After some breathtaking matches in the first round of the MLS 2023 playoffs, we are down to only eight teams fighting for the title this season!
Quarter-finals or Conference Semi-Finals, whichever you prefer, will occur in late November after the international break.
Los Angeles FC are the reigning champions, and they made it to the playoffs, but eliminating Seattle Sounders away from home might end their back-to-back title hopes.
One of the most exciting matchups is Cincinnati FC against the Philadelphia Union. At the time of writing, sportsbooks in the US favor the home side to advance. Can the Pennsylvanian side cause an upset and maybe repeat the success from last season when they made it to the grand finals?
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Cincinnati FC vs Philadelphia Union Head To Head
Cincinnati FC has locked horns against Philadelphia 14 times so far, and the Union has a 7-3 lead in terms of victories, while four clashes ended without a winner.
The most recent head-to-head encounter took place in mid-September in Pennsylvania, ending without a winner at 2-2.
Philadelphia gained an early 2-0 lead with Jose Martinez and Daniel Gazdag hitting the target. The Orange and Blue bounced back in the second half, with Aaron Boupendza and Brandon Vazquez finding the net.
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Cincinnati’s Impressive Numbers In The Regular Season
Cincinnati FC faced the New York Red Bulls in the first round of the playoffs, and they finished the job in two games. There were no issues in Ohio, claiming a commanding 3-0 victory, with Alvaro Barreal being the man of the match with two goals. The return fixture in New York was slightly different, ending 1-1, and Cincinnati advanced after a penalty shootout.
Pat Noonan’s side had an impressive regular season, ending as the 1st placed team in the Eastern Conference. The Orange and Blues earned 20 victories in 34 MLS appearances while losing only five duels. They also had the second-best defense in the conference, allowing only 39 goals.
Argentine midfielder Luciano Acosta is having one of the best seasons of his career, scoring 18 goals and registering 12 assists in his 34 league appearances this year. Brandon Vazquez is the second most prolific player with eight goals.
Cincinnati FC has three players on the injury list, but they might recover before the duel against Philadelphia Union. These players are London Aghedo, Stiven Jimenez, and Nick Hagglund.
Philadelphia Union Struggled Just Before the Playoffs
Philadelphia wrapped up the regular season with an awful streak, having won just one of their last seven matches. Eventually, they ended up in 4th place in the Eastern Conference with 55 points from 34 matches.
The Union was on the edge of elimination in the first playoff round after losing to the New England Revolution 2-1. They bounced back at home and tied the series with a 3-1 victory. Chris Donovan was the hero in game three, which Philadelphia won 1-0 in Foxborough. It’s worth adding that they had a one-man advantage after Mark Kaye was sent off in the first half.
Two key figures for Philadelphia this season are Hungarian midfielder Daniel Gazdag (15 goals, 6 assists) and Julian Carranza (14 goals, 5 assists).
Jim Curtin’s side struggled on the road throughout the season, winning just five of their seventeen duels away from home while losing eight.
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Cincinnati FC vs Philadelphia Union Prediction
In the regular season, Cincinnati FC had the highest number of home victories of all Eastern Conference teams. A record of 13 wins, two draws, and two defeats with a 33-13 goal difference is quite impressive.
As mentioned above, the Philadelphia Union struggled in the last month of the regular season and almost got eliminated in the previous round by the New England Revolution. All signs are pointing toward a home win here.
If you are down for a bit more adventurous wager, consider backing Cincinnati’s top scorer, Luciano Acosta, to break the deadlock.
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- 2:0 Correct Score +600 with BetMGM
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