Sports

Philadelphia Union vs. Charlotte FC: MLS live stream, TV channel, how to watch online, news odds, time


The Eastern Conference’s top team, the Philadelphia Union, will host Charlotte FC in a home match Saturday night. The Union have made it a habit to win ugly while letting the opposition have as much of the ball as possible in recent matches and thanks to a stout defense that has allowed only two goals over the course of the season, it has worked for them. But contrasting styles will clash as Miguel Angel Ramirez’s Charlotte FC side has found their feet and can play out of the back with the best of them stringing together passing plays to get the ball to Ben Bender and Karol Swiderski for goals.

As an expansion side, Charlotte is looking to make their mark on the league and there’s no better way to do it than venturing into the home of the team that has collected the most points in MLS over the past three seasons with 156 and renturing with a victory. This will be easier said than done of course as the Union faithful do their best to make Subaru Park a fortress for opposing teams. 

After making it to the Eastern Conference final last season, the Union improved by adding Julian Carranza and Mikael Uhre but the team hasn’t seen much of either due to suspension and injuries. Carranza has done the best that he can in limited action, laying on two assists and will look to build on that while Uhre was only in action for 22 minutes before picking up a quad injury coming off the bench versus CF Montreal.

Uhre is back and healthy and could make his home debut in Saturday’s match. Speaking to the media Friday, head coach Jim Curtin spoke on Uhre’s sharpness.

“His first day of full training was last Friday,” Curtin said of Uhre. “And then we had a couple recovery days, and then he has picked up and trained for the first time with a full week. You see a player that is getting to know his teammates even better and better. Really sharp in front of goal, and finishes plays off. He’s not the type of forward that needs five, six, seven looks.”  

This will be exciting as the Union have been performing without him but Uhre was a signing meant to raise the ceiling for this team from a good one into a great one. Along with Daniel Gazdag, who has also improved in year two at the club, already scoring three goals, and Carranza, the Union could have a potent attack to match with their already stout defense. 

Kristijan Kahlina will be there to protect his back line with 21 saves on the season already for an impressive start to his Charlotte career. The team has improved and so has their coach who said, “I feel like I’m improving as a coach, and I think that all these matches have only helped me grow. This is a long journey, this is only my third stint as a head coach. I’m practically still in diapers when it comes to a coaching career. My players have also taught me a lot, they’ve been important in my growth as a coach.”

Two players who he could have been speaking of are Swiderski and Bender who the Union will need to keep an eye on. After not scoring in his first two matches of the season, Swiderski now has four goals to lead MLS while rookie Bender out of Maryland has a goal and three assists to start his young MLS career. Bender’s vision when he gets on the ball has been impressive and helps make the system tick for Ramirez, but against the Union will he be shut down by Nathan Harriel and co in defense?

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Saturday, Mar 2. | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: Subaru Park — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Live stream: ESPN+
  • Odds: Philadelphia -235; Draw +340; +700 (via Caesars Sportsbook) 

Prediction

The Union are so tough to take down at home that I see a late Gazdag goal securing all three points despite a valiant effort from Charlotte. Pick: Philadelphia 1, Charlotte 0





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