The Union will look for a vital MLS home victory on Sunday night against the visiting New England Revolution after penalty kicks knocked the Union out of the U.S. Open Cup tournament.
Sunday’s game provides an opportunity for the team to make strides in Eastern Conference standings. The Revolution is eighth in the conference with 20 points, while the Union is ninth with 19.
The Revolution have been winless on the road this season, notching six losses and three ties on opponent’s turf. Although the Union’s home defense has been shaky, Talen Stadium has been the site of the team’s strongest showings, with only one of the season’s victories coming on the road. The chance to face the Revolution at home will be an important chance for the Union to regain momentum.
The Union will have to win without midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, who was called up to the U.S. national team for the Gold Cup roster. This is something the team is used to. Bedoya was absent in June for two World Cup qualifiers and returned injured, playing only one game for the Union in June. Bedoya’s absence on Sunday will force Haris Medunjanin to continue to step up in the midfield. Medunjanin is the only Union player to play every minute of the MLS regular season.
Sunday could see another critical absence for the Union as goalkeeper Andre Blake continues to nurse a contusion in his left rib. The injury was sustained during Blake’s exceptional showing against D.C. United on June 24. Although head coach Jim Curtin expected the injury to be minor, it kept Blake from the Open Cup loss to the Red Bulls, and Blake remains questionable to play on Sunday.
The Revolution will be without midfielder Diego Fagundez on Sunday due to a one-game suspension for violent conduct, which was announced by the MLS on Friday. Fagundez started 16 games for the Revolution this season, notching four goals and four assists.
Before the Open Cup loss on Wednesday, the Union snapped a three-game losing streak with a home victory over D.C. United on June 24.
When: Sunday, 5 p.m. Talen Energy Stadium
Records: Revolution, 7-8-2, 20 points; Union, 5-7-4, 19 points
Coaches: Revolution, Jay Heaps, 94-93-60; Union, Jim Curtin, 33-44-26.
Revolution on the road: 0-6-3
Union at home: 4-3-2
Goals: Revolution, 27; Union, 21
Goals against: Revolution, 25; Union, 20
Last game: The Revolution defended their home field against D.C. United on Wednesday, winning 2-1 to advance to the next round of the U.S. Open Cup. The Union came from behind to tie the Red Bulls 1-1 in the Open Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday, but fell, 5-3, in penalty kicks.
All-time series: The Union leads, 9-5-4
Last meeting: August 13, 2016, the Union dominated the Revolution on the road in a 4-0 victory with goals from CJ Sapong, Chris Pontius, Richie Marquez and Roland Alberg.