It’s the rematch everyone has been waiting for! Last year these two teams went head to head with a trip to the finals on the line as well. Philly unfortunately had a COVID issue and had to play a lot of backups. NYCFC went on to win the game and the title. Today is going to be the fully fit rubber match, and fans on both sides are stoked.
Philly is still undefeated in their own building. At Subaru Park the Union are an outstanding 14-5-0. Andre Blake is an MLS MVP candidate and is holding down the net for the Union tonight. Daniel Gazdag was an outrageous MVP snub in my opinion. Uhre and Carzana have developed into excellent weapons for the union and are extremely capable finishers. I have a lot of bias, and I’ve written ad nauseum about the Union this year, so I will keep this short.
NYCFC had a stellar road win against a higher seeded Montreal squad to get into this game. The New York youth have stepped up and found a nice goal scoring form. Talles Magno is the guy who impresses me most for NYCFC. He always finds himself in a good position to make the final pass or finish on net. We can’t talk about NYCFC’s success without mentioning keeper Sean Johnson. Johnson is a big time player and only gets more clutch as games become more important. He did an outstanding job last year in the final vs Portland in the penalty kick shootout.
With two outstanding keepers, goals will be at a premium tonight. I expect this to be a very technical match up, where scoring opportunities will take time to build in the final third. Full disclosure: I have a future on Philly to win it all this year. I honestly believe that they are the better team tonight protecting their hard fought record at home. The revenge angle only stokes Philly’s desire to make a statement as well.