Union / Union match reports

Philadelphia Union 0-1 Manchester United

Philadelphia Union held Manchester United even for 75 minutes before Gabriel Obertan scored in the 76th minute to give the Red Devils a 1-0 victory Wednesday  night.

Tonight’s friendly at Lincoln Financial Field saw the hometown Union surprise Man U by playing an aggressive match throughout, and the first half was a back-and-forth endeavor that saw both teams miss good chances. Neither side was able to break through until Obertan’s goal off a pretty pass from Danny Welbeck, as good goalkeeping and occasional misfires held the game even till then.

Man U played without some of their top stars, as manager Sir Alec Ferguson has not brought on the team’s U.S. tour most of the team’s players who played in the World Cup. That meant no Wayne Rooney, for example.

Danny Califf played a typically solid defensive game against Man U. (Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz)

For the Union, manager Peter Nowak treated the game as he’s treated most friendlies, giving his reserves a chance to get some playing time and giving starting goalkeeper Chris Seitz the night off. Still, his team attacked throughout, with Danny Mwanga shooting high on a brilliant chance in the 15th minute. Later, Jack McInerney had an opportunity stopped by Red Devils goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak and another in the 50th minute that went just wide, while Alejandro Moreno mishit a turnaround shot from point blank range that Kuszczak handled easily. Andrew Jacobson’s late sliding attempt on goal went high over the net.

Union trialist Eduardo Coudet got the start, and fellow trialist Martin Rivas played 30 minutes in the second half. (Edit: See comments below for info on Rivas.)

Kyle Nakazawa returned from injury to play for the first time in more than a month.

Notably impressive but still looking like a rookie: Brian Perk, who stopped a one-on-one chance from Ryan Giggs late in the game. He gave up the goal, but he was left in no man’s land on it, guessing right but not quick enough. On another play, he put Jordan Harvey in a bad position with a short pass, and it nearly led to a goal for United.

Still, no goals for the Union. A close match and solid showing that likely surprised many, and it’s the last one for the Union until July 31, not counting the friendly against Harrisburg City Islanders on July 27, as they get some time off for the all-star break.

(Photos: Daniel Gajdamowicz)


  1. Mike Servedio says:

    You are right on Rivas. Goal.com has this http://www.goal.com/en/people/uruguay/40726/martin-rivas

    I thought he looked good when he came on. Had some nice runs forward. Someone must have seen something in this guy at some point as he was at Inter for a few seasons, but mostly out on loan. He was also capped for Uruguay twice, but in 1997.

    • dude, martin rivas is not a professional player, is my friend of argentina, he just went to phili to try, he doesn’t play in any club and he is 18 y.o

  2. Ed Farnsworth says:

    I don’t think the Martin Rivas you linked to is the Martin Rivas who played last night. Yours is 33 years old (Here’s a picture of him from Inter’s website, where he made only three appearances before being loaned out for two years.) and it looks like he hasn’t been with a club in three years. He’s listed as a defender and I thought last night’s Rivas was playing up forward with Stahl being the only defensive substitution. The guy who played last night looked like he was 13.

  3. I agree with Ed there was no way that the trialist Rivas was 33 if he was that man hasn’t aged since high school.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      Pity the Union isn’t more forthright with information. I understand them wanting to keep their cards close to their chest but this is a little ridiculous.

  4. Rivas is no longer with the club, according to Union spokeswoman Cristina Maillo-Belda. She declined comment on questions about him (age, position, nationality, last club). More on this later today when time allows. (I’m on deadline for a magazine story, so no time till tonight at earliest.)

    AGE: 18

  6. Patrick Martin says:

    I enjoyed seeing Fred and Mawaga having great footwork, but not knowing the significance of who was covering them at the time. I guess I have some homework to do. I haven’t seen much of that footwork in a regular game by them, only a glimpse here or there. Hope to see more of that footwork in games to come. It was art.

  7. Martin Rivas is from argentina stupid , from rosario, like coudet. boath of Rosario Central. check this http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=703512068&ref=ts

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