Union II Bounce Back From Last Week’s Defeat With A 3-0 Away Win Over Crown Legacy

Union II
Image Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Another Thursday evening brings along another MLS Next Pro gameday for Marlon LeBlanc and his Union II side. For this midweek game, Union II were on the road to Carolina to face off with Crown Legacy, in a game where they were looking to bounce back from defeat in their last game.

Union II
Image Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Union II @ Crown Legacy Recap

With squad rotation being a theme in recent times for LeBlanc, this game was just another example of that. Cavan Sullivan, Gavin Wetzel, and a returning Nick Pariano after a nasty injury kept him from the team for a few weeks, all started. Randy Meneses also started the game after being away from the squad for a good portion of time. 

CJ Olney returned to the matchday squad, specifically the substitutes bench, after representing the US at youth level for the first time, while his US youth international teammate David Vazquez is still absent from the squad. 

The game started at a very high intensity and pace, with both teams not sitting around with possession but playing much more direct football. Crown Legacy made the better start to the game; Andrew Rick handled a dangerous cross and Crown Legacy put a header wide from a corner which was a big chance early on. 

The biggest chance of the opening 15 minutes fell to Eddy Davis for Union II. After catching out Crown Legacy’s backline on a counter-attack, Eddy Davis found himself through on goal but as he rounded the goalkeeper, his touch sent him too far wide and the best he could do was win a corner. 

The game was being played at a high intensity just like the opening stages but the quality from both sides was lacking massively. A lot of energy and enthusiasm was being shown but nothing of high quality was being created. Andrew Rick made a brilliant save around 25 minutes in to keep things level, which is just standard for the young Union II keeper at this point. 

The first half ended with the teams locked at 0-0, Union II had another great opportunity on the break before the half ended but Eddy Davis couldn’t get his cross anywhere near his striking partner Sal Olivas and the chance was wasted. Both teams seemed up for the game and are trying to make things happen, just lacking any sort of quality.

Union II
Image Credit: Philadelphia Union II

3 2nd half goals for Union II!

To start the second half, Marlon LeBlanc made a change to his side’s attacking weapons, with Eddy Davis coming off and Leandro Soria replacing him. The substitute striker had a massive chance to give Union II the lead early in the 2nd half after a beautiful long-range ball from Westfield put Soria through, but his finish was awful and straight at Legacy’s goalkeeper. 

Marlon LeBlanc made his 2nd substitution of the game, with Nick Pariano, who was on a yellow card and only making his first appearance in quite some time because of an injury, being replaced by CJ Olney, in the hopes the young maestro could work some of his magic with 30 minutes left of the game. 

Crown Legacy had their first huge opportunity of the game just after the substitutions were made. Union II’s backline had switched off for a second, allowing Legacy to break through, but the resulting shot curled just wide of Rick’s goal. 

With 25 minutes remaining, Union II broke the deadlock. After Leandro Soria and striking partner Sal Olivas combined on a fantastic little 1-2, Soria found himself through on goal and this time he slotted past the keeper with confidence to give Union II a 1-0 lead. 

Shortly after the opening goal for Union II, Marlon LeBlanc made 2 changes to his side with Cavan Sullivan making way for Giovanny Sequera and Randy Meneses making way for Kyle Tucker. 

Crown Legacy had a huge chance to level the game up shortly after the double substitution but the ball across the box was too much of a hybrid between a shot and cross, missing both the player at the back post and failing to be on target. 

Union II seemed fairly comfortable in the game after Legacy missed their big chance, and with just over 5 minutes to go in the game, Frankie Westfield buried a header from a corner to double Union II’s lead and effectively kill the game off. 

As Crown Legacy was looking for a goal to get back into the game, Union II hit them on the break and CJ Olney was put through on goal. The substitute slotted past the oncoming keeper with class and put Union II 3-0 up. Bizarrely, Andrew Rick was sent off before the restart after Olney’s goal, I didn’t see what happened, just saw the ref brandish the red card while everyone was waiting for the game to restart. 

The game finished 3-0 to Marlon LeBlanc’s side and aside from the bizarre finish to the game, Union II bounced back well after last week’s defeat. The game changed as soon as CJ Olney entered the field.

Union II
Image Credit: Philadelphia Union II

Be sure to return to Philly Sports Network for more Philadelphia Union and other soccer content!

Follow our Union team on Twitter:

Tim Lovenguth | Jimmy King | Paul Frenzel
Eric Frysinger | Liam Jenkins
Steve Beavon | Zach LoBasso

Doop on Union fans!

Featured Image Credit: Philadelphia Union II