MLS PREVIEWS |

Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia Union Preview and Predictions

Two of the remaining MLS is Back Tournament favorites meet when the Philadelphia Union play Sporting Kansas City in a quarterfinal on Thursday night near Orlando.

For Philadelphia, it may represent a last chance to win hardware with some of the current young talent in the fold.

The Union's 19-year-old creative midfielder Brenden Aaronson and 21-year-old defender Mark McKenzie are among those rumored to be attracting attention from European clubs.

Aaronson has started every game of the tournament, and he has two assists.

With most European leagues starting new seasons later this summer or early in the fall, it's possible the Union could receive an offer for one or both that would be too good to pass up.

"The hype around our players is real," Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin said. "It's always flattering to have interest in your young players. It's no secret that our (goal) is to sell our first player to Europe.

"Keeping Aaron and Mark humble and hungry is the job of our entire technical staff. The talent is certainly there, and if they continue to play the way they do, I'm sure some concrete offers will come in for them."

Sporting Kansas City have their own prized young prospect in 18-year-old dual national U.S./Italy midfielder Gianluca Busio, but in general coach Peter Vermes' club is a bit more mature.

Offseason acquisition Alan Pulido is making an early MVP bid, with the 29-year-old Mexican contributing three goals and four assists through five games. Tim Melia proved at age 34 he is still the league's best penalty stopper, saving two during a penalty-kick shootout to help SKC advance beyond Vancouver following a scoreless draw in the round of 16.

Experience that also includes seasoned vets such defender Matt Besler, midfielder Ilie Sanchez and winger Johnny Russell perhaps has helped Kansas City weather some rough breaks.

"For us against Vancouver, we were in control of the game from the first minute to the 90th minute," Vermes said. "While we didn't score, we created incredible chances. The goalkeeper had some good saves and we missed some sitters, that happens sometimes."

--Field Level Media

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
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Last Injuries

Philadelphia Union

philadelphia-union Stats 2020

Offensive
Hitting Statistics
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Player GP GS G A GH1 GH2 Gpe GSF MP Off S SOG
Defensive
Hitting Statistics
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Discipline
Hitting Statistics
Player GP GS YC RC CS DP FC FD Player GP GS YC RC CS DP FC FD

sporting-kansas-city Stats 2020

Offensive
Hitting Statistics
Player GP GS G A GH1 GH2 Gpe GSF MP Off S SOG
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Defensive
Hitting Statistics
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Discipline
Hitting Statistics
Player GP GS YC RC CS DP FC FD Player GP GS YC RC CS DP FC FD