Union / Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 0-2 Club America (0-4)

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union were eliminated in the semifinal of the Concacaf Champions League with a 2-0 loss (4-0 aggregate) at Subaru Park on Wednesday night. Jamiro Monteiro was denied from the penalty spot in the 50th minute in what was the key moment of the match.

America would put the tie away when Nicolas Benedetti scored on the counterattack in the 79th minute. Henry Martin would tally late in stoppage time to make it 2-0 on the evening.

Daniel Gazdag was the odd man out in the Union midfield as Jim Curtin opted to start Jamiro Monteiro at the top of the diamond flanked by Leon Flach and Alejandro Bedoya. Sergio Santos was unavailable after picking up a knock late in the week, meaning Cory Burke partnered Kacper Przybylko up top.

The first half was a stop-start affair filled with fouls, with five yellow cards (four for the Union) issued. Philadelphia grew into the half and had the better of the play, particularly after the 20 minute mark.

The Union’s best chance of the half came in the 37th minute from a recycled corner kick when Olivier Mbaizo fired in a cross from the right side that found a wide open Jakob Glesnes at the back post, but the center back couldn’t keep his header down and headed over from just six yards out.

Philadelphia would earn a penalty kick in the 49th minute when Przybylko was hauled down from behind by Jorge Sanchez when the striker was in on goal. The referee only issued a yellow card for the foul and the play was not reviewed by VAR, despite what appeared to be a clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity.

Jamiro Monteiro stepped up to take the spot kick, but his driven shot to the left of Guillermo Ochoa was pushed off the crossbar with a strong hand from the goalkeeper. Burke was the quickest to the rebound, but again Ochoa was on hand to save with his feet.

Philadelphia would create another chance minutes later in the 54th minute when Ochoa denied Przybylko’s header, challenging the striker near the penalty spot and making the save.

The Union would pile on the pressure, bringing on Paxten Aaronson and Daniel Gazdag in the 76th minute.

America would put the tie away in the 79th minute. Jorge Sanchez made a lung busting down the right side and cut a cross back into the Union area for Nicolas Benedetti, who fired a low shot that ricocheted past Andre Blake off the foot of Glesnes.

The Mexican giants would add gloss to the score line when Henry Martin turned in a cross from close range deep in stoppage time.

The loss puts an end to the Union’s first involvement in the Concacaf Champions League. They are next in action in league play when they host Orlando City on Sunday (4 p.m.).

Three Points:

  • Missed Opportunities: Glesnes’ open header. Monteiro from the spot. Przybylko denied by Ochoa. The Union had chances to grab a goal and put serious pressure on Club America, but just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net.
  • American Muck: It wasn’t pretty, but Club America wanted the second leg to be an ugly game and succeeded in slowing the match down, playing for fouls and keeping the Union out of rhythm for much of the match.
  • Savor the Experience: The Union were in no way played off the pitch by the talented Mexican giants. No one knows how the tie would have gone had the Union scored in Mexico City or Monteiro had tallied from the spot. There is a lot to be proud of for Union fans in the club’s first involvement in Champions League play.

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Kai Wagner (Daniel Gazdag 76′), Olivier Mbaizo, Jose Martinez, Leon Flach (Quinn Sullivan 90′), Alejandro Bedoya (Jack McGlynn 90′), Jamiro Monteiro (Paxten Aaronson 76′), Cory Burke, Kacper Przybylko
Subs: Joe Bendik, Alvas Powell, Stuart Findlay

Club America

Guillermo Ochoa, Emanuel Aguilera, Bruno Valdez, Salvador Reyes, Jorge Sanchez (Fernando Madrigal 90+1′), Alvaro Fidalgo (Sebastian Caceres 70′), Richard Sanchez, Pedro Aquino, Roger Martinez (Henry Martin 66′), Mauro Lainez, Sebastian Cordova (Nicolas Benedetti 46′)
Subs: Luis Fuentes, Federico Vinas

Scoring Summary

AME: Nicolas Benedetti – 79′ (Jorge Sanchez)
AME: Henry Martin – 90+3′

Disciplinary Summary

PHI: Jakob Glesnes – 19′ (foul)
PHI: Alejandro Bedoya – 27′ (foul)
PHI: Jose Martinez – 27′ (dissent)
AME: Sebastian Cordova – 31′ (not retreating)
PHI: Jamiro Monteiro – 45′ (foul)
AME: Bruno Valdez – 49′ (foul)
AME: Jorge Sanchez – 72′ (time wasting)

79 Comments

  1. Disappointed with the U but thoroughly enjoyed the game. A surreal experience

  2. It is clear that Curtin played for a tie tonight, or to not be embarrassed based on his lineup.
    Montiero has had no success at #10.
    Flach is a beast defensively but offers nothing going forward.
    Love Bedoya’s spirit, but he’s lost a step.
    Kascper is ice cold.
    There are no goals in this line-up, let alone 3 to win. Jim had no intention of trying to win. How is Managemnet ok with that?!?!
    Union has moved past MLS 1.0.
    Time to move past coach 1.0.

