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Revolution looking for momentum against Union

(Image: Twitter/@philaunion)

One of the top teams in MLS’s Eastern Conference will meet one of the teams at the bottom of the standings Saturday, although the difference is not as extreme as it might seem.

The Philadelphia Union (5-3-2, 17 points) headed into the weekend in a three-way tie atop the conference and unbeaten over its last three games. The Union will have a quick turnaround after a 2-0 victory over FC Cincinnati on Wednesday.

The New England Revolution (2-6-2, eight points) is in a four-way tie for the bottom spot of the conference, in a group that includes defending champion Atlanta United FC and last year’s Supporters’ Shield winner, the New York Red Bulls.

Signs of hope for the Revolution came last weekend in a high-scoring 4-4 tie at Sporting Kansas City. Although New England surrendered leads of 3-1 and 4-2, Sporting KC scored three times after defender Brandon Bye was sent off for a second yellow card in the 55th minute.

The Revolution ultimately finished the game with nine players after Jalil Anibaba was sent off in the 90th minute. Juan Fernando Caisedo scored twice for New England.

“Sometimes you just need to take the one and it gives more confidence and the others will follow,” Revolution head coach Brad Friedel said, according to mlssoccer.com. “It’s a shame the way the game went with regards to the sendings off. It’s a shame that we couldn’t hold on for the three points.”

After opening the season with consecutive defeats, Philadelphia has just one defeat over its last eight matches and that came on the road against the Los Angeles Galaxy, one of the top teams in the Western Conference.

Wednesday’s victory over FC Cincinnati was the start of a key stretch with Philadelphia playing five of six games at home, with a chance to solidify its place atop the conference.

“The players have worked their tails off to have it set up this way,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said of the home stretch, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “… You can either separate, or you can go back into the pack, and we want to separate.”

Philadelphia will enter with questions in goal. Starting goalkeeper Andre Blake is expected to miss another week with a groin injury, while backup Matt Freese exited Wednesday’s game with an abdominal injury. Carlos Coronel finished out Wednesday’s shutout.

REUTERS/Field Level Media

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