Philadelphia Union: Previewing upcoming matchup vs Atlanta United

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

Coming off a big win at home against Chicago Fire, the Philadelphia Union head to Atlanta for a big Eastern Conference showdown.

The Ins and Outs

Philadelphia Union (5-3-5) VS Atlanta United (8-2-3)

When: Saturday at 7:30 PM Eastern – Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, GA)

Where to Watch: PHL17

PRO Referees: Head- Sorin Stoica, AR1- Jess Hosking, AR2 – Jonathan Johnson, 4th – Joseph Dickerson, VAR- Kevin Terry Jr

Coaches: Jim Curtin (Philadelphia Union) – Tata Martino (Atlanta United)

Big Road Test

It has been an impressive few weeks from the Philadelphia Union. After a 3-2 victory over Chicago at home, they now head down to Georgia to take on Atlanta United. The Atlanta side leads the Eastern Conference by a point over Columbus. They have 8 points on the Union. The good news is they’ve lost two straight games at home, one to Red Bulls whom the Union stole a point from on the road. The Union are hot right now, and getting Atlanta on a roll might work in their favor. That said, Atlanta is one of the best sides in the league and could use the Union as a slump breaker.

The Lineups

The only real changes that have been made to the lineup for Chicago are on the wings and at forward. Cory Burke returned to start after another lackluster CJ Sapong performance. Ilsinho started for Marcus Epps and David Accam started for a sick Fafa Picault. If Picault is ready he will start Saturday. The more interesting debate will be who starts alongside him. Ilsinho was impressive against Chicago, with a goal, and could have earned a second start.

The other question is the injury to Mark McKenzie. Though he missed the last half hour of the team’s match against Chicago, all signs point to a less than serious injury. If healthy, he would likely be a better option against Atlanta’s speedy, and tricky players. That said, Jack Elliott is also a capable player. The only other possible change is at Left Back, with Fabinho an option as a more attacking threat on the road than Ray Gaddis.

Keys to the Game

The Union will have to play an impressive game to get points in Atlanta. While they have shown impressive play in their last two road matches, they are not known for their road ability. They have a tough test. But, if the young center-backs can play well and the offense can capitalize on opportunities, they may have a chance. The Union will have to keep the ball out of their net and use what few chances they must score.

Next: Philadelphia Union: Previewing upcoming matchup vs the Chicago Fire

Player to Watch: Borek Dockal

The Czech attacker has been impressive in the last few weeks. Assists in 3 of the last four games, and another goal off a penalty on Wednesday. He started off struggling in MLS, but now seems to have his legs under him. If he can continue to put the ball in the right place Saturday night the Union could pull a surprise in Atlanta.