Final score: Big Brother 3, Little Brother 2.
On a gorgeous night for soccer, it was the Union that celebrated a 3-2 win over developmental affiliate Harrisburg at Skyline Sports Complex, home of the City Islanders.
Goals by Fred, Leo Fernandes and Sebastien Le Toux secured the second straight win for the Union and improved interim manager Jim Curtin to 9-2-4 in all competitions.
However, this competition has always been less about padding statistics and more about getting a good look at prospects and players on the first team fighting for playing time.
“I thought guys stepped up and did a good job tonight,” said Curtin postgame. “There is competition at every spot and guys are pushing each other. It’s positive, which is what you want to see in a match like this. You can’t take games like this lightly, because it’s in matches like these were a guy can move himself up the depth chart.”
It was the Union that got on the board first after a goal from Sebastien Le Toux opened the account in the 14th minute. Leo Fernandes scored in the 44th minute and in the 75th minute Fred scored to cap an affair that saw wholesale line changes in both halves.
For Harrisburg, forwards Jose Barril and Clesio Bauque got on the score sheet. Bauque who was in camp with the Union during preseason, took a nice through ball from Danny DiPrima and finished with a great run and goal into the Union net.
There were quite a few players that impressed, guys that not only raised the eyebrows of Curtin and his training staff, but also could have a chance to showcase their stuff on the big stage.
“I thought Richard Marquez did a great job tonight,” said Curtin. “He’s a guy we are high on and he’s had a good, solid year here in Harrisburg. We get him back soon [at the end of the USL-PRO season] and he’s now a guy that adds valuable depth at the center back position. Also Coady Andrews is a solid player. A guy that passes well, can move and reads the game very well, he’s another player we could take a look at.”
“It’s a great partnership [with Harrisburg]. A lot of guys showed well on their team tonight and they are guys down the stretch that if we needed to bring in players for depth we can.”
There is some down time for the Union as the Labor Day holiday provides a break from practice, but not training. The club will train over the weekend preparation for next week’s home and home matchup against Toronto FC, the first on Wednesday night at PPL Park (7 p.m., purchase tickets) followed by a Saturday match at 2 p.m. on The Comcast Network.
Philadelphia Union 3, Harrisburg City Islanders 2
Exhibition match at Skyline Sports Complex, Harrisburg, Pa.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
PHI: Le Toux (Brown) 13’
HCI: Barril (unassisted) 22’
PHI: Fernandez (Cruz) 44’
HCI: Bauque (DiPrima) 55’
PHI: Fred (Okugo) 75’
PHI: Gaddis (yellow) 19’
HCI: Langley (yellow) 19’
HCI: Hernandez (yellow) 86’
PHILADELPHIA UNION STARTING XI
Mbolhi, Gaddis, Berry, White, Williams, Edu, Nogueira, Maidana, Le Toux, Wenger, Brown
Subs: MacMath, Okugo, Carroll, Lahoud, Ribeiro, Pfeffer, Cruz
HARRISBURG CITY ISLANDERS STARTING XI
Sylvestre, Cox, Andrews, Marquez, Bahner, Ekra, Barrill, Hardware, Derschang, Langley, Pettis
Subs: Zizzi, Bauque, DiPrima, Pittman, McLaughlin, Shaffer, Pelletier