Orlando City (8-7-6, 30 pts.) returns to league play this Saturday night, hosting the first-place Philadelphia Union (10-2-9, 39 pts.) in a big-time Eastern Conference showdown at Exploria Stadium. The match, presented by Audi, is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised locally on FOX35 PLUS and LionNation TV, with pre-game coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Local radio coverage will be available from 7 p.m. ET on FM 96.9 the Game in English and Acción 97.9 FM in Spanish.
Here’s everything you need to know about Philadelphia:
Key Additions - CF Julián Carranza (Inter Miami), CF Mikael Uhre (Brøndby)
Key Departures - AM Jamiro Monteiro (San Jose Earthquakes), CF Kacper Przybylko (Chicago Fire), CF Sergio Santos (FC Cincinnati), RW Ilsinho (retirement), AM Anthony Fontana (Ascoli), CM Jack de Vries (Venezia)
Take a look at Philadelphia’s full roster here.
Philadelphia took a chance when they acquired Julián Carranza on loan from Inter Miami this winter – Carranza had not lived up to his reported $6 million transfer fee in Fort Lauderdale and had been frozen out of Phil Neville’s plans. The Union have been rewarded for their leap of faith, as Carranza has delivered seven goals and four assists while looking every bit the DP striker they’ve been missing over the past few years. Philadelphia made Carranza’s move permanent last week for $500,000 in General Allocation Money.
The Union have stormed to the top of the Eastern Conference on the back of a defense that has conceded just 15 goals this year, by far the fewest in Major League Soccer. Goalkeeper Andre Blake leads the league by a massive margin with an .817 save percentage, and the Union have not conceded more than one goal in any game since May 10.
That last team to score two on Philly? That was Orlando City, back in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32. Ercan Kara and Andrés Perea both found the back of the net to lift the Lions to a 2-1 victory over the Union, a win that has since helped propel them all the way to the semifinals. City also defeated Philadelphia in last year’s game at Exploria, as Mauricio Pereyra notched two assists and Perea again added a goal in another 2-1 victory.
Rasmussen University Fact
The Union recently tied the MLS’ margin of victory record, defeating D.C. United 7-0 on July 8. Carranza had a hat trick while Mikael Uhre and Alejandro Bedoya both added braces. The outburst was somewhat unexpected – the Union have not scored more than twice in any other game this season.