Union battle Atlanta United FC as first match of double game week

Philadelphia Union will return to the pitch this Wednesday night when they take on Atlanta United in Georgia. Kick-off for this Eastern Conference clash is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised on The Comcast Network with JP Dellacamera and Tommy Smyth on the call.

This will be the second match in club history against Atlanta, as the Union drew with United 2-2 earlier this season back on Aug. 26 at Talen Energy Stadium. In that contest, Philadelphia jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with goals from Roland Alberg and Captain Alejandro Bedoya. Atlanta was able to cut the Union lead in half before capitalizing on a Josh Yaro red card in the 52nd minute, as United eventually scored in stoppage time to tie the match after playing with a man advantage for almost 40 minutes.

Philadelphia enters Wednesday’s contest in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 9-12-9 and 36 points. The Union remain just two wins shy of the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is coming off an impressive 3-1 home victory over the Chicago Fire on Saturday. Chris Pontius recorded his first two goals of the season in the match, leading Philadelphia to three points against their conference foe.

A player to watch on Wednesday night for the Union is their man up top CJ Sapong. The striker added to his personal best goal total in the win over Chicago on Saturday notching his 14th goal of the season. Sapong’s 14th goal tied the Philadelphia Union club record for goals scored in a season (Sebastien Le Toux also accomplished this feat in 2010). Sapong’s goal total is tied for ninth best across all players in MLS. Sapong will have an opportunity to make Union history on Wednesday night in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

Atlanta United enters the week in third place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 14-8-7 and 49 points. Atlanta is just three points shy of the two slot in the East and a victory for them on Wednesday would clinch a playoff berth. A player the Union will need to keep an eye on is Atlanta’s Josef Martinez. The Venezuelan has lit up the goal column as of late, scoring eight goals in his last five matches, improving his overall total to 17 goals in 16 appearances in 2017. Atlanta will however be without one of their playmakers, as the club announced that Miguel Almiron suffered a left hamstring injury, ruling him unavailable for Wednesday’s contest.

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