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Match Report: Union Shutout Minnesota 2-0 and Remain Unbeaten.



Photo: Mike Barrera from 3/30/24 Union v Minnesota.


First Half

It was Kid's Day at Subaru Park on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, and the Union hosted an undefeated Minnesota side who has earned three wins on the young season.


Curtin went with arguably his strongest lineup today, and it's nice to see the Union back at full strength. Wagner, Elliott, Glesnes, and Harriel manned the back line, and Andre Blake was back in net after his time with Jamaica. McGlynn, Brujo, Quinn, and Daniel were positioned in the diamond, while Mikael and Julian filled in up top.


The Union came ready to play for this early contest, and Jack Elliott in particular set the tone for the Boys in Blue. He had a nice tackle in the first few minutes, and overall he had his best performance of the season. Jose Nunez of AAT Sports Network highlighted the key stats from Jack's outing.


The Union did well to consistently push toward goal, and Quinn aggressively moving the ball down the field in the 15th minute earned Philly a corner kick. Kai Wagner's cross just barely caught Elliott's foot, and Daniel sent the deflection into the net. Gazdag has had a few frustrating moments so far this season, but he does now have two goals in consecutive matches (he did not play in Portland). Although his killer instinct from the PK spot is great to see, we need Daniel to score in open play like he has so far this season.


Philly has now scored first in three consecutive matches, which is a breath of fresh air considering how many holes they've put themselves in to start the season. The Union did not get complacent after earning their first score, and they continued to put pressure on Minnesota's backline (who was missing Miguel Tapias).


Minnesota earned their first corner kick of the match in the 33rd minute, and it would prove to be an important moment in the game. The corner would force Andre out of his net, and while punching the ball away, he collided with two players before dropping to the ground. He had taken a hard hit earlier in the match, and he reached for his head after this second impact. Paul Rushing gave Andre a quick review before Blake returned to his feet and stayed in net. At this point, it did not look like Blake was too bothered by the collision, and he soon made an excellent kick save just before the half time whistle.


Philly ended the half with their continued pressure, but they would take a 1-0 lead into the locker room.


Second Half

The sun only lasted for the first half, and light rain began to fall in Chester as the second half kicked off. Thankfully, it was nothing close to what we saw against Seattle just a few weeks ago.


Philly did well to keep their foot on the pedal in the first few moments. The right side of the formation in particular have continued to be a strength for the Blue and Gold. Harriel and Sullivan both had strong crosses into the box to start the half, and it's hard to imagine either of these two out of the starting lineup. We know how dangerous Kai and McGlynn can be on the left, but the emergence of the Quinn/Harriel pairing has been a pleasant surprise so far this year.


Since we are talking about Quinn Sullivan, he had an excellent first half, and he continued to flex his ability in the 53rd minute. The ball bounced to Quinn at the top of the box, and his screaming volley just barely missed the back of the net. It's not often that we show missed goal highlights, but this was a beautiful strike from Sullivan.




The Union made their first change in the 66th minute, and Alejandro replaced Mikael Uhre. Instead of just keeping the team in the diamond formation, Curtin mentioned in the press conference how they went to a flat 4-4-2. Jim praised his staff for suggesting the idea, and it placed Alejandro next to Martinez at the center of the midfield.


Philly made another sub around the 70th minute, and unfortunately it was for Andre Blake. The Jamaican keeper sat on the pitch and talked with the training staff for a few minutes before Semmle came in. In the press conference, Jim mentioned that the injury came from the aforementioned collision, and that the team wanted to play it safe with Andre feeling light headed. Although you never want to take Blake out of the net, the Union faithful have grown very fond of their back up keeper. Semmle has done a great job so far in place of Andre, and he is a big reason why they walked out of Portland with three points.


Philly did well to keep Semmle out of trouble, but they entered the final 10 minutes with only a 1 goal lead. Minnesota thought they tied it in the 82nd minute, but the offside flag was raised after the ball hit the back of the net. Considering how well Philly played, that would have been a heart breaking way to end this game. After the match, our friend Jimmy King of Philly Sports Network asked Glesnes about Oliver's presence in the net. You can see Jakob's answer below.



The Union bounced back after that scare and finally put the nail in the coffin in the 84th minute. Semmle's lengthy kick was misplayed into the air by a Minnesota defender, and Bedoya wisely headed it into the box. Julian Carranza beat the back line and easily sent Ale's pass into the far corner of the net. Carranza has been on a tear so far this year, and with Minnesota knocking on the door, that goal was a timely one.



Ten minutes of stoppage time was given considering the Blake substitution, but the Union didn't let Minnesota back into the game. The official finally called the match, and the Union gave their home crowd a 2-0 win against one of the best Western Conference teams. We will now wait to see Blake's status before travelling to Nashville. Doop!


Mike Barrera (Mbarrera1323 on Tik Tok & Twitter)






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