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Match report: Minnesota United 2-3 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Peter Andrews

The Union walked out of Allianz Field with all three points after a wild confrontation with Minnesota United saw defender Auston Trusty bag a 86th minute match-winner, giving the Union at 3-2 victory.

Jamiro Monteiro opened the scoring with an early penalty, and after a Hassani Dotson equalizer Haris Medunjanin made it 2-1 with a beautiful free-kick goal. Minnesota equalized late in the second half through Kevin Molino, but Trusty’s stunning goal gave the Union their first ever win in Minnesota.

After a disappointing midweek result against Colorado Rapids, Jim Curtin reverted to the 4-2-2 diamond formation that had been the club’s staple all season. Brenden Aaronson replaced Ilsinho in the starting lineup, favored over Marco Fabian. Fafa Picault missed the match with a quad injury.

After a period of probing by both sides, the match burst to life in the 13th minute with the Union somehow keeping United off the board. Andre Blake made a patented save on Angelo Rodriguez on a blast in the box, then stonewalled a shot off Darwin Quintero’s rebound. Jack Elliott put his body on the line to stop what looked to be a surefire goal on the second rebound. Blake batted aside another point-blank chance by Rodriguez just a moment later.

It would take barely a minute for Minnesota to pay the price for their failure to convert their chances. On the counter, Sergio Santos streaked into United’s box, where Brent Kallman scythed him down. Jamiro Monteiro hit a pitch-perfect penalty, placing his shot just past the dive of former Arsenal man Vito Mannone to give the Union a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute.

Santos had a chance to double the lead in the 24th minute. After a decent chance for Minnesota off a corner, the Union sprung Santos for a full-field, lung-busting run in on Mannone’s goal. His shot from the top of the box beat the keeper, but trickled inches wide of the far post. It would have been a sweet goal, but Santos will wish he had that one back.

Minnesota, hammering on the gate, finally broke through in the 29th minute. Off a clearing header by Alejandro Bedoya, the ball fell to left back Hassani Dotson at the corner of the box. His first-time volley found its way through the box and snuck past Blake at the near post.

Philadelphia reclaimed the lead in the 44th minute through a majestic individual moment from Haris Medunjanin. After Sergio Santos earned a foul outside the United box, the Bosnian sent in a curler that nestled into the back of Minnesota’s net, beating Mannone at his near post. It was Medunjanin’s first goal of the season, and it sent the Union into the locker room holding a one-goal advantage.

Both teams came out after halftime with no changes. The Union’s brief was simple: keep what they had, a one-goal lead. Unfortunately, the visitors could muster neither sustained possession or pressure, inviting Minnesota to bring wave after wave of attacks crashing on Andre Blake’s net.

Sergio Santos made way for Marco Fabian at the 63rd minute and Warren Creavalle replaced Brenden Aaronson in the 70th minute, but neither player made much impact on the match. On the other side, the Union did a decent job frustrating the Minnesota attackers, and the referee had no interest in a penalty claimed by Mighuel Ibarra after Jack Elliott clattered heels with him in the box.

Finally, the Loons got their goal in the 77th minute, thanks to their substitutes combining. Abu Danladi got to the end line and cut back to Kevin Molino at the edge of the six yard box. Molino took a touch and then buried the ball past Blake at his far post.

The match, however, was not yet out of twists. After Ilsinho entered the match, he hit a cross into the box that just missed Przybylko’s head. But defender Auston Trusty made a beautiful late run into the box, took the ball down just in front of the defender, and finished from six yards past Mannone. The goal came absolutely out of nowhere and silenced Allianz Field.

After a disappointing home stand, the Union showed real fight to leave the Twin Cities with all three points. Their last match before the Gold Cup break is a clash with Eastern Conference rival New York Red Bulls. Kickoff on Saturday, June 8 is at 7:30 p.m.

Three Points:

  • To come…

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Ray Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Auston Trusty, Kai Wagner, Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Jamiro Monteiro (Ilsinho 86′), Brenden Aaronson (Warren Creavalle 70′), Sergio Santos (Marco Fabian 63′), Kacper Przybylko
Unused Subs: Matt Freese, Aurélien Collin, Olivier Mbaizo, Michee Ngalina

Minnesota United FC
Vito Mannone, Romain Métanire, Ike Opara, Brent Kallman, Hassani Dotson, Ozzie Alonso, Jan Gregus, Ethan Finlay (Abu Danladi 69′), Darwin Quintero (Kevin Molino 69′), Miguel Ibarra, Angelo Rodríguez
Unused Subs: Dayne St. Clair, Lawrence Olum, Rasmus Schüller, Eric Miller, Michael Boxall

Scoring Summary:
PHI: Jamiro Monteiro – 18′ (pen)
MIN: Hassani Dotson – 28′
PHI: Haris Medunjanin – 44′
MIN: Kevin Molino – 77′ (Abu Danladi, Romain Metanire)
PHI: Auston Trusty – 86′ (Ilsinho)

Disciplinary Summary:
MIN: Brent Kallman – 17′ (unsporting behavior)
PHI: Brenden Aaronson – 45+1′ (time wasting)
PHI: Kai Wagner – 89′ (unsporting behavior)


  1. Are we allowed to point out how much a huge liability Gaddis is? He was so not up to the pace of the game.

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    Decent first half. Second half… not so much. Really expecting Minnesota to get the winner… and was actually hoping to come away with a draw. Absolutely amazing to stay with it and take a few chances and actually get the winner. Still need more from Fabian. Santos was better today. I thought he was good. Keep this going for next week vs Red Bull.
    On the negative… when did this team start clearing the ball like the Flyers clear the puck?!? That is to say extremely poorly… or not at all. Gotta get that corrected. A lot of ridiculous yellow cards issued too. I’m sure those suspensions will creep up later at the worst possible times.
    Hell of a win… hell of a win!! Big 3 points!

    • Totally agree about WAY too much randomly kicking the ball up the field. Usually our defenders are a little calmer on the ball then that, but perhaps they were rattled from being on their heels most of the game from wave after wave of attacks.
      It seems to me that we were a lot batter at playing the ball out of the back earlier in the season.
      Maybe our midfield is not checking back for the ball as much?
      Or maybe they are tired from playing every minute this season?

  3. Successful teams find ways to win when they are not at their best.

    • Successful teams also find ways to take more than 2 out of a possible 9 points from a 3 game stretch at home against Seattle, Portland, & Colorado.

      • The Duke says:

        How do people like you keep watching soccer? You can’t possibly enjoy it. If you are going to whine and complain about a down streak in the midst of a historic season, what point is there in being a fan? You’ll only get to be happy once every 15 years, and only after they win a title because they will still have down streaks during that season. What a miserable experience.

      • Gotta side with The Duke here. How can you complain about a team in first place with a game in hand against the team behind it? You gotta be used to your team having a good wobble or an extended run of poor form. Otherwise you’re watching robots. Yeah, Union was pretty crap last yesterday, but they didn’t capitulate. Gutted out a deserved win.

      • John O'Donnell Jr says:

        Imagine following a team like LAFC and they go out in the first round.

      • Duke and Pete, I understand what you’re saying, and I am immensely enjoying the Union this season. My point is that I don’t have confidence that a team that only took 2 of 9 points from a 3 game homestand is built to make a deep playoff run, regardless of what the table says. I’d love to be proven wrong.

      • As long as you’re enjoying it, Union42. I’m not expecting an MLS cup from this squad, but I expect it to be competitive in the playoffs.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    Fortunate that Minnesota had the same issues scoring that the Union had during their recent home stand.
    Nice game by Santos.
    Worrisome that it is two games in a row that Fabian has come in while the Union had the lead only to see the opponent tie it up. Maybe he’s not the sub to come on in that situation. Would have rather seen Ilsinho come on at the 60th minute to hold some more possession.

