Philadelphia Union turned to a reformatted lineup for a midweek clash against Inter Miami CF. With Jose Martinez suspended and Julian Carranaza unavailable due to loan terms with the Florida side, Head Coach Jim Curtin went with a gritty lineup with Jack Elliott stepping out of the back line to anchor midfield and prevent any chances from Inter Miami’s leading scorer Leonardo Campana.
The Union turned to its own leading goalscorer, midfielder Daniel Gazdag, to create their own opportunities. Five minutes into the contest, the Boys in Blue nearly opened the scoring with Alejandro Bedoya joining Gazdag in attack. Bedoya raced into open space and flicked a cross into the box for Gazdag and Leon Flach to pounce on. Miami made the stop but the loose ball fell right to Bedoya whose shot missed high.
Bedoya and Gazdag continue to push for the opening goal 10 minutes later with the combination once again forcing a big save by the keeper. Inter Miami created one chance in the opening 45, with Campana finding an inch of space but seeing his effort crash off the post. Making his return to the lineup, Olivier Mbaizo was on his toes following the shot, and prevented a rebound chance from the visitors.
As the first half heated up, so did the chances with center back Jakob Glesnes nearly giving the fans at Subaru Park another memorable moment in the 25th minute. Following a foul drawn by Burke just outside the 18, the Norwegian and Kai Wagner huddled over the ball deciding who would put venom behind it. With the crowd once again calling for a Glesnes shot, the big defender went for the golazo but saw the right-footed blast clang off the post.
The Union continued to press for the go-ahead goal with Gazdag turning defense into offense before the clock struck minute 30. Intercepting a poor clearance by Drake Callender, the Hungarian drove into the box and chipped the keeper only to see Damion Lowe clear it off the line.
The Boys in Blue turned to their pace to kick off the second half, peppering the Florida defense behind the long runs of Santos and Burke. In the 51st minute Gazdag sent a dime over the defense and directly into the path of the Brazilian. Feeling his defender coming onto his hip, Santos sent a hard cross to the far post where Mbaizo had a go, only to be stopped by Callender again.
As the clocked ticked away, the Union continued to take swings with Elliott having his own attempt from the free kick spot stoned by Callender's diving save. Two minutes later the Union forwards combined one more time with Santos fighting off Lowe to regain possession at the edge of Inter Miami’s box. Seeing Burke making the run into the box, a centering pass was on the mark but was stuffed again by Callender.
Curtin turned to his homegrowns in the 62nd minute with Nathan Harriel and Paxten Aaronson. Moments later they were joined by Quinn Sullivan and the club’s tactical shift to a 4-2-3-1. With the visitors happy to settle for a road point, they turned into a defensive fortress. In the 85th minute the Union generated one more opportunity with Paxten Aaronson patient in the build up. Seeing Wagner race into the flank, the homegrown sent a pass that the left back smashed into the red zone. Once more Gazdag found himself the one to fire the shot but saw a strong save keep the contest scoreless.
Philadelphia Union returns to the west coast for the second time in 2022 as they face off against the Portland Timbers on Sunday, May 22nd. Kick off from the Pacific northwest is set for 10 p.m. ET with the match broadcast nationally on FS1.