After a sluggish start, the Philadelphia Union are beginning to resemble the team that came so close to winning the MLS Cup title last season.
The Union, who fell to the Los Angeles FC in last year's championship final, are 5-0-2 in their last seven games after a difficult start to the season. On Saturday, the Union (7-4-3, 24 points) were dominant in a 3-1 road victory over New York City FC.
Philadelphia looks to stay hot when it plays host to Charlotte FC on Wednesday.
"We got beat by LAFC in the Champions League (and) I think there was a moment where everybody thought the sky was falling and we were in trouble," Union head coach Jim Curtin said. "But we do our talking on the field, and I'll continue to let my players continue to talk really well."
Julian Carranza scored two goals against NYCFC and became the fourth MLS player since the start of the 2022 season to compile 20 goals and 10 assists.
Teammate Daniel Gazdag, Hany Mukhtar of Nashville SC and Brandon Vazquez of FC Cincinnati.
"Great game from Julian. I thought his best game of the season in all phases," Curtin said. "I don't know how long I'll get to work with him, because I think he's that good, but I'm going to keep trying to push him as hard as I can."
It's unclear whether Philadelphia's Alejandro Bedoya will return from a quad injury that occurred in practice last week.
Charlotte will enter having won four of its last five regular-season games (4-1-0). Like the Union, Charlotte FC (6-6-3, 21 points) has responded after some early losses.
On Saturday, Charlotte came away with an impressive 1-0 victory on the road over the Los Angeles Galaxy. Karol Swiderski scored the lone goal with a tap-in on the back post in the 73rd minute. Justin Meram recorded an assist on a corner kick.
Charlotte goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina made two saves and earned his first shutout of the season after compiling seven in 2022. Forward Enzo Copetti continues to recover from a strained hamstring and is not expected to play against the Union.
"With a hamstring injury we want to be sure," Charlotte head coach Christian Lattanzio said. "We don't want the injury to get worse."
Even with some injuries and a difficult schedule, Charlotte FC has shown improvement in every area in their second season.
"It shows that we are on the right track in my opinion," Lattanzio said.
--Field Level Media