⚽️ Third Place Is the 'Decision Day' Goal

+ How the Union Stack Up in PKs

Photo by Jack Verdeur

LAST MATCH: Union 0 - Nashville SC 0

NEXT MATCH: vs. New England Revolution, Saturday, Oct. 21, 6 p.m. | Apple TV - MLS Season Pass

Good morning. South Philly was the place to be last night with Mexico playing Germany at The Linc, the Phillies hosting Game 2 of the NLCS and the Flyers playing. Meanwhile, the Union are looking ahead to Decision Day on Saturday in Foxborough, Mass.

In the email today:

  1. 🥉 Third Place is the Decision Day Goal

  2. 📈 How the Union Stack Up: PKs

  3. 📺 Video of the Day: Charlie Davies Shares Thoughts on Bedoya

  4. 💧Water Cooler: Most Improved Union Player

  5. 🔗 Link Roundup

1) 🥉Third Place is the Decision Day Goal

Though the Philadelphia Union don’t have the kind of pressure riding on Decision Day that teams trying to sneak into the playoffs do, they still have third place to play for on Saturday in New England.

The Union are currently in third place but both New England and Columbus Crew are within striking distance of taking third.

The easiest way for them to lock up third place is to win, but the scenarios should they tie or lose involve a lot of math. A Columbus win and a Revs win by three goals or more could see them slip down to fifth place. Fifth place would mean they’d lose home field advantage in the best-of-three first round series.

Our take: The last thing the Union need is to have to travel back to New England to open the first round of the playoffs. It would feel almost like 2020 all over again.

2) 📈 How the Union Stack Up: PKs

Daniel Gazdag’s penalty kick exploits have been well-documented this season so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Union are leading the league in penalty kicks with 11. Gazdag is of course 11-for-11 on those kicks and 19-for-19 on regular season penalties in his Union career.

  • LAFC and FC Cincinnati are second to the Union each with 9 penalties this season.

  • The Union have also conceded five penalty kicks, which is fourth most in the league this season. Chicago Fire have conceded 11 penalties to lead the league in that category. Gazdag had one of those 11.

  • The Union had 10 penalties last season, which was third in the league.

Our take: Gazdag has gotten some heat this season for being a penalty merchant since 11 of his 14 goals are from the spot but it’s not like the Union haven’t also been good at putting him in positions for penalties. Some of the handball penalties have been flukes but for good teams create chaos in the box and the Union have done plenty of that this season.  

3) 📺 Video of the Day: Charlie Davies Shares Thoughts on Bedoya

Charlie Davies and Alejandro Bedoya go way back to their college days when Bedoya was looking at Boston College as a possible school to transfer to. Though they didn’t play together at BC they became friends and crossed paths in their careers before officially becoming teammates with the Philadelphia Union. So it wasn’t surprising that Davies would have some thoughts on reports that Bedoya won’t be back for another season with the Union.

4) 💧 Water Cooler: Most Improved Player

Most Improved Union Player This Season

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Have additional thoughts? Reply directly to this email to comment, and see if we include your response tomorrow.

Results from our last poll Union Forward of the Year:

Julian Carranza was the unanimous decision.

5) 🔗 Link Roundup:

The newsletter today was written by: Matt Ralph @MattRalph_

Thanks for reading!