(Photo credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports)
Unable to replicate an offensive-minded MLS Cup final from a season ago, visiting Los Angeles FC and the Philadelphia Union played to a 0-0 draw on Saturday amid windy conditions in Chester, Pa.
With the tie, LAFC remain unbeaten in eight all-time MLS games against the Union, going 5-0-3. All three draws have come in games played on the Union's home turf. LAFC are the only MLS club the Union have never defeated.
The teams played to a 3-3 tie into extra time of last season's MLS Cup final at Los Angeles, with LAFC winning the title in penalty kicks.
Steady winds, with gusts up to 35 mph, plagued Saturday's match as effects from Tropical Storm Ophelia made their mark on the Northeast. Rain became heavy at times in the second half.
There were no saves required from either Union goalkeeper Andre Blake or LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, who was playing in just his third game after a fractured leg in the second half of MLS Cup in November.
LAFC (12-9-9, 45 points) started the day in third place in the Western Conference, looking to wrap up a top-four seed and home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The club is now 3-5-6 on the road, with consecutive 0-0 draws, including one at St. Louis on Wednesday.
The Union (14-8-7, 49 points) have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, but were clinging to fourth place heading into weekend play. Philadelphia is now 9-1-4 at home.
LAFC opened with scorers Denis Bouanga and Carlos Vela on the bench and looked lost on offense in the first half. Bouanga entered just after halftime, while Vela came on in the 71st minute to no avail.
The Union were playing without defender Jakob Glesnes (core) for the first time since October of 2020, ending his consecutive-game streak at 101. Philadelphia also was without midfielder Jose Martinez (knee), while forward Julian Carranza left after halftime with concussion symptoms.
The Union appeared to take a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute when Tai Baribo hit the crossbar and Daniel Gazdag found the back of the goal on the rebound with a header. But Gazdag was ruled offside on replay.
--Field Level Media