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Matchday 24: NYCFC vs Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park

New York City FC are underdogs in this round of what is becoming one of the most bitter rivalries in MLS.

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Welcome to Matchday 24, which has New York City FC facing Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park, a brisk two-hour drive from the Bronx on the New Jersey Turnpike. The match is the latest in a growing rivalry between an NYCFC that dominated in the early days and a Union that are now one of the best teams in MLS: Here is your NYCFC vs Philadelphia Game Day Hub.

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Game Day Essentials
  • Matchday 24: NYCFC vs Philadelphia Union
  • Date and Time: Saturday, July 15, 7:30 pm ET
  • Kickoff Time: 7:39 pm ET
  • Venue: Subaru Park
  • Bruce Arena Forecast: Chance of rain, hot and humid, 85˚ F/30˚ C
  • Watch: Apple TV
  • Apple TV Broadcast Team: Jake Zivin and Taylor Twellman
  • Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
  • Officiating Crew: Alex Chilowicz (referee), Matthew Nelson and Adam Wienckowski (assistant referees), Elvis Osmanovic (fourth official), Elvis Osmanovic (VAR), Mike Kampmeinert (assistant VAR)
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NYCFC vs Philadelphia preview

Matches between NYCFC and Philadelphia tend to be feisty affairs, especially since NYCFC triumphed against the Union in the Eastern Conference Final en route to hoisting MLS Cup in 2021.

The Union sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, after climbing the table since exiting the CONCACAF Champions League in the semifinal.

Philadelphia are returning home to the friendly terrain of Subaru Park after a stretch that saw them play five of six matches on the road. NYCFC are unbeaten in eight matches, yet have just one single solitary win (merci, Montréal!) over their last 15 matches played in all competitions.

A win by NYCFC would drag the team closer to the Eastern Conference playoff qualification line, and would provide a significant boost heading into the month-long pause in league action so the Leagues Cup can take center stage.

The suits at Apple TV seem to think this is one of the marquee matchups of the weekend, and assigned Taylor Twellman to the MLS Season Pass team covering the game.

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NYCFC vs Philadelphia Union H2H















The historic head-to-head between the two clubs favors NYCFC slightly, but Philadelphia are ascendant: The Union won the last four matchups between these two teams, outscoring New York City ten goals to three. Earlier this season, Philadelphia beat NYCFC at Citi Field three goals to one.

From the Archive: NYCFC humbled by Philadelphia Union in first home loss of season


  • Player Availability: No injuries or suspensions.
  • James Sands is back from international duty now that the USMNT were eliminated from the Gold Cup, but he logged over 120 minutes on both Wednesday against Panama and on Sunday against Canada. Will he make it into head coach Nick Cushing’s Starting XI? Or will he get a rest ahead of the start of Leagues Cup next weekend?
  • Braian Cufré and Tayvon Gray are both one yellow card away from serving a one-match suspension.
  • Will Thiago Martins be in the Starting XI? The center-back made his first appearance last Saturday after undergoing knee surgery following an injury he suffered in the last meeting with the Union.
  • Will goalkeeper Matt Freese earn a start against his former team? NYCFC traded $350,000 of allocation money to acquire Freese after Sean Johnson defected to Canada, yet he’s made just three starts. He is praised consistently by Cushing. Might he get a run of games to prove himself starting in his old stomping grounds against his former team, and carrying through to the Leagues Cup?
  • The recurring question: Where will NYCFC find goals? They got their first-ever goal from a Homegrown in the form of a Justin Haak screamer in the letdown of a 1-1 draw with Columbus Crew, but New York City’s attack has been disappointing. As we await the arrival and integration of Mounsef Bakrar, will another in-house attacker step up in Chester, Pennsylvania?
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Philadelphia Union

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Projected Philadelphia Starting XI:

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