PPL Park welcomed SkyBet Championship winners AFC Bournemouth last night, who opened their pre-season tour against the Philadelphia Union. The two sides who were similar in many ways were definitely in for an interesting affair, with Eddie Howe starting many of his top guns and new signings and there was certainly a lot to take from the game. The match ended in a rather disappointing 1-4 to the away side, but the Union will certainly have plenty of things that they have learned and can use against Toronto in just a few days time.
The opening goal came from new signing and former Blackburn player Joshua King in the 20th minute and just six minutes later, AFCB hero Callum Wilson found the net. He did so 20 times last season and was a key part in the teams success, for AFC Bournemouth fans it was refreshing to see that the form is looking to continue.
The Union did respond nine minutes later however. Deep into the first half in the 35th minute, Centre Back Richie Marquez found the net to put the Union on the board as they went into the half 2-1 down, perhaps looking to break even as the game resumed.
Those hopes were brushed aside when Bournemouth showed their pedigree, Marc Pugh fired a shot past McCarthy in the 62nd minute before adding a penalty kick late into the game to make it 1-4 to the Premier League underdogs.
The starting 11 Curtin fielded as predicted was a little bizarre. No Le Touz as we mentioned in our preview just to make sure he is 100% healthy, whilst Pfeffer, White and McCarthy all got starts before Curtin began rotating players around. The idea was simple. Take as much as you can from such a fast playing team and use it in the MLS fixtures. Nobody wants to see their side lose, but in doing so, it exploits weaknesses and shows where a side like Bournemouth can rip you open. It’s those instances that the Union can take the attacking flair of Bournemouth and analyse how to shut it down in the future.