    • +1 on all points .

      Zero ground Game + Cheap Ownership + A Timid Defensive Coach + Bad moves by GM = a Mediocre 1.0 MLS Team.

      This game should be a wake up call for next season to fans. who want to see this team get better each year.

      As the Union trudge on through the rest of the MLS season Tanner must know that this team has no #10 with all the necessary skills to lead or guide an offense. Do whatever you have to do in the offseason to get one or resign because we expect this team to get better not worse.

      All season long the Union no offense going forward through the middle. (on a side note the Union were outclassed last night). We have no midfielder on this team who can carry the ball forward in the offensive zone. No midfielder who can see or create the spaces to send a pass forward for a potential goal opportunity

      OUR TOP ASSIST LEADER IS OUR LEFT FULLBACK. (WTF.) And please pump your brakes everyone Paxton will not be ready for 2 years to lead this team in the #10 role.

      I blame this whole shit show of a season on Sugarman, Tanner and Curtin.

      Curtin for not demanding that Tanner replace Aaronson with a better player and Sugarman for not giving Tanner the green light to do so even if he had to sacrifice some other needs and overpay.

      I like the whole idea of developing the youth program but you cant develop them and let the unless you get another player of equal or better ability to replace them if you want the team to get better.

      • the business plan is to sell players. work out the implications.
        .
        they did not spend six million to buy a Carles Gil, developed Aaronson and two years later sold him for six million.
        .
        they have been losing four or five million dollars a year on the academy for the last seven or eight years. they are in it for the long haul, but are not going to commit economic suicide the way the Europeans do. Why did Messi have to leave Barcelona? Or Ronaldo Juventus?
        .
        Look at Toronto FC now in 2021 for the consequences of the other business plan. Or NY Red Bulls.
        .
        The concept is to get to a point where it is self sustaining.
        .
        As was joked some years ago among those observing the Academy and Bethlehem, “What happens if Richie [Graham] gets hit by a bus?”
        .
        The Academy will stand by itself if it can become a program that guarantees NCAA athletic scholarships and college educations. That will be its bread and butter. Professional player sales revenue will never be consistent enough.
        .
        The college counsellor at the Academy is as important as the Sporting Director.
        .
        And overall the future economic health of the league depends on responsible spending and higher TV revenues.

      • The Business Model…Tim Jones. Are you on the Union payroll?…. You sound like it. The Union made 13 million in transfer fees last year. They took the cheap speculative root and failed this year. They bought a bunch of crap this year. It’s no bargain if your team goes backwards. An attacking seasoned quality player like Charles Gil would have moved the Union forward in the standings and further in the playoffs. The Union are losing fan base… not growing fan base.This was a year they needed to replace 2 key positions with quality veterans not Gazdag and the other crap they brought in. Keep putting garbage out on the field and you will lose more fan base. Your business plan will not succeed when you have no fans in the seats and nobody watching your games on TV. Tanner got lucky with Kai Wagner. Montiero is not playing well because of his family situation. I guess that wasn’t a high enough priority in the Sugarman business model. So here you go…. You sell your leading assist guy and don’t replace him with a quality CAM and you treat your second leading assist leader like he is the hired help. The whole teams attitudde and performance took a downward turn when the Monteiro isssue was not resolved . Montiero is just not happy to be here anymore without his family. I don’t blame him at all. I hope Jay Sugarman enjoys the windfall profit he got for Aaronson and McKenzie.

    • Richard P Myers says:

      I was there and I agree with your points with one exception: I think that Curtin rewarded those players who contributed to the Union’s getting this opportunity to play CA by playing them, and I understand that and I have made my piece with that. As much as Alejandro Bedoya has meant to this team over the years, could you have denied him the opportunity to play against CA in a meaningful game at home? In my judgment, that would be harsh.

      I enjoyed Club America’s fans who were both passionate and respectful (and who outnumbered Union fans by about 2:1). As we were leaving, one remarked to me that the Union played well but were unlucky. I told him that the best team won, and there is no question that CA is the better team.

      Going forward, the Union need to play the homegrowns, who in my opinion give them the best chance to win because of their superior speed.

