Philadelphia Union: Preview vs the San Jose Earthquakes

(Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) /

With the Philadelphia Union set to face off against the San Jose Earthquakes, here’s everything you need to know about the game.

The Ins and Outs

Philadelphia Union (1-1-1) VS San Jose Earthquakes (1-2-0)

When: Saturday at 7 PM Eastern – Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, PA)

Where to Watch: PHL17

PRO Referees: Head- Dave Gantar, AR1- Phil Briere, AR2- Jason White, 4th- Allen Chapman, VAR- Jorge Gonzalez

Coaches: Jim Curtin (Philadelphia Union)– Mikael Stahre (San Jose Earthquakes)

Get Back on Track

It was a bad first road match of the season for the Philadelphia Union. The biggest take away though was that Mathew Real was not a problem in his first Major League Soccer start. The Union were the better side for a full half and considering they started the youngest back four in league history that was impressive. They controlled the first half and were unlucky to not have any quality chances. This bit them in the second half when Colorado capitalized with a goal, and later against an offensive push from the visitors added two more. The Union should look to delete the loss from their memory, and focus on the good first half as they return home to face San Jose.

Related Story: Preview vs the Columbus Crew

The Lineups

The lineup, for the most part, will probably stay the same. With Real’s strong performance he will likely continue as the starting Left Back until Fabinho’s return. The real decision will be at Right Wing with Fafa Picault’s suspension now over. He will likely return to the starting lineup, pushing Fabian Herbers to the bench. His pace will hopefully ignite the offense, and open the attack, especially at home.

Keys to the Game: The real key to the game will be for the young defense to continue to be strong. While they ended up allowing three goals in the last game, the offense did them no favors with a goalless first half effort. The defense needs to gel together and follow the leadership of Keegan Rosenberry and Andre Blake. With a strong attacking group for San Jose, including second all-time in league scoring, Chris Wondolowski, the young back four will have its work cut out for them. That said this is not the only thing to watch out for. That will be the offensive efforts to score for the first time this season against a full lineup.

Player to Watch: Bořek Dočkal

Next: Preview vs the Colorado Rapids

The biggest factor in the Union’s chances to win is the offense. They had every chance to score a goal in Colorado but failed throughout the first 45 and that proved fatal to their chances of earning points. That said, Dočkal will be the focus this weekend as he continues to try to mesh with the rest of the offense, especially with Fafa Picault’s return. It is getting to the point where it is time for him to start getting results and this could be a great chance for him to start proving himself in Philadelphia.