The Philadelphia Union try to build on momentum from a dramatic streak-busting win at Seattle on Wednesday when they host Western Conference leader Sporting Kansas City at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa., on Sunday afternoon.
Following a 4-1 home loss to the Montreal Impact on Sept. 15 that stopped a five-game unbeaten streak, Philadelphia (13-12-4, 43 points) ended the Sounders’ nine-game winning streak when Fafa Picault scored in the third minute of second-half stoppage time for the 10-man Union.
Defender Jack Elliott was sent off for his second yellow card in the 89th minute and will miss the match against SKC (15-7-6, 51).
“It’s a strong group. The locker room is together,” Union coach Jim Curtin said afterward. “After a pretty good six-game run we had a performance against Montreal that no one was happy with. So, I think we showed some character even down a man still going for it at the end.”
Sporting KC is on a roll as well, having won two straight and six of seven, including a 5-1 thrashing of San Jose on Sept. 15 to maintain a one-point lead over FC Dallas.
“I think we’re in pretty good form, I really do,” SKC coach Peter Vermes said. “What I like is that there’s a good focus and concentration by the group week after week in our preparation, so we have to continue in the same vein. We can’t pull back now.”
Curtin faces an interest dilemma with the Union lineup. They can win their first trophy with a victory at Houston in the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, but Philadelphia trails fourth-place Columbus by a point in the Eastern Conference. The play in Columbus on Sept. 29.
A few of the Union regulars may be rested Sunday, especially if they played at Seattle.
—Field Level Media