After their 1-0 win over the New England Revolution on Wednesday Night, the Philadelphia Union are set to face FC Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. It is a rematch of last year’s Conference Semi-Finals, but this time with a reversal of the roles. In 2022 it was the Union coming in as the one seed. But now after a dominating regular season, Cincinnati has the advantage this time.
FC Cincinnati went 20-5 this season, with only 2 losses at home. The Philadelphia Union meanwhile had a down regular season, at least by their standards. They were 15-9, but also 5-8-4 on the road. And because of those regular-season issues, they will likely have to go through the road the rest of the way. The Cincinnati game will be on the road. And if they get past them, it will depend on who makes it to the Conference Finals. The 3 possible teams are Orlando City SC, who has already advanced to the Semi-Finals, and then either the Columbus Crew or Atlanta United. Atlanta would be the one team the Union has a home-field advantage against.
That said, the Union did win on the road to advance to this round. And they did so against a team who like themselves, never lose at home. The New England Revolution were 12-1-4 at home this season. But in the game that mattered most, the Union beat them 1-0 thanks to a Chris Donovan goal in the 79th minute. It was also thanks to Mark-Anthony Kaye of the Revolution getting a Red Card for stomping on the chest of Daniel Gazdag.
The Union’s road back to the MLS Cup is going to be much harder this year than it was last year. Starting with a Cincinnati team that is far better than they were last year. But beyond that, just being on the road makes things more complicated than they were in 2022. The date for the Cincinnati game is not yet set, but it will be on either November 25 or 26th. Unlike the first round, it will be a Winner Take All Game.
Here are the notable moments from the Union’s Game 2 win: