USL - Philadelphia Union II / USL Match report

Match report: Hartford Athletic 3-2 Philadelphia Union II

Photo courtesy of Marjorie Elzey

For the first time in front of fans since their return to play, the Philadelphia Union II fell to Hartford Athletic on the road. Hartford has been undefeated since their return to play, but the Union II were able to get an early lead against a strong veteran team. Philadelphia looked stronger defensively than their previous two matches, despite allowing three goals. The fault lies more with young goalkeeper Ben Martino, who allowed two weak goals and deflated any energy his team had,

Starting the match on the defense, the Union II managed to grab the first goal in only the fourth minute. Following a pass across the back line that Kevin Politz missed, the ball fell right into Yomi Scintu’s path, allowing him to easily bury the ball in the back of the net. The early goal allowed the young team to settle down and take control of the match. Philly would double their lead in the 15th minute following a cross from Danny Flores to Axel Picazo. Picazo was just inside the box and was able to hit the ball past Parfait Mandanda in the lower left corner of the net on his first touch.

However, Hartford began to take more control as they began to generate more attacks. With the confidence of a team in the lead, the defense looked stronger than the past two matches. Ben Ofeimu had a strong clearance in the 37th minute, stopping Ever Guzman from receiving getting a shot off a cross.

A stronger defense wasn’t enough for the Union II as Athletic cut the lead in half in the 39th minute when Gabriel Torres hit a top shelf rocket over Martino. Keeping that pressure, the match would be leveled just before the halftime. A sure strike from Mads Jorgensen went just under a diving Martino, following a poor clearance by the Union II from their own box. It took a strange bounce, but shouldn’t have surprised Martino as much as it did. The score was 2-2 after the first half.

The second half started off on equal footing with pretty equal possession between the two teams. But Hartford took the lead in the 53rd. Danny Barrera made a pass to Guzman on the right side, allowing Guzman to hit a strike past a diving Martino. The keeper was hugging his inside post a bit too much, making it a little too easy for Athletic to get their third goal.

The match went back and forth, with the Union II’s physical conditioning and strength not being where it should be. Runs became less frequent, with only Issa Rayyan making one strong run in the 82nd to give Philly a good chance. Despite the energy lacking a bit, the Union II still showed tenacity and determination to try to get at least one point from this match and leave it all out on the pitch.

Hartford had a chance to double their lead but Martino had a strong save, coming out to block Andre Deas’ attack, with the followup shot going wide in the 84th minute. Martino would have another strong save in the second minute of extra time, blocking another hard hit from Jorgensen. His efforts would keep the final score at 3-2 in favor of Hartford.

The Union II will face Pittsburgh again next Saturday, 8/1 on the road. Fans can watch the game starting at 7pm on ESPN+.

Three Points
  1. Got the early goal. Scintu’s goal in the fourth minute helped calmed the team and let them control the match more. It was only the second goal scored for the Union II since their return, and was the first time the club led a match. A much older and more experienced Hartford team was able to take back control, but it was still a shining moment for the young team who is now 0-3 with a -11 goal differential since their return.
  2. Giving the youth experience. The starting lineup age averaged out to 19.5 years old, dropping down to 19.4 years when Scintu came off early. The average age would drop even further with three 16 year old subs coming on in the second half. Of course, the goal of the club is to develop young talent, but it seems like the average age just trends younger and younger every match.
  3. McGlynn brother showdown. It was the first time Jack faced his older brother, Conor in a professional capacity. The brothers signed their professional contracts only six days apart and have long discussed playing in the same league as one another. Conor McGlynn actually earned his yellow card fouling his younger brother in the second half, sporting a smile while getting booked, after seeing Jack get back up without serious issue.
Lineups

Philadelphia Union II

Ben Martino; Dante Huckaby, Jamoi Topey, Ben Ofeimu; Issa Rayyan (c), Jack McGlynn, Nathan Harriel (Brandon Craig 60′); Axel Picazo (Quinn Sullivan 60′), David Rabadan (Steve Kingue 88′); Selmir Miscic (Paxten Aaronson 60′), Yomi Scintu (Danny Flores 8′)

Unused substitutes: Budler

Hartford Athletic

Parfait Mandanda; Matheus Silva, Kevin Politz, Sam Strong; Gabriel Torres, Conor McGlynn, Danny Barrera (c) (Nicky Downs 88′), Mads Jorgensen, Arthur Rogers (Alex Lara 76′); Tyreke Johnson (Alfonso Vazquez 88′), Ever Guzman (Andre Deas 64′)

Unused substitutes: Aiden Mesias, Mike Novotny, Alex Davey

Scoring Summary

PHI – 4′ – Yomi Scintu

PHI – 16′ – Axel Picazo (Danny Flores)

HFD – 39′ – Gabriel Torres

HFD – 44′ – Mads Jorgensen

HFD – 53′ – Ever Guzman (Danny Barrera)

Disciplinary

HFD – 29′ – Matheus Silva – Yellow

HFD – 66′ – Conor McGlynn – Yellow

PHI – 90’+7′ – Steve Kingue – Yellow

2 Comments

  1. Solid effort. Loved seeing Craig, Sullivan, and Pax all for an extended run of time.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    Definitely a step in the right direction after the last two matches, especially being their third game in a week after 4 months off.

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