    • “Worrisome that it is two games in a row that Fabian has come in while the Union had the lead only to see the opponent tie it up.”

      The first two subs were bad by Jim. I didn’t like bringing in Fabian as a second striker and changing up the formation – Fabian still needs to gain fitness and gel with his teammates period, let alone in a new formation in a position he hasn’t really played yet.

      • Chris Gibbons says:

        Curtin’s substitution options other than the players who played were Collin, M’Baizo, and Ngalina. Everyone else is hurt, traded, or marooned in Jamaica. What would have been your preference?

      • Aaronsen for Fabian straight up, don’t get cute and play with a second striker in this type of game/

      • Actually, my thought when they brought in Fabian for Santos was that they were going to revert to the 4-2-3-1 with Casper alone up top. The game was so damn open though, they never seemed to settle into position so I couldn’t tell if that was what actually happened.

  5. Phew! Nerve-wracking game. So many chances for Minnesota. Great workout for Blake haha. Way to hold those crosses. Consider it justice for the disappointing 3 game home stand.

  6. The Truth says:

    Couldn’t watch. Happy to see the three. Go Union.

  7. el Pachyderm says:

    absolute gut check of a win by this team. so impressive. well done, men.
    absolute wretched display of soccer does permeate underneath it however.
    Both Kai and Raymond need to banished to the rack and skewered with eggs.
    It needs to be much cleaner defensively and the finishing still needs to improve a mile if my prophesy of a conference final and or potential Cup final is to come to fruition.

  8. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Minnesota switched play as the entered the final third or once they were in it, and created weakside overloads all game.
    Felt they should’ve switched to a 4-2-3-1 when Creavalle came on.
    Minnesota’s midfield was quicker and faster.
    We clear the ball to spots where people re expected t be. Nnesota knew where those spots were and beat us to them.

  9. HopkinsMD says:

    That was a gutty performance. Standing ovation for the effort level, especially the sacrificing of the body to block 13 shots (5 by Wagner)..
    It seemed like we were playing down a man most of the match… spacing was off.
    Medunjanin’s goal was precision art. His reaction was priceless, as was Trusty’s.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Agreed. Too many people are overlooking Wagner’s very good defensive work. He saved a certain goal by Quintero.

      • After watching the replay, I agree on Wagner. I complain about him being out of position but after that he blocks like 3or 4 shots! So… bad.

  10. HopkinsMD says:

    Speaking of Trusty, I noticed in the build up for a corner that his shirt said “Doop” on the back… and I thought to myself: “He wants one today.”
    Sure enough, he got it done. He and Elliott have each taken nice first touches on their goals this year.

  11. Well it sure was sloppy all over the pitch! Ray and Kai both had poor games. Too many give aways and Kai almost gave another goal away just like last week. What happened to the good positioning from earlier this season. Gritty to fight back for the win. Let’s take the horns off the Bulls on Sat.

  12. Nova 66-64 says:

    Aaronson needs to gain 10 to 15 pounds of muscle. He is getting thrown around like a rag doll. I want him to succeed but he is truly a boy against men

  13. A match where players who were due came through. Haris was due. Trusty was due. What a perfect time to come through.
    Spacing still needs work. Bless Bedoya’s heart cause he’s just ping ponging up and back. Seems if the back line were a bit closer they wouldn’t be as exposed. Monteiro was again his superman self.
    Still not perfect, but a great result.

