Union II

Recap | Union II sees unbeaten run conclude against FC Cincinnati 2


Philadelphia Union II saw its perfect run at Subaru Park come to an end on Thursday evening as they fell by a 2-0 margin to FC Cincinnati 2.

After honoring the 15 graduating seniors of YSC Academy’s Class of 2024, Union II took to the pitch with four in the Starting XI as they sought to avenge their only loss of the 2024 regular season. With space tight in the midfielder neither side could generate any real chances in the opening quarter of a hour with Sal Olivas having a go from long-range 68 seconds into the match but saw it curl wide of the post. The Ohio side had its first chance in the 15th minute as Guilherme Santos intercepted a Union II pass in the midfield and launched a counterattack that ultimately ended with a soft dribbler right at goalkeeper Andrew Rick.

FC Cincinnati 2 continued to own the better scoring chances throughout the first half with Santos getting a free kick header at the near post that went wide just past the half hour mark. In the 39th minute Union II escaped still with a shutout as the Ohio side got into the six but Amir Daley and Nicholas Benalcazar couldn’t get a clean strike on target. Before the break the Ohio side nearly grabbed the lead on a set piece chance that connected with Malik Pinto but went off the mark.

Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc made two changes at the break with Eddy Davis III and Nick Pariano taking to the pitch for Carlos Rojas and Leandro Soria. With the fresh legs and familiar pieces in the lineup, the Boys in Blue earned a trio of dangerous set pieces at the hour mark. With surgical passes into the six, Union II kept the Ohio side pinned in their defensive third for nearly five consecutive minutes but couldn’t break through.

Homegrown Cavan Sullivan replaced graduating senior Alex Perez in the 61st minute and brought with a change into the 4-4-2 diamond with the 14-year-old situated right behind Davis III and Olivas. The game opened up for the Boys in Blue as Pariano intercepted a clearance and sent Davis into the 18 with a flicked effort. The forward cut inside to set up a left-footed blast but saw his effort denied by a diving block from a Cincinnati defender.

Shortly after the chance, the Ohio side hit back on a counter to break the deadline as a pair of substitutes combined for the game’s only goal. A long ball was chased down by Moises Tablante as he gained control with a hip check at the endline before ripping a centering cross right to Kenji Mboma Dem for the one-timer that snuck through on the grass.

The Boys in Blue sought to strike back with a counter of their own after a dazzling run from Sanders Ngabo but once again the Cincinnati defense got a block. With the attack the full focus of Union II, FC Cincinnati struck again with Mboma Dem netting his second of the night with a finish in the 89th minute with another set up by Tablante.

Union II is back in action next week as they hit the road to battle Crown Legacy FC on Thursday, June 13th. Kick off is set for 7:30PM with the match broadcast exclusively on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.