The Philadelphia Union returned back to Subaru Park for the first time in three weeks to face off against Inter Miami. The Boys in Blue were looking to rebound from their 2-2 draw against Orlando City, as they looked to keep making a push to move up the Eastern Conference table. Just like in the match against Orlando City, Philly was short a couple of starters for the Miami match.
Andre Blake and Damion Lowe were still missing from the squad, as they are currently representing Jamaica in the Gold Cup. But even though the Union was down a few starters, Daniel Gazdag was back for from international duty with Hungary. It would be an important match for the Union, as they would be looking to get revenge for the 2-0 defeat that they suffered at Miami early on in the season.
The Union Starting XI
As stated prior, Philly would be down two starters as Damion Lowe and Andre Blake are playing. Therefore, Joe Bendik would once again get the start in net for Philadelphia, and Jim Curtin would once again roll with the 4-4-2 diamond formation that the team has become known to use before the 5-in-the-back formation began. For the match against Inter Miami, Jim Curtin’s Starting XI was the following: Bendik, Wagner, Elliott, Glesnes, Mbaizo, Martinez, Flach, Bedoya, Gazdag, Uhre, and Carranza.
Something important to point out is the fact that Alejandro Bedoya returned back to the Starting XI for the first time since the injury that he suffered. Bedoya’s appearance in this match was his 200th appearance for the club, becoming only the third player in Union history to do so, along with Andre Blake and Ray Gaddis. Curtin’s substitutes for this match were the following: Trent, Real, Harriel, Craig, Bueno, McGlynn, Torres, Sullivan, and Donovan.
First Half Outburst
If Jim Curtin wanted his squad to start off the match with a good performance, he sure would be happy with what they produced. Inter Miami may have dominated the first half possession-wise but Philly dominated the half in just about every other aspect of it. The Union took a 3-0 lead into the half, behind goals from Jakob Glesnes, Julian Carranza, and Leon Flach.
To start off, Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute when defender Jakob Glesnes scored his 1st goal of the season, and his 6th goal for the club. Kai Wagner sent a cross in with his left foot, and Jakob Glesnes met it with his head, sending it right past Drake Callender. Inter Miami had allowed nine goals scored off of set pieces prior to this match, and Philly was for sure glad to be able to make that ten.
The Union’s second goal came in the 39th minute when their number 9 was able to put it in the back of the net. Daniel Gazdag sent a ball into the box, which ended up being deflected by an Inter Miami defender. Christopher McVey then proceeded to misread the deflected ball, as it bounced right over his head leading right to Mikael Uhre. The Danish striker then found his Argentina partner in the box, where Carranza made no mistakes on the finish, giving Philly a 2-0 lead right before halftime.
Philadelphia was not done after Julian Carranza’s goal, as Leon Flach scored an outside-the-box goal to make it 3-0 for the Boys in Blue. It was a well-worked team goal around the Miami box, which led to Leon scoring his first of the season. Olivier Mbaizo found a wide-open Daniel Gazdag, who then proceeded to find Alejandro Bedoya inside the Miami box. Bedoya then found Leon Flach outside of the box, who shot a beautiful one-timer past Drake Callender. The Union completely controlled the match, and this goal showed that. No matter who you are playing, going into the half with a 3-0 lead is something that all teams would love to do consistently.
Who’s Next for the Union?
For their next match, the Union will be heading down to Mercedes Benz Stadium to take on Atlanta United for the first time this season. Atlanta United is currently 6th place in the Eastern Conference but just got embarrassed by the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, losing 4-0. Including this loss, Atlanta United have only won one match in their last five, drawing three and losing one to the Red Bulls.
In recent times, the Union has had the upper hand in the matchup between the two teams, not losing to Atlanta since 2019 in MLS play. This match will for sure be a good one, as the Union will look to continue to show their dominance over Atlanta, while United will look to show that it is not all Union in the matchup.
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