Know Your Enemy

Preview | Union head north for rivalry clash with NYCFC

Next For The U | Saturday at NYCFC

Philadelphia Union heads to New York City FC ready for another tight battle between the two rivals with the action Saturday night only on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

The Boys in Blue are flying high after racking up 13 out of a possible 15 points in league play over their last five MLS matches. With the focus solely on the league the squad has shot up the Eastern Conference table with the Union just four points out of second place. The Union improved their odds of grabbing that No. 2 slot after their resounding performance against the current occupiers of the slot with a 3-0 win over the New England Revolution last weekend. After a scoreless first half where the Union were denied by a couple of tremendous saves by the Revs, they broke through via a brace from Daniel Gazdag who opened the scoring in the 56th minute with a right-footed blast that crashed off the near post and in. After the Hungarian midfielder doubled the Union's advantage with a finish from the penalty spot, forward Chris Donovan nabbed his first MLS assist as picked out Julian Carranza at the back post in the 88th minute.

Saturday's match will be the first time the Union and NYCFC have squared off in 2023 and the first matchup since their infamous 2022 Eastern Conference Final which saw the Union secure their inaugural trip to MLS Cup. The rivalry showdown took place at Subaru Park where the visitors cracked open the scoring in the 57th minute through a Maxi Morales goal but three-time MLS Goalkeeper Andre Blake responded with a momentum-changing save in the 60th minute to keep the contest at 1-0. The big stop gave the Union a new level of energy which was paid in goals as a quick restart saw Julian Carranza notch the equalizer in the 65th minute. Two minutes, he set up the match-winner with a headed flick to Daniel Gazdag to push the Boys in Blue into a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

New York City FC currently sits in 10th place in the East with their struggles coming on the road where they have taken three draws and lost five times. Saturday's contest will be a home one for City where they have yet to lose with a 4-0-1 record so far in their matches at both Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. Playing on a condensed pitch has always been the secret sauce for NYCFC but Philly comes into the match with momentum after taking all three points on the road last season.

NYCFC match on Saturday will be their first home in more than a month and Nick Cushing’s side are well rested as well having gotten a bye last weekend too. Don't miss the Eastern Conference showdown that kicks off at 7:30PM ET with MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.