  3. Congrats to Union for taking the fight to them. Lots of emotions to parse with that game. It was there for the taking and as history would have it- Union are not quite equipped with the clutch gene. Can’t tell you how galling that is to write… but it’s pretty arguable.
    .
    Kudos to America for winning the psychological battle early – which Martinez Montiero and Bedoya (and some others) took hook line and sinker. Kudos to Union as a rebuttal for remaining calm enough to not totally blow it as a result. Thigh to for sure there would be a red and thought for sure it would be Jose Martinez.
    .
    I’m quite troubled Montiero took the PK. Maybe thst was prearranged but even if that is the case—Kacper is THE player who most needed a gol. Kacper scores in streaks, fits and spurts and if he gets off there who knows. Maybe he scores again and 5 in 3 games and boom— ascendency—. It’s disappointing.
    .
    Hats of go Ochoa for being all word when America needed him. In other news, Interesting subs by Jim. Mot much more to add there but if I’m Quinn Sullivan I’m a bit pissed off. Again with Santos and key availability. Him over Burke IMO.
    .
    Champions League is now, to quote myself, a “fever dream” deferred and the very real concern is how buried they are in the table. Maybe the energy from this match ignites them. No more excuses. Time to start playing better.
    .
    A fair and balanced rendering by me, I feel.

    • Definitely agree with your comment regarding who took the PK (and I said that as it was becoming clear Monteiro was taking it). Not only did that hugely affect last night’s game but it would have been a chance for Kacper to get back into goal scoring mode for the rest of the season.

    • I agree that Kacper should have taken the PK. Jamiro’s run-up was such a tell about which way he was going, and then he put it neither high nor low but right where it was easiest for Ochoa to make a save…
      .
      We needed our best players to step up. And Monteiro didn’t.

      • Jamiro is on pens because he is significantly better than anyone else and there is no question about that. Ochoa is a world class keeper and was miraculous to save burkes follow up

      • Not sure Monteiro is significantly better than Kacper on penalty kicks and there is also the upside of giving Kacper the chance to score a badly needed goal which could help his confidence the rest of the season.

    • I agree on Sullivan over Burke, at least at halftime if not as a starter. Sullivan at least provides a little bit of a contrast to Kacper in style, and maybe would complement him a bit more. But watching Kacper and Burke the first half was like staring at that Spiderman meme where identically dressed characters keep pointing at each other.

  4. Seemed to me like a good bit of home cooking for CA from the ref. Union played unafraid, and I’ll agree with the assessment that we were not played off the pitch. That said, when you don’t put away PKs in your own house, you hardly deserve much more.

    A shame really, they had their chances. This most def “could” have gone differently in unions favor, but was not to be. Glad I was there and good on them for getting this far.

  5. John O'Donnell says:

    Montiero needs to move on as he’s not the best player on the field when he needs to be. A DP needs to carry a team and set a tone but he plays to slow especially when they are trailing. To much individual moves and not enough moving the ball to teammates quickly. I know I’ll get killed for this but this team has hit its limit and they’ll be lucky to make the playoffs with the current lineup.

    Flack is a six and Martinez should move up with Gazdag getting the ten and the Jack McGlynn era starting with Bedoya to the bench.

    Forget the striker as right now we don’t have one.

  6. OneManWolfpack says:

    Ref did us no favors but by no means did he lose it for us. Can’t score you can’t win – period. I was there and the environment was wild. Like the Open Cup game from years past with the intensity. Wish America had come to play more but they played it smart. Jim needed to do something with the lineup and go nuts but instead played it way to safe. Didn’t like that at all. Union definitely weren’t embarrassed and if they had a striker who could currently score this might’ve been different. Martinez was awesome and Montiero, even without the PK miss, was terrible. Ah well.

  7. America muck? Did you even see the game? Philadelphia had 25 fouls to America’s 13 and 5 yellow cards to America’s 3. Philadelphia showed up to play American football not futbol.

  8. Had enough of Curtin yet?

    • Really Paul? I suppose that you could have coached this team to a better result? Gimme a f’n break. Why don’t you direct your comments to the dumb-ass officiating VAR officials that missed obvious red card calls instead of blaming the only coach that has ever gotten us to this point in our Club history. Anything you’ve got to offer that would have given us a 3-0 result against the top Mexican team I would definitely bring to Ernst Tanner’s attention so that you can be the next coach of the Union. Oh right! You ain’t got spit do you? I’m not someone who ever responds to others comments, but your totally out of your mind.

      • If the season ended today, we’re out of the playoffs. It comes down to what it always comes down to; lack of $$ to bring top players here. Too cheap. We are the 5th biggest media market in America. It’s time management started acting like we’re a big-market team. How could Nash-freaking-ville SC be in SECOND PLACE in the East while we flail in 9th?

      • So you’re saying Curtin’s not spending enough money is the reason the Union aren’t doing better?

    • Curtin is a joke. Last season was an anomaly…. Nothing more. His supporters are like battered wives who continue to say that their husbands are good guys and just had a few bad day.
      Maybe you’re all
      Good with dropping $ to watch a extraordinarily mediocre club. I’ll come back when the ownership starts to spend in an intelligent way. The boys played hard last night but there is a culture of being ok with losing at this club. This isn’t u-13 soccer. Losing shouldn’t be acceptable! Not for $25 to park and $15 beers and $5 waters.

