Rapids-Union Preview


The Philadelphia Union have been successful of late, aside from their most recent MLS game, but they're still seeking to end a franchise-worst home winless streak in league play.

The Union appear to have a prime opportunity to snap that drought Saturday night against a Colorado Rapids club that's winless in its last four road games and without its leading goal scorer.

Philadelphia is 6-1-1 across all competitions and advanced to the U.S. Open Cup semifinals with a 2-0 win over visiting New England on Tuesday.

The Union (4-8-6) were 2-0-1 in MLS play before a 2-1 loss at FC Dallas on July 4, with an own goal by defender Sheanon Williams in the 49th minute as the tiebreaker. Philadelphia has played just one league game at PPL Park since May 17, a 3-all draw with Vancouver on June 7 in the final contest before the three-week World Cup break.

While it claimed three straight home victories in the U.S. Open Cup, Philadelphia is 0-2-4 in its last six MLS contests at PPL. The Union will get two chances to end that skid in a five-day span and are playing three games in eight days, culminating with a visit to Chicago next Saturday.

"We have two at home, Colorado and then New York. Two huge games, where you don't call them 'must wins' yet, but they're two huge games so we have to be ready for them," interim coach Jim Curtin told the team's official website.

The Rapids (7-5-5) are 0-3-1 in their last four away from home, and their two-game road losing streak is their first since dropping their final four there last season.

"Those last two (road) games we were well in and probably should have gotten more out of," captain Drew Moor told the league's website. "But on the road, it's about grinding it out. It's about getting off to a good start, it's about staying organized defensively, taking your chances when you have them."

Colorado is 1-1-2 in its last four overall league games after a 1-all draw with visiting Columbus on July 4. Vicente Sanchez was given a two-game suspension by the league for his foul on Crew defender Hector Jimenez that earned him a yellow card in the 79th minute.

The Uruguayan forward has a team-leading six goals in seven contests.

The Union will be without Maurice Edu, who was given a red card in the loss to FC Dallas, but fellow midfielder Vincent Nogueira could return from a groin injury. The club might also get help from Brian Brown, who led Jamaica's Premier League with 18 goals this past season for Harbour View.

"There's still some paperwork that needs to finish up, but he's going to be with us going forward," Curtin told the league's website Thursday. "He's a player that we're excited about."

Philadelphia won last year's lone matchup 2-1 after going 0-3-2 in the first five games in the series.