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Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-0 Columbus Crew

photo: Marjorie Elzey

Philadelphia Union held on to win 1-0 win against a quality Columbus Crew side on Wednesday night at Subaru Park. The stadium welcomed back a full capacity crowd for the first time since 2019 for the win. Jamiro Monteiro made sure that crowd went home happy, netting the only goal of the game in the 24th minute.

Jim Curtin made two changes to the team that drew with Atlanta United on the weekend. Cory Burke partnered Kacper Przybylko up top at the expense of Sergio Santos. Jack McGlynn came into to start on the left side of midfield, pushing Jamiro Monteiro to the top of the diamond as an injured Anthony Fontana missed out.

After a cagey opening, the Union would take the lead in the 24th minute. Monteiro held the ball up well in the midfield and played a pass into space for Oliver Mbaizo on the right side. The defender’s cross was only half cleared and Monteiro corralled the ball at the top of the Columbus box. After a touch to settle, the midfielder sent a left footed shot past Eloy Room and through a defender’s legs and into the back of the Columbus goal. An almost full Subaru Park erupted with a glorious cheer for the goal.

Playmaker Lucas Zelarayan came on at halftime as Columbus searched for an equalizer. The Crew found themselves on the front foot for much of the half as the Union defended their lead.

The Union avoided catastrophe in the 74th minute. Substitute Matt Real was initially shown a red card for a sliding challenge, but after VAR intervened, his offense was correctly reduced to just a yellow card.

Andre Blake made a brilliant save in the 82nd minute to keep the clean sheet. Lucas Zelarayan did well to combine passes on the edge of the area and found Marlon Hairston in behind the Union defense. Hairston only had Blake to beat from 10 yards from the left side, but the goalkeeper did well to make himself big and deny the shot with his left foot.

Columbus continued to attack as the Union weathered the storm, but the away side failed to create many more clear cut chances after Hairston was denied.

The Union draw level on points with Orlando in second place in the Eastern Conference with the result. Philadelphia are next in action on Saturday when they travel to Chicago to take on the Fire (8 p.m.)

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake, Olivier Mbaizo (Alvas Powell 90+3′), Jacob Glesnes, Jack Elliott, Kai Wagner, Leon Flach, Alejandro Bedoya (Quinn Sullivan 79′), Jack McGlynn (Matt Real 57′), Jamiro Monteiro, Cory Burke (Sergio Santos 57′), Kacper Przybylko
Unused Subs: Matt Freese, Aurelien Collin, Stuart Findlay, Cole Turner, Paxten Aaronson

Columbus Crew

Eloy Room, Vito Woomgoor, Jonathan Mensah, Pedro Santos, Harrison Afful, Kevin Molino (Lucas Zelarayan 45′), Darlington Nagbe, Liam Fraser (Waylon Francis 76′), Gyasi Zardes, Alexandru Matan (Milton Valenzuela 61′), Derrick Etienne (Marlon Hairston 76′)
Unused Subs: Evan Bush, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Aboubacar Keita, Isaiah Parente

Scoring Summary

PHI: Jamiro Monteiro – 24′

Disciplinary Summary

CLB: Alexandru Matan – 42′
CLB: Vito Woomgoor – 51′
PHI: Matt Real -74′
PHI: Leon Flach – 84′


  1. A nice result against a good team. A little surprised that the Union were unable to really put Columbus to the sword after scoring early, but a great result. Was nice to see McGlynn get some minutes again, and even Quinn Sullivan got a cameo.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    A strong defensive effort where Columbus only had one real threat and Dre rose to the occasion.
    A little worried about having 3 players being subbed for injury (Burke, Bedoya, and Mbaizo). Bedoya’s seemed most concerning as it looked like it was possibly more than just cramping up.
    It was great to see McKenzie and Aaronson back in town and on the video board at halftime. (Was thinking that they should have put Aaronson into his brother’s uniform and subbed him in :-).
    One small correction in the article. Sullivan is listed as both a used and an unused sub. At least you didn’t claim that Martinez was out serving a yellow card suspension like did in their game summary.

