Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1 – 0 Eintracht Frankfurt

The city of brotherly love played its sister city Saturday night, as Philadelphia Union faced off against visiting Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in a summer friendly, walking away with a shutout victory.

The Union knocked the ball around their back line for much of their first-half possession, searching for the right point of attack, often restarting when their decision to advance proved fruitless. Ultimately however, little opportunity was found. Winger Marcus Epps made a dangerous drive into the box early in the half and executed what might have either been a shot or a cross, but the ball went wide without touching another player. It would be Philadelphia’s best chance of the half, with only one other shot generated.

Eintracht Frankfurt had slightly more chances to finish, though not too many more. Midfielder Daichi Kamada struck one from right around the 18-yard line in the 19th minute, and again from inside the box in the 43rd minute. The first went wide, and the second was deflected by Fabinho, captain’s band on his arm.

The second half told a different story. Four minutes into the half, Derrick Jones gathered the ball in the middle of the Union’s attacking third and pushed it forward to his right, slicing through Eintracht’s back line. With a good angle to goal, Jones slammed it to the far post and past goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald for the Union’s first goal.

After subbing in only Haris Medunjanin for Warren Creavalle at the half, Philly swapped out their first half squad for essentially their regular first team in the 58th minute. The only difference between this fresh set of field players and Curtin’s regular starting XI was John McCarthy, who remained in goal, and David Accam and Bethlehem Steel call-up Michee Ngalina on the wings.

Ngalina didn’t wait to make an impact on the game. In the 59th minute, the 18-year-old pulled a quick move on his defender on the wing and crossing the ball in to Keegan Rosenberry. Rosenberry put a threatening shot on frame, but it rocketed of the cross bar. After bouncing around a bit in the box, it was out for a corner kick, upon which the Union were unable to capitalize.

Eintracht Frankfurt saw their own chances to get on the board around the 75th minute. After moving the ball around inside the Union’s box, they took a hard shot toward net, but John McCarthy was there for the save. McCarthy couldn’t hold onto it, however, and Frankfurt ripped another shot at net. Again, McCarthy was there for the stop, knocking the ball out for an ultimately unsuccessful corner kick. Without those two saves, the Union would likely have walked away with a draw.

Instead, they were able to hold the Bundesliga side off for the duration of the match and hang on to their one goal lead.

Three points

Derrick Jones wants his spot back. After some harsh criticism from Union head coach Jim Curtin and some (unwarranted) comments from fans about a lack of effort, Jones showed that he’s determined to get back on the field for the first team. The Ghanaian defensive midfielder covered a lot of ground during his time on the pitch, capping it off with the Union’s only goal, which was well won for himself.

Look out for Michee Ngalina . This kid is going to be good. Hell he’s already good. Ngalina made an immediate impact after coming in with his cross. He continued to make good runs off the ball and hustled back for a couple stops on defense. The Congolese winger is skilled with the ball at his feet and smart off the ball. He did get muscled off the play once or twice, but that will improve with time. Although he doesn’t hail from the Union Academy, Earnie Stewart can add 18-year-old Michee Ngalina to his list of talented Union youngsters.

Open Cup preview? Curtin mentioned looking toward their Wednesday Open Cup match against Orlando City. With the first team fighting for a playoff spot, this roster may have offered some insight into who we may see in the USOC match


Philadelphia Union

John McCarthy, Olivier Mbaizo (Keegan Rosenberry – 58′), Jack Elliott (Auston Trusty -58′), Richie Marquez (Mark McKenzie – 58′), Fabinho (Matt Real – 58′), Warren Creavalle (Haris Medunjanin – half), Derrick Jones (Alejandro Bedoya – 58′), Fabian Herbers (Michee Ngalina – 58′), Anthony Fontana (Borek Dockal – 58′), Marcus Epps (David Accam – 58′), Jay Simpson (Cory Burke – 58′)

Unused subs: Andre Blake, Raymon Gaddis, Fafa Picault,

Eintracht Frankfurt

Felix Wiedwald, Timothy Chandler, David Abraham, Noel Knothe, Deji Beyreuther, Lucas Torro, Allan Rodrigues de Souza, Nicolai Mueller, Daichi Kamada, Jetro Willems, Sebastien Haller

Scoring Summary

PHI – Derrick Jones – 49 ‘




  1. Larry Guengerich says:

    Agree on Michee Ngalina. Good showing.

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    what do you mean….sister city?

    • Sister City is a concept started in 1956 by President Eisenhower.
      Philadelphia has 8 “Sister Cities “
      1. Florence, Italy

      2. Tel Aviv, Israel

      3. Torun, Poland

      4. Tianjin, China

      5. Incheon, South Korea

      6. Douala, Cameroon

      7. Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

      8. Frankfurt. Germany


      • el Pachyderm says:

        had no idea. pretty cool. thank you.
        maybe Union could become a sibling to Eintract Frankfurt- fostering a good player development relationship similar to Bayern and FC Dallas.

  3. Really enjoyed Ngalina. Hope we get to see some more of him be for the season ends.

    • Learned today, Monday 7/16, from coach Burke that he is practicing daily with the first team, to further his “development within the system.”
      From what coach said, my words, we should expect to see him with the first team when the short-term transfer rules allow, i.e., when the Union are not playing league games. So he might be called up for the Open Cup match v Orlando this Wednesday.
      It did not sound as though there is any rush to change his contract status, though. He remains signed to the Bethlehem Steel for now. Probably cheaper, although the public knows absolutely nothing about USL salaries, save that the maximum contract is two years with a further single year option possible.

  4. Just in case anyone needed confirmation …. Jay Simpson was awful

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