Philadelphia Union can win Supporters' Shield with win on Sunday

The Philadelphia Union's regular-season finale comes with the added pressure of attempting to win a trophy.

The Union needed three points from their final two games to clinch the Supporters' Shield. They came up short in their first clinching attempt last Sunday in a loss to the Columbus Crew.

Philadelphia welcomes the New England Revolution to Subaru Park on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. Pregame coverage starts on The Gambler at 2:30 presented by DraftKings Sportsbook.

In one of the unique features of the 2020 schedule, the Union and Revs will meet for the fifth time on Sunday. They played three regular-season contests and in the knockout phase of the MLS is Back tournament.

Philadelphia has an eight-game unbeaten streak against the Revs in regular-season play and won their previous two meetings by a 2-1 score line.

During that eight-game run, the Union have held the Revs to one or zero goals in seven contests. The last time New England scored multiple times against Philadelphia was August 11, 2018.

The Revs come into Subaru Park off a 4-3 victory over D.C. United that kept them in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Even if they win, the Revs can't move up any more in the Eastern Conference standings. They can only drop places depending on the results of Nashville SC and the New York Red Bulls.

Union manager Jim Curtin has some questions to answer with his lineup selection.

Goalkeeper Joe Bendik struggled in his first game in place of the injured Andre Blake, who will attempt to return for the club's first playoff game.

Bendik made mistakes on the two Columbus goals last Sunday after he had 72 hours to prepare for the starting role. He could be handed another start with a full week of training as the starter under his belt, or the Union could turn to Homegrown goalkeeper Matt Freese.

Freese made five starts during the 2019 season, one of which was a 1-1 draw with the Revs on June 26. He conceded seven goals and produced 13 saves over 437 minutes.

The other lineup question is whether Jose Martinez returns to the starting lineup after he was cleared to return to training following a positive COVID-19 test prior to the Chicago Fire match on October 28.

Curtin could call on Martinez to thwart the buildup play of Carles Gil with his physical style of play, or rely on Jack Elliott again in front of Mark McKenzie and Jakob Glesnes before bringing on Martinez as a closer.

The only other change that could happen is Ray Gaddis returning to right back over Olivier Mbaizo. Gaddis was scratched with back spasms last Sunday and was expected to train on Friday.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content