Match Recap

Gazdag makes history as Union's rally runs out of time against Seattle


Daniel Gazdag etched his name atop the Philadelphia Union record book but it wasn't enough to erase a first-half deficit as the Union fell at home to the Seattle Sounders, 3-2.

After falling behind in the first half by a 3-0 margin, the Boys in Blue battled back with two goals in three minutes from Jack McGlynn and Gazdag to send Subaru Park into playoff like atmosphere on a Tuesday night.

Tuesday's match saw some time traveling with the two sides resuming their rescheduled matchup from early March. The original contest was suspended in the sixth minute due to weather, and per MLS rules, both teams were required to send out the same starting XI they did the first time, with some exceptions.

After reworking the lineup with consideration to injuries and roster changes, both teams ended up with a different first crew. Head Coach Jim Curtin’s featured Semmle in net due to an injury to Andre Blake, with Harriel, Elliott, Glesnes, and Mbaizo his first line of defense. The midfield featured both of the team’s Venezuelans in Jose Martinez and Jesus Bueno, plus Daniel Gazdag and Quinn Sullivan. Mikael Uhre was back in the starting lineup for the first time since the team’s match against Minnesota one month ago, joining Carranza who was able to reclaim his role up top.

As for the Sounders side, they made two changes to their matchday roster, defender Yeimar Gómez Andrade joined the starting XI in place of Xavier Arreaga, who was traded to the New England Revolution last week, and because forward Danny Musovski was out with an injury, Albert Rusnák and João Paulo were both able to be added to the team’s bench.

After a normal precession and drum striker ritual as is routine for a typical matchday, action resumed in the sixth minute with a free kick carried out by Jack Elliot. The effort resulted in a corner for Philadelphia Union, but nothing was made of it. Just like that, the match carried on as normal.

It was the visiting side that sought to send a statement not just to the Union but to the rest of the league with a resounding start in the first half that saw them jump out to a 3-0 lead. The scoring started in the 13th minute for the Sounders as Raúl Ruidíaz took advantage of a Union mishap, hitting a one touch shot off of a unfavorabel José Martinez touch that went in the opposite direction as it was intended. The attempt caught Elliott and Semmle off guard, allowing for the Peruvian attacker to find the back of the net with ease.

Nine minutes later, they doubled their lead through homegrown Obed Vargas, who curled a shot past Glesnes and Mbaizo into the bottom right corner for the 18-year-old's first MLS goal.

Things began to heat up between the two clubs that joined the league together in 2010, with Sounders center back Jackson Ragen earning a yellow card in the 27th minute for a rough tackle on Daniel Gazdag.

Things continued to go awry for the Union as the first half carried on, when Olivier Mbaizo’s defense of Obed Vargas sent him down in the box, spurring VAR review. Sounders were awarded a penalty kick, giving Ruidíaz a chance from the spot that he buried past Semmle. The score marked his sixth goal this season, fourth from the spot.

The young contingent of Union starters attempted to inject some life back into the first half during the added nine minutes of stopped time – Bueno and Sullivan strung promising passes that finished with an attempt from Nate Harriel. Then Carranza got in the action as well, taking a line drive in the 49th minute, but Seattle’s third-string keeper was there to stop it.

Head Coach Jim Curtin quickly turned to his substitute options at the break sending in Kai Wagner, Alejandro Bedoya, and Jack McGlynn to inject a change of pace and urgency. After what one could imagine was an intense halftime talk, the Union entered the second half with a vengeance, decreasing their deficit by two goals within 12 minutes of play.

The second half rally started off a second chance ball from a corner kick, with McGlynn getting possession after a half clearance. The Union homegrown found a pocket of space and quickly turned to his trusty left boot to curl it around the defense and inside the far post.

In the 57th minute, club history was made in a momentous fashion that sent Subaru Park into a frenzy as the Boys in Blue battled back. Daniel Gazdag was the man of the moment with his 57th goal to become the team’s all-time leading goal scorer.Tthe 28-year-old etched his name in Philadelphia Union record books with a perfectly headed finish to redirect a cross from homegrown Quinn Sullivan into the back of the net to make it a 3-2 contest. With the goal the Hungarian midfielder officially surpassed Union Legend Sébastien Le Toux’s eight-year record.

Seattle sought to change the momentum with some defensive changes and a shift to a 5-3-2 to try and see out a much needed win to turn their season around. Philly continued to push with Jack Elliott seeing an effort off target with just over 10 minutes remaining.

In the 85th minute the Union saw their best opportunity to equalize come inches off target with a creative buildup. As the Boys in Blue searched for space around the box, Gazdag dropped centerally to pull the defense tight. He quickly shot a pass out wide to Sullivan for a one-time cross that connected with a Carranza flick. The ball somehow wouldn't fall with the shot crashing off the woodwork.

Philadelphia Union is back in action this weekend as they make the short trip down I-95 to battle rivals D.C. United. Kick off from the nation's capital is set for 7:30PM with the match part of MLS Season Pass's free weekend.

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Every match matters! In 2024, you do not want to miss your favorite matchups as the Union take on the best MLS has to offer! When we score, make sure you are there to get Subaru Park shaking!

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