The Philadelphia Union put a six-game unbeaten streak on the line when they face Minnesota United on Wednesday night in Saint Paul, Minn., in a game that has major playoff implications for both teams.
Philadelphia (12-7-10, 46 points) trails second-place Nashville SC by two points in the Eastern Conference and will host the Six Strings on Saturday night. The Union would be tied for the second spot but dropped two points in devastating fashion on Saturday night at CF Montreal, which earned a 2-2 draw on Sunusi Ibraham's header late in stoppage time.
"In their building it will be a real challenge," said Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin of the Loons (11-10-8, 41 points), who are just one point in front of Vancouver for the seventh and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. "You can see both teams need points. A lot is on the line in these final five games."
It is the final game of a three-game road trip for the Union, who are just 3-4-7 on the road this season but are 2-0-1 all-time against Minnesota.
Minnesota United snapped a three-game winless streak with a 1-0 victory at Austin FC on Saturday as goaltender Tyler Miller made eight saves. It was the 11th clean sheet of the season for Miller, tying the team's single-season mark set by Vito Mannone in 2019.
Miller missed the majority of the 2020 season after having surgery on both hips.
"To get a personal best and tie a club record is something I'm proud of because of the work I put in to come back from last season's injury," Miller said. "But it's not just me. It's a testament to our defense and our defensive mentality."
Franco Fragapane's goal in the 16th minute proved to be the game-winner for the Loons, who are five points behind fourth-place Portland in the race for the final home-field playoff spot.
"It was a huge, huge three points," said Miller. "The way our team has been able to respond all season, you've seen the character this team has. It was a tremendous effort."
--Field Level Media