Match Recap

Uhre scores but Union fall to Inter Miami CF


Mikael Uhre found the back of the net early but Philadelphia Union couldn't get past Supporters' Shield Leading Inter Miami CF, falling by a 2-1 scoreline at Subaru Park on Saturday night.

With Damion Lowe, José Martinez, and Daniel Gazdag away with their respective national teams, Philadelphia Union sent out a new-look Starting XI featuring Homegrown Jeremy Rafanello, who made his first home start and his third this season. The 24-year-old filled in for Gazdag at the No. 10 spot, joining fellow Homegrown Quinn Sullivan and Danish Designated Player Mikael Uhre on the attacking end. Leon Flach and team captain Alejandro Bedoya manned the midfield, while the defense started with a second-time centerback pairing. With Lowe away and Jack Elliott suspended for the match after picking up a second-half red card against CF Montreal, Homegrown Nate Harriel shifted to centerback alongside Jakob Glesnes, as he did earlier in 2024 against Pachuca during Concacaf Champions Cup play. Olivier Mbaizo took over Harriel’s typical right back spot opposite Kai Wagner creating a starting backline to protect Major League Soccer rookie Oliver Semmle in net. The German keeper made his 12th? start for the Union, holding down the position as Andre Blake continued his recovery from meniscus surgery.

Inter Miami was without three players due to national team duty as well – Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Matias Rojas weren’t part of Miami’s matchday roster, causing some shake up in their starting group as well.

Philadelphia Union started hot, finding the back of the net in the third minute by way of Uhre. Glesnes found the ball in Philadelphia’s defensive end, taking it up through the middle then sending it ahead with a perfectly weighted pass to Uhre, darting toward Drake Callender in net. While being chased down by Tomas Aviles and Julian Gressel, Uhre smartly took his time and ran slightly left, drawing the keeper just long enough to place the ball into the back right corner. The goal made for the Union’s quickest claimed lead this season, putting them ahead 1-0 early in front of a packed Subaru Park crowd.

Semmle matched the energy, saving an attempt from Leo Campana in the 10th minute. Philadelphia was unable to clear the ball from their defensive end, causing the German keeper to take the ball and settle both sides.

Three minutes later, the Boys in Blue got another near-chance in transition, this time starting from a Rafanello possession. The Homegrown calmly collected the ball, spotting Sullivan ahead. He completed the pass, with Sullivan taking run similar to Uhre’s, beating Aviles who took him down mid-shot. He placed the ball just left amidst the contact, missing the net with no call made in his favor.

The back and forth affair continued with Semmle called upon in the 23rd minute to claim a ball attempted from Gressel. On the following Miami possession, he and Nate Harriel collided in an attempt to stop a shot, causing what could’ve become costly confusion but the Homegrown quickly recovered and got a foot on the ball to alter its path.

Flach found himself open above the left side of the box in the 30th minute, accepting a pass from McGlynn for a shot of his own. It made it through traffic without Miami getting a foot on it, but it went out of play at the end line, missing wide right on the ground.

Philadelphia Union was relentless on the attacking end despite holding a lead, continuing creative attack through the second half. McGlynn used his lethal left foot for a powerful service into the box, and Bedoya tried to hit it in for a score, but the pass went out of play. It gave Philly a chance for a Wagner corner, but Callender punched it away. They earned a chance from the other side because of it, but this time it was headed out of the box. Mbaizo ran up to accept the rebound, answering the crowds demand to shoot but his attempt went sailing above the net.

Inter Miami took a shot in their next position, but Semmle made another save then quickly threw it to the right side, getting the ball back into play to hit Miami on the transition. In Philly’s pursuit down the field, David Ruiz took down Sullivan, earning a yellow card caution that gave the home team a free kick. Philadelphia wasn’t able to capitalize on it, and the team’s captain was shown a caution of his own after seeing his flicked effort go wide and confident that Callender had gotten a fingertip on it. Bedoya found another scoring opportunity in the 32nd minute, attempting to divert a pass from Olivier Mbaizo past Callender with his head, but the keeper got a hand on it, preventing the chance.

The Boys in Blue continued to pressure the Florida backline a few minutes later as Raffanello continued to find open space in behind the Miami backline. Bedoya played a cheeky pass into the wing for the homegrown that unlocked the Union attack for a crossing opportunity. Fellow homegrowns joined in with Sullivan running centrally while McGlynn raced forward for a back post run. Rafanello teed up a hard cross that crashed off a defender but the rebound fell right to Sullivan for a one-timer however the quick shot somehow crashed off Marcelo Weigandt and stayed out.

One minute into the second half, Inter Miami’s high-scoring offense found the back of the net as Gressel scored his first of the 2024 season. Amidst a series of Miami touches around the Union’s box,Benjamin Cremaschi tapped the ball to Gressel, who hit a volley past Semmle into the top middle of the net. His goal solidified Miami’s standing as the best second half offensive team in Major League Soccer.

In the 52nd minute, Curtin responded to Bedoya’s motioning for a sub, replacing him with Jesus Bueno for his fifth appearance of the season. The captain’s armband was passed off to Glesnes as the team continued their battle to pull ahead. Philly continued to attack from the outside as Sullivan chased down a running ball from the midfield and tried to connect with Uhre at the near post but saw it cleared away.

As Philly sought to solve the defensive puzzle set up by head coach Tata Martino for a go-ahead goal, the visiting side tried to steal the lead but were denied with a smooth save from Semmle as he denied Campana on a counter attack.

Philly gained a numerical advantage on the ensuing play as Leon Flach cleared out the corner and was taken out by David Ruiz in the 68th minute. The head referee was quick to his pocket as he showed a second yellow yard to the midfielder to see the Florida side have to finish the contest with just 10 men.

The action continued to heat up between the two Eastern Conference as both sides traded go-ahead chances within seconds of one another. First it was the Supporters’ Shield leaders having the first go as they launched a counter attack when Campana shot a pass out wide to the goalscorer Gressel. The midfielder raced up the right side with a 3v2 advantage and shot a cross to the far post where Cremaschi was first to hit but saw the header go just over the crossbar. Philly got its chance on the next possession as substitute Tai Baribo got into the action. The forward nearly scored on his first touch as he slipped inside the box and attempted a shot after doing a 180° turn.

The match had more in store in the 83rd minute when center back Tomás Avilés was shown his second yellow of the evening to see the visiting side have to finish the contest away with only nine.

As Philly committed all of its numbers in hopes of giving the fans a game-winning strike, a pair of substitutes took advantage with an adventurous play. Yannick Bright intercepted a pass at the top of the box and then battled two Philly defenders before hitting a forward pass to newcomer Leo Afanso. With only Glesnes and the Union goalkeeper the 22-year-old dribbled and delivered the game winner with a soft touch over Semmle as he raced off his line.

Philadelphia Union continues a busy stretch of June games as they hit the road for a showdown with FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night. The Boys in Blue look to tie the league record for the best unbeaten start away from home in the affair that will kick off at 7:45PM ET on FS1 and free on MLS Season Pass.

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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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