Philadelphia Union II / USL Match report

Match report: Pittsburgh Riverhounds 4 – 0 Philadelphia Union II

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

In their fourth match, and second against Pittsburgh, of the USL restart the Philadelphia Union II fell to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, 4-0. After coming off a stronger showing last match in Hartford, Union II had several injuries catch up to them, with striker Yomi Scintu, right back Nathan Harriel and left back Issa Rayyan all missing the match with injury.

The first 10 minutes of the match was mostly a midfield battle, with both teams getting a feel for the match. The first real chance fell to Steevan Dos Santos of Pittsburgh, but Mitchell Budner made a nice kick save to keep the match scoreless.

The Riverhounds took the lead in the 22nd minute when Dos Santos was able to head in a cross from Forbes, who made a nice run down the left side to find Dos Santos. After the goal, Union II was still struggling to find ay possession and link up play in midfield, with Pittsburgh dominating the ball. Pittsburgh was able to find their second goal in the 35th minute, a corner headed in by Thomas Vancaeyezeele. Mitchell Budler got lost in the box tracking the ball, with Jamoi Topey not able to make a challenge on the ball, it was a easy header for Vancaeyezeele.

The first yellow card of the match went to Axel Picazo of Union II in the 39th minute, after making a nice run down the left side, Picazo lost possession and bundled over the Pittsburgh defender, drawing the yellow. Pittsburgh’s third goal of the half came shortly after, in the 42nd minute. Mitchell Budler and Jamoi Topey had a miscommunication at the top of the box, resulting in a skewed clearance to Dos Santos who placed it into the empty net for his second of the match.

To start the second half Sven Gartung made three substitutions, putting on Jack Jasinski, Paxten Aaronson, and Anton Sorensen. The Union II started the second half off better than the first, with the substitutes able to bring more attaching pressure. Sorensen was able to get a nice shot on goal in the 51st minute, drawing a nice save from the Pittsburgh keeper. Paxten Aaronson followed that up with an effort from just outside the box, which flew just over the bar for a goalkick. Pittsburgh then made their first sub of the match brining on  .

Hungry for more goals, Pittsburgh added another goal to make it 4-0 off a Ryan James volley in the box in the 65th minute. Off a corner the ball pinged around eventually finding James who hit it nicely, leaving Budler no chance. After the goal, Steve Kingue and Patrick Bouhi entered the match for Union II. A few minutes after the goal, the match entered a weather delay in the 78th minute, due to lightning in the area.The match restarted about 35 minutes later, with Pittsburgh brining on Lukas Fernandes to close the match out. No real attacking chances after the restart in the final moments, Danny Flores picked up a yellow card for a late tackle in the 88th minute. Both teams were happy to see the game out and end 4-0.

Three Points
  1. No possession. In the first half, Union II struggled greatly to hold the ball and even string 3 passes together in their own half. In order for Gartung’s system and formation to work, they’re going to have to find a way to hold the ball longer so they don’t defend for 75-80% of the match.
  2. Good subs. The subs Gartung made at halftime had the desired effect, with Union II finding more space and possession for the first 1o minutes, with Aaronson and Sorensen having good looks on goal. The subs also kept the average of the team down, with the starting lineup averaging 18.3 years old and the substitutes at 17.9 years old .
  3. Defensive struggles. So far this year, the Union II have struggled mightily on defense. Though 4 goals is never a good showing for a defender, it is better than the 6 allowed to Pittsburgh 2 weeks ago. Constant rotation of the backline and injuries to Harriel and Rayyan probably didn’t help either.

Philadelphia Union II

Mitchell Budler; Dante Huckaby, Jamoi Topey (Anton Sorensen 46′), Ben Ofeimu, Brandon Craig (Jack Jasinski 46′); Jack McGlynn, Danny Flores, Axel Picazo (Patrick Bohui 66′), David Rabadan (Steve Kingue 66′), Quinn Sullivan (Paxten Aaronson 46′); Selmir Miscic

Unused substitutes: Ben Martino

Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Tomas Gomez; Ryan James, Thomas Vancaeyezeele, Skylar Thomas, Jordan Dover, Daniel Rovira, Kenardo Forbes (c) (Dakota Barnathan 69′), Robbie Mertz (Lukas Fernandes 78′), Danny Griffin; Ropapa Mensah (Anthony Velarde, 54′), Steevan Dos Santos (Mark Forrest, 69′)

Unused substitutes: Anthony Mwembia, Danny Vitello, Hunter Ashworth,

Scoring Summary

PIT – 22’ – Steeven Dos Santos (Kenardo Forbes)

PIT – 35’ – Thomas Vancaeyezeele (Kenardo Forbes)

PIT – 42′ – Steeven Dos Santos

PIT – 65′ – Ryan James


PHL – 39′ – Axel Picazo – Yellow

PHL – 75′ – Paxten Aaronson – Yellow

PHL – 88′ – Danny Flores – Yellow


  1. Andy Muenz says:

    I guess losing by 4 is an improvement over losing by 6. I’m guessing not many Union fans will be watching the next game Wednesday night…

  2. It is worth mentioning that Pittsburgh’s field marshal, midfielder Kenardo Forbes from Kingston, Jamaica, set a new USLC record for career assists with 39.

  3. Six of Gartung’s 12 professional players missed the game with injury, as did two other academy youngsters who have not yet appeared for the club.
    In effect a traditional New England prep school team using a few PGs played the Riverhounds.

  4. The games U2 has played tell us that the boys playing the important positions In games need help from some veterans in supporting roles.

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