The Philadelphia Union’s fight for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference comes down to Decision Day.
The easiest scenario for the Union is to win over New York City FC at Yankee Stadium to remain in their current position in the East table.
Coverage of Sunday’s match begins at 3 p.m. ET on The Gambler with the Union Pregame Show presented by DraftKings Sportsbook with Jon Jansen and Joe Tansey.
Pre-match coverage continues with JP Dellacamera and Danny Higginbotham up until kickoff from Yankee Stadium at 3:45 p.m. ET.
The Union Postgame Show follows after the final whistle with Jansen, Tansey and Kevin Kinkead.
Philadelphia comes into Decision Day in second place with a home playoff game already clinched.
Nashville SC and NYCFC are the Union’s two competitors for the No. 2 seed. The Union can avoid any other scenarios with the two clubs by winning in the Bronx on Sunday.
If that is the case, the Union would finish with 56 points. Even if Nashville beats the New York Red Bulls, a Union victory would be enough to clinch the No. 2 seed since the Union own the wins tiebreaker over the side from Tennessee.
If the Union draw with NYCFC, they can finish no lower than third. A Nashville-Red Bulls draw combined with a Union draw would put the Union into the No. 2 seed.
If NYC beats the Union, Philadelphia can’t finish in the No. 2 seed because NYC would have more victories.
In that situation, the Union would have to finish with the same amount of points as Nashville to take third. If not, they would finish fourth.
The No. 1 seed is already wrapped up by the New England Revolution, who won the Supporters’ Shield a few weeks ago.
The Union will have a full strength squad with the exception of Sergio Santos, who is listed as out with a quad injury.
That means Cory Burke. Ilsinho and Alvas Powell are available for selection if Jim Curtin deems them fit for Sunday’s match.
Of the three, Burke is likely to make the biggest impact. The Jamaican forward is the No. 2 striker behind Kacper Przybylko for Sunday.
Since Burke is not 90 minutes fit, the Union will once again call on the 4-3-2-1, or “Christmas Tree” formation with Daniel Gazdag and Jamiro Monteiro in the dueling No. 10 spots.
Monteiro missed Sunday’s game with FC Cincinnati with a knee injury, but he trained in full in the buildup to the NYCFC match.
If the Union win on Sunday, it would mark their first-ever victory at Yankee Stadium. They are 0-4-1 with a -6 goal differential in their road matches in the Bronx.
A victory would mark a reversal in fortunes from 2018, when the Union lost at the Bronx with a home playoff spot on the line.