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Philadelphia Union Able to Grind Out a Narrow Win:

With this win, the Philadelphia Union are unbeaten in their last ten matches versus the New York Red Bulls.

(Photo courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Starting XI's:

New York Red Bulls: Carlos Miguel Coronel, Dylan Nealis (Ronald Donkor), Sean Nealis, Andres Reyes, John Tolkin, Dru Yearwood, Cristian Casseras Jr., Cameron Harper, Omir Fernandez (Wikelman Carmona), Elias Manoel (Tom Barlow), Cory Burke

Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake, Kai Wagner, Damion Lowe, Jakob Glesnes, Nathan Harriel, Leon Flach, Jack McGlynn, Alejandro Bedoya (Jesus Bueno), Daniel Gazdag, Julian Carranza (Chris Donovan), Quinn Sullivan (Mikael Uhre)

Goal Scoring Summary:

31' Daniel Gazdag (PK)

First Half Recap:

The Union entered this rivalry matchup needing a win after a devastating Concacaf semifinals loss to LAFC on Tuesday. The Union, however, started off very sluggish and Fernandez had a chance seven minutes in to give the Red Bulls a lead, but saw his attempt sail wide of Blake. A couple minutes later, Tolkin had a golden chance to score, but his shot was miraculously saved by a leaping Blake. The Union finally gained some momentum around the twenty-fifth minute, which saw Reyes go into the book as he hacked down Gazdag on a breakaway. The Union pushed forward and Carranza drew a penalty after receiving a pass from Bedoya. The referee, Joe Dickerson, went to VAR, but remained with his initial call of a penalty, although the call was light. Gazdag converted to give the Union the lead with a finish into the bottom left corner.

Second Half Recap:

Both teams did not have many chances in the early part of the second half. Around the fifty-sixth minute, the Union had a set-piece opportunity that saw Harriel's strike parried aside by Coronel. From that point on, the New York Red Bulls had all of the momentum as they pushed for an equalizer. Close misses from Tolkin and Burke started to increase the tension of the game. Soon after, Burke went into the book, with a nasty tackle on his Jamaican international teammate, Andre Blake. The Red Bulls continued to press, but the Union held on to claim their first road win of the season.

3 Points to Note:

  1. Leon Flach's performance received praise from Jim Curtin, but Union fans, including myself, thought otherwise. Flach had to step in for the injured Jose Martinez, but seemed to always lose his man. He was not that involved in the midfield, which really hurt the Union. His passing was not great as well, but nevertheless, he made a couple good tackles.

  2. In all competitions this year, Gazdag has scored seven goals. While that may seem great, all seven have come from the penalty spot. The positive thing is that the Union are getting into the right positions to score. However, we need more from Gazdag as a number 10, if we want to compete for silverware.

  3. Jim Curtin does not make substitutions. Players like Andres Perea and Joaauin Torres, who we spent a lot of money on in the offseason, just sit on the bench, Curtin is reluctant to take out his starters like Bedoya, who should not be playing the full ninety minutes every game. Since the Union have a busy schedule ahead, I hope Curtin rotates to prevent injuries that could hurt the Union in the long-run.

My Player Ratings:

Andre Blake: 9

Kai Wagner: 8

Damion Lowe: 9

Jakob Glesnes: 8

Nathan Harriel: 7

Leon Flach: 5

Jack McGlynn: 6

Alejandro Bedoya: 5

Daniel Gazdag: 6

Julian Carranza: 5

Quinn Sullivan: 6

Next Match:

The Union travel to Minnesota to take on Minnesota United on Tuesday, May 9th, in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

Ben Brecher

Twitter: @BenBrecher18


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