  9. We weren’t going to turn that result around without a minor miracle, but that was a ridiculous display of diving and time wasting from the opening whistle from Club America. That was everything that is wrong with soccer and why it will remain an 3rd tier sport in the US.
    What is frustrating is that they were clearly better than the Union, and they showed it in the last 15-20 minutes. Had they played that way the entire game I would have respected them so much more. Instead, they are just another team that plays a trash version of the game instead of showing how talented they really are.
    Had we lost 5-0 tonight to the CA team that played the last 15 minutes, I would have an entirely different perspective. Instead, we had to watch cowardly soccer for 75 minutes.
    I hate that brand of soccer, no matter who is playing it or what the result is. Play them damn game. Don’t be a coward.

  10. In the house tonight. The fact that VAR was used to decide whether Bedoya deserved a 2nd yellow on the foul against and an Oscar performance by Lanez, but was NOT used to decide if the penalty against Przybylko was A clear and obvious straight RED on denying a goal scoring opportunity was ANTOHER example of the BULLSHIT WWF officiating that is constantly demonstrated in CONCACAF. That was a denial of a goal scoring opportunity straight Red Card….and everyone knew it…..but not the VAR officials.

    WTF!

    • VAR can only be used for red cards, not second yellows, so they were looking at whether Bedoya deserved a straight red card.
      .
      Ridiculous.

    • Greg Williams says:

      Agree 100% from home. That is an obvious red for denying a goal-scoring opportunity. If that’s a red card, it changes EVERYTHING.

      I am unbelievably proud of the ENTIRE team and coach Curtin. Without Santos available, he didn’t have many choices with his lineup – I’ll take Flach to kill counter-attack opportunities all day long over Gazdag who has given us nothing so far.

      Everyone in the stadium knew we’d push people forward (did you see how many times Glesnes pushed all the way up?) and we didn’t give up a counter-attack goal (or even many opportunities at all) until the very end.

      ALL Union fans should have their head high today. Final score isn’t flattering but both games easily could have gone the other way.

      If we resume MLS play with anywhere near the same intensity as we had in that game, I have no doubt that we will win a few games in the playoffs – which is all I care about anymore this year.

      DOOP

    • VAR only intervenes for straight red.Bedoya defintiely deserved a second yellow and to be sent off, but we got lucky there. Shame on Jamior, bedoya, and particularly Coach for allowing the penalty to proceed so quickly without demanding that the ref consult VAR. in leg 1 the america players refused to play on and surrounded the ref until VAR intervened, which resulted in a PK. how do you not learn from that and concacaf your way into a red? Anyways, the first 50 minutes of gameplay were something to be proud of….but then coach makes no subs until too late. miracle we ended with 11 on the field. USE THE SUBS YOU GET FIVE uggg

    • The only time the Union have ever been able to break down a defensive bunker was when Borek Dockal was here.
      .
      Every other Union team has not been able to breakdown a team with a lead that sits in a bunker.
      .
      Missing the red card did not matter because the result would not have changed.
      .
      Missing the PK hurt, but they would have had to score two more goals beyond it while keeping the shutout.
      .
      To me, it was telling that only three minutes after the Union go to three sun the back to improve their chances to score, they give up the away goal that means they have to score four times, not just three.

  11. Another spit show of CONCACAF officiating. If I wanted to watch WWF referees officiate my professional soccer experience I would gladly save my money and time and acknowledge that this is not actually a professionally officiated sport. MLS needs to press the rest of the region to force fair officiating…..

  12. While most of these comments are about the performance on the field, the Union have a LONG way to go off the field.
    .
    There is no reason why it should have felt like a Club America home game but it did. Sitting in 127, it was extremely rare that I could hear Union fans louder than Club America fans and that is a problem. The Union have a real problem right now attracting fans and the fans that do go to the games need to change the atmosphere so it feels like it’s giving the Union a home field advantage. The stadium last night was MUCH louder than it has ever been before, even than the 2019 playoff game or either Open Cup final.
    .
    9pm is also much too late to start a game like that on a weeknight. You’re basically telling families with kids to stay home. If FOX wants to telecast it at 9, tell them they can do it on tape delay. (It also probably shouldn’t have been played on the biggest Jewish holiday of the year, but that’s a different story.)
    .
    For me the biggest highlight was seeing the guy who sat in front of us diagonally for the first 10 years of the Union’s existence attend his first game since the 2019 playoff game. (Unfortunately, he is now a former season’s ticket holder since the guy he went to most of the games with has moved to Georgia.)

