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Union seek sixth straight at home vs. Sounders

(Image: Twitter/@philaunion)

The Philadelphia Union are off to their best start in club history and ascending in the standings due in large part to their play at home.

The Union (7-3-2, 23 points) aim to win their sixth straight at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa., on Saturday when they host the Seattle Sounders (7-1-4, 25 points).

Jamiro Monteiro scored the go-ahead goal in the 68th minute as Philadelphia posted a 2-1 victory at Toronto FC last Saturday. That avenged a 3-1 loss on March 2 to Toronto, the Union’s only home defeat this year.

Philadelphia has outscored the opposition 14-3 en route to a 4-0-1 mark in its last five matches.

“I think our players deserve all the credit as they’re not scared of any team,” Union coach Jim Curtin said. “I think they respect everybody, but they’re not scared of anyone. … We’re brave no matter who steps on the field for us.”

Striker Kacper Przybylko extended his point streak to four straight matches (three goals, one assist) by setting up Monteiro for the game-winning goal.

“It shows the attitude that we can fight like a team,” the 26-year-old Przybylko said. “It was a good team performance, and like last week’s game, (the match) was a big fight and it was a positive.”

Philadelphia should expect a stern test from Seattle, which has recorded consecutive victories and is riding a five-match unbeaten streak (2-0-3) since taking its first loss of the year on April 21.

Raul Ruidiaz and Handwalla Bwana scored, and midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro notched his MLS-leading seventh assist as the Sounders posted a 2-1 win over Orlando City SC on Wednesday.

“I have a lot of confidence in that group,” coach Brian Schmetzer told the Seattle Times. “… One thing that team possesses and always does — and is going to help us on the road — is they don’t like to lose. They put us under pressure, and our guys didn’t wilt.”

Bwana likely will be inserted into the starting lineup in place of Jordan Morris, who injured his hamstring in the 53rd minute versus Orlando City, which brought Bwana on as a substitute. The 24-year-old Morris has collected four goals in 12 games this season for Seattle after missing all of 2018 with a torn ACL.

The Sounders fell to 4-5-2 all-time against the Union after the latter registered a 1-0 win at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 19, 2018. Fafa Picault scored in the 93rd minute as Philadelphia snapped the Sounders’ MLS-record nine-match winning streak.

The Philadelphia Union are off to their best start in club history and ascending in the standings due in large part to their play at home.

The Union (7-3-2, 23 points) aim to win their sixth straight at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa., on Saturday when they host the Seattle Sounders (7-1-4, 25 points).

Jamiro Monteiro scored the go-ahead goal in the 68th minute as Philadelphia posted a 2-1 victory at Toronto FC last Saturday. That avenged a 3-1 loss on March 2 to Toronto, the Union’s only home defeat this year.

Philadelphia has outscored the opposition 14-3 en route to a 4-0-1 mark in its last five matches.

“I think our players deserve all the credit as they’re not scared of any team,” Union coach Jim Curtin said. “I think they respect everybody, but they’re not scared of anyone. … We’re brave no matter who steps on the field for us.”

Striker Kacper Przybylko extended his point streak to four straight matches (three goals, one assist) by setting up Monteiro for the game-winning goal.

“It shows the attitude that we can fight like a team,” the 26-year-old Przybylko said. “It was a good team performance, and like last week’s game, (the match) was a big fight and it was a positive.”

Philadelphia should expect a stern test from Seattle, which has recorded consecutive victories and is riding a five-match unbeaten streak (2-0-3) since taking its first loss of the year on April 21.

Raul Ruidiaz and Handwalla Bwana scored, and midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro notched his MLS-leading seventh assist as the Sounders posted a 2-1 win over Orlando City SC on Wednesday.

“I have a lot of confidence in that group,” coach Brian Schmetzer told the Seattle Times. “… One thing that team possesses and always does — and is going to help us on the road — is they don’t like to lose. They put us under pressure, and our guys didn’t wilt.”

Bwana likely will be inserted into the starting lineup in place of Jordan Morris, who injured his hamstring in the 53rd minute versus Orlando City, which brought Bwana on as a substitute. The 24-year-old Morris has collected four goals in 12 games this season for Seattle after missing all of 2018 with a torn ACL.

The Sounders fell to 4-5-2 all-time against the Union after the latter registered a 1-0 win at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 19, 2018. Fafa Picault scored in the 93rd minute as Philadelphia snapped the Sounders’ MLS-record nine-match winning streak.

REUTERS/Field Level Media

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