On short rest and dealing with a few injuries, the Philadelphia Union will be tested against the Houston Dynamo despite where both teams sit in the standings.
The Philadelphia Union are having a great season, while the Houston Dynamo are having a mediocre year and have already parted ways with Owen Coyle earlier this season. Philadelphia sits in first in the Eastern Conference. Houston is in the bottom of the Western Conference. Yet, despite where both teams sit in the standings, both teams have a chance at winning Saturday’s game in Houston.
Both teams are coming off mid-week US Open Cup matches. These games saw Houston and Philly win in their respective Round of 16 match as both quickly turnaround for this weekend’s clash between the two conferences in MLS.
Houston has struggled at times this season to find the net and has been a disaster on defense. Yet, the Union can’t take the Western Conference team lightly as Andrew Wenger has fit in nicely since being traded to the Dynamo by the Union this past Winter.
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Likewise, the Union have their own issues. Their defense has been shaky since the return from the Copa America break in league play. They settled down nicely and only allowed one goal to the New York Red Bulls in Wednesday’s US Open Cup action.
Joshua Yaro played 90 minutes alongside Keegan Rosenberry at centerback to help solidify the backline’s performance. This is the first time Yaro has played an entire match since missing three games between May and June with an injury.
While Yaro returns to his place in the Starting XI, the Union face more injury news offensively. Sebastien Le Toux will miss Saturday’s match with a concussion and Fabian Herbers sat out Wednesday’s match as a precaution with a minor right hamstring injury. Additionally, it’s unknown exactly whether CJ Sapong will see action on Saturday against Houston as both Herbers and Sapong are day-to-day at this point.
The Union’s depth will be tested no matter if Herbers and Sapong can play on Saturday. Even if they do play, fans shouldn’t expect either to go the entire match as they continue to recover from their respective injuries. Likewise, the Union will be tired on Saturday.
They may not show it physically in the match, but Jim Curtin’s team will play six games in a three week period. It’s the third straight week where the Union will have played a Wednesday and Saturday game back-to-back.
Philadelphia can’t afford to fall asleep on the field on Saturday. It will be a test as they take on the Dynamo. A loss against Houston will be a bad result for a side that came from behind to get a big win in US Open Cup play on Wednesday. The Dynamo are also coming off a key win and will have the home crowd behind them as they take on a familiar foe.