The Decision Day road loss against the New England Revolution dropped the Philadelphia Union to No. 4 in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Eastern Conference. Still, they will rematch the Revolution this weekend to kick off postseason play.
The Union (15-9-10, 55 points) faced the No. 5-ranked Revolution (15-9-10, 55 points) in the regular season finale at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.
The Revolution secured a home-crowd victory with a brace from star forward Gustavo Bou, despite the Union’s early lead with Julián Carranza’s goal in the sixteenth minute. The game broke the Revolution’s three-game losing streak and served as a strong response to their 3-0 loss to Philadelphia in May.
The match dropped the Union from the No. 3 position; however, Philadelphia just needed to lose by two or fewer goals at New England to clinch a top-four seed, outranking the Revolution via a goal-differential tiebreaker despite boasting the same record.
Philadelphia will have their chance at revenge, facing the Revolution at Subaru Park for the first round of playoffs, a three-game series over the course of three weeks.
“It’s a loss, but a loss that keeps us at home-field advantage at Subaru Park, which is important,” said Union Head Coach Jim Curtin to the team’s media staff.
As the higher-seeded team, the Union will host the first and third legs of the best-of-three matches. Subaru Park is a fortress, with the Union posting a 10-1-6 record at home. Should Philadelphia advance, they will compete in the Eastern Conference semifinals, a single-elimination round.
The competition will be fierce. The Union (2020) and the Revolution (2021) are two of the past four Supporters’ Shield winners, an annual award given to the MLS team with the best regular season record.
The Union, reigning Eastern Conference champions and MLS Cup runner-up, went undefeated in the month of September, suffering only one loss in the past nine games. Meanwhile, the Revolution have made five appearances in the MLS Cup finals (2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2014).
Philadelphia will look to trio Carranza, Daniel Gazdag, and Mikael Uhre in postseason play, as the attackers lead the team in scoring with a combined 37 goals.
“I’ll put this group up against anybody in our conference, there’s no team that I think has run away and is clearly way better than anybody,” said Curtin. “So like I’ve said all season, we can beat anyone, we can get beat by anybody. This will start the fun part, the real season now begins, and I like our chances.”
Philadelphia will face New England on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. EDT, with the game airing on Apple TV. Regardless of the outcome, the teams will face each other again next Wednesday.