Match Recap

Recap | Union roll on with 1-0 win against Charlotte FC


A fortunate bounce paid dividends after a strong outing for Philadelphia Union as the club extended its unbeaten streak to eight with a 1-0 win against Charlotte FC.

The Boys in Blue came out on the front foot needed less than a minute to generate the first scoring opportunity of the night. As Super Bowl Champion and Philadelphia Eagle Jason Kelce entered into the River End the attention turned to the other side of the pitch as Kai Wagner quickly restarted play with a throw in centrally to Daniel Gazdag. The Hungarian was thinking direct with a quick flick over the defense for Leon Flach to race onto. As the end line approached and a shot on goal at a difficult angle, the midfielder cut a hard pass to Julian Carranza at the edge of the six for a one timer that crashes off the crossbar.

Charlotte FC earned the first corner chance of the evening with the Union making easy work of the initial service from Kerwin Vargas however the visitors recovered and set up for another attack. Coming up the right side with former Union midfielder Derrick Jones, he sent a pass into the box for Vargas. Jose Martinez read the pass the full way meeting the Charlotte winger right as he got the ball at his feet and completing the tackle perfectly in the box not to concede a penalty.

Philly got their first set piece chance in the 11th minute of play as Wagner was taken down 35 yards from goal. After the left-footed cross was headed away, Damion Lowe regained possession and dropped a pass for a crossing opportunity from Oliver Mbaizo. The Cameroonian hit a pin-perfect volley into the redzone where he connected with Jack Elliott whose header went into the hands of Charlotte FC’s Kristijan Kahlina.

The Union’s gameplan of getting their attacking trio into the dangerous spaces saw Uhre and his pace the play countless times in the fist half. The first such chance came with a direct attack in the 17th minute where the Union could showcase their style. Starting at the Blake long kick forward toward Uhre who flicks it to Carranza on the wing. The forward sends it right back to Uhre as he hits a full sprint. Seeing Gazdag dropped back centrally, Uhre plays him on the turn for a give and go into the box. Uhre’s touch took him just offline from a clear shot on goal which ultimately was cleared out by the visitors.

The visitors sent a warning shot five minutes later as Ashley Westwood hit a hard pass to the back post for a Justin Meram shot that had fans uneasy but ultimately wide. The Union fed off the miss and nearly got on the board as again Uhre was put into the open field. Taking a trio of touches to set up another shot, the Dane fired a right-footed banger that was blocked by a sliding effort from Nathan Byrne.

Uhre thought he had finally broken the scoring open just past the half hour mark as he with another forward, back pass and go over the top play. A long cross to the wings got Wagner the chance to flick a pass backwards for Flach around 40 yards from goal. Seeing the space due to the outside back pressed up with the Union left back, Flach attacked with a volley over into the space where Uhre could get to work. With no defenders around him and Carranza making a rn to the back post, the forward went for the far post shot on the ground the snuck over the keeper and had Subaru Park celebrating. The celebration ended shortly after as the assistant referee called the play offside.

Like Philly had done earlier in the contest, the escape put some momentum in Charlotte’s sail with the visitors generating a scary chance in the 36th minute of play. With a long switch from the left side to Vargas on the right flank, the winger cut inside to set up a chance on goal that was blocked with a diving deflection from Flach to keep the contest scoreless.

The Boys in Blue came out even more aggressive in the final half as Charlotte FC went into a deep defensive block to stifle the Union’s runs in behind. Playing sideline to sideline looking for an inch of space for Gazdag and Carranza to get onto the ball, the long possession ended with a long range try from Lowe atop the box that went into the River End.

With chances limited, the visitors took a shot at bagging a goal in the 57th minute as Vargas had a look from the top of the box that forced the three-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year to make a leaping stop.

Again Charlotte FC settled into a defensive shell just past the hour mark which allowed the Union with a pair of half chances going wing to wing with crosses into the box. Things opened up some when Uhre chased down a cross before it went over the end line to set up a Wagner cross that again had to be ran down. Mbaizo recycled the play which was cleared out by regained in possession by Jakob Glesnes. Seeing a chance for another blast in front of the River End, the Norwegian took a touch to his right before unleashing a shot that the keeper pawed down.

Philly kept looking for the opportunity to break through and get on the run and had a golden chance in the 70th minute as Jose Martinez sprinted box to box to lead a 3v2 chance. The Venezuelan picked out a Uhre but saw the chance break down at the edge of the box.

The Union’s perseverance paid off in the 71st minute with a cross into the box that connect with a member of the Boys in Blue and into the back of the net with a fortunate deflection. Starting on the right side Mbaizo laid off a pass for a Brujo blast from distance that was blocked. The ball bounced out to the left flank where a tired defense didn’t challenge Wagner. With time to calculate a blast, the left back riffled a one-timer to the back post where Gazdag smashed a header off the post. With some River End magic the ball crashed off the post, the keeper and into the back of the net that had Subaru Park rocking.

Seven minutes of stoppage time was added with Charlotte FC given multiple chances to possibly equalize however the Union defense remained compact in front of Blake to pick up their sixth shutout of 2023.

Philadelphia Union stays at Subaru Park for an Eastern Conference showdown as they battle CF Montreal on Saturday, June 3rd. The contest will serve as Pride Night presented by Subaru with kick off set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans around the world can catch the match for free this weekend with all contests free on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

On Sale Now!

On Sale Now!

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!

Stay in the Know
Stay in the Know


The Boys in Blue, delivered to your inbox. Tickets, deals, giveaways, and more.