On the heels of a huge 3-0 win over Montreal Impact, the Union run into another Canadian side with a strong defensive record. The Vancouver Whitecaps have solidified things in back after giving up seven goals in their first three matches, and there is a reasonable chance former Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath will be in net when Philly heads across the norther border this weekend.
Take your chance
Another big reason to tune in on Saturday? You may get to see a player or two stake their claim to being one of the first off the bench throughout the busy May period. This long road trip could encourage Jim Curtin to rest a few key players, and that means Warren Creavalle, Derrick Jones, and Kacper Przybylko could see the field. Anthony Fontana and Olivier Mbaizo may also see their names on the team sheet as Philly looks to swoop in and nab points without draining vets like Ale Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, and Ray Gaddis.
Wagner out, who steps up?
With Kai Wagner suspended after a red card last weekend, either Fabinho or Matt Real should enter the first eleven against the Whitecaps. Neither player has seen the field in 2019, and Wagner will prove a difficult man to replace after an exceptional start to the season. Real has had an up-and-down season with Bethlehem Steel, picking up one red card and shifting into the center of defense at times. Fabinho has one start with the Steel — a rehab game as he returned from injury — and offers experience that could prove valuable in a road match featuring extensive travel.
Burke up top?
Cory Burke has two goals in three games, but Jim Curtin can also call on season goals leader David Accam or Fafa Picault if he wants to keep his big striker’s legs. Burke has been hot of late, but with a midweek match coming up and four healthy strikers to choose from, Curtin may try his smaller attackers or hand a surprise start to Przybylko.
The Union look to create their second winning streak of the year when they head to Vancouver on April 27 at 5:00 p.m. ET on PHL17.