Union struggles to close matches

On Saturday night, the Philadelphia Union tied rival New York Red Bulls 1-1 for their fifth draw of the 2022 season and third straight draw. The Union fell to third place in the Eastern Conference with a 5-1-5 record and a 3-0-3 home mark. Subaru Park was in turmoil on Saturday night but despite the support and encouragement from the fans, the Union could not find the winner.

Philadelphia scored the first goal of the game in the 47th minute when Daniel Gazdag powered a shot past Jose Coronel into the top right corner. Sergio Santos played a perfect one-touch pass into open space for Gazdag to leap into the box and score the opener. Union would then gain many more chances to increase their lead, but they could not execute the final blow and therefore let New York linger.

Defender Dylan Nealis received his second yellow card in the 55th minute and Union trailed one man for the rest of the game. The Boys in Blue held 60% of possession, registered 17 shots and six shots on goal and registered seven corner kicks. They simply couldn’t find the back of the net but had some good chances in the second half, including an 82nd-minute goal which was ruled out to VAR.

Midfielder Luquinhas equalized for New York in the 66th minute as he found himself open in the box and slotted his shot past the goalkeeper Andre Blake. Strikers Julian Carranza and Cory Burk each earned quality chances in the final 10 minutes of the game but failed to convert and the game ended in another draw.

In their last three games, Philadelphia has led, including holding the lead twice against LAFC on the road. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to turn the corner by getting the three points. Two of the draws are on the road, so it’s a bit more comforting to hear, but Union failed to eliminate teams in crucial matches.

Manager Jim Curtin will have a tough decision to make when putting together their starting XI for Wednesday night’s game. Midfielder Jose Martinez and Carranza will both be absent for the game against Inter Miami CF. Martinez is out due to a one-game suspension for accumulating yellow cards and Carranza is barred from playing against the team that sent him out on loan due to intraleague loans from MLS.

Fans and media can speculate that Curtin will launch Santos to replace Carranza, and either Jack McGlynn or Paxten Aaronson to fill the Martinez void. These players will have to intervene in the usual absence of the starters in the hope of registering victory and acquiring the three points at home. Hopefully it will be yet another entertaining game as the Union should take care of business considering Miami is 3-6-2 this season and sits 13th in the East.


"Featured Image: CBS Sports Radio"

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