CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — Sundays during the fall are normally reserved for American football. But this Sunday, it’s futbol. The Philadelphia Union are in the MLS Cup Playoffs and will be hosting their second home postseason match ever on Sunday against rival New York Red Bulls.
Union defender Mark McKenzie expects Talen Energy Stadium to be loud Sunday.
“Electric. We are looking forward to having our home fans rooting for us and cheering us on, supporting us and pushing through 90 minutes. We want to put that love back into the game that they give to us,” McKenzie said.
“Now that it’s a playoff home game, I think that it’s going to be more than electric. It’s going to be crazy,” Union midfielder Brenden Aaronson said.
It’s especially exciting for local products Aaronson and coach Jim Curtin.
“Yeah being from Philly always adds a little something extra,” Curtin said. “I have a good understanding of the city and what the fans like. Our team has really made them proud this year. This game, Sunday at 3 at Talen Energy, is a good opportunity for our players to grow and take that next step as a club.”
“It’s definitely special that it’s home the first year you are playing with the club, it’s home, you get to see all your family come and your friends, so I’m definitely super excited,” Aaronson said.
This season, the Union have a club-record 55 points and a club-record 16 wins.
But this is the time when good players become great.
“Obviously these are the big games you want to play and this is a chance to show your worth as a team, and of course, as an individual,” Union forward Fafa Picault said.
McKenzie believes the Union have the talent to win the MLS Cup.
“I do think we have the talent. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, everybody is going to have to fight and remain humble. At the same time, but I do think we have the group to do it,” he said.
“We have as good a chance as anybody. We’ve shown we can play with the best teams in the league this year,” Curtin said. “We fear no one.”
With that confidence, the Union hope to kick off the MLS playoffs with a win.