    • also said: “Jamiro Monteiro scored in the 24th minute and the Philadelphia Union held on for a 1-0 victory over visiting Columbus Crew on Saturday night in a meeting of 2020 silverware winners”

    • Probably Mike was writing up his piece in the waning minutes of the match, as his colleagues in the pressbox who get paid tend to do.
      I used to hear the odd quiet imprecation or two in the pressbox at Lehigh when a late goal necessitated a re-write..
      He forgot to erase, that’s all. He would have been working on it when Blake made his save on Hairston,

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I realize that, Tim, but also figure it is something that can be corrected by an editor. And it was an excuse to complain about the much bigger mistake in the MLS article which had nothing to do with meeting a deadline.

    • Chris Gibbons says:

      Two years ago when the U beat Atlanta 3-1 in what was arguably the team’s most important league win ever, I published the Match Report and the title read “Union 0 – 1 Atlanta.” It’s chaos at the end of the match to get this thing out quickly and get ready for Curtin’s presser.

      That said, thank you for catching this. It’s nice to know that people are reading everything.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        At the time the Atlanta game may have been the most important. Now and forever it will be the New England win on November 8, 2020 to WIN the Supporters Shield rather than backing into it by relying on a result in the Toronto game :-).

  3. el Pachyderm says:

    I’m a happy Union fan tonight. I think it is time for a new chapter in the Union Bible. After many long years, combing the desert, and ‘we ain’t found shit,’… the venture is in an excellent groove these days. I struggle with minutia. I detest what happened at PreAcademy for reasons too long to list… otherwise it is a good time these days.
    I’m happy for Jim.
    I’m happy for the youth.
    I’m happy for Ernst’s clever eye.
    I’m happy for the moments, fleeting as they are sometimes–when I enjoy the aesthetic.
    I’m happy we have a franchise worth being happy about after so many years of What The Fuck. There are things to nit pick… but not tonight.
    Carry on.

    • well said

    • Well put. I am embracing this new chapter. It’s hard to wash off the many years of dreck that preceded it. Just have to learn to enjoy the moment and appreciate what it took to get us here.

      • It took Mr. Graham flying to Germany twice.
        It took convincing Mr. Sugarman to let him go and make a reasonable offer, and convincing Herr Tanner to accept the offer and come.
        Earnie Stewart laid a solid foundation, and he had to demonstrate to Mr. Sugarman that working without paying transfer fees imposed a clear ceiling. He plowed the field.
        But Tanner planted the crop and we are beginning to see it ripen.

  4. Thought the Union were much more convincing tonight than they were on Sunday. Determined in defence, precise in attack. Could have easily been 3-0 or better. They looked every bit the class of MLS.

    A player I’m really warning to is Burke. There’s something more focused to his play than before he went on loan to Europe. Hope his injury is nothing.

    • Burke has taken all his energy and focused it to purpose. He has crafted a game full of nuance and guile interlaced with tricks and movement he’s picked up along the way. He’s got good body positioning and can make the turn on a defender. It’s been quite impressive to watch. I hope he sees more end product for ll his effort.

      • soccerdad720 says:

        and have you watched him…coil….and then SPRING into the air? Man can jump.

      • There was a sequence later in the first half where he got on the ball, beat 1 defender, held off a 2nd and started an excellent attack at about midfield on the right. So impressed with the effort he put in tonight.

        Also want to shout out Mbaizo and Bedoya for playing good combinations down the right all game long. Most of our best attacking opportunities started there.

    • So Pete, Bedoya, he didn’t look too good did he? Really crappy first half. Slightly improved second half. Was lucky to get subbed with an injury. Did you see it the same or am I being too harsh.

      • I can’t think of a moment where I thought Bedoya was really lousy, but I don’t remember him doing much else but working down the right with Mbaizo.i don’t have a reason to say you’re wrong. In general, I worry about Bedoya getting overworked. Particularly in this system in which everyone just runs and runs. I wish Curtain would give him a break. He’s going to wear out.

  5. Have to comment about McGlynn… he looked lost out there. Everytime the Union tried to come down the left side, it was just Kai, cause Jack plays way too deep and in the middle. Sorry to say, only flaw in the play last night. What’s going on with ‘Antny’? Curtin’s Doghouse? Not a good place to be.

