Match Recap

Recap | Union fall in the rain to New York City FC


May showers continued on the banks of the Delaware River as Philadelphia Union fell to rivals New York City FC, 2-1.

Head Coach Jim Curtin made three changes to his latest Starting XI – Julian Carranza returned to the group after missing Saturday’s match against Orlando City SC due to yellow card accumulation, Leon Flach made his first home start since returning from a pectoral injury, and Jack Elliott rejoined the lineup paired with Jakob Glesnes at centerback.

As for New York City FC, two familiar faces were in Head Coach Nick Cushing’s group, sending out former Union midfielder Andres Perea and Homegrown goalkeeper Matt Freese. The visitors set the tone early, with Santiago Rodríguez finding Alonso Martínez in the second minute for a breakaway goal.

Philly nearly answered back in short succession as a series of passes around the box between Carranza, Quinn Sullivan, and Daniel Gazdag appeared promising but the finishing blast from homegrown Jack McGlynn from distance soared above the net.

McGlynn continued to be a focal point of both the Union and NYCFC as the midfielder was taken down in the 15th minute. That presented an opportunity for the league’s top scoring team from set pieces as Wagner teed up a free kick that connected with Carranza, but the effort was tipped and went out for a Union corner. McGlynn was involved a few minutes later as he set up a left-footed striker on a quick build up but saw the ball blocked by a teammate.

Semmle was called upon to make a pair of key saves soon after, stopping a long-range blast from Perea from beyond the box in the 28th minute, then blocking Martinez in conjunction with defense from Jack Elliott, who cleared the ball out of dangerous territory.

Rain intensified as the half ticked on and created difficult conditions for both sides. Philly continued to hold the majority of the scoring chances as the half approached with McGlynn sending a cross into the back for Carranza and Nate Harriel, both slipping through the slicked grass in an attempt to get a foot on the ball. The homegrown got a touch, but the ball hit the side of the net instead. In the 36th minute, Harriel found Wagner in the box ready to score, but Freese’s quick reflexes allowed him to get a foot on the shot, diverting it’s path away from the goal.

The two connected again in the 42nd minute, this time with Harriel taking a headed shot off a Wagner Cross, but a New York City defender blocked it with his own head. Collecting the rebound, Harriel took another attempt this time with his feet, but again, it hit the side of the net instead.

The rivalry rang true in the final minutes of the first half – Wagner took down Rodriguez near New York City’s right attacking corner, earning a yellow card caution that gave their opponent a free kick. NYC attacker Hannes Wolf took it, scoring an unsaveable golazo in the top left corner.

The Union entered the second half with a vengeance, decreasing their deficit to one in two electric minutes of play. They earned a free kick In the 47th, and though McGlynn lined up to take it, he instead tapped the ball toward Carranza, setting him up for a dagger to make the score 2-1, reviving the River End after a rainy first half without a goal for the home team.

Semmle kept the momentum in favor of the Union as New York City tried to re-establish their two-goal advantage three minutes later but the German keeper made save to deny Martinez’s second of the night from close-range.

Carranza continued to take advantage of the team’s newfound energy, taking another chance in the 52nd minute by way of a boot from the box that went just shy of the net, heading out of play by the right post.

The 23-year-old Argentine continued to lay on the attack in the 57th minute, this time attempting to redirect a Wagner pass into the box to the back of the net with his head, but it again missed by the right post.

Cushing made his first changes in the 67th minute, adding attacker’s Monsef Bakrar and Malachi Jones to the mix to help maintain their one-goal lead. Curtin followed suit shortly after, sending in team captain Alejandro Bedoya three minutes later to replace Quinn Sullivan. Philly and NYCFC continued to trade half chances with both keepers called upon to securely keep the scoreline deadlocked at 2-1.

With a match on the turf later this weekend, Jose Martinez and Olivier Mbaizo were sent into the action in place of Flach and Harriel with under 10 minutes remaining in the contest. Philly’s chance at an equalizer came in the 88th minute of play, once again off a set piece chance. Wagner original service was cleared out but recovered by the fresh legs of the Cameroonian defender. After patiently waiting for front line to reset, he shot a quick pass to his left for Wagner’s second attempt that had visiting defense frozen. With the ball floating into the box near the River End, Carranza barely missed on his leap.

In second half stoppage the Boys in Blue rallied for one more scoring chance with Jack Elliott putting the ball into the back of the net but the assistant referee's flag rose much to the chagrin of the Union faithful.

The Union will have little time to linger on the result as they continue their busy May schedule with a road trip to the New England Revolution. Kick off from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30PM ET with the match broadcast free on MLS Season Pass. Fans looking to cheer on the Boys in Blue are invited to the first-ever Union Yards Watch Party, with doors opening at 5:30PM.

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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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