Philadelphia Union begins a two-game homestand this week at Subaru Park as they take on Charlotte FC tomorrow night starting at 7:30PM ET with the match free MLS Season Pass.
The Union start the busy slate of matches this week as one of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer with a seven match unbeaten streak in league play dating back to April 15th. The Boys in Blue extended the streak with a comeback 3-1 victory on the road at New York City FC on Saturday night. Forward Julian Carranza grabbed all the headlines as he earned MLS Player of the Matchday honors for the third time in 12 months with a first-half brace in stoppage time.
NYCFC opened the scoring in the 30th minute behind a Gabriel Pereira goal, but Carranza and Philadelphia quickly responded with two goals in first-half extra time. In the first minute of extra time, Carranza snuck behind a pair of NYCFC defenders on a beautifully played ball from midfield by Jack Elliott, took one touch inside and fired a low liner past the goalkeeper to draw the score even. Two minutes later, the Union capitalized on a quick transition, as José Martínez played a long ball that was gathered by Mikael Uhre on the left side of the 18-yard box, and Uhre found a streaking Carranza inside the box who drove home his second score of the match.
Joining Carranza in the scoring for Philadelphia was Daniel Gazdag, who converted a penalty kick in the 53rd minute to give the Union a 3-1 lead. Saturday night marked the 11th time since the start of the 2022 season – and the second consecutive match – that Carranza and Gazdag have scored in the same game, the most in MLS over the span. The next-closest pairing also resides in Philadelphia (seven, Gazdag and Uhre). Overall the Union trio of Designated Players have racked up 19 goals and 12 assists.
Wednesday's contest is the first meeting of the season between Philadelphia Union and the second-year squad with last year's results going in favor of the home sides. The Boys in Blue opened the series with a 2-0 shutout win behind goals from Carranza and Gazdag in each half. Charlotte FC got their revenge in the late stages of the 2022 season with a 4-0 victory in the Queen City.
Charlotte FC sits only three points behind the Union with 21 points through 15 league matches. They come to Subaru Park with the exact same road record as Philly with two-straight road wins to bolster their away record to a 3-3-1 stat line.
The Union defense will be looking to stop Charlotte FC's trio of Designated Players who dominate their play. Forwards Enzo Copetti and Karol Swiderski join midfielder Kamil Jozwiak currently account for 10 goals and seven assists in league play. Swiderski netted the game winner last time out for Charlotte FC in the 73rd minute, taking a pass from Justin Meram and putting into the back of the net for a 1-0 road win at LA Galaxy. Jozwiak has yet to play since injuring his right thigh against Atlanta United on May 15th but could return during the busy week for both sides. Should he return against the Boys in Blue, that'll be the focus as the Union enter in a strong defensive run of form of their own with only two goals allowed in the last five contests.