Union match reports

Match report: Orlando City SC 2 -2 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Paul Rudderow

It had been a long, hot, humid week of soccer and hard work for Philadelphia Union. The club had been rising in the rankings, and their form had rarely, if ever, looked better. After watching their team beat a hot D.C. United and shutting superstar Wayne Rooney down, Union fans were hopeful that their club could overcome a fledgling Orlando City side to take away six points from their two-game road trip and secure their playoff chances.

No such luck. After trading the lead early and late in the match, the Union drew Orlando City 2-2 in Orlando on Saturday night.

It didn’t take long to see the first goal. After Philadelphia created a few chances in front of Orlando’s net, Orlando were able to create an opportunity of their own. As Orlando’s Will Johnson and Scott Sutter connected up their right flank and into the Union’s 18-yard-box, Ray Gaddis did well to disrupt the developing play. However, after the ball was knocked around a bit, Gaddis was just a little too slow in getting to the ball, tripping Will Johnson right outside the box. A set piece was awarded to Orlando in the ninth minute.

In a dangerous position, Yoshimar Yotun curled his kick towards the near post, connecting with none other than Dom Dwyer. Dwyer got a solid head on the ball, and Union goalkeeper Andre Blake had no chance to stop it. 1-0 Orlando.

The Union should have evened it up in the 23rd minute off a corner kick. From the right corner, Haris Medunjanin hit an in-swinger to the far post. Orlando somehow let the ball drop right in front of their net and in front of a well-positioned Alejandro Bedoya. Bedoya saved them however, shooting the ball well over the net.

Philadelphia did manage to capitalize on a well-formed opportunity in the 32nd minute. In another quality Union demonstration in keeping possession, Medunjanin hit a precise long ball in the air to a wide Borek Dockal on the right wing, who in turn sent an equally solid ball into Orlando’s box. Philadelphia striker Cory Burke, at 6-4, got his head on the ball and knocked it into the net. Tie game.

Philadelphia hit a few snags due to injury throughout the match. In the 40th minute, a visibly angry Borek Dockal went down voluntarily, evidently in some pain. Upset from a previous play and screaming at the sideline referee as he walked off the pitch, Dockal went to the locker room as Jim Curtin sent defensive midfielder Derrick Jones onto the field, pushing Bedoya up to Dockal’s position.

Again, in the 72nd minute, Ilsinho, who had himself recently come on for C.J. Sapong, seemed to tweak something in his leg. After attempting to play for a bit, he too went down voluntarily. Jim Curtin was forced to make his final substitution, bringing David Accam on for Ilsinho.

Despite their injury woes, Philadelphia took the lead late in the match. In the 88th minute, Fafa Picault scored for the second match in a row. The winger gathered the ball on the right wing from a Medunjanin pass and cut in towards the center. Cutting and weaving between Orlando’s defense, Picault took a shot from outside the arc. His shot deflected off Orlando’s Shane O’Neill and hit the back of the net. 2-1 Union.

Their joy was short lived however. In the 90th minute, Josué Colman hit a backheel pass inside the Union’s box to a running Scott Sutter who gathered and quickly shot it past Andre Blake to tie it up.

Both sides would spend the waning minutes of the match attacking their opponents’ nets, trying to grab the win, but in the end both sides walked away with one point.

Three points
  • Burke continues to capitalize. There’s not much to say here other than this guy can score. He’s the type of sharp striker the Union have been in dire need of for a long time. It’s already been mentioned plenty of times, but the more consistently Burke continues to score, the more it deserves recognition.
  • In Jones, Curtin trusts. When Borek Dockal went down, Jim Curtin was forced to improvise. Derrick Jones has seen more and more playing time recently, but normally it’s come towards the end of matches. Coming on in the 40th minute is something else altogether, especially in a match from which Curtin clearly wanted three points. In the past, this would have been Warren Creavalle. The choice to go with Jones shows that Curtin isn’t just taking a flyer on the young defensive midfielder. He truly trusts Jones to execute.
  • All things considered, a good outing. Union fans will undoubtedly be disappointed that their club is returning home with less than six points. Before this two-game road trip, D.C. United — not Orlando — stuck out as the tough team to beat on the road. After a good win in D.C. and a late-lead in Orlando, a draw probably feels more like a loss. Still, the Union did beat a rising D.C. team, and although they gave up a late lead, the Union did well after an exhausting weak of hot weather and a treacherous string of injuries to stay strong and get a point. Walking away from this three-game week with seven points is a victory.


Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry, Jack Elliott, Auston Trusty, Raymon Gaddis, Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, C.J. Sapong (Ilsinho 61′) (David Accam 72′), Borek Dockal (Derrick Jones 40′), Fafa Picault, Cory Burke

Unused subs: John McCarthy, Fabinho, Mark McKenzie, Warren Creavall

Orlando City S.C.

Joe Bendik, Scott Sutter, Shane O’Neill, Carlos Ascues, Jonathan Spector, Will Johnson (Chris Mueller 76′), Oriol Rosell, Cristian Higuita (Josué Colman 57′), Sacha Kljestan (Stéfano Pinho 76′), Yoshimar Yotun, Dom Dwyer

Unused subs: Earl Edwards Jr., Amro Tarek, Pierre Da Silva, Victor Giro

Scoring summary

  • ORL: Dominic Dwyer (Yoshimar Yotun) 9′
  • PHI: Cory Burke (Borek Dockal) 32′
  • PHI: Fafa Picault (Haris Medunjanin) 88′
  • ORL: Scott Sutter (Josué Colman) 90+1′

Disciplinary summary

  • PHI: Alejandro Bedoya (Extra flag to checker) — 89′
  • PHI: Derrick Jones (Unsporting behavior) — 90+5′
Orlando City SC Philadelphia Union
11 Shots 20
3 Shots on Target 6
7 Shots off Target 11
1 Blocked Shots 3
6 Corner Kicks 5
17 Crosses 17
1 Offsides 0
11 Fouls 12
0 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
489 Total Passes 429
88% Passing Accuracy 85%
53.1% Possession 46.9%
43 Duels Won 47
47.8% Duels Won % 52.2%
9 Tackles Won 16
4 Saves 1
20 Clearances 12


  1. OneManWolfpack says:

    Never thought I’d be mad about a road draw but DAMN… 3 points woulda been sweet. All in all I will take the results of the last week of games and be very happy. Good stuff. Hopefully Dockal is ok. Burke is the truth. Dude does what it takes and basically scores every game. What the hell else could we really ask for?!

  2. Chris Penso strikes again. Orlando was allowed to hack and slash the Union all night, while the Union got the cards. I love Borek Dockal. If there was ever a ref I wanted to scream some choice words at, Penso would be the one. Man I love that passion.
    As OMW says above, I will happily take the results of this past week. Good job Union.

  3. Almost!

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    and that’s why Derrick Jones must have struggled to see field. Wasted a really good opportunity last night.
    Otherwise, sloppy and disjointed at times but streaming…. so hard to complain about a point away.

  5. Would have loved to see a little bit of squad rotation last night with the third game in a week and second in a row on the road, but Curtin doesn’t make changes willingly very often, and you can’t blame him for the hot hand, still would’ve even smart.
    It’s amazing to see some of the talent on Orlando and just how poorly they play sometimes.
    Fafa and Burke really making the most of their chance. Jones was a little disappointing last night, just bc I want him to play so well. What are the thoughts here that the bench is essentially e defending players, a goalie, and two offensive players? It really speaks to our thinking. I think that, and not having a backup striker with Sapong and Burke both playing, is going to eventually come back to but them.
    All in all still a solid tie, and one hell of a good week.

  6. How many times in U history have they gone down one early then TIED and then LED late! First game since San Jose’s where I felt they left points to be had. Years past I’d run out of fingers counting them . Not loving end of this game but dam they are a different, better team then I’ve ever seen.

  7. Really thought the ref let too much hacking go in this one…this is a good 3 game stretch. This team is a much better side than we have seen in a while!

  8. They have no games during either the Sept or Oct international break. If Jamaica were to call Blake and Burke they would not miss Union matches.

  9. I didn’t see the match — just the condensed match — but the Union just went on the road for 2 games in 4 days and came back with 4 points. You’d have to try really hard to be disappointed in that.

    Especially when the dropped points are in your 3rd match in 8 days. If I told you the Union were gonna play 3 games in 8 days against Eastern Conference competition and come back with 7 points, you’d be thrilled. And with good reason.

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