Facing a squad that lost just one home match in 2019, a youthful Philadelphia Union went toe to toe with FC Dallas but fell on the road by a 2-0 margin.
In a contest that pitted two sides that rely on developing talent from within against each other, the hosts needed a single kind bounce for forward Zdenek Ondrasek to put the Union behind and decide the match.
A scoreless opening 45 minutes resulted in just a shot on goal per side, then the Union turned up their high press system and gained control with Brenden Aaronson and Jamiro Monteiro closing down any space that Dallas created. Meanwhile the home side countered with speedy wingers that looked to keep the Union outside backs out of the offensive attack. As a result, Reggie Cannon found space and added to the Dallas attack countless times, and allowing for secondary runs near the Union’s box.
Dallas went hunting for a goal early in the second half, and a break in the pressure resulted in the opener with Jesus Ferreira cutting back to find Ondrasek with his back to goal outside the box. A quick turn opened a lane for the Czech Republic native and he rifled a shot that tucked into the bottom corner.
Down but still fighting for their first road points, the Boys in Blue nearly equalized just a minute later as Warren Creavalle threaded a pass through the defense and into the path of Kacper Przybylko. Seeing the chance develop, Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez raced off his line to prevent the scoring chance.
Przybylko got his chance in the 70th minute after the insertion of Ilsinho, but the quick spin and shot toward goal ultimately couldn’t sneak inside the near post.
Head Coach Jim Curtin and the rest of the squad will look to put the result behind them as they travel to the west coast for a showdown with 2019 Supporters' Shield winners LAFC. Kick off from California is set for 10:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.