While the Major League Soccer schedule is only one match old, Philadelphia Union is preparing for its fourth contest of the 2021 calendar as they host Inter Miami CF on Saturday, April 24th at Subaru Park. Coverage of the Union’s home opener will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on PHL17 and PhiladelphiaUnion.com ahead of the scheduled 8 p.m. kick off.
Through the first three matches, the Union’s opponents have scored 0, 0 and 0 goals. This marks the first time in Union history that the Boys in Blue defense have collected three-consecutive clean sheets to begin a new campaign.
“It’s always very good when you can get a 0,” goalkeeper Andre Blake said following the Union’s scoreless draw at defending MLS Cup Champions, Columbus Crew SC. “Defense wins championships so we have to keep being very good defensively and being hard to breakdown and that will keep teams off the score sheet.”
The Jamaican international wasn’t tested often against Deportivo Saprissa in the Union’s Round of 16 legs in the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, making one save in 180 minutes. Against Columbus, Blake quickly reminded the league that he’s not only reigning Goalkeeper of the Year but one of the best in the league still. During the road opener, Blake made six saves including a point-saving save against Artur in the 83rd minute.
Even more impressive on this 270-minute shutout streak is that the Union’s backline replaced two of its four starters. Gone are Ray Gaddis and Mark McKenzie replaced with Jack Elliott and Olivier Mbaizo. With the Union’s system a lot is asked of the starting center backs who often are placed on islands to defender counter attacks. While Glesnes and Elliott only started three times together in 2020, their chemistry has been easy to develop according to Elliott.
“It’s easy to play with him and we both know each other’s strengths and what we are going to do and communicate with each other,” Elliott said of Glesnes. “It’s been easy to get into a rhythm and it’s good to start off the season with three clean sheets and hopefully we can keep going from here and build on it.”