Philadelphia Union begin their sixth consecutive postseason campaign against New England Revolution at Subaru Park on Saturday at 5 p.m., tune in for free with MLS Season Pass on Apple TV to watch the action!
The Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs kicked off its new playoff format on Wednesday night, beginning with a Wildcard matchup between the eighth and ninth-seeded teams in each conference. Next up is a schedule of best-of-three-series which will start with Philadelphia’s Saturday showdown against New England at Subaru Park. Seeded fourth, Philadelphia will play host to the Revs in Game 1 and Game 3 if necessary.
Philadelphia’s upcoming slate of games is a unique one, as they recently closed out their regular season against New England at Gillette Stadium on October 21st. If the series requires a third game, they will play Revolution for four consecutive matches nearly matching their five-game series that occurred during the 2020 season. That being said, they’ll line up against a familiar foe with the latest film from their opponent coming from their own game.
Head Coach Jim Curtin cited the strength of New England’s attack starring midfielder Carles Gil and forward Gustavo Bou, who finished the regular season on the team’s scoring leaderboard with 11 and eight goals respectively. Bou most recently claimed a brace against Philadelphia via an early penalty kick and a 42nd minute pass from Gil, snapping his team’s three-game losing streak.
“We recognize the opponent is really, really talented, has some incredible individual attacking quality, and we need to do a good job, you know, limiting where they touch the ball in the field,” Curtin said.
Despite Philadelphia’s recent 2-1 setback against interim Head Coach Clint Peay’s squad last Saturday, Curtin’s confidence is unshaken and sentiment remains the same – the playoffs are a brand new season, and he likes his group’s chances.
“It's a good healthy rivalry that we have with New England, we've earned home field advantage, which means now they have to beat us twice. We know that in our building and Subaru park with our fans behind us, we're still one of the best teams in the league,” Curtin said.
“Being in our stadium, the onus is on us to take the game to them, and hopefully we can create some chances and finish off some transitions as well.”
Curtin expects to have his entire roster available for selection, including José Martinez who missed the final regular season game due to yellow card accumulation. With his arsenal healthy, stateside, and back on the pitch for a full week of training, Philadelphia Union is back at full strength heading into the postseason.
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