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Quick Preview: Union v Charlotte: Match & Betting Notes

*This photo is one I took from March 30th, the win we saw against Minnesota on Kid's Day. This feels like an eternity ago.

Well, it has been quite some time since I’ve wrote one of these.

The last month has been chaotic on my end.  I’ve worked countless hours, had personal/family obligations, and haven’t had much time for anything Doop related.  Unfortunately, the Union have been experiencing a chaotic month or two as well.  This Team, once considered a yearly Cup Contender, has spiraled down toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. 

Typically, I write a recap section for my articles, which quickly looks back at the previous week.  For the first time in a long time, however, this is a week I’d like to forget.   To start, the Union were lucky to face a Messi-less Miami on Saturday night, as the Argentinian Superstar is away for international duty.  Furthermore, the Union were gifted with a two, yes….TWO man advantage in the second half, and still found a way to lose at Subaru Park.

Then came Wednesday night.  A match that fans had zero expectations for.  We knew we were limping our way into the hostile Cincinnati home stadium, and a majority of fans expected a loss.   Then we saw the lineup, and with Baribo starting next to Uhre, there was a glimmer of hope that he could deliver.   Boy, did he deliver.  The Israeli national, who has yet to truly show us a large sample size of his ability, left us with a two-goal performance in Ohio.   Jesus Bueno, who has also been stuck on the bench for a majority of the season, shook off a poor first half and earned a goal in the second half.  Again, the Union showed heart and grit.  Again, the Union gave us hope.   Again, they let us down.   With just minutes to go in stoppage time, a poor turnover from Markus Anderson gave Cincy a counter attack, and Lucho Acosta (who is incredible, by the way) punished us.   We would have been thrilled with a 3-3 draw, especially with the performance we saw from Tai.  Instead, we found another way to embarrass ourselves. 

So, that leads us to today.  The Union are back at Subaru Park, which feels far more like an Away Stadium than our Home Fortress.   We take on Charlotte for the second time this season, with our last match being a 0-0 draw in North Carolina.  Coach Curtin spoke with the media on Friday afternoon, and he tried to ease some tensions before their Saturday contest.  He spoke about the team handling pressure, looking to get back on track, and being resilient after Wednesday’s performance.  To Curtin’s credit, this Team has always responded well to adversity.  If you take the loss out of the picture, the Union played much better on Wednesday night, and came out with a sense of urgency after the Miami loss.  Unfortunately, urgency and heart can only do so much when defensive and mental mistakes continue to hurt you. 

For today, I’m expecting the same or similar lineup to what we saw against Cincinnati.  Frankly, with players still away for international duty, there’s not much of a choice.  The key now is consistency.  Despite the loss, there were bright moments and individual performances that stood out on Wednesday.  That momentum and effort has to be present against a Charlotte team that has proven to be stout defensively.


Betting Notes

I may not be quick to bet on the Boys in Blue today, but I sure as hell am gonna check out the lines.  Caesars currently has the Union at -110, while BetRivers is giving Charlotte +310 on the Moneyline.  The draw selection on Bet365 is currently +290.  For the over/under, DraftKings has the over 2.5 at -120, while Fan Duel is showing even money (+100) for the under 2.5.  Again, these clubs were scoreless in their previous match when the Union travelled to Charlotte.

As you'd expect, we are a bit conflicted with our predictions. Dave Miller is optimistic and hoping the Union can finally break the "Union Yards" curse. He thinks it will be a 2-1 home win, with Mikael Uhre securing a brace. To Dave's credit, Uhre has been playing some solid football lately and had an assist on Wednesday evening. A confident Mikael and Tai could be enough to get this team back in the win column.

For Jose, he is on the opposite end. Mr. Nunez is calling for a 2-1 Charlotte win, with Jack Elliott finally notching a goal.

It's hard to bet on the Union. It has been all season, as you don't know what type of squad you'll see each week. It has been easy to bet on the game totals, however, just considering how often the team was scoring and conceding. So, I wanted to see how Charlotte has performed of late. As you may recall, we went to North Carolina went they were on their shutout streak. Things have changed a bit though since the Union left with a road draw. Charlotte went on to lose 3-1 in New Jersey, won 3-2 at Atlanta, beat DC 1-0 at home, and then drew 2-2 against Orlando. Teams have found a way to break down this previously stout defense, and that might be our saving grace this evening.

So, we have two teams that are conceding goals, with one being absolutely desperate for a win in the Union. Do I feel overly optimistic about this bet I'm about to share? No, but something has to give here. I'm going to go with a 3-leg parlay on FanDuel. Tai Baribo 1 or more shots on goals/ over 1.5 total goals / and Union Moneyline at +169. To the Union's credit, they have always shown a lot of fight. I'm not sure how much they have left in the tank after these last two gut-wrenching losses, but if there was ever a time for the Union to earn a win, it's tonight.

Finally, here's some Anytime Goal Scorers from FanDuel

Uhre: +165

Baribo: +195

Sullivan: +340

Bueno: +550

McGlynn: +700

Elliott: +1300

Wagner: +1800


-Mike Barrera (Mbarrera1323 on Tik Tok and Twitter)

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