Match Recap: Philadelphia Union v NYCFC
Photo Cred: Third Rail
The Union continued their MLS Regular Season campaign this evening, as NYCFC came to Chester. New York City had come off a 5-0 win over Cincy, while the Union were soaring high from their 3-0 beatdown of Atlanta in the CONCACAF Quarterfinals 1st Leg.
Real, Elliot, Glesnes, Mbaizo
Monteiro, Martinez, Bedoya
Ibeagha, Callens, Sands
Thorarinsson, Parks, Medina, Tinnerholm
First Half Summary
NYC came out aggressive, with Castellanos testing Blake in the first minute. A turnover from Martinez in the fifth minute then led to a goal from Jesus Medina. The Union were scrambling, and a strong counter left Blake with limited help to make the save.
Martinez wasn’t on for long to redeem himself, as he was first shown a yellow in the 15th minute for a foul on Castellanos. VAR was quickly called, and the replay showed Jose’s right hand forcefully coming down on Castellanos’ face. The official only briefly reviewed the play before he sent Brujo off for the night.
Things remained tense between the sides, as Morales was soon given a yellow for a tough foul on Santos.
The already struggling Union were left with 10 men, and Castellanos just nearly missed the chance to make it 2-0 in the 20th minute. A blocked shot from Santos setup the counter, but Castellanos sailed it over the net.
The bookings continued in the half when Ibeagha took down Santos from behind in the 25th minute. He was awarded a yellow.
The next NYCFC opportunity came moments later, as a corner kick led to a Castellanos header that sailed over the crossbar.
Maxi Moralez was the next one to test Andre, as his shot from outside the box was tipped away by Blake. Two corners then came from NYCFC, but the Union were able to avoid any further damage.
The Union continued to be quiet offensively, and NYCFC kept their foot on the pedal. Monteiro was the next player to see a card, as a tough slide tackle sent Medina to the ground outside the box.
The Union did have one close call toward the end of the half, as a crossing ball into the box was sent off target by Santos. It was a glimmer of hope that Philly could possibly tie the match in the 2nd half.
After a scoring chance for the Union led to a NYC counter, Moralez was given a yellow for a late foul on Elliot. The half soon ended after 4 minutes of stoppage time.
Second Half Summary
Both sides showed signs of life to start the half. The best chance of the first few minutes came from NYC, as a strong shot from Moralez was sent out by a diving Blake.
The back and forth continued, and the first substitutions came in the 61st minute. Kacper, Flach, and Wagner each came in for Santos, Fontana, and Real, respectively.
The fresh legs didn’t help much though, as NYCFC broke through again in the 65th minute. A ball floated down inside the box, and Glesnes made a poor attempt at chesting the ball to Blake. Castellanos quickly picked up the gift and touched it into the net. Unfortunate mistake there, as the Union had at least been keeping it tight prior to the goal.
The next substitute came in the 71st minute, as McGlynn replaced Bedoya. NYCFC soon joined in the substitutions, with Amundsen and Acevedo relieving Thorarinsson and Parks.
Philadelphia made a few more attempts to keep things close, and their defense did enough to keep the score deficit to 2. Quinn Sullivan then relieved Burke in the 85th minute, just moments after Mbaizo and Moralez exchanged a few words by the goal line. Mbaizo also had issue with Castellanos during the final minutes, but nothing came of it.
NYCFC then closed the game with two substitutions. Latinovich replaced Callens, and Jasson relieved Medina. After an action packed 1st half, the final 45 minutes were much quieter. The second goal sealed the match, and Curtin did some load management with the important CONCACAF match just a few days away.
Final Score: NYCFC 2 - Union 0
Despite the CONCACAF success, the regular season has been underwhelming from the Union. Their next MLS game will be in Chicago on May 8th, and the second leg of the CCL is on May 4th. I love having the Union on my TV frequently, but their schedule has been tough. Hoping their health can remain with the season only just beginning, and a chance at a CCL Title within reach.
- Mike Barrera (@mbarrera1323 on Twitter).