    • Agree with all of that. It was really tough to sit there as a STH from Day 1 and be surrounded by tons of loud America fans. And when I looked around to see which other STH weren’t there, I quickly figured out why they weren’t (school night for their kids, Yom Kippur, etc)

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        HEY! I’m a day one STH and I was there in 127!! But I agree with the overall sentiment. The game time and date (with school starting back up) was always going to be a mess for the average Union fan. It was a wild environment, but it did hurt a little to be so outnumbered.

    • Andy I have said before that soccer has an uphill battle for relevance in the US. To me it’s a cultural issue. The rest of the world has 100 years of tradition with a game that was shunned here because it wasn’t American. Just my thoughts on the matter. Also felt like the U played well in the face of the Dive-a-poluza from CA. Earily on I yelled at one of America’s players rolling around like his leg was broken…Hey Neymar, get up!. The Mexican fans around me thought it funny enough to high 5 me. Really enjoyed the game!!

      • I agree the Union played relatively well (which is why I was focusing on the non playing aspects). While some of it is a cultural issue, do we really think we’d see that high a percentage of away fans in Atlanta, Portland, or Seattle?

    • Good points. I was so disappointed to see that most Union Season Ticket Holders did not pay for their seats and did not come to this game and that these seats were snapped up by CA supporters. CA supporters had circa 3 sections in the corner to the left of the SOB’s and then had circa 50% of all other seats. When I was standing in line to get into the stadium CA supporters outnumbered us by 50 to 1!
      .
      And these CA supporters brought their babies and young kids! I was glad to see that the season ticket holders that sit next to us brought their 3 young kids and witnessed the surreal experience, but most with kids made an excuse not to come. Think the excuse of a late game is nonsense since I was in the gym at 6am. If there is a will, there is a way!
      .
      Wish we had such an atmosphere each game! At one point all CA supporters started to sing beautiful songs throughout the stadium; that was really special.
      .
      Really enjoyed the chances that the Union created. Wish they had been converted and that the result would have been better but was happy that I was there and witnessed a very special night.
      .
      It is sad that a fight amongst Union and CA supporters at Pat’s steaks seems to have ended in a death around 2am. Think we’ll hear about this as more facts come out.

    • Yup. If this was Atl/Seattle/Portland/Toronto, the home supporters would have outnumbered the CA fans 4:1, and not the other way around like last night. They are still paying for all the early years of ineptitude when they probably lost a a lot of potential fans for good and locked in the reputation among Philly sports fans of being the cheap team that plays all the way down in Chester.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Highly disagree it would’ve been a 4-1 outnumbering by Portland/Seattle, etc. I think it would have been closer to 50/50. I won’t argue with the overall point that the average season ticket holder didn’t show up, but I wouldn’t say all hope is lost. There were mitigating factors. If the team is good… the average fan comes. The team has been good the past two seasons – this season, meh… Get good again and the place will be packed… like it was parts of 18 and most of 19

      • The Union hardly marketed this game to season ticket holders, maybe one or two emails long ago. In contrast, I’ve gotten multiple emails and have seen multiple tweets for the upcoming Carli Lloyd game. Weak effort by management.

      • Good point on the Estelle Johnson game (OK, Carli Lloyd will be there too, but she never played for Philadelphia). I was planning on going to that, but once I saw that the tickets fees would make the cost more than for a Union game with worse seats I said thanks but no thanks.

    • Actually, it was CONCACAF that wanted to start the match at 9 p.m. EST – in order to best suit TV viewers in Mexico. I’m 99 percent sure CONCACAF doesn’t – or didn’t – care about young families with kids.

      • 100% correct my friend

      • And the Union can say let the TV stations show it on a delay rather than live. If they really want to play dirty, have Chester declare a 10pm curfew. They moved several world cup qualifier start times due to curfews.

  13. Kudos to the U for putting up a fight, but in the end, they’re just not of the same class as America, who played with the Union like a cat with a mouse, batting it around before going in for a kill to finish it off.

    I’m not sure we saw anything last night to give us hope that this team is prepared to climb back up the MLS East table. Monteiro is not good enough, not on his own. Our striker corps is adrift… It’s going to take an enormous amount of grit, composure and quality play to make a playoff appearance. And even if, then what?

    I think it’s time to start playing like this is a rebuild. Get the kids minutes and plan for moving on Monteiro. I’m sure that won’t happen and we’re in for the same old plan every match from now until the season ends. It’s too bad. In March, I thought this team was capable of much more.

    • Pete, you did notice that Monteiro came off in the 79th so Aaronson the younger could get 10 minutes to learn just how much has has to up his game?
      .
      Sullivan and McGlynn didn’t get enough time to leArn the same lesson, but that’s because their ceilings are lower, at this point.
      .
      Monteiro never used to come off at all, no matter how ineffectively he happened to be playing.

