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Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew SC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 3
Talen Energy Stadium - Chester
2:00 pm ET – March 17, 2018
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As one of four teams in Major League Soccer with six points from their first two games, Columbus Crew SC look to continue a magical start to the 2018 season, while the Philadelphia Union hope a Week 2 bye doesn’t halt their momentum following a season-opening win over the New England Revolution in their second consecutive home game.

Philadelphia Union 

The feel-good story coming out of the win over the Revs was the emergence of Anthony Fontana, who worked his way up through the Union’s academy to signing a Homegrown contract to scoring on his MLS debut in front of about 100 friends and family members.

The good vibes continued on Wednesday with the announcement that forward CJ Sapong signed a new contract through 2019 with a club option for 2020. It comes on the heels of Sapong setting a Union single-season record for goals with a career-high 16 a year ago.

“A striker that means so much to our club, and what we’re about,” Union coach Jim Curtin said of Sapong following training Wednesday. “He’s a key attacking piece for us, but also the first line of defense for our team. A guy who’s done everything for the badge, and it’s been a pleasure to work with him and watch him grow and take his game to another level.”

  • Suspended: M - Fafa Picault
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: None

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Andre Blake — Keegan Rosenberry, Jack Elliott, Auston Trusty, Fabinho — Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya — Fabian Herbers, Borek Dockal, David Accam — CJ Sapong

  • Notes: Sapong has scored six goals in 14 career appearances against Columbus, his second-most against any MLS club. His teams have also won 10 of those 14 matches (3L-1D). … Philadelphia have won their last four home games, outscoring visitors 13-2 during this streak. They have lost just one of their last 10 home games (8W-1D).

Columbus Crew SC

All the good feels for Crew SC, who opened the season with impressive wins at Toronto FC and home against Montreal Impact. The move to Ohio’s capital has looked good on Gyasi Zardes, who has three goals in his first two games, including a brace with a stoppage-time penalty kick winner against Montreal.

Columbus struck for three goals against Montreal, with Federico Higuain scoring his 50th career goal from the penalty spot, leaving the talisman one assist away from joining MLS’ 50-50 club.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Mike Grella (left knee), D - Gaston Sauro (left knee); QUESTIONABLE: D - Josh Williams (right foot)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Zack Steffen — Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Lalas Abubakar, Milton Valenzuela — Wil Trapp, Artur — Cristian Martinez, Federico Higuain, Pedro Santos — Gyasi Zardes

  • Notes: Zardes has already scored three goals in his first two games this season, as many as he had in his previous 28 league appearances. … Crew SC are unbeaten in their last six regular-season road games (2W-4D). In their 17 road games prior to this streak, they posted a record of 3W-12L-2D.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Union 8 wins, 31 goals … Crew SC 11 wins, 31 goals … Ties 1
  • At Philadelphia.: Union 6 wins, 19 goals … Crew SC 4 wins, 11 goals … Ties 0
  • Last meeting at Philadelphia: Philadelphia Union 3, Columbus Crew SC 0 (July 26, 2017)

Referees

Referee: Nima Saghafi
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Marcos Deoliveira
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez

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Current Form

Philadelphia
Columbus

Season Goal Leaders

Philadelphia UnionColumbus Crew SC
Anthony Fontana1Gyasi Zardes3
C.J. Sapong1Federico Higuaín2

Season Stats

Philadelphia UnionColumbus Crew SC
1Games Played2
1Wins2
0Losses0
0Draws0
2Goals5
0Goals Conceded2
14Shots18
6Shots on Target10
11Fouls committed16
12Fouls suffered21
2Offside8
6Corners12

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
PHI0010022
CLB0011052.5
01234+Avg
PHI001002
CLB000103
01234+Avg
PHI000000
CLB001002

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
PHI1000000
CLB1010021
01234+Avg
PHI100000
CLB001002
01234+Avg
PHI000000
CLB100000
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