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MATCH REPORT: Union Continue Home Dominance; 4-1 Win over Miami.

Starting XI



Pizarro, Cremaschi

Negri, Arroyo, Ruiz, Taylor

Allen, McVey, Fray



Uhre, Carranza

Flach, Gazdag, Bedoya, Martinez

Wagner, Elliott, Glesnes, Mbaizo


First Half Summary

Despite Messi’s absence, the atmosphere was electric in Chester, PA. The Union returned to their old formation with the diamond, and Ale Bedoya made his first start since his injury. With Bendik in net, this familiarity may be best suited for Joe after a so-so start against Orlando. In the post-match presser, Curtin mentioned the unpredictability of game planning for Miami this week. There were a handful of questions into who would be starting for the visitors, so Jim went with old reliable in terms of the 4-4-2 diamond.

There were also two familiar faces before the match. Paxten Aaronson and Mark Mckenzie were the honorary drummers before the game. Jim didn't hesitate to praise the former homegrowns in the presser. He highlighted how dominant of a season Mark had, while Paxten is assimilating well into his new club. Overall, you could sense the pride coming from Jim when talking about his former players. He also joked that both need to retire with the Union once they complete their European career.

Onto the match, the Union did well in the first few minutes to recollect possession from Miami, but unfortunately their pushes toward net weren’t strong enough to get a shot on Callender. Despite the minimal chances, Union capitalized on their first corner kick. Kai’s cross easily found the head of Jakob Glesnes, who knocked it passed Callender. 14 minutes in and the Union secured their first goal of the match. Not a bad way to start, especially after some poor set pieces against Orlando.

Despite the strong start, the head official did not give the Union any favors. Two very early yellow cards for both Uhre and Jose. The latter of the two was extremely soft after Martinez had been fairly tame all match. Seems the Messi treatment was in effect without Lionel on the field…

Miami continued to hold a lot of meaningless possession, as Philly’s defense shifted well all night and blocked each path to Bendik. Curtin, however, did not like to see his club chasing the ball so much on the evening, especially in the hot conditions.

After an extended injury from Negri (who was replaced), Union struck again before the end of the half. Gazdag did well to find Uhre inside the box, and Mikael was strong enough to hold off his defender. He gave Carranza a point blank shot and Julian put it away. 2-0. After seeing Julian miss a handful of sitters recently, it’s reassuring to have him bury one from in front of the net.

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, Leon Flach stepped up for the next goal. If you haven’t been following the Union Transfer news, Werder Bremen of the Bundesliga have taken interest in the German midfielder. The price floating around is at 3 million, but Leon may have inadvertantly upped that price. Alejandro Bedoya found himself with the ball in the box, and he perfectly sent a roller to Leon at the top of the box. Flach’s shot was a solid one, and the Union found themselves walking into the locker room with a 3-0 lead. Credit also goes to Gazdag for flicking it right to Bedoya for the perfect setup. Great team goal from Philly. After the match, Curtin went on to praise Leon for his work ethic and was happy to see the hard effort finally pay off on the stat sheet.

Second Half Summary

An unsettling start to the second half. Curtin replaced Kai Wagner for Matt Real. If you’ve been following the Union long enough, you know Jim isn’t one to make half time changes. After the match, Jim stated that Kai felt a small tweak in his hamstring area. On a positive note, Curtin did mention that Kai likely would have stayed in during a playoff match, but considering the score and circumstances, they wanted to be cautious with their star left back.

The bad luck continued in the first few minutes of the half. Miami floated outside of the Union box, and a shot from the right of Bendik took an awkward deflection from Glesnes. Unfortunately, it left Bendik flat-footed and he watched the ball go into the net. Nothing you can do there, but it gave Miami a bit of life with a full half to play. The goal was originally announced as an own goal, but it was reversed in favor of Robert Taylor.

Martinez continued to flirt with a second yellow before the 60th minute, and he was talked to the head official twice. Curtin did not take the risk and he immediately brought in Bueno for Jose. Jim didn’t stop there though, as McGlynn gave Bedoya a deserved rest. We've seen Curtin run Ale for 90+ minutes, but considering the 2 goal lead, you need Bedoya to be weened back into full-match stamina.

Despite Miami having 70% possession entering the final 20 minutes of the match, Union again found the back of the net…sort of. Uhre did well to hold the ball by the end line, and his cross was directed toward Julian in front of the goal. David Ruiz then slid in from behind, hit Uhre's cross, and sailed one over the head of a helpless Callender. An awkward own goal, but it gave Union that more comfortable 3 goal lead we had before. Nathan Harriel then came on for Mikael Uhre, who was inches away from leaving tonight with two assists.

The match settled into the final minutes, with very few scares from either offensive unit. Just before the 90th minute, Jim made his final sub and replaced Gazdag with Torres. Despite the big win, Curtin was visibly bothered by the performance. During the press conference, Jim felt that they did not play up to their standards and that the score did not depict how they performed. Curtin is usually very upbeat after a win, but even he mentioned that he might be coming off as a bit too negative after a 3 goal win. Regardless, that's the type of mentality you want this club to have. They're not satisfied with just winning. They want to win at an elite level.

The Union now have until Sunday, July 2 when they travel to Atlanta at 4pm. DOOP!

- Mike Barrera (Mbarrera1323)

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