Union II Fall to FC Cincinnati 2 in 2-0 Defeat

Union II
Image Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Thursday night brought a little bit of MLS Next Pro action for Marlon LeBlanc and his Union II side. The current Eastern Conference standings leaders welcomed FC Cincinnati 2 for a revenge game in Philadelphia. 

Union II
Image Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Union II vs FCC 2 Recap

FC Cincinnati 2 are the only team to beat Union II this season, a 3-1 victory for the visitors earlier in the season and they currently sit 4th in the standings. Squad rotation was expected for tonight’s game, with both David Vazquez and CJ Olney out on international duty. 

To replace the two key maestros in attack, Marlon LeBlanc brought both Alex Perez and Sanders Ngabo back into the starting 11. Cavan Sullivan and Eddy Davis were dropped to the bench for this one, with Leandro Soria replacing Davis up front.  

15 minutes in and the game was lacking in any chances, both teams were evenly matched, with both having some small, half chances from hopeful balls into the box or freekicks/corners that really amounted to nothing. The visitors had the best chance of this period, where they broke through after winning the ball back deep in Union II’s half, but the shot was hit weakly into Andrew Rick

The whole first half was missing any clear-cut chance for either side. Union II had a couple of threatening free kicks that led to nothing, and a couple of long-range efforts. FC Cincinnati 2 dominated possession but failed to break Philly’s defense down, not doing anything with the ball outside of the half chances that they had before.  

FC Cincinnati 2 had a big chance right before the halftime whistle went when a free kick was put into a dangerous area in Union II’s box, but the effort deflected off a Cincy 2 player and went just wide of Andrew Rick’s goal. The deadlock was still intact as the teams headed in for the halftime break, poor quality half from both teams.

Union II
Image Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Union II fall to FCC 2 yet again

Marlon LeBlanc made a couple of changes at halftime with Carlos Rojas and Eddy Davis coming on to replace Carlos Rojas and Leandro Soria. Union II looked much better in the early stages of the 2nd half, creating a couple of chances and forcing 2 good saves from Cincy 2’s goalkeepers. 

Sensing a shift in momentum and the game opening up for the benefit of his side, Marlon LeBlanc made another substitute, this time bringing Cavan Sullivan on to replace Alex Perez. 

After looking like the better side in the 2nd half, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock on the 70th-minute mark with a great run down the wing, followed by a great ball into the box that was finished perfectly by Cincy 2’s substitute Kenji Mboma Dem to give Cincy 2 a 1-0 lead with 20 minutes to go. 

Needing a goal to keep his team’s unbeaten streak alive and not fall to Cincy 2 for the 2nd time this season, Marlon LeBlanc took Jamir Berdecio off for Gavin Wetzel with around 15 minutes to go. 

Philly went looking for an equalizer but never really threatened to make one happen and a blocked, lazy clearance from Neil Pierre with 3 minutes to go in the game allowed Cincy 2 to hit Union II on a break and Kenji Mboma Dem scored Cincy 2’s 2nd goal in pretty much identical fashion. 

The game ended in a 2-0 defeat for Marlon LeBlanc’s side, their 2nd of the season and their 2nd of the season to FC Cincinnati 2. The loss puts their place at the top of the standings in danger. 

Union II
Image Credit: Philadelphia Union II

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Featured Image Credit: Philadelphia Union II