Major League Soccer

Revolution-Union Preview

Philadelphia Union are raring to go on Decision Day as they look to bounce back from defeat at Columbus Crew and clinch the Supporters' Shield.

League leaders the Union went down 2-1 at Columbus last week, despite coach Jim Curtin feeling it was "our best road performance of the season".

Philly are eager to put that result behind them, though, as the title remains in their hands as they host New England Revolution, having won all of their prior eight home games this season.

Curtin said: "I know our players and can assure our fans they are going to give everything they possibly have this Sunday at home, where we've been a very strong team at Subaru Park.

"Everybody's excited to end the season the right way and then obviously set ourselves up for more home games and make a big run in the playoffs."

The Revs need just a point to avoid the play-in round and, given the stakes, Bruce Arena feels Sunday's game will be good preparation for the postseason.

"It's an important game," he said. "I consider it a practice playoff game.

"Having said that, most teams in the league have that. Most teams are fighting for something. These are meaningful games for everybody."

However, given the imbalanced schedule, Arena does not feel opponents the Union should be able to win the Shield, even with points per game introduced.

"It's the stupidest thing I've ever heard that they're giving the Supporters' Shield this season," he added. "Whatever.

"I think they deserve credit for being where they are, but I don't think there should be a Supporters' Shield awarded this year."

Philadelphia Union - Alejandro Bedoya

The stats give credence to Curtin's assessment of the Union's performance at Columbus, with the team attempting 22 shots but scoring just once. Bedoya created five of those chances and, if he can repeat that performance, Philly surely cannot be as wasteful again.

New England Revolution - Andrew Farrell

The Revs recovered from two goals down to beat DC United 4-3 last time out, but they cannot afford to give a team as good as Philadelphia a similar headstart. Experienced centre-back Andrew Farrell must ensure the visitors keep things tight.

- The Union are unbeaten in eight straight regular season matches against New England (W6 D2), plus they eliminated the Revs from the MLS is Back Tournament in the round of 16. Philadelphia have won six straight home matches against New England, including a 2-1 win in September, their second-longest home winning streak against a single opponent in the club's MLS history (behind seven straight against DC United, 2015 to present).

- Philly enter Decision Day a win away from their first piece of MLS silverware, the Supporters' Shield. They are perfect at home this season, winning all eight of their matches at Subaru Park by a combined 22-4. The Union could become just the third team to win nine straight home matches within a single season after Chicago Fire (nine) in 2017 and San Jose Earthquakes (10) in 2002.

- Despite losing their previous away match 1-0 to New York Red Bulls, New England have won five of their eight on the road (D1 L2) since the regular season restarted in August, tied with Toronto for the most away wins in this portion of the 2020 season.

- The Union have scored 11 goals from outside the box this season, four more than any other team in MLS (next best Los Angeles FC - seven). Nine different Union players have scored at least once from outside the area, with Anthony Fontana and Kacper Przybylko each doing so twice.

- Teal Bunbury scored two of New England's four goals in their 4-3 victory over DC United on Sunday, taking his total to eight for the season, two more than Adam Buksa as the team's top marksman. Bunbury, in his 11th MLS season, has never been the outright leading scorer on his team before (tied with Omar Bravo and Kei Kamara with nine in the 2011 season with Sporting Kansas City).

Updated November 6, 2020

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