Markus Anderson Grabs His First Two Union II Goals in 5-1 Demolition of NYRB II

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Sunday afternoon brought along another Philadelphia Union II game in the MLS Next Pro 2024 campaign, this time it was a road trip to New York to take on Red Bulls II. Philly has never lost to NYRB II in MLS Next Pro history and is looking to build on the last meeting with the New York side that ended 1-1, with a 4-2 win on penalties for Marlon LeBlanc’s men.

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

Union II vs Red Bulls II Recap

The starting lineup was changed quite a bit from last week’s game, with the likes of David Vazquez returning to the team, Cavan Sullivan returning to the bench, Giovanny Sequera replacing the injured Nick Pariano, and Leandro Soria replacing Chris Donovan up top.

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Just one goal in the first half 

The first 10 minutes was all Union II who established dominance early on over the home side and the first chance fell to CJ Olney. Andrew Rick with some quick thinking on a goal kick and the ball went over the top to the forward breaking Olney, unfortunately for the Union II star, he couldn’t keep his shot on target. 

3 minutes later, after some nice passing and ball possession for Marlon LeBlanc’s side, Union II found themselves in the New York box. After some phenomenal quick link-up play between a few Philly players, Eddy Davis found the back of the net to fire his team 1-0 up on the 10th-minute mark. 

New York managed to get a little more into the game over the course of around 20 minutes after the opening goal but both sides were struggling to really create any chances, especially clear-cut ones. 

Just like last week, Marlon LeBlanc was forced into an early change in his midfield after Giovanny Sequera, who replaced the injured Nick Pariano both last week and this week, went down with an injury. Club captain Kyle Tucker replaced him. 

Shortly after the hydration break, which was observed at 30 minutes in, Union II had a massive chance to go 2-0 up. After a long ball up top found NYRB’s backline out of shape, Eddy Davis broke through on goal, he managed to skip past a last-ditch tackle but then tried to do the same thing again, took too many touches and failed to get a shot off or pass it to one of his two teammates who had an open goal in front of them. 

A pretty uneventful remainder of the first half until stoppage time when Leandro Soria came extremely close to grabbing his first goal since joining Union II just around a month or so ago.

Union II
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union II

A 2nd half onslaught

Well, it was uneventful until a 2nd Union II goal came out of absolutely nowhere right before the halftime whistle. New York fouled Kyle Tucker right down in the corner, two of their players were complaining to the linesman, so Tucker got up, took the free kick quickly, and passed to David Vazquez, who hammered home a shot just inside the area to fire Union II 2-0 up going into half time. 

The second half began, and Union II was quickly on top and had a big opportunity to go 3-0 up through Eddy Davis but he couldn’t get his shot past the outcoming Red Bulls II goalkeeper. 

Another huge chance fell to Union II for their potential 3rd goal but CJ Olney couldn’t put his simple chance on target. Union II is in control right now, NYRB II is a completely different team from a month ago, injuries really have ruined their team and season. 

Kyle Tucker almost had an amazing assist just past the 60th minute after he danced his way through multiple defenders but he couldn’t quite find a teammate with the ball he put across the box. Leandro Soria and Eddy Davis were replaced by Cavan Sullivan and Markus Anderson just after the Tucker chance. 

A missed chance may just come back to haunt Union II in this one as just before the 70th minute, Mohammed Sofo scored his first goal of the campaign to pull one back for the home side with a smart turn and finish inside the box. 

It looked like a nervy ending to the game for Marlon LeBlanc’s men after dominating the majority of the game but with just less than 15 minutes to go, CJ Olney’s lovely little dinked ball found Markus Anderson, whose diving header found the top corner for his first UII goal, 3-1 Philly. 

It seemed like it would be a calm finish to the game with Union II in the driving seat but David Vazquez had other ideas as he smashed a curling ball along the grass and into the far bottom corner from a free kick to score his 2nd of the game, Philly’s 4th and what a goal it was. 

Marlon LeBlanc made his 2nd double substitution of the game right after Vazquez’s goal, with Jamir Berdecio and Kyle Tucker being replaced by Gavin Wetzel and Carlos Rojas. Cavan Sullivan had a small chance, but he could only hit his shot at the keeper. 

Union II wasn’t done there though and just in the 87th minute, Philly found themselves on a counterattack. Sanders Ngabo fed Markus Anderson the ball and he finished cooly past New York’s goalkeeper for his 2nd of the game, making the scoreline 5-1 Union II. 

David Vazquez had a fantastic chance to get his hattrick in stoppage time but he chose to pass it to Markus Anderson so he could get his hattrick, but the forward took a horrible first touch and the chance died out for both of them. 

The game ended 5-1 to Marlon LeBlanc’s men, a complete demolition job of a top Eastern Conference rival and one that takes them to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union