Philadelphia Union continued its historic start of the season with fast goals in both halves as they defeated Charlotte FC, 2-0, at Subaru Park on Saturday night. Julian Carranza netted his first goal with the Boys in Blue in the fourth minute and Daniel Gazdag continued his strong run of form with a 46th minute strike to score for the fourth straight match.
The Boys in Blue needed just four minutes to unlocked the league’s newest franchise, sending the Union faithful inside Subaru Park to an ear-splitting level. Charlotte turned to a defensive 5-4-1 bunker from the opening whistle, happy to allow the Union to have possession until nearly the third minute of play. The visitors came out of their shell looking to grow into the match and then saw the 2022 Union’s back to front attack. Kai Wagner sent a massive volley over the defense that connected with Sergio Santos in stride. Cutting into the box, the Brazilian sent a hard cross in front of goal where Julian Carranza smashed it home for his first Union goal.
Goal | Carranza's first home goal has the Boys in Blue rolling
The Union weren’t content with the early lead with the homgrown duo of Nathan Harriel and Quinn Sullivan tracking down nearly every ball kicked to their side of the pitch. Looking to unlock the Carolinian opposition, Wanger lased a rope from the flank to the right. Harriel quickly corrected his route and flicked a pass to Sullivan who joined into the attack and ultimately want out for a Union corner.
Wagner’s precision passing was the only thing on display from the 2021 MLS All-Star. Wagner joined into the attack in the 35th minute, stepping perfectly to stay onside when Brujo Martinez flicked a pass over the defense. Wagner chased it down and sent a left-footed attempt that missed the upper 90.
Charlotte’s defensive approach to the first 45 minutes saw the side generate two shots. The top pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, Ben Bender gathered a from Joseph Mora but fired the left-footed shot wide of Andre Blake. The second game in stoppage time after a Jack Elliott foul set up a free kick just outside the Union’s 18-yard-box. Jordy Alcívar tried for the equalizer but instead sent it high over the Sons of Ben.
Philly came out of the tunnel hungry for game’s second goal and got it seconds into the second half. Carranza employed the high press with perfection as Charlotte FC goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina collected a pass from a defender. With the Argentian racing from his left, the keeper was forced into a poor pass that Daniel Gazdag intercepted at the top of the box. Seeing the keeper out of place, the Hungarian made quick work for the two-goal lead to score for the fourth-straight match.
Goal | Gazdag scores in his 4th straight match
Head Coach Jim Curtin said during his midweek press conference the with a full stable of strikers he could ask the starters to empty their tanks in 60 minutes before refreshing the group with a pair of changes. In the 66th minute that talk became reality as Mikael Uhre made his Subaru Park debut teamed up with Cory Burke. The duo nearly combined for instant offense as the Jamaican collected a pass on the right flank and sent a low cross just out of Uhre’s reach.
Sullivan too emptied his tank with Curtin inserting another homegrown into the match in the 82nd minute with midfielder Jack McGlynn.
Over the final 10 minutes, Charlotte threw everything at the Union as they sought to equalize. That played right into the Union’s ideology with Gazdag and Uhre nearly adding a third the Union’s score sheet.
Philadelphia Union wraps up its two-game homestand at Subaru Park next weekend when the Boys in Blue host the Columbus Crew. The Eastern Conference showdown is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 9th. You won’t want to miss the contest so be sure to purchase your tickets by clicking here!