In a season where the Union has had trouble scoring goals, their strikers have not been performing to the levels that Jim Curtin would expect them to. 10 goals in eight MLS matches is definitely a number that the club would like to improve on, and there is one main individual who will be important to that.
Carranza could be key for the Union going forward
That individual goes by the name of Julian Carranza, who last season scored 15 goals and added seven assists in his first MLS season with the club. So far this season Carranza has scored three goals in seven matches, while not having a single assist. But if the past few matches have shown anything, it is that Julian Carranza is back to the form he was in last season.
Man of the Match Performance in Mexico
The Argentine striker was able to put together his best performance of the season when the Union went to Guadalajara to face off against Atlas in the second leg of their quarterfinals matchup in the Concacaf Champions League. Philly went to the Estadio Jalisco with a 1-0 aggregate lead and was looking for a single goal to finish the tie-off.
With the Union scoring a goal, Atlas would need to score three goals, due to Philadelphia having the tiebreaker advantage with away goals. It was a rough start for the Union, as Atlas would score early on to make it a 2-1 aggregate lead, meaning that Atlas would only need one more goal to cause the match to head to a penalty shootout.
Julian Carranza was there to save the day for the Boys in Blue, as he scored a 28th-minute goal to tie the second leg and give the Union a 2-1 aggregate lead. Atlas would score again right before halftime, but a second Carranza goal in the 78th minute would seal the deal for Philly, as they advanced to the semifinals of the Concacaf Champions League.
According to FotMob, Carranza would finish with an 8.5 match rating and was also awarded the Player of the Match. This performance boosted the confidence of Julian, as he looked to continue his top form in the Union’s next match against the Chicago Fire.
Equalizer of the Match
After his top-quality performance against Atlas, Carranza was once again named in the starting eleven for the match against the Chicago Fire. Carranza was looking to score his first MLS goal since the season opener, where he had a brace against the Columbus Crew. In this match, the Union would end up going down 2-0 within the first 50 minutes, leaving little to no hope for the club to claim even a single point in the matchup.
But the match changed around when Rafael Czichos took out Mikael Uhre inside the box, and Philadelphia was awarded a penalty. Daniel Gazdag would slot the shot past the goalie, and all of a sudden, Philly was down 2-1.
Not even three minutes later, Julian Carranza would score the equalizer for the road team, which would help them earn a tough draw. The Argentine striker would receive a headed pass from Gazdag, and then proceed to slam it home to make it 2-2. This was Carranza’s third MLS goal of the season, and as stated prior, it was his first since the season opener.
All in all, Julian Carranza has been in top form the last two matches, looking like the threat that he was last season. Getting him back into the form he was in would be a massive help for a Union squad looking to climb up the table and back into the playoff spot. This is definitely something that manager Jim Curtin will be excited to see as the season continues to move on.
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