Is the best goalkeeper in Philadelphia Union major league soccer And oiled up ahead, these are just a few of the different reasons why the Pennsylvania team was able to reach its first finals CONCACAF Champions League, he will visit here on tuesday night LAFC For a ticket to the great decisive stage of the continental competition.
Those reasons may be reviewed in the definitive series, directed by Jim Curtin.
1. Is the best goalkeeper in MLS
Jamaica’s Andre Blake has established himself as the best goalkeeper in MLS, especially after his amazing 2022. He won Goalkeeper of the Year honors in Major League Soccer’s 2016, 2020, and 2022 seasons, and was a fundamental piece for the Philadelphia Union, which has been enshrined as such. Earned the title of runner-up and one of the team leaders in the leagues of the United States and Canada.
In this edition, the Caribbean goalkeeper has conceded four goals in as many games. While his numbers in that company could improve, his contribution has been to give them protection while commanding the team and save their goals at the right time with very high-level interventions.
Although this is another tournament and another instance, the team led by Jim Curtin is thirsty for revenge. Last season, LAFC and Union reached the finals of the MLS Cup and the winners were the Gold and Black team. However, Philadelphia came very close to lifting their first trophy, to the extent that Welshman Gareth Bale had to bring the game to a sigh-of-a-point conclusion in the final minutes of overtime.
Returning to the stage that saw them lose a few months back is full motivation for coach Curtin, who said “there’s a history between these two teams.” Goalkeeper Blake said that “all the pressure is on him; If we score two goals, they will be in trouble.”
Another thorn the MLS Eastern Conference guys would like to remove is that they’ve never been able to beat LAFC, even though they know it’s their first chance.
The Union attack is oiled and its nuts are on. Daniel Gazdag, Mikael Uhre and Julian Carranza are showing a high individual and collective standard. In the Pennsylvania team’s last match, two weeks earlier against Toronto FC, the attacking trio worked like clockwork. Uhre hit a 3-pointer and his offensive partners each had an assist. Also good is the moment experienced by veteran Alejandro Bedoya, who has shown leadership, tenacity and playmaking in midfield.
Union and LAFC both had a free date on this MLS day, so they have retained the “Concachampions chip” since the first leg.
4. Youth, the divine treasure
The Philadelphia Union’s greatest strength is its average age, which at nearly 24 years old is the youngest of the four teams playing in the semifinals. Jim Curtin has young players like Brandon Craig, Quinn Sullivan and Jack McGlynn. The latter has astounded locals and strangers alike with its ability and courage to face and pose a threat with its feet.
The American midfielder has played seven games in MLS and five in the CCL, where he started all of them as a starter. It is well known that a 180-minute series requires players who maintain a high rate of physical wastage, and contributions from these young players could make the difference against LAFC.
5. Want to copy the Seattle Sounders
The Union seeks to become the second MLS champion among the “Concachampions”. Last year, the Seattle Sounders defeated the Pumas de la UNAM in a decisive duel, and finally a team from the United States was able to lift the confederation’s highest trophy. Philadelphia’s job is to repeat what the Sounders did and make sure the trophy doesn’t return to the Mexican showcase.