Photo Cred: Bolavip.com
After a rough night in Orlando, the Union travelled across Florida to face off against Inter Miami. AATB's covered Philly's match!
Wagner, Elliott, Glesnes, Mbaizo
Flach, Martinez, Bedoya, Monteiro
Figal, Shawcross, Pirez, Gibbs
Morgan, F. Higuain, Robinson
First Half Summary
Right before the match started, I placed a small bet on Gazdag to score, +700. He had the first shot of the game in the third minute. A good start for Philly to put pressure on Marsman.
Miami had their first scoring chance in the 10th minute, when they earned a corner kick. Two headed balls finally came down into Freese's arms, and the Union stayed clear of danger.
Kacper gave Philly their next scoring opportunity in the 14th minute. Mbaizo fed Bedoya at the top corner of the box, and the captain had a fancy flick behind him to Kacper. Przybylko was able to take a strong shot off his right foot, but the ball sailed away from him, and out for a goal kick.
Scary moment for Brujo before the 20th minute. He collided awkwardly with a Miami player, who then fell onto Jose's side. He was down for a couple of minutes before he eventually limped to the sideline. Fortunately for Philly, Jose came back within a few moments and immediately made a defensive stop. Can't afford to lose someone that is as high energy as Martinez.
Philly came within inches of making it 1-0 in the 23rd minute. Miro sailed a beautiful pass into the box, and Bedoya was able to sneak behind the defense. The ball just barely missed Ale's outstretched foot, and Miami dodged a huge bullet there.
Close call for Philly in the 29th minute. Morgan took Wagner on one v one on the left side, and he had a high flying shot toward the far corner of the Union net. Glesnes leaped to head it away, and fortunately the Miami corner kick was sent out of harms way. It wasn't over yet though for the Miami attack. Gonzalo Higuain was able to receive a pass within the box, and he was left alone against Freese. It was soon called offside, but Higuain's shot went well wide of net regardless. Too close for comfort there.
Miami kept their offensive pressure to end the 1st half, as they earned a corner in the 42nd minute. The Higuain brothers tried to argue that the ball had hit Kai's right arm. The replayed showed that it caught the back of Wagner's elbow, but his arm had been tucked in, and it was not deemed a handball. Miami's corner was sent away with no real threat to Freese.
Miami almost scored again in stoppage time. The Higuan brothers gave Robinson a good chance at net, but he stumbled his way over the ball, and Freese kept the near side of the goal closed. Fortunately, Robinson's shot hit the side of the net.
I've been critical of Martinez, but he had an excellent tackle inside the Philly box in stoppage time. He then carried the ball down the pitch, and he fed Mbaizo a ball toward the corner. The ball was then crossed to Kacper, but the Miami defender barely cleared it out for a corner. No further chances developed for Philly, and both teams went into the half tied up.
Second Half Summary
Miami tested Freese early to start the second half, as the homegrown keeper had to get low to cradle the ball in the 47th minute. Really not the type of start you wanted from Philly.
Freese was tested again in the 53rd minute. Miro committed a foul, and Gonzalo Higuain took a free kick from a few yards outside the box. His shot was a low flying attempt, and Freese fell to the ground to secure the ball. Similar to the Orlando match, Philly was careless with the ball, and they gave their opponent some easy chances.
Another bet I placed was for the first booking to be after the 26th minute. Mbaizo helped earn me some cash in the 56th minute, when he collided from the back with a Miami player during their push toward Freese.
A bit of a surprising sub for Philly came in the 62nd minute. We all wanted Santos to come in and add pace to the team, but was not expecting Sergio to come in for Jamiro. Monteiro was shocked as well, but Curtin made the move that the team needed. Way too slow from the attacking third.
The Union had some promising movement as the 70th minute approached, but they were not able to get the ball into the net. Their lack of offense then burned the away team. Robinson was able to get behind Mbaizo by a few yards, and he pushed the ball toward the corner of the net. Robinson took a strong shot which hit Freese's left hand, but the young keeper was not able to keep the ball out of the goal. Terrible from a team that should be dominating a weak Miami squad.
Miami continued to attack Freese, and Robinson almost had his second goal soon after his first. Curtin continued to make changes, as Sullivan replaced Bedoya in the 76th minute. Miami also made a few changes of their own, as Vassilev and Chapman replaced F. Higuain and Robinson, both of whom played well for the home squad.
The back and forth continued for the next few minutes, but Philly was not able to get themselves a good chance to score. Jim then added to the offensive attack. Flach and Mbaizo were replaced by McGlynn and Ilsinho in the 83rd minute.
Seconds after the fresh legs came on, Philly finally broke through. Gazdag made a nice feed to Sullivan within the box, and Quinn's cross just barely caught Kacper by the edge of the goal. 1-1 from Philly, who had come to life toward the end of the match.
Philly continued to pressure Miami, with shots from McGlynn and Gazdag (although he was offside) testing the keeper. Wish these young players could have come on sooner. They bring such a boost to the squad.
The ref called for four minutes of stoppage time, and Philly continued to knock on the door. Jim spoke highly of McGlynn during his press conference, and he compared the homegrown to Haris. Curtin highlighted his IQ and left foot. McGlynn's left foot rose to the occasion in stoppage time, as he sent a beautiful cross to the far post. Unfortunately, Kacper's header went just wide of net. Just a few moments later, the final whistle blew, and Philly left Miami with an ugly road point.
The Boys in Blue will be back on August 1st against Chicago.
- Mike Barrera (mbarrera1323)