Recap | Union continue unbeaten start to preseason with 2-2 draw


Philadelphia Union continues its preseason schedule with a Tuesday afternoon friendly against MLS expansion side, St. Louis CITY SC at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers). The match will not be streamed but we've got you covered on with another edition of our live blog from Florida presented by Cintron.

Mini recap

Philadelphia Union continued its unbeaten start to the 2023 preseason with a 2-2 draw against St. Louis CITY SC on Tuesday afternoon. The Boys in Blue struck first as Kai Wagner finished off a cross from Julian Carranza in the ninth minute of play but the opposition responded with a tying goal just before the halftime whistle. In the second half it was center back Gino Portella smashing home a corner kick service from Jesus Bueno in the 75th minute but ultimately the match would end in a draw via a penalty kick goal from St. Louis CITY SC just before the final whistle.


5:40 p.m. - Final whistle rings out here in Ft. Myers and we conclude this afternoon's match tied at 2-2.

5:36 p.m. - Boys in Blue pushing for a match winner and Harriel sets up a good opportunity as he draws a foul in the offensive third. Jesus Bueno comes over for the free kick but can't connect with anyone. 

5:34 p.m. - St. Louis CITY SC awarded a penalty kick and they convert with a shot down the middle in the 88th. 

5:29 p.m. - Boys in Blue looking for a third as Chris Donovan fires a shot on target but it's saved out for a Union corner. Bueno again heading over to serve it in. 

5:21 p.m. -Union GOAL! Gino Portalla puts the Boys in Blue ahead in the 75'. Jesus Bueno as the set piece master and the Union II center back smashes past the keeper.

5:18 p.m. -Harriel unloads a shot from outside the box but it's wide. Homegrown hungry for a goal the preseason.

5:15 p.m. -Little bit of a scuffle. All good though and we play on.

5:13 p.m. -Corner kick for the Boys in Blue and it's Jesus Bueno taking the set pieces. Delivers a nice ball to the near post but STL clears it away.

5:08 p.m. - Chris Donovan breaks through via a threaded ball from the midfield but fires the shot just over the bar. 

5:07 p.m. -It's the 60th minute which means we're swapping goalkeepers again as Holden Trent comes in.

5:03 p.m. - Julian Carranza has decided he wants to take over as team photographer for a little bit of the second half. 😂 Can't wait to see how they turn out.

5:00 p.m. - First yellow card of the preseason is shown to St. Louis CITY SC for a rough tackle on Jesus Bueno near the corner flag.

4:58 p.m. - First chance of the half comes from a set piece as homegrown Jeremy Rafanello unloads a blast from a free kick but is denied by a diving stop. 

4:52 p.m. - Second half starting XI is as follows:

Joe Bendik; Anton Sorenson, Matt Real, Gino Portella, Nathan Harriel; Richard Odada, Jesus Bueno, Andres Perea, Jeremy Rafanello; Chris Donovan, Stefan Stojanovic.

2ndhalf_lineup_vSTL (1)

4:50 p.m. - Another really short halftime break and there is a whole host of changes. Will figure it out but we've kicked off!

4:45 p.m. - And that's the first half tied at 1-1. Philadelphia Union with an opener via a Kai Wagner finish in the 9th minute but its been cancelled out by STL in the 41st.


4:44 p.m. - Free kick chance for the Boys in Blue. Wagner goes with a blast of a left-foot that connects with someone but the keeper collects it.

4:41 p.m. - STL gets on the board with a goal in the 41st minute of play. Quick build up by the opposition sees a player break through for a 1v1 against Bendik and they convert.

4:40 p.m. - If you're playing Union live blog bingo, you can check off the Brujo blast box. One touch volley by the midfielder and he unleashed a rocket just wide.

4:37 p.m. - Julian offside? Julian offside. 😒

4:33 p.m. - Was so focused on the Union attack that I missed Joe Bendik has come in net for the Union. Replaces Andre Blake as a planned 30' minute sub.

4:31 p.m. - Carranza gets through the STL back line but the keeper comes off his line to kill the chance. Rebound chance is collected by Gazdag but possession ends without another test of the keeper.

4:30 p.m. - Mbaizo runs down the ball after the free kick and whips in a pass to Uhre but the forward's shot is wide of the post.

4:29 p.m. - Free kick chance for the Boys in Blue from Jakob Glesnes range so of course we let him have a go. No magic this time around sadly.

4:25 p.m. - We've entered that 25th minute stretch where the soccer is just battle in the midfield and possessions ending in goal kicks. Blake winning on the accuracy battle.

4:22 p.m. - STL earns a free kick from about 40 yards out. Carranza again the first one to get a head on it. Just all over the pitch here in the first half.

4:19 p.m. - BRICK WALL BLAKE! St. Louis CITY SC greats a breakaway through the backline but the keeper of the year shuts him down with a diving stop.

4:16 p.m. - Wagner lines up to take the free kick but STL deals with the service. Mbaizo tries to make a play on the right flank but can't make much with the second ball.

4:15 p.m. - Carranza goes down in the box but no call. Wagner keeps playing and does draw the foul but just outside the box...

4:13 p.m. - STL earns a free kick but its cleared away by Carranza. Jose Martinez regains possession for the Boys in Blue and tries to smash a pass up the pitch for Daniel Gazdag but the pass has a little too much heat on it.

4:12 p.m. - St. Louis CITY SC tries to launch a counter but they run into the best defense in 2022 and it went nowhere.

4:09 p.m. - UNION GOAL!!! Kai Wagner is all over the ball and he smashes home a through pass from Julian Carranza into the opposite corner for a 1-0 lead just 9 minutes in!

4:07 p.m. - Olivier Mbaizo standing tall inside the defensive third and he takes a charge/draws a foul.

4:05 p.m. - Kai Wagner races up the left side but can't connect with a Union player in the box.

4:03 p.m. - First shot of the game comes from the Boys in Blue as Mikael Uhre unleashes a blast inside the box but it's pawed away by the keeper.

4:02 p.m. - Two minutes in and already we're playing like we don't like STL. Physical battle in the midfield but Jose Martinez shows why he's one of the best No. 6's in the league.

4:00 p.m. - Right at the stroke of 4pm the referee blows his whistle and we are underway and so starts the loud vocals from the sidelines.

3:59 p.m. - Here is how Head Coach Jim Curtin will lineup the Boys in Blue.

Andre Blake; Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Olivier Mbaizo; Jose Martinez, Leon Flach, Alejandro Bedoya; Mikael Uhre, Julian Carranza.

Preseason_2022_StartingXI_vSTL (1)

3:52 p.m. - Couple more warmup pics before we get started!

Preseason PHIvSTL | Uhre

3:43 p.m. - Nervously trying to figure out what the Starting XI will be for today but we should have it before kick.

3:38 p.m. - Here come the boys to get warmed up! We'll be rockin the For U Kit's once again.

3:30 p.m. - Happy Tuesday, Happy Gameday Union faithful. We're just arrived in Ft. Myers where it is about 30 degrees warmer than at Subaru Park according to our weather app. 77 with a nice breeze as the Boys in Blue look to battle St. Louis CITY SC for the first time in club history. Suffice to say Holden and Brooks are happy about these temps.

Trent and Thompson
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