The Union come into the game in a lot of trouble. Philadelphia has not just lost their last three games, but they are now winless in their last nine games. Their only win on the season was back in March when they beat the New England Revolution 1-0 at home. In the last few games they have picked it up defensively, after allowing two goals a game over the course of three games, the last four they've allowed just one, with Zac MacMath stepping up his game in goal, including a PK save in Seattle.
Kansas City meanwhile comes in on a much better run of form. They've lost just one of their last eight league games. And even with the retirement of Jimmy Nielsen, the defense has barely missed a beat. Over the course of the entire season, KC has allowed just two goals from the run of play all year (Chad Barrett for Seattle and Teal Bunbury for New England). The other four goals that KC has allowed this year have come from set pieces or the penalty spot. Eric Kronberg has been playing quite well in KC's net. Even though I've had issues with some of his play you can't argue with results and four shutouts in the last five games speak well for Kronberg and his defense.
Myers - Collin - Besler - Sinovic
Nagamura - Rosell
Peterson - Dwyer - Zusi
Number to Remember - 0 - That's the number of wins that the home team had in this series back in 2013. KC won the two matches in Philadelphia 3-1 and 2-1, but lost the one home game 1-0.
Key Match Up - Aurelien Collin vs Conor Casey - A physical match up again for Aurelien Collin in central defense. Casey scored the lone goal in Philly's 1-0 win in KC last year. Collin will get the responsibility of shutting down the forward.
PREDICTION - This is a classic trap game coming up. KC is coming in off of the back of probably their most dominating performance of the season on the road in Montreal. They're playing a Philadelphia team that is getting desperate for a result, with a coach who could be on his way out the door if results don't turn around. There's also an air of expectation for KC to get the win and send Besler and Zusi to the US national team in style. This just has the feel of one of those games that could come back to bite KC.
I'm not sure it will though. The potential is there, but KC has just been playing too well lately. While Dom Dwyer's scoring against teams not named Montreal hasn't been great, the confidence that he's gotten in those games needs to transition to games against other teams. While the game is definitely a trap game, KC's talent should be able to see them past the Union.
SKC - 1 (Zusi)
PHI - 0