Philadelphia Union went toe to toe with one of the best clubs in Major League Soccer Sunday night on national television, battling to a 3-3 draw at LAFC. Here are our pressing points presented by UNIBET on the match.
Preparation and execution come to life
In the quick pace of sports, teams only have a week to turn the page and prepare for the tactics their opponents like to utilize going forward and in defense. Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin saw the potential for success with the club’s pressing and quick counter attack in the gameplan this week and made sure to stress that. That preparation was key in both the Union’s opening goal scored by Sergio Santos and the final Union goal by Brenden Aaronson.
“We had a situation where we knew LAFC with the high press they have, they do leave their two center backs 1v1 with our strikers so we left two high up,” Curtin said. “We played a lot of long balls and direct through them and try to put them under pressure. I thought it was successful for the majority of the game. Obviously, you know LAFC is going to create chances but overall we bent but didn’t break. We protected the middle of the field and forced them into crossing balls and did a good job.”
Set piece magic comes from unexpected place
When the Union added centerback Jakob Glesnes, they were added a leader to the squad that could pass the ball to anywhere on the pitch. For the second straight week, Glesnes is in the headlines but unlike last week at FC Dallas where just being in the starting lineup was news, it was his golazo from 40 yards out. Glesnes said postgame that the decision to take the strike was completed based on how LAFC set up.
“It wasn’t planned and I told Jamiro [Monteiro] that if they put only two in the wall then I want to try and he asked me if I was sure,” Glesnes said following the 3-3 draw. “When they only put two up there then I said I was going to shoot. I got a lucky touch and it was fantastic.”
Confidence grows as the Boys in Blue return home for Subaru Park opener
After scoring three goals on the road at LAFC, the club returns to Philadelphia with loads of confidence and it was echoed throughout the locker room. With such a huge result on the road, the Boys in Blue will look to build upon the performance next weekend when they host San Jose Earthquakes in the first home match of 2020.
“We went toe-to-toe with the best team in the MLS,” Curtin said. “I think a draw was a fair result. Couldn’t be more proud of the players not only for the work that they put in but the soccer that they played. It’s an exciting young team and to look out on the field and see the veterans close things out and see five homegrown players in this big of a game is something that we’re proud of as a club.”