  14. Once again, the Union’s lack of depth hurt. We had no forwards on the bench. None. No Santos, no Davo, not even our fake forward Fontana.
    .
    Burke battled so much out there. Hats off to him.
    .
    Kacper did better than recently, but still no goals. Again.
    .
    It felt the Open Cup final again where they send out Obefemi Martins and we send out Pedro Ribeiro. America sent out Benedetti ($2.7 million on TransMarket) and Henry Martin ($4.4 million), and the best we can counter with is Paxton Aaronson ($440,000). Santos wasn’t available, but he’s only $1.65 million.
    .
    We just didn’t have the depth the match America. And it sucked.
    .
    All that said, I was proud of the team effort they put in, especially Martinez and Burke and Flach and Bedoya.

  15. A DP forward would’ve made a huge difference…
    .
    Sigh

  16. In Tanner We Trust says:

    I was very negative immediately following the result, but having slept on it I realize what’s actually the case: the rest of this season is a trial run for players to prove themselves and we have a very low chance of making a deep playoff run. That leads me to my more important thought…
    .
    This is the most important offseason in Union history by far, and it’s time for Tanner to prove he’s still the guy who brought us instant success 2019 and 2020. This of course would mean we need ownership to fund us. Tanner is great but he’s not turning water into wine. Give him the funds he needs. Give him a chance to find a DP striker and maybe a #10.
    .
    Speaking of #10, I think the biggest reason this a major offseason is due to making decisions on who stays and who goes. Some of my quick thoughts: Bedoya retire or accept bench role, Ilsinho retire and put him in the stinkin ring of honor, Gazdag has a handful more games to sway the decision either way, Martinez needs to go to Europe, Kacper needs to sit and maybe sit permanently, Flach should be given a chance at the 6 if and when Martinez goes to Europe, we need a speed upgrade at CB and I think Glesnes could be relegated to the role Elliott had last year, dump Powell and give Harriel a chance to develop on the 18 every game, and if at all possible get something for Fontana rather than having him leave for free.
    .
    All of these opinions may change, and you may disagree with some of them, but we should all agree that this offseason is massive.

    • I think this offseason needs to essentially be the second half of last offseason. Last year the Union were able to sell a couple of players but buying replacements was challenging in large part due to COVID restrictions. This offseason they truly need to replace Aaronson and McKenzie. Selling of Martinez gives even more space to add someone.

    • The effort was there last night but we don’t have any creativity in the final third to threaten. Please god the next penalty we get just kick it down the middle. The keeper dives one way every time so it’s a easy goal. As for the rest of the season, I expect much of the same from who starts. I’ve stated over and over again this year that Kacper and Flach cannot start. Bedoya probably shouldn’t be starting either. None of them have any offense at this point and 2 of them haven’t had any all season. 2 massive home games coming up. They might need all 6 with a lot of road games left. Hope they can turn it around.

  17. I can’t agree with most of the complaints about the ref. Maybe he fell for some of America’s diving but there were also plenty of times he didn’t go for it. Yes, he could have given more yellow’s for time wasting, but in the end that wouldn’t have made much difference.
    .
    As far as the card on the PK goes, my understanding is that DOGSO doesn’t automatically apply when its inside the box and a PK is given. Yes, when it’s blatant like with Freese against Dead Bull, but this wasn’t the type of contact that would have been a yellow if it wasn’t tactical, so it’s not supposed to get upgraded to a red. (It would be a red outside the box, though.)
    .
    And if people think a red would have changed the game, look at how the Union did against New England up a man for about the same length of time. Maybe it would have ended 0-0 rather than 0-2, but the series was essentially over when Monteiro missed the PK.

    • I changed my mind a bit on the red when I watched the highlights this morning. Thought it should have been red in the stadium for a DOGSO, but on re-watch there was arguably a covering defender who could have disrupted Kacper’s shot if he hadn’t been taken down. So I think I’m okay with yellow there.
      .
      Agree with you overall on the ref. I think the charitable interpretation is that in the first half he was trying to set a tone to keep the game from getting out of hand early. And in the second half he let things go a bit more. Overall I thought the ref did a decent job.

