The Philadelphia Union faced off against rival NYCFC on Saturday night, making it the first team that the two clubs have faced off since the 2022 MLS Eastern Conference Finals. The match took place at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets. Now, when playing at Citi Field, NYCFC has been almost unbeatable, only losing once in team history. Philly was hoping to change that on the night, as they were looking to go seven unbeaten in league play.
If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It
For this match, Jim Curtin went back to the 3-5-2 formation that has been treating the club so well as of late. The club held a record of 2-1-0 using the 3-5-2, and Jim Curtin was hoping to make it 3-1-0 against NYCFC. There were no changes in the Starting XI from the New England match, so the Union eleven went as follows: Blake, Lowe, Elliott, Glesnes, Wagner, Mbaizo, Flach, Martinez, Gazdag, Uhre, and Carranza. The substitutes for the night were Bendik, Harriel, Real, Odada, Bueno, Perea, Torres, Rafanello, and Donovan. Alejandro Bedoya did not make the 20-man squad for the match, as he is still recovering from his injury last week in training.
Good Response From the Union
NYCFC opened the scoring in the match with a 30-minute goal by Gabriel Pereira. Jose Martinez had a bad giveaway, and it was easy for the home team after that. They picked apart the Philadelphia defense, and Pereira ended up receiving the ball, slotting it past Blake to give NYCFC the 1-0 lead.
The Union would respond well, developing a chance that ended up in the back of the net, but it was called offside. But about 15 minutes after the NYCFC goal, Julian Carranza would score his first of the night in first-half stoppage time. Jack Elliott launched a ball from the defensive side of the pitch, which Carranza ended up controlling with his body, slamming it past the keeper to make it 1-1. But even though Carranza’s first goal was scored in first-half stoppage time, Philly was not done yet.
Carranza received a pass from Mikael Uhre, and once again sent it past Barraza to make it 2-1 to the Union. In the second half, Philadelphia would make it 3-1 through a Daniel Gazdag penalty, which is the lead that the visitors would hold onto for the remainder of the match. The 3-1 win would give Philly a seven-match unbeaten streak in MLS play, as it seems the Boys in Blue are finally hitting the stride that the club had in 2022.
Up Next for the Union
Philadelphia has a busy week ahead of them, playing on Wednesday and Saturday, with both of these matches taking place at Subaru Park. The Union will be taking on both Charlotte FC and the Montreal Impact throughout the week. On Wednesday, the club will be hosting Charlotte FC at 7:30 PM EST.
The second-year club currently has a 6-6-3 record on the season, giving them 21 points in 15 matches. Now, these two clubs have only played each other twice, with each winning their match at home. The Union took the 2-0 victory at Subaru Park, while Charlotte was able to pull off a 4-0 win when Philly came to Bank of America Stadium. In this match, the Union will be looking to make it eight unbeaten, while Charlotte will look to build off of their 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy from the weekend.
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union