Philadelphia Union lost 1-0 to Tampa Bay Rowdies on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at their Spring Training home, Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex. In front of 2,000 fans on a cold Florida night, the Union were unable to score and Corey Hertzog converted a penalty in the 68th minute for the game’s only goal.
“I’m happy with our first group, they pushed the tempo for 45 minutes and created chances,” head coach Jim Curtin said. “We are just lacking the final ball. While we want to win every time we step on the field, at this phase of preseason, it is more about performances than results.”
The Union welcomed newly-acquired Steven Vitoria into the lineup Tuesday night and the defender played 30 minutes before being subbed out for Richie Marquez. Also making his first start for the Union tonight was goalkeeper John McCarthy, who was the only player to play the full 90 minutes.
“Steven Vitoria fit in seamlessly with the group,” Curtin said. “I thought Vincent Nogueira had a very strong performance in the first half. Zach Pfeffer and Dzenan Catic stood out again in the second half.”
Sebastien Le Toux had one of the better chances for the Union in the 7th minute but his attempt from 18 yards was saved by Tampa goalkeeper Kamil Contofalsky. The Union had another chance in the 21st minute when Vincent Nogueira drove a powerful header toward the net, which was blocked, likely preventing a goal. More good work from a streaking Maurice Edu found Andrew Wenger in the box in the 38th minute, but his attempt sailed wide.
Except for Marquez and McCarthy, the Union made wholesale changes in the second half. Raymond Lee, Aaron Simmons, Fabinho, Aodhan Quinn, Michael Lahoud, Jimmy McLaughlin, Zach Pfeffer, Antoine Hoppenot and Dzenan Catic came on.
Lahoud committed a penalty Justin Chavez in the 67th minute, leading to Hertzog’s goal. He powerfully sent it into the lower right corner, past the outstretched arm of McCarthy.
Pfeffer had the best chance in the second half for the Union. He took a cross from Hoppenot in the 87th minute, but sent it just over the bar.
The Union head back to Philadelphia on Thursday, Feb. 12. They’ll be back in Clearwater from Feb. 16-28 and will play four games at the IMG Tournament in Bradenton.
Tampa Bay Rowdies 1, Philadelphia Union 0
Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex
TBR – Hertzog (PK) 68’
TBR – Agbossourmonde (Yellow) 29’
PHI – Hoppenot (Yellow) 53’
PHI – Pfeffer (Yellow) 78’
UNION STARTING XI
McCarthy; Gaddis, Vitoria, White, Williams; Edu, Nogueira; Wenger, Maidana, Le Toux; Sapong.
ROWDIES STARTING XI
Contofalsky; Yamada, Agbossoumonde, Mkandawire, Barrientos; Michaud, Gonzalez, Paez; Shriver, Walker, Boggs.