  18. So, there’s soo much to discuss with this game and season so far. I’ll do my best to mention everything. First off, Jims approach to play as a “counter attacking team” is pathetic. When playing a team like Club America you can’t play in this fashion. You have to establish possession. It doesn’t make sense. His starting forwards have the worst touch in the world and are not counter attacking at all. Kacper , Burke, Santos. They all need 10 touches to establish the ball at their feet. It’s embarrassing. Start Sullivan, Davo, Fontana. They have been scoring from the 18 or outside the 18 and not having to only score from basically the goal line. I hear we need a #10. It’s Paxton Aaronson. He is like his brother and he might even be better at hitting the target than Brandon. It’s frustrating because i think we have the players to keep up in the standings but Curtin keeps religiously giving the home growns for example 88’ mins
    To make something happen. It’s not logical in this game.
    Martinez El Bruho is complete trash. It’s time for McGlynn to start and Flach to be placed as the CDM. I’m tired of Martinez turning the ball over every game and producing horrible fouls. He has no awareness and he cannot pass. Time for him to go. Why is Montiero taking pks or free kicks or corners? He has the absolute worst and weakness foot in the MLS. On another point, Wagner is one of our best and important players but, when getting to the flank he blindly puts crosses into the box. It hasn’t worked all year! And he continues to hope that something different will happen. If Curtin had any sense, tell the
    Guy to pick someone out when putting in crosses, find feet. Instead, we watch Wagner swing in balls to no one. It’s comical at this point. Lastly, Curtins stubbornness to play a counter attacking style against all teams, not being flexible with formations for playing possession first, not looking like he cares on the side line and not giving direction or guidance on the sideline and not having the balls to put the right players on the pitch is a sign that we need a new coach. His time is done here.

    • I’m going to disagree with your last point about not being flexible with formation. The Union have used 3 different formations over their last 3 games. The problem is that none of the formations have led to any goals (except the own goal in DC). And it’s not like he’s played the same players over and over again given how many of them were unavailable for the New England game.
      .
      Right now the onus is on Tanner to provide the talent for Curtin to figure out how to use it.

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      Where was Davo?

      • Given that it only 18 were allowed to be dressed rather than 20 for an MLS game, someone had to be left off and Davo’s only played about 30 minutes with the team. Yes we would have been happy if he played and scored, but we also would have been upset if he played and didn’t score and someone else was left out.

      • oh man, i figured he wasn’t eligible because he just joined the team in the second half of a semi final of this ‘league’. if he was eligible and didn’t make the bench that is another mark on curtin. he demonstrated his ability in 30 minutes

      • John L, let me just ask the obvious follow up. Who do you take out of the 18 to make room for him? (Let’s assume that Bendik, Powell, and Findlay aren’t options since they are needed in case of injury.)

      • Andy Muenz – possibly Powell because of the goal difference actually, and if wagner or mbazio get injured you just shift to a more offensive formation. But the better answer is either mcglynn or sullivan. while it is amazing to play homegrowns in a game like this, players like gazdag and davo were brought in for situations like this. personally i would never play scorey and kacsper at the same time

      • Fair enough. I don’t think Powell is an option since if there is a fantasy world where Burke/Glesnes/PK all go in, now you need to have that defensive sub available in case of injury.
        .
        McGlynn is probably the better option to leave off since he is more redundant in the current roster than Sullivan is.

  19. Richard P Myers says:

    Here are my five takeaways, having attended the game and having read all of the responses above:

    1) Club America is the better side, period. If they were in England, they would be in Premier League, probably mid to upper table; the Union are a mid-table Championship team. That is not only my opinion, it is shared by my British neighbor John who attended last night’s match with me. The better team won the series, as well as last night’s match.

    2) The Club America fanbase is massive–they are the Man U. of Mexico. To my eyes, they outnumbered Union supporters about 2:1. They were respectful, but passionate. I think that their team deserves that level of support.

    3) The Union played with passion and resolve, which was good to see. Curtin started the players who got the Union this far (and I assume that it was a reward of sorts). The Union are not talented enough to beat a team of this caliber in a two game home and home series. Two of the players who got them to this point by winning the 2020 Supporters Shield (B. Aaronson and M. McKenzie) are not with the Union and the Union have not been able to replace them adequately.

    4) Ochoa was MOTM for me. Monteiro’s penalty was fairly well-taken and on frame and Ochoa made an outstanding save including on the rebound. A few minutes later he came of his line to prevent a dangerous cross that looked like it was going to be headed in.

    5) In order to be world class, CONCACAF needs to improve its officiating. In the first half, neither I nor the players could figure out what was a foul, much less a yellow card. Ironically (because the Union bore the brunt of the poor officiating with 4 first half yellow cards), the single worst call in the first half was in favor of the Union when CA Francisco Cordova was given a yellow card for a minor push in the back, I think to Wagner. On most occasions in European soccer, that would not even have been whistled. The second half foul by Valdez on Przybylko in the box was an obvious denial of a goal scoring opportunity and in every other league in the world would have (and should have) been red-carded.

    • 3) Don’t forget to include R. Gaddis on the list of players who got the Union there but are no longer with the team.
      .
      5) I’m pretty sure they yellow on Cordova was for time wasting after the foul rather than for the foul itself.

      • Richard P Myers says:

        Right you are about Gaddis. I do think and hope that Mbaizo will grow into that role, and I for one am patient enough to wait for that.

        You may be right about Cordova–I do recall that the yellow was not shown right away.

