How To Watch and Match Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. Deportivo Saprissa - Concacaf Champions Cup - 02/27/2024

Amidst a flurry of games, Union seeks to solidify advantage against Saprissa in pursuit of next phase of the competition
Philadelphia Union v FC Cincinnati: Eastern Semifinals - 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs
Philadelphia Union v FC Cincinnati: Eastern Semifinals - 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

Philadelphia Union is geared up to take on Deportivo Saprissa in a crucial clash in the Concacaf Champions Cup, with expectations running high for an electrifying match that could shape the fate of both teams in the competition. With a 2-2 draw in their last MLS fixture, Union enters the encounter with the upper hand, having netted three away goals in the initial face-off against Saprissa, positioning themselves comfortably for the match at Subaru Park.

The initial encounter between the sides unveiled Philadelphia Union's knack for overturning adverse situations. Following a rocky start and an own goal, the team emerged with a blistering second half, spearheaded by Julian Carranza, who bagged a historic hat trick to secure victory. Despite Saprissa's late efforts to narrow the deficit, Union's three away goals carry significant weight, especially in the tiebreaker criteria of away goals scored.

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For eager fans keen on catching the showdown, televised broadcast stands as an option, with FOX airing the match in the United States, allowing supporters to rally behind their teams from afar. The atmosphere at the stadium is bound to be intense, but the backing from home fans will also be pivotal in propelling Union towards victory.

Philadelphia Union's fixture marathon adds an extra layer of challenge for the team, with the Saprissa clash marking their third game in just seven days. The string of matches commenced with a 3-2 away win against Saprissa, followed by a draw in their MLS season opener. Manager Jim Curtin's squad rotation will be crucial in ensuring the team maintains the required pace and energy to face off against as formidable an opponent as Saprissa.

The lineup for the Saprissa showdown remains uncertain, with the possibility of Curtin opting for a younger squad or incorporating new signings, especially considering the proximity of the match with Chicago Fire. Regardless of the coach's selection, players are expected to take to the field with determination and focus, mindful of the clash's significance for the team's future in the competition.

On the other hand, Deportivo Saprissa won't be an easy adversary to overcome. Under the guidance of manager Vladamir Quesada, the team showcased their offensive prowess in the initial encounter, registering a total of 16 shots on goal compared to Union's nine. Players like Mariano Torres and Warren Madrigal Molina will be pivotal in Saprissa's attack, while the defense will need to remain resolute to thwart Union's advances.

Saprissa will also face adverse weather conditions, with rain and lower temperatures forecasted in Chester during the clash. Adapting to these conditions will be crucial for the team's performance, especially considering the climate difference from their home country.

The showdown between Philadelphia Union and Deportivo Saprissa promises to be a thrilling battle, with both teams vying to secure their spot in the next phase of the Concacaf Champions Cup. With the advantage in aggregate score and the support of home fans, Union takes to the field as favorites, but Saprissa won't be an easy opponent to overcome.