Philadelphia Union continue their busy September slate on Wednesday on the road against Charlotte FC, just four days after the squad finished in a draw against top-ranked Cincinnati at Subaru Park. Tune in with MLS Season Pass on Apple TV to watch the action!
Head Coach Jim Curtin’s squad still sits in fourth place, now just one behind both New England Revolution and Orlando City SC. A three point boost has the potential to shake up the standings while securing their stronghold near the top of the East, as multiple marquee matchups approach.
This will be the pair’s second meeting this season; in May, Philadelphia defeated Charlotte 1-0 with a 70th minute score that was ruled an own goal by the away side’s keeper Kristijan Kahlina. Kai Wagner serviced the ball to Daniel Gazdag in front of the net, heading it just out of Kahlina’s reach. The ball grazed the post, ricocheting toward the diving keeper but ultimately bounced in off of him.
This time around, the Union were forced to utilize an atypical lineup in the backfield after defender Jack Elliott was shown a red card against Cincinnati. He’s played every minute of every game so far in the MLS regular season, so his absence will require some adjusting for the Union’s defense.
Charlotte hasn’t fared nearly as well as the Boys in Blue in 2023, sitting in 11th place with 32 points. Head Coach Christian Lattanzio’s team has earned just 7 wins this season, which is half the number Philadelphia has claimed.
Although the team’s present record doesn't reflect it, the team has picked up momentum since the conclusion of Leagues Cup. The Mint City squad To close August, they overcame the Western Conference’s second-ranked team LAFC 2-1, then held Orlando City, the East’s second-ranked team to a 1-1 draw. Their most recent pair of matches ended similarly with a 1-1 draw against Nashville City FC and a 0-0 draw against D.C. United. In those matches, Charlotte has dominated possession, maintaining control of the ball for 60% of the contest.
Since Philadelphia’s last head to head with Charlotte, their opponent has welcomed several new veteran players to their squad. Before the summer transfer window closed, the team added 34-year-old midfielder Scott Arfield from Scottish team Rangers F and he’s quickly become one of the most impactful additions, scoring three goals since he was introduced into the lineup in July during Leagues Cup. Their top scoring threat remains 26-year-old striker Karol Swiderski, who’s totaled 7 goals and three assists so far in regular season play.