6:30 p.m. at Philadelphia Union • FSN+, 1500-AM

Loons look to prove they’ve improved

Preview: United (11-16-3) is rapidly running out of time to prove their second year in MLS is an improvement from their first season. The Loons are in ninth place in the Western Conference, the same place they finished in 2017. United already has equaled the number of points it accrued last year with four games still to play. But the team will need to be perfect in its remaining two road games to say the same for its away record. The Loons are 1-12-2 on the road this year as they head to Philadelphia (14-12-5, fifth in the East) on Saturday and Columbus (13-9-9, fourth in the East) in the final match of the year Oct. 28. In 2017, the Loons’ road record was 3-12-2.

“Yeah, we do,” coach Adrian Heath said of whether his team has unfinished business on the road. “I’ll be really disappointed if we finish this season with one away win. We’re better than that, and we’ve got to show it. And we’ve got a couple more opportunities. I know they’re going to be two difficult places, but we have four games to play. I said to the guys a few weeks ago, let’s make this a seven-game season [to end the year], and so far, it’s been quite good.”

Quotable: “We know we haven’t been the team that we wanted to [be] away. So we have two away games [left]. I think getting six points out of those two would be a really good point for us to go into next season.” — winger Miguel Ibarra.

Numbers: The Loons would tie their longest winning streak of the season at three games if they defeat Philadelphia after taking down Portland and NYCFC at TCF Bank Stadium. The previous streak came this past July in a run of home matches.

Injuries: For United, M Collin Martin (ankle) is out while M Romario Ibarra (hamstring), and F Abu Danladi (hamstring) are questionable. M Collen Warner is suspended. For Philadelphia, D Josh Yaro (adductor) is out while D Matt Real (knee) and M Ilsinho (quad) are questionable.

Megan Ryan