Well, this lineup is one that certainly turned some heads, as Jim's squad played their third game in 7 days. The New Look Union went to Chicago, and after a chaotic 90 minutes, somehow pulled off the draw!
Wagner, Findlay, Glesnes, Powell
Flach, Elliott, Sullivan, Monteiro
Navarro, Calvo, Pineda, Sekulic
Aliseda, Herbers, Medran
First Half Summary
Things got off to a bad start for the Union. A crossing ball toward net was struck by a diving Glesnes. The quick strike hit the outside of Jakob's foot, which then flew right over a helpless Blake. An awful start considering the slippery weather conditions, as well as this unique lineup.
Salt was poured into the wound just minutes later, as Wagner went down hard along the sideline. He immediately grabbed his left hand, which was then bandaged up by the medical staff. Unsure how serious this injury is, but he returned into play soon after.
The first booking came in the 10th minute. Elliott was chasing Aliseda as he crossed over midfield, and a lunging slide grabbed Aliseda's feet. An easy call for the official here.
Union thought they had tied the game just before the 17th minute. A crossing ball eventually found Santos, who was sitting right in front of the net. It was immediately called as offside, and the television review confirmed that Sergio's goal would not count. Things remained 0-1 Chicago.
Fire almost made it 2-0 at the end of the 22nd minute. A good ball into the box was struck toward net, but it was fortunately sent out for a corner. Ultimately, the ball found Blake's hands and things remained as is.
The Union pressure began to come to life more in the 27th minute. Flach fed Sergio a nice pass toward the opposing net, but the cross wasn't able to find Burke. It was eventually shot at net by Sullivan, which was sent out for a corner. Sullivan wasn't done just yet. The corner entered the box and found its way toward Quinn. The homegrown product then scored his first ever MLS goal with an absolutely beautiful bicycle kick. A moment that he will never forget, and the Union found themselves tied at 1-1. Lastly, JP mentioned on the telecast that Quinn became the youngest Union player to ever score a goal.
A harsh yellow came in the 34th minute. Santos gave a Fire defender a strong shoulder tackle, which was certainly a foul, but not worth a card in my opinion. Tough moment there for Sergio.
Stojanovic was the next one in the books, as he brought Miro down from the back. A bit strange considering Alvas had just been clubbed in the back of the neck minutes prior, but that was no more than a foul. Regardless, it seemed that the official tried to maintain some consistency to the level of Sergio's yellow.
Before the night's match, Cory Burke, who had scored 5 times in his career against Chicago, was +220 as an Anytime Goalscorer. In stoppage time, Burke made sure I cashed this one. Cory received Glesnes' lofting pass at a tough angle from net, but he sent a strong strike right passed Shuttleworth. Burke put out the Fire again, and put his team up 2-1.
Second Half Summary
The Union came out ready to bury the Fire early. They almost had their third goal when a nice touch into the box from Santos found Miro's feet. His shot was blocked, but Philly would continue their push at the Chicago keeper.
Kai was the next one in the books for Philly. A cleared corner kick started the Chicago counter, and Wagner brought the surging Aliseda down. The free kick sailed well over the other players, and almost snuck in above the leaping Andre.
The following free kick, however, was what the doctor ordered for Chicago. Sekulic broke free from Flach inside the box, and he had a wide open chance to head the ball into the back of the net. One of the better goals we've seen thus far against the Union, but tough to see the defense allow someone to waltz toward Blake so easily.
Three players were then brought onto the pitch for the Union. Gazdag, Mbaizo, and Kacper relieved Sullivan, Powell, and Santos. Chicago also made a group of substitutions to help with preserving their home point.
A set piece hurt Philly again in the 67th minute. A Fire corner sailed over a leaping Cory Burke, and Pineda was able to shake off Mbaizo just enough. He put a good right footed shot on net, and Chicago found themselves up 3-2. Considering how strong the Union started this half, it was a deflating moment for the Boys in Blue.
Philly entered the final 15 minutes with some offensive push, and it certainly seemed like the Union would be able to come out of the match with a road point. Kacper then took matters into his own hands. After fighting off a defender, he found space in the box and sent a powerful strike at the hands of Shuttleworth. It then ricocheted off a Fire defender, and Philly earned their much needed third goal.
Fire didn't lose their confidence, however, and Andre Blake was forced to make another highlight reel save to keep Chicago off the board.
Shuttleworth was forced to make his own impressive save in the 85th minute. Burke and Jamiro pushed toward net, and Monteiro had a clean look at goal. His shot was just barely saved by Shuttleworth, and things remained at 3-3.
Flach had a perfect chance to make it 4-3, as a high sailing cross found his chest, just feet from net. Unfortunately, his first touch was too hard, and Shuttleworth gathered it easily. Flach was then replaced just moments later, as Real came in for the final three minutes of stoppage time. The final whistle eventually blew to the relief of the Philly faithful, and the Union walked away from Soldier Field with a bizarre road point.
Final Score: Union 3, Chicago 3
- Mike Barrera (@mbarrera1323)