Daniel Gazdag on the expectations of the MLS Cup ‘It’ll be really tough but we will win’

November 5, 2022

The Philadelphia Union is set to make their MLS Cup debut on Saturday after triumphing in the Eastern Conference. 

The team concluded the regular season in first place with 67 points in 34 games and a record of 19W-5L-10D, before conquering reigning champions New York City FC and FC Cincinnati in the playoffs to reach the coveted final. But the pressure is on as LAFC enter Saturday’s match as the clear favorites, after clinching their second Supporters’ Shield and managing 21 victories. 

Though Union forward Daniel Gazdag expects a difficult match at the Banc of California Stadium, he insists the current Philadelphia team has what it takes. 

“We have a really good team. The chemistry is very good between the coaches and the players, between Jim and everything. And we have good players, which is very important in this game. We have an amazing goalkeeper, and defense, one Defender of the Year. The staff here, they built a really good team. Everything is working well between the players and coaches.” 

Gazdag is currently in his second season in Major League Soccer, after joining from Budapest Honvéd FC in 2021. Though he struggled that year, he has since adapted well to Jim Curtin’s style, allowing him to thrive in the final third. 

He recorded 22 goals and six assists, numbers he didn’t even expect from himself. 

“I wouldn’t say I expected more than 22 goals from myself. I wanted to score more than 10 goals and give more than 10 assists, so yeah I was happy but also a bit surprised of myself,” he said with a smile. “Jim Curtin, and the tactics we play, his ideas, I feel like I fit into that system really well. And on the personal side, he’s helped me a lot since I arrived here.”

Now, Gazdag will face his biggest test yet since joining MLS. 

The two teams last faced each other in May, during the regular season. Gazdag opened up the scoring in the ninth minute to earn the lead, before the game eventually concluded in a 2-2 draw. But from what the Union forward remembers from that match, the upcoming face off is bound to be as tense. 

“My expectations,” he paused. “I think we can play a very good game against LAFC. They have a good team, just like us. We played against them one time, during the regular season, and that was a tense and tough game I remember. So I expect It’ll be really tough as well, but I think we will win.”

The Philadelphia Union stand just one victory away from making team history with their first-ever league title.