Union Win First Exhibition Match

Philadelphia Union came out firing in its first-ever exhibition match against the University of North Carolina on Saturday night, coming away with a 5-0 victory at Macpherson Stadium in Greensboro, NC.
“The engine didn't start running quickly enough in the first half but once we got going we were able to score a couple goals in a short amount of time,” reflected Team Manager Peter Nowak. “In the second half, the ideas were coming but there were still too many holes on the defensive side of the ball that we need to fill. Having the ball is nice but someone also has to do the dirty work (off the ball). Overall we got a good result, but we still have a lot of work to do." 

Sebastien Le Toux led the way with a first half hat trick, putting the match out of reach in the early going.
Le Toux’s first goal was assisted by Amobi Okugo, who sent a through ball to a streaking Le Toux. Le Toux gave Philadelphia Union the lead in the 20th minute, slotting the ball into the lower left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Le Toux added his second goal on a penalty kick just nine minutes later, after Alejandro Moreno was taken down in the box in the 29th minute. Le Toux’s PK gave Philadelphia Union an early 2-0 advantage.

Le Toux finished his first half onslaught with a goal in the 44th minute, assisted by Fred. The Brazilian midfielder found Le Toux to his left, who knocked it into the lower right corner of the goal for a 3-0 first half lead.

Philadelphia Union wasn’t done scoring in the second half, with Shea Salinas accounting for the expansion side’s fourth goal in the 54th minute. 

To round out the scoring, Jack McInerney struck in the 89th minute from midfield, catching UNC off guard to put Philadelphia Union up 5-0. The incredible strike capped off an impressive debut, with Philadelphia Union walking away with its 5-0 lead in tact.
"I thought we played really well overall but I didn't feel like I played to the best of my ability,” said McInerney. “Luckily I scored a goal so no one will remember that I didn't have the best game.
"I got the ball, caught the goalkeeper out and scored. But that's what I do, I score goals. That's my job as a striker."

The attack wasn’t the only positive story of the night, as Philadelphia Union’s backline held firm all night to hold UNC scoreless. Goalkeepers Chris Seitz and Brad Knighton split time in net, shutting out UNC for 45 minutes apiece. 

Despite a solid effort from UNC, Philadelphia Union was too much to handle for the ACC powerhouse. The decisive result was a strong step in the right direction, but much work still lies ahead for Team Manager Peter Nowak’s squad. In the meantime though, Nowak will be pleased enough with a 5-0 victory in the club’s first exhibition match.

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