  14. I actually thought that Fabian did a decent job for coming into the match late. He was around the ball a lot in the offensive end with combination play. The real problem was that the ball wasn’t in the offensive end much and the match was WAY too open.
    If Fabian is healthy he absolutely has to start.
    Harris had a nice goal, but other than that not a very good game. It is the job of the #6 to close the game down from being to open and he is either incapable of doing it or too tired at this point from playing every minute.
    To me playing him at #6 is like playing David Luiz as a center back. People argue that he is invaluable because he can drop dimes on a traffic cones from 60 meters away. I argue that a centerback’s primary job is defense and it is not worth having a defensive liability as a centerback no matter their other skills.
    Likewise, the most important job of a #6 is protecting the back four. I think that Monteiro has the ability to do that better than anyone else on the team. Plus, I absolutely do not believe that a diamond of Fabian, Aaronson, Bedoya and Monteiro could not create chances and creativity in Haris’ absence.
    Against a dynamic Red Bull team, I would really like to see Haris given a rest and a diamond of Fabian, Aaronson, Bedoya and Monteiro trotted out for midfield. Call it a squad rotation experiment if nothing else.

    • I agree about Haris and the 6. It’s weird coming from Curtin who is now all about flexibility that it seems like Haris at a 6 is set in stone till the end of time.

      In games like these, where we have 30 minutes left and we are weathering a hurricane, what is more important –

      – The 1/10 chance that Haris is able to get the perfect kick off that leads to a goal on a counter?
      – The 9/10 chance that our midfield will be overrun and we need some defensive bite back there to protect our backline and the lead?

      That is why I think it’s not crazy to suggest Monteiro at the 6 in games where we expect to be overrun in the midfield. Minnesota isn’t the first time this happened.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Barring an injury in practice this week, there is zero chance that Haris sits on Saturday. More likely he (and some of the other regulars) sit in DC the following Wednesday so he can get the full two and a half week break for the Gold Cup.

  15. Don’t think I saw any comment on THE ‘WORLD CLASS’ SET PIECE BY HARIS… SPECTACULAR!!! Better be MLS GOTW

    • Andy Muenz says:

      It’s nominated, but no way is it going to beat Zlatan’s bicycle kick.

      • no way any goal this week other than Zlatan’s should. was willed into existence.
        Haris’ strike was with authority. we’re all proud about that strike.

    • Kinda sucks that Trusty and Haris have great goals the same weekend Zlatan pulls that crap off!

    • HopkinsMD says:

      I mentioned earlier in the thread as “precision art.” Definitely a class strike.

  16. Great One says:

    The run by Santos on the goal he just missed was amazing. It shows why he needs to keep starting. Even with the ball that defender had no chance.
    Not a perfect game but great win.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      It was really impressive to seem him out run the defender, with the ball nonetheless, and actually keep it on the dribble. The whole thing, except the finish, showed his ability. He absolutely needs to keep starting.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Had he scored, that would have been a goal to rival Zlatan’s. Zlatan would have won on name recognition, but taking the ball from your own penalty box all the way downfield and scoring would have been fantastic.

  17. Great win, and fun to watch, even if not the most well played. Nice to see us winning a game like that. Santos was excellent, creating the first two goals with good movement, then the lung buster run. I figured the formation was going to 4-2-3-1 when Fabian came on, but was hard to tell since we spent so much time defending our third at that point. Pryzbylko seemed to drop back on D a bit more. Lastly, is Creavalle really that much better then D Jones? Scary, because I really expected him to help lock things down yesterday, but he seemed invisible. Overall an exciting one to watch.

  18. Section 114 (Former) says:

    That was the worst game this team has played since the very start of the season. Aimless play, whacking the ball to nowhere, standing around. Strikers who can’t finish, heck, can’t even find the net. New DP who can’t initiate. Captain DP hanging out on the sideline all game. Bad substitution and coaching.
    And this exhausted, slumping team went out and got three points with incredible goal tending, a lot of luck, and flashes of very special play.
    The Gold Cup break is coming (thankfully) and then they can augment the roster. Let’s hope they do, as the schedule will be unforgiving the rest of the way. But, for now, enjoy the three points.

    • John P. O'Donnell Jr. says:

      All very fair points.
      If Fabian and Santos had a breakout game against the pink cows….

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