clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Atlanta United vs Philadelphia Union: Match Preview

The Five Stripes won’t have it easy as they look to bounce back from a brutal defeat at the hands of the Red Bulls

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Atlanta United FC Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United’s 7 game-unbeaten streak has all too quickly turned into a two-game winless run, and the threat of it extending even further looms on the horizon. The Five Stripes’ upcoming schedule is far from reassuring, to say the least. Its “reward” for surviving (?) a trip to New Jersey is a home clash against a Philadelphia Union side that’s just gotten around to rediscovering its superb 2022 form.

MLS: Inter Miami CF at Philadelphia Union Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Union sit 4th in the East with 34 points and a conference-high +14 goal differential. After going so agonizingly close to glory last season, losing out to LAFC in both the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup, Philadelphia is aiming for actual silverware in 2023. So far, though, LAFC has kept haunting the Union’s trophy dreams, this time in the form of a 4-1 victory in the CCL semifinals. That CCL run took quite a bit out of the Union in MLS play, but it’s begun finding top form with only one competition to focus on since May. Philly has 7 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss in its most recent 10 outings, compared to a 3W-2D-4L record in the previous 9. The continuity from last season’s roster (the entire first-choice starting XI remains identical) has helped turn Philadelpia back into a winning machine, headlined by the attacking trio of Julian Carranza (10 goals, 2 assists), Daniel Gazdag (7g, 5a), and Mikael Uhre (6g, 3a), who are once again proving themselves as one of the best attacks in MLS. Philadelphia has the 3rd-most goals scored in the East with 34, rivaled by a rock-solid defense with 20 conceded (the 4th-fewest). Atlanta will have a slight reprieve in that area thanks to Andre Blake’s Gold Cup call-up with the Jamaican national team, with Joe Bendik filling in.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at New York Red Bulls John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta’s first test in the rough part of its schedule didn’t go very well, but then again, defeat at Red Bull Arena is pretty much a given for the Five Stripes. The bad news, though, is that the next four games before the Leagues Cup break don’t look much better. Philadelphia (H), New England (A), Montreal (A), and Orlando (H) have an average table position of 5.25 and are are all solid Eastern Conference contenders, not to mention the added obstacle of Atlanta’s rather mixed fortunes on the road. The Five Stripes still sit in a respectable 6th place on 29 points, but 9th place DC United is only 3 points away and a poor run of form in these next four fixtures could send Atlanta below the playoff line.

Previous Results

The all-time record between these sides stands at a perfectly even 4W-5D-4L, although Atlanta is winless in the most recent six meetings (3 draws, 3 losses).

Predicted Starting XIs

Atlanta’s Predicted XI (4-2-3-1)
Philadelphia’s Predicted XI (4-4-2 diamond)

Prediction: Atlanta United 2-2 Philadelphia Union

The Five Stripes’ winless run will go on, but it will avoid defeat to the Union thanks to a Giakoumakis brace, though the good guys’ leaky defense will rear its head once again with goals from Carranza and Gazdag.