    BTW… so impressed by Leon Flach. Very underrated signing, just itching for his first goal.

    In Ernst we trust!

    • I completely disagree. McGlynn handled himself quite well. It was actually the first match the other players had trust enough in him to pass him the ball and work triangles. He covered and back tracked, without getting stretched in the formation. He even showed up covering for Flach at DM. He made at least one steal I can remember. I really think you need to go back and watch again because the one thing he wasn’t was lost.

      • Yeah, this.

      • Chris Gibbons says:

        I thought McGlynn was tidy, didn’t make any mistakes with the ball, and generally handled his defensive duties well (marking THAT midfield in your 3rd pro match is a heck of a task).

      • Both points of view have merit I think.
        To figure out what I mean track the progression of the direction of his passes as the game develops. Only slowly does he begin to try to advance the ball.
        He has understood the mentality of the man who selects the side very well. Defense is number one, no mistakes is number one A.
        And Chris Gibbons’ point about the quality of Columbus’s midfield is on point. Liam Fraser played very well, everyone knows about Nagbe, and Molino is a proven MLS threat. When ZElarayen came on their midfield got even better.
        What we have not yet seen from McGLynn is the creativity on offense that he showed with Union 2 last season. Probably, that means he understands his role right now is to be the precisely fitted cog that helps the machine go.
        Others are supposed to do the creating, like Monteiro, like Martinez, like Gazdag we hope, like Bedoya.
        To me, McGlynn looked like he knew what he was supposed to be doing and was not over-excited about trying to do it.

    • Concussion protocol for Fontana if you haven’t read. I saw it late last night

    • He suffered a concussion at the end of the Atlanta game & was unavailable tonight.

    • Fontana was out with a concussion

    • Fontana was out with a concussion for this one. Disappointing because he probably had a big role to play had he been good to go.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I wouldn’t say McGlynn looked lost… the word I was use in timid. He always seems to play took quickly, instead of taking time on the ball. He also almost always seem to play it backwards. I know it’s a learning curve and I like his game, but to me it looks like he just needs to relax a little bit and trust himself.
      Fontana had a concussion and was out.

    • Offensive timidity…. a better phrase than “lost”… but bottom line he was no where to be found on offensive rushes with Kai.

      Many good points, Gazdag will help… but no denying we still need more “MLS experienced” players to bring home the cup. New England looks so strong… Orlando too. They will both stand in our way with our current roster.

  6. Andy Muenz says:

    Did anyone watch the Brazil – Colombia Copa America game last night? Just saw it and it was INSANE! It had it all, bicycle kick, VAR controversy after the ball hit the ref, and 10 minutes of second half stoppage time between two teams that do NOT like each other.

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      Colombia is my team so I had it muted during the Union game. Just happened to look over as Cuadrado made the cross to Diaz. I celebrated while still watching the U. That goal was ridiculous. I don’t like the fox rules “experts” but he said he was reading right from the rule book. Hope they get a rematch in the KO stage.

  7. Consider what the Philadelphia Union’s collective midfield, from number one through number ten accomplished last night.
    Three of the top five were unavailable, two starters and the first attacking sub.
    Number six is a rookie who cannot go 90, so number seven — a left back by training — had to come on. Then the third starter broke down and had to be replaced by number eight.
    Contrast that pattern to the the ranking pattern of Caleb Porter’s subs. He brought number one off the bench at halftime, and got clear improvement with each subsequent substitution.
    We should be very, very proud of what the Union’s midfield accomplished last night, as Chris Gibbons efficiently suggests above.

  8. Offensive timidity…. a better phrase than “lost”… but bottom line he was no where to be found on offensive rushes with Kai.

    Many good points, Gazdag will help… but no denying we still need more “MLS experienced” players to bring home the cup. New England looks so strong… Orlando too. They will both stand in our way with our current roster.

  9. I thought the U did a nice job of grinding out the win. Columbus had more of ball but did very little with it.
    MaGlynn may have been told to stay put. Not to attack as much. Just to help keep the game simple. That way you don’t have a mistake that starts to erode confidence! The road trip will be tough! Also glad to see the stadium nearly full!

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