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Practice Makes Perfect:

The Philadelphia Union rallied from behind to tie Orlando City 2-2, thanks to a Jose Martinez screamer in the dying minutes. That was his first goal out of 85 previous attempts.

(Photo courtesy of Union Soccer Blog.)

Starting XI's:

Orlando City: Mason Stajduhar, Kyle Smith (Rodrigo Schlegel), Antonio Carlos, Robin Jansson, Rafael Santos (Gaston Gonzalez), Cesar Araujo, Felipe (Dagur Dan Thorhallsson), Martin Ojeda (Ramiro Enrique), Mauricio Pereira, Ivan Angulo, Duncan McGuire (Ercan Kara)

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

Goal Scoring Summary:

13' Duncan McGuire

54' Martin Ojeda

60' Jack McGlynn

90' Jose Martinez

First Half Recap:

Not much action happened in the first few minutes of the game as both teams tried to find their footing. Around the fifth minute in the game, however, the Union broke in transition. Uhre passed the ball to Torres, but his shot was an easy one for Stajduhar to collect. Orlando sprung on the front foot and some nifty passes by Pereira and Ojeda put McGuire through on net. Glesnes looked to have it covered but McGuire did not give up and placed the ball into the bottom left corner of the net, leaving Bendik with no chance. Soon after, Orlando tried to double their lead. On an in-swinging corner, Antonio Carlos found himself open for a header, but Bendik was alert to push the ball over the net.

Second Half Recap:

The Union started off the second half very well as they put Orlando under a lot of pressure. The pressure mounted as Uhre found himself wide open down the left flank. Uhre was able to cross the ball into a wide-open Carranza, but Carranza was not able to level the match as Stajduhar produced an unbelievable save to thwart him from point-blank range. Minutes later, Orlando attacked through Ojeda and his shot deflected off McGuire to go into the net to double Orlando's lead. The Union remained on the attack and finally found the back of the net when McGlynn's cross went all the way through the box and in. Orlando pushed forward and looked for the game-sealing goal and they thought they got it when Kara found Angulo for the tap-in. This goal was ruled out for a foul by Kara on the Union's Jose Martinez. The game remained 2-1 Orlando. The Union continued to surge forward looking for an equalizer. In the ninetieth minute, Martinez unleashed a venomous strike that left Stajduhar with no chance. That was Martinez's first ever goal for the Union and definitely a Goal of the Year candidate. In extra time, both Enrique and Uhre had golden chances to snatch a winner, but both hit the crossbar.

3 Points to Note:

  1. Bendik was not great again. Against his former team, Bendik had to step in for Blake who is with Jamaica for the Gold Cup tournament coming up. Bendik produced a couple of saves on the evening but nothing spectacular. Normally, Union fans can rely on the goalie saving them but that was not the case versus Orlando. Bendik could have done better on his positioning for the first goal and had a good chance to save the second goal.

  2. The Union really missed Gazdag. Torres was not quite the difference maker in a game that Gazdag would have excelled in. Torres had a couple of chances but offered minimal playmaking ability to Carranza and Uhre, often causing Carranza to drop back to receive the ball. Sullivan provided a spark when he came into the game in this position.

  3. Goal of the Year?? Jose Martinez's goal was an unstoppable strike to tie the game and see the Union claw away a point in the Lions' den. Out of his previous 85 attempts at long-distance shots, that was Jose Martinez's first ever goal for the Union and what a time to score it.

My Player Ratings:

Joe Bendik: 2

Kai Wagner: 4

Jack Elliott: 4

Jakob Glesnes: 3

Olivier Mbaizo: 5

Jose Martinez: 9

Leon Flach: 7

Jack McGlynn: 6

Joaquin Torres: 4

Julian Carranza: 7

Mikael Uhre: 6

Alejandro Bedoya: 6

Nathan Harriel: 5

Quinn Sullivan: 6

Chris Donovan: N/A

Next Match:

The Union return home to Subaru Park on Saturday, June 24, to face Inter Miami CF, at 7:30 PM.

Ben Brecher

Twitter: @BenBrecher18

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