejandro Bedoya due to yellow card accumulations.
“We have a really strong, competitive group right now, everyone’s fighting to be in the starting lineup, everybody’s fighting to be in the twenty man roster to travel with the team,” Curtin said. “All those little things and battles are going on on a weekly basis in training.
One thing that makes this Union team special is the depth that they have at every position. Being able to rotate players and keep fresh legs throughout the season is a huge advantage for the club
“We have a lot of confident guys,” Curtin said. “We probably have fifteen or sixteen players that could come and knock on my door right now and say, ‘I should be starting,’ and they would be justified to do that… those are good problems for a coach to have.
It will definitely be something to keep an eye on when the Union’s Starting XI is announced on Saturday evening.
Three Headed Monster
The trio of Mikael Uhre, Daniel Gazdag, and Julian Carranza have given opposing teams nightmares so far this season. Of the 40 goals that the Union have scored, the three have been responsible for 27 of them and are the highest scoring trio in MLS this season. Curtin talked about about how they are only going to get better as the season goes on and they gain chemistry and confidence in one another.
“You’re seeing them get a better understanding of each other’s movements, which is really critical for any good, talented players. The more reps they get together, the harder it’s going to be for defenses in the MLS.
The Union have yet to have three players score double digits in a single season, but that is one of the goals for Coach Curtin this season.
“I’m gonna challenge them each to get into double digits in scoring, because they can. That’s the sign of a good team if you can have multiple guys hit that double digit mark, that really helps.
Gazdag has already hit the double digit mark with eleven DOOPs this year, while Uhre and Carranza both sit at eight goals so far during this campaign.