Philadelphia Union’s second preseason match of 2022 was full of highlights that ended with a 2-1 win against Eastern Conference foe CF Montreal. Cory Burke opened up the scoring for the Union in the 75th minute with what proved to be the only goal in the first 90 minutes of the match. Both sides agreed to an extra 30 minutes which saw Montreal tie things up late before a goal from homegrown Paxten Aaronson in the 118th minute gave the Union their first preseason victory of 2022.
On a rainy night in Fort Myers, Florida, Jim Curtin added Jose Martinez and Andre Blake to his starting lineup. Daniel Gazdag had the first look at goal three minutes after the opening whistle but saw his long blast ricochet off a defender.
A coordinated press led by Julian Carranza and Sergio Santos gave the Union a strong platform to build around, and soon Alejandro Bedoya was exploring the box with crosses aimed at the two hard-working strikers.
Gazdag and Santos worked well together in the Union’s buildup play, and Leon Flach provided energy from midfield. After sparking a counterattack with a sumptuous tackle, the young American flew upfield and picked out Santos for a good look that deflected over the endline.
After 38 minutes, Santos made way for Cory Burke, who immediately dove into a messy Montreal box to chase crosses from both of the Union’s active outside backs.
The Union made no personnel changes at halftime but came out with an extra burst of energy. Burke created chaos in the box to earn a corner that Gazdag aimed at Glesnes’ head. A powerful shot rose over the bar but the attacking intent from Jim Curtin’s side was clear.
Next, Bedoya was again off into space down the right and latched onto a gorgeous ball from Kai Wagner.
In the 60th minute, the lineup flipped. Matt Freese, Matt Real, Cole Turner, Brandan Craig, Jesus Bueno, Jack McGlynn, Quinn Sullivan, Paxten Aaronson and Bajun Darboe all entered for Philly, with only Nathan Harriel staying on the pitch.
Real quickly picked up a card before Harriel tried his luck from distance but zipped his shot over the top corner.
Montreal finally threatened the Union goal but Freese was unworried as he picked the ball out of the air.
And then it was Scory Burke’s stage.
Quinn Sullivan’s shot was pushed away by Montreal’s goalie but Burke’s engine was running and he nipped in to tuck home the opening goal of the match.
Jack McGlynn took up the reigns next and blasted a long shot just around the goalframe.
After 90 minutes, the two clubs added another 30 on to their preseason showdown. Joe Bendik and Anton Sorenson stepped on for Philly, but a fluky bounce allowed Montreal to even the scoreline.
Academy striker Nelson Pierre replaced Burke after the 100th minute mark, and moments later Aaronson pounced on an errant pass and drilled a shot from 20 yards out just over the bar. Montreal responded with a breakaway that was called back for an early offside. The Canadian side threatened once more with a shot that caromed off the post and out for a goal kick.
Paxten Aaronosn had had enough. Winding up from distance, the homegrown attacker arrowed the gamewinner into the bottom corner of the net.
Philadelphia Union now turns their focus to their final preseason tune up against Nashville SC that will take place on Friday, February 18th. Kick off from Clearwater is set for 12 p.m. ET.