The Union returned home on a three game unbeaten streak, as they have earned 7 points since their CCL loss. Philly hoped to earn three more points against the dangerous Columbus Crew, and my summary from the impressive win can be seen below.
Wagner, Elliott, Glesnes, Powell
Miro, Flach, Bedoya, Gazdag
Keita, Williams, Mensah
Valenzuela, Hairston, Nagbe, Moreira
First Half Summary
The Union offense looked solid early, especially from Alvas Powell. He made a nice run down the right side of the pitch, but his cross wasn't good enough to find a teammate in the box. Alvas continued to press though in the attacking third, and he earned Philly a free kick in the 5th minute. The shot was ultimately saved by Bush, but considering Mbaizo's absence, it was great to see offensive movement from the right side of the field.
Things began to settle down between the two clubs, and although Philly was the better team in the first 15 minutes, they needed to have better control on the offensive end. Regardless, a promising start from the home team.
A scary moment came in the 24th minute. Andre Blake reached high and secured an incoming cross, but Glesnes was underneath his keeper. Andre fell on Glesnes, and then slammed down onto his right side. Thankfully, Andre got up and continued with the match.
We all remember Glesnes' screamer, and Elliott wanted to do his best Jakob impression. Jack took a free kick from about 30 yards out, and it somehow found the back of the net. It wasn't the prettiest goal, but it was far enough away from a lunging Bush. What an electric moment for the center back! Check it out below.
Kai Wagner found himself in the books with a yellow in the 35th minute. Wagner won the ball, but looks like the follow through earned him the card. I see the frustration there from Kai, but seems to be an easy call for the ref.
Neither team with a dangerous shot on goal in the first half, but a set piece was enough for Philly. Union went into the locker room up 1-0 thanks to the goal from Jack Elliott.
Second Half Summary
Philly continued their pressure against the Crew within the first minute of the half. Ale Bedoya pushed the ball down the field and led Kacper down the right side of the pitch. Bedoya continued his run, and Przybylko found the captain by the front of the goal. Ale left no doubt on his shot, and he put the home team up 2-0!
The Crew then began to make their subs. Etienne Jr for Valenzuela. Diaz for Keita.
Another scary moment on the field for Philly. Zelarayan had a close range shot at net, but his strike hit Glesnes in the head. The Norwegian center back laid on the ground for a few moments, but thankfully he was able to continue.
What a weird chain of events before the 65th minute. Jamiro fed Santos down the left side of the pitch, and Sergio sent a perfect ball into the box. Kacper was able to get a shot on net, but somehow Bush kept the ball out of the goal. Just moments later, Kai fouled a Crew attacking player, and the ref did not hesitate to reach for his pocket. Wagner was shown a second yellow, and Philly was forced to hold a 2-0 lead down a man.
The next booking occurred when Hairston brought down Sergio as he ran down the center of the field. A yellow was immediately shown from the head official.
The first Union sub came in the 69th minute. Gazdag was replaced by young Quinn Sullivan.
Next, Zelarayan made a dangerous run down the right side of the pitch, but Glesnes had a perfectly timed slide to keep the ball out of the Union box. What a play by the center back, especially down a man.
The drama continued in Chester. A ball was sent into the box, and Zardes and Powell both went up to bring it down. Zardes made first contact with the ball, and Alvas' shoulder brought down Zardes as he came back to the ground. The ref immediately called for the penalty kick, but Andre Blake would make sure the Crew stayed off the board. Pedro Santos' shot sent Andre to his left, but Blake made a great save to push the ball out of play.
The Andre Blake show continued at Subaru Park. Nagbe had a spectacular shot at net, but Superman put on his cape. Andre dove to keep the ball out of the goal, and the Philly faithful roared with approval. What an amazing few minutes from the Jamaican keeper.
Curtin then pushed for a more defensive unit. Santos was replaced by Stu Findlay.
Despite the Crew pressing in their attacking third, the Union found a few moments in the counter. Their pressure paid off right before stoppage time, as Leon Flach found the ball at the top of the box. He sent a left-footed volley at Bush, who wasn't able to do enough to stop the shot. Leon scored his first MLS goal, and the Boys in Blue put themselves up 3-0. Curtin then made two more subs. Bueno and Harriel replaced Bedoya and Powell.
5 minutes of stoppage time was shown by the sideline official, and Philly was able to keep Columbus off the board. What a complete and impressive match from the Union. They now have a week off before playing Cincy, and will be very short handed with players away on international duty.
- Mike Barrera (mbarrera1323)