Jul 17, 2011, 6:27 PM EDT
The Union, unbeaten over their last four games, are in New England tonight where they’ll face the Revolution (7PM/Comcast SportsNet). The Revs sit in last place in the Eastern Conference with 16 points from 18 games. The Union enter play a point behind New York for first place in the conference.
This will be the third and final game of a three game road trip for the Union. They’ve earned a point in each of the first two stops on the trip – a 2-2 draw at D.C. and a 0-0 draw at San Jose.
New England will be without midfield stalwart Shalrie Joseph, who
will miss the game due to yellow card accumulation. New England will
have Benny Feilhaber, who the Union passed over back in April when the
US international was available via the allocation draft.
Tonight is the start of a very busy week for the Union, who will host
Everton on Wednesday at PPL Park and then Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid
squad at the Linc on Saturday.
Obviously, picking up the three points tonight is and should be Peter Nowak’s priority. Yes, playing host to an EPL and La Liga side is glamorous, but the goal remains to qualify for the MLS playoffs.
Gabriel Farfan did a nice job stepping into the left back spot against San Jose, which Jordan Harvey had on lock prior to being dealt to Vancouver. I think most Union fans expect another shoe to drop as it relates to the left back spot at some point soon – particularly with the MLS transfer window now being open.
Stefani Miglioranzi also did a nice job filling the void left by Carlos Valdes, who did not travel to San Jose last week due to illness. It appears as if Valdes will return to the lineup alongside Danny Califf in the center of the Union back line.
Following the San Jose game Nowak expressed his displeasure with the play of Keon Daniel and Justin Mapp. Perhaps as a result Daniel will return to the substitutes bench. Personally, I like Daniel’s ability to inject life into the game with his pace off of the bench.
Here’s the lineup I hope we see today: Mondragon, G. Farfan, Valdes, Califf, Williams, Mapp, Nakazawa, Carroll, Le Toux, Ruiz, Mwanga.
Final Score Prediction: This a rare instance where the Union should expect to pick up the three points on the road. I’d imagine the coaching staff has been admonishing the players to focus on New England and not look ahead to the two upcoming friendlies. Union win it 1-0.
The Toni Stahl Memorial Union Player Most Likely To See Red: Brian Carroll, who will be charged with tracking Feilhaber all day.
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