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A Lifeless Loss:

Atlanta United down the Philadelphia Union 2-0 on live television.

(Photo courtesy of Dirty South Soccer.)

Starting XI's:

Atlanta United: Brad Guzan, Luis Abram, Juan Jose Purata, Ronald Hernandez, Caleb Wiley (Andrew Gutman), Amar Sejdic (Osvaldo Alonso), Franco Ibarra (Santiago Sosa), Brooks Lennon, Thiago Almada, Machop Chol (Tyler Wolff), Giorgios Giakoumakis (Miguel Berry)

Philadelphia Union: Joe Bendik, Nathan Harriel, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Olivier Mbaizo, Leon Flach, Jose Martinez (Joaquin Torres), Alejandro Bedoya (Jack McGlynn), Daniel Gazdag, Julian Carranza, Mikael Uhre (Quinn Sullivan)

Goal Scoring Summary:

7' Thiago Almada

79' Brooks Lennon

First Half Recap:

Atlanta United came out flying to start the half. A quick chip over the top set Giakoumakis through on net, but Harriel hauled him down from behind before he could get to the ball. The referee, Ted Unkel, immediately pointed to the spot and handed Harriel a yellow card. Ted Unkel, however, checked with VAR and changed his mind to a free kick outside the box for Atlanta. Almada's shot hit the wall, but Almada blasted home the rebound to give Atlanta a dream start. Around the twentieth minute mark, Atlanta looked to double their lead through Giakoumakis, but his shot was easily saved by Bendik. Soon after, Giakoumakis would go down with a non-contact injury and would have to be substituted out for Miguel Berry. Chances from Berry and Lennon were saved by Bendik to keep the score 1-0 heading into half-time in favor of Atlanta. The Union had nothing on offense.

Second Half Recap:

Atlanta started on the front foot again as Carranza was whistled for a foul on the darting Sejdic. Carranza received a yellow for this play. Around the fiftieth minute, the Union finally had a chance to score. Gazdag's cross met with Bedoya's head before sailing over the bar. Bedoya and Almada traded chances minutes later. At the sixty-fifth minute, Harriet found himself out of position and Uhre had to track down Lennon for the foul to prevent a goal-scoring opportunity. Atlanta United broke in transition and some good buildup play saw the ball fall to Almada. Almada was able to play it to a wide-open Lennon, who put it through Bendik's legs for a 2-0 lead. The Union appealed for offsides but it was not given. Atlanta United were able to seal out the game.

3 Points to Note:

  1. The Union had absolutely nothing on offense the entire game. Throughout the game, Atlanta dominated the Union and easily figured the Union out on offense. All of the Union's attacks came through Mbaizo, who only was able to put mediocre crosses into the box. The Union did not test Guzan enough with only one shot on target.

  2. The importance of Kai Wagner was missed. Missing the game with a hamstring injury, Wagner watched this lifeless game unfold. Without Wagner, Flach was tasked with his position and was awful on attack. Most of the Union's attack normally comes through Wagner and without him there, the Union struggled to find chances.

  3. Thiago Almada dominated. Earlier in the week, head coach Jim Curtin said that the Union can not give up silly fouls outside the box, trying to limit Almada's chance of scoring. The Union were not able to contain Almada and he tore apart the Union with a goal and an assist.

My Player Ratings:

Joe Bendik: 5

Nathan Harriel: 2

Jack Elliott: 6

Jakob Glesnes: 6

Olivier Mbaizo: 4

Leon Flach: 5

Jose Martinez: 6

Alejandro Bedoya: 5

Daniel Gazdag: 3

Mikael Uhre: 6

Julian Carranza: 4

Jack McGlynn: 5

Quinn Sullivan: 4

Joaquin Torres: 4

Next Match:

The Philadelphia Union travel to LA to play the LA Galaxy on Saturday, July 8th, at 10:30 PM.

Ben Brecher

Twitter: @BenBrecher18

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