Mon, 20 Sep 2021

Union attempt to keep Fire winless on road

Field Level Media
01 Aug 2021, 05:55 GMT+10

The Philadelphia Union will seek a return to their winning ways when they begin a busy stretch of the schedule at home Sunday against a Chicago Fire side that has yet to earn a point on the road.

After winning four times in May to gain traction in the Eastern Conference standings, the Union (6-4-6, 24 points) have only two wins since, while managing injuries and international absences.

They most recently settled for a 1-1 draw at last-place Inter Miami CF last Sunday, with Kacper Przybylko rescuing a point with a late goal, his sixth of the season.

That result will serve manager Jim Curtin well in reminding his squad not to overlook the Fire (3-9-3, 12 points), despite losses in all five road games this season.

"They're creating a lot of dangerous chances but just haven't finished them off," Curtin said of Chicago. "Teams like that are always on the verge of breaking out."

Philadelphia will welcome back reigning MLS goalkeeper of the year Andre Blake and striker Cory Burke after both were a part of the Jamaica national team that lost to the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals last weekend.

Burke has four goals and seems likely to start since Sergio Santos is suspended after intentionally kicking the ball toward the stands at Miami.

After a dreadful start to the season, the Fire improved in July by taking seven points out of a possible 15 while they played four of five games at home.

But Robert Beric, last year's leading scorer, still has only two goals in 15 appearances. And Chicago was embarrassed in its last road game, a 5-1 loss to Nashville SC.

Against Philadelphia, the Fire also welcome the return of manager Raphael Wicky to the sideline. He had taken a couple weeks of leave due to a family emergency.

"It was a very tough week, very emotional week," Wicky said. "But I was very happy that the club and the team and everyone was understanding that I wanted to go home and see my family and be there for them and with them."

--Field Level Media

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