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Union out to shut door on Crew again in Philadelphia

Apr 2, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Union midfielder Daniel Gazdag (6) controls the ball in the second half against Charlotte FC at Subaru Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Union will try to remain unbeaten when they host the Columbus Crew on Saturday.

The Union (4-0-1, 13 points) can set the franchise record with a fifth consecutive victory following a tie against Minnesota United to open the season.

Columbus (2-1-2, 8 points) must be cognizant of the duo of Daniel Gazdag and Julian Carranza.

“They are both guys that like to combine,” Union coach Jim Curtin said. “They have a good understanding of each other, they both move really well and they are both really technical smart soccer players.”

Gazdag has scored in four straight matches, equaling the Union record held by Kacper Przybylko (2019), C.J. Sapong (2015) and Jack McInerney (2012).

“He’s done a really good job of going into the green zone going into tough pockets and turning himself to get out of trouble,” Curtin said of Gazdag.

Carranza has a goal and two assists, but it’s not all about offense for the Union. Goalkeeper Andre Blake has three straight shutouts.

It makes for a formidable task for the Crew, which has not won in the past six matches (five losses and a tie) at Philadelphia and been shut out in the past five games there. Only four times in MLS history has a team shut out the same opponent six straight times.

While Columbus lost 1-0 to Nashville SC in its most recent match, Crew coach Caleb Porter said the chances to score were there.

“It’s easy when you lose a game to feel like you failed and when you win a game to feel like you succeeded,” he said. “But there’s much to improve in every game when we win or lose. I think we did a lot right in that game. The analytics show that.”

The Crew are 3-14-12 in their past 29 road games, including ties in both matches this season.

–Field Level Media