The Philadelphia Union will have a full capacity crowd at Subaru Park for the first time since October 20, 2019 on Wednesday night.
Philadelphia's match against the Columbus Crew can be heard on Fox Sports The Gambler. The Pregame Show presented by DraftKings Sportsbook begins at 7 p.m. ET with Sean Brace and Joe Tansey. JP Dellacamera and Danny Higginbotham have the game call at 7:30 p.m. ET. Brace, Tansey and Kevin Kinkead bring you the Postgame Show after the final whistle.
The Union last played in front of a packed house in Chester, Pennsylvania during the club's first-ever playoff win against the New York Red Bulls. Philadelphia's 2020 home opener was scheduled for a few days after Major League Soccer shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
The Union will be playing their first home game against the Crew since March 23, 2019. Since then, the two sides met on four occasions in Columbus, including the scoreless draw in the MLS opener on April 18.
Jim Curtin's side did not win any of those matchups. It suffered three consecutive defeats to the reigning MLS Cup champion and then played to the draw back in April.
However, the Union do have a four-game unbeaten run on home soil versus the Crew that dates back to 2016. The club produced three goals in each of the three victories during that stretch.
Philadelphia deposited three strikes in a trio of games this season. Two of them occurred in Concacaf Champions League and the other was in the last home game against the Portland Timbers.
Scoring could be difficult for both squads on Wednesday night since the two sides combined to allow 13 goals across a total of 17 matches.
Under 2.5 goals (-112) is priced a bit lower than Over 2.5 (-121), so that could end up as the best bet of the match. The Union are a -118 favorite on the money line at DraftKings Sportsbook. Columbus is a +310 underdog. A draw pays out at +260.
The Union will be shorthanded with Jose Martinez missing the match due to his international commitments at the Copa America with Venezuela. Daniel Gazdag is working back from a minor injury and Anthony Fontana is out with a concussion.
Those absences leave the midfield depth a bit thin. Leon Flach should remain at the No. 6 spot in place of Martinez. Jamiro Monteiro should feature at either the No. 8 or No. 10.
Curtin could insert Matt Real to the left side of the diamond, or Jack McGlynn into the role he started in earlier this season, if Monteiro moves up to the No. 10 role. That seems like the logical move since Paxten Aaronson is ready to start in a game of this magnitude yet.
Due to the lack of depth, Curtin could turn to Kacper Przybylko at the No. 10 in the second half with Sergio Santos and Cory Burke on the field at forward. Curtin flirted with that option in previous weeks and could make that move to get the most experience out on the field with Monteiro playing in a deeper role.
Columbus listed Artur, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Aidan Morris as out, while Milton Valenzuela, Luis Diaz and Perry Kitchen are questionable.