FC Cincinnati seeks to maintain winning streak against Philadelphia Union

Union try to regain form against strong FC Cincinnati
FC Cincinnati v San Jose Earthquakes
FC Cincinnati v San Jose Earthquakes / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

FC Cincinnati are in excellent form, having won eight of their last nine MLS matches. Pat Noonan's side, known for their defensive solidity, have shown increasing attacking power, scoring at least three goals in three of their last four games. The 4-2 win over the San Jose Earthquakes, led by Yuya Kubo and Luciano Acosta, is a clear example of this new offensive vigor.

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On the other side, the Philadelphia Union are facing a challenging time. With just one win in their last 11 matches, the 2-1 defeat to Inter Miami CF, even against a team with nine players, further exposed the team's weaknesses. Kai Wagner called for reinforcements and coach Jim Curtin confirmed the departure of Julián Carranza to Feyenoord, further exacerbating the Union's situation.

Cincinnati go into the game in second place in the Supporters' Shield, two points behind leaders Inter Miami CF, but with two games in hand. They lead the MLS in points per game with an average of 2.12, highlighting their consistent performance. However, Noonan is aware of the difficulties that could arise against the Union, especially considering the significant absences in the opposing squad due to injuries and international commitments.

The Philadelphia side will be without several key players, such as Dániel Gazdag, Damion Lowe and Jose Martinez, due to EURO 2024 and the Copa America. In addition, goalkeeper Andre Blake is out through injury, further weakening the Union's defense. Without these players, the Union face an uphill battle to compete with an in-form Cincinnati.

For the Union, the key will be to find solutions within the available squad. Mikael Uhre, who has performed well recently, will be essential to lead the attack. However, overcoming Cincinnati's solid defense, which has conceded few goals in recent matches, will be a significant challenge.