Tue, 15 Jun 2021

Fire, Union meet in matchup of winless sides

Field Level Media
08 May 2021, 03:19 GMT+10

While the Philadelphia Union have enjoyed success in competition outside MLS, their focus this weekend will turn back to the league, where it's been an early struggle.

The Chicago Fire also hope to end similar struggles.

The Union and the host Fire each will look to record their first MLS victory in four games on Saturday afternoon.

Philadelphia is headed to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League after beating Atlanta United FC on aggregate this week, leaving the Union as the only MLS squad left in the competition.

However, the Union's success in that tournament might come at an early expense of MLS play. They've managed just one goal while registering a single point from the first three matches and will try to avoid a third consecutive defeat following last weekend's 2-0 home loss to New York City FC.

Philadelphia (0-2-1, 1 point) last went winless through its first four MLS games in 2017.

"I think we've had good performances in the league, but performances that haven't gotten the results that we wanted," Union coach Jim Curtin said. "We have to change that now and find ways to pick up points."

Goals by Kacper Przybylko, who has five in Champions League play and none in MLS action this season, and Cory Burke helped the Union to a 2-1 home victory over the Fire in 2020. Overall, the Union lead 11-9-5 in the series against Chicago.

The Fire (0-2-1, 1 point) have been outscored 7-3 while earning just one point from their first three 2021 league contests. And they also look to avoid a third straight loss following a 2-0 defeat at New York Red Bulls. Chicago hasn't gone winless in its first four games since 2014.

Fire coach Raphael Wicky said his side has been too mistake-prone in the early going -- particularly last week, when Chicago conceded both goals within the first 20 minutes of the second half.

"It's always the same," Wicky told the Chicago Sun-Times. "The team is there, the team is in the game ... then out of nothing, you make a big mistake and it costs us the game.

"We've got to change that as quick as possible."

Robert Beric, who has one of Chicago' three goals in 2021, scored against Philadelphia last season.

--Field Level Media

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