    • So I’m not sure if your using England as comparison to show the difference in talent and money compared to CA and Union or if you actually think CA would be an upper tier team in England..if the former than I agree..liga MX would be Premier league and MLS would be championship…but, no way in hell is CA a top tier team in the Premier league..Leeds would smash them, hell burley would beat them more then half the time…they would be a championship team at best

      • I have only seen one Premier League game and one Championship game in person. My friend John has seen many dozens in person. I think that you are selling CA and the top tier LigaMX teams short (and elevating the bottom of the Premier League table). CA (as well as Cruz Azul, Monterrey and Santos) would probably not be in danger of relegation in Premier League, were they there. They have the benefit of playing some marginal teams in LigaMX, and I will grant you, CA do not always play to form. But they do have a great deal of talent on their roster and a world-class goalkeeper. I view CA as at the level of West Ham or Everton in EPL, but not the top 6. When the Union had B. Aaronson, Mark McKenzie and Gaddis in the lineup, in my judgment, they were a bottom level EPL team or a top tier Championship team. Without those players in the lineup, the Union are mid-level Championship. I did not mean to suggest that there is equivalence across the board with LigaMX and Premier League. The top 6 EPL teams would consistently beat the top LigaMX teams, just as they beat the lower tiers of teams in EPL.

  20. Yup. If this was Atl/Seattle/Portland/Toronto, the home supporters would have outnumbered the CA fans 4:1, and not the other way around like last night. They are still paying for all the early years of ineptitude when they probably lost a a lot of potential fans for good and locked in the reputation among Philly sports fans of being the cheap team that plays all the way down in Chester.

  21. Shocked to read today in the Inquirer that three Union fans were attacked at Pat’s Steaks by America fans and one of the Union fans, a 28-yar-old was killed. Terrible. I don’t get why football fandom leads to violence. I just don’t get it. Very sorry for those attacked and the young man’s family.

  22. The Union played with a lot of grit and spirit last night, which made it a fun game to watch. I really would have loved to see the match play out if Glesnes had buried his header in the first half — he has to score there! Or if Monteiro converted the penalty. After the first 25 minutes or so, the Union were really asking all the questions (a lot of that being down to the America game plan, to be fair), and just could not put the ball in the net.
    .
    About that last part. It’s a persistent problem this season. The Union have one of the worst goal tallies in league play, and it’s not hard to see why. No one will accuse this team of having too many ideas on the offensive side. Last night was partly a personnel problem; I can’t imagine Curtin would have chosen Burke to pair with Kacper if he had Santos available, and I think Santos would have given America more to think about on the defensive side of the ball. But it’s also an idea problem. Against a team that is solid defensively and reasonably content to put quite a few people behind the ball, the Union strategy of putting in crosses and dinked balls over the top over and over was always going to have a hard time creating great chances. But they seem incapable of playing the give-and-gos or through balls on the ground in the middle of the pitch that can really disrupt a defensive system. I can probably count on one hand the number of times Kacper or Burke had the ball played into their feet in a dangerous spot, and one of those resulted in the penalty. Why can’t we have more of that?
    .
    On the America supporters, it’s obviously frustrating to be surrounded by opposing supporters in the Union’s home stadium. But what an atmosphere it created–even if one that was not in the Union’s favor. It’s unrealistic for your run-of-the-mill MLS home game, at least in the short term, but that’s what soccer ought to feel like. Just wish it was coming from an 80/20 mix of Union supporters, rather than 60/40 the other way (maybe 70/30, to be honest).

  23. Fans of Club America now wanted for murder over fight at Pat’s last night:
    .
    Conversation among soccer fans over post-match cheesesteaks escalated into a brawl that left a 28-year-old killed and his father and another man injured near the iconic Pat’s King of Steaks in South Philadelphia, police said.
    .
    Early Thursday, people in soccer jerseys are seen on tape eating cheesesteaks, talking among themselves, seemingly getting along. They included the 28-year-old man and his 64-year-old father, as well as a friend of the son, said Philadelphia police, who had not identified anyone involved as of late Thursday morning.
    .
    The trio got into an argument with four men wearing the yellow jerseys of Club América. The Union lost to the Mexico City team in Chester Wednesday in the Concacaf Champions League semifinal, and police said the victims had attended the game before stopping for cheesesteaks.
    .
    The four Club América fans then beat the three men, bludgeoning one to death with hands, fists, and a metal trash can lid, police said.
    .
    Police said they believe the assailants are men in their 20s, and ask anyone with information to call the homicide unit at 215-686-3334, dial 911, or report anonymously at 215-686-8477.

    .
    https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/pats-steaks-murder-brawl-20210916.html

  24. I’ll jump back in on the fan discussion. Mid week and time hurt the Unions chances of dominant fan turnout. Also agree on the early years hurting them overall. It’s a shame that violence has to be part of the fan experience! I’m not so sure that the west coast teams would have faired much better! Club America is huge!! And their fanbase travels well! I spoke to several CA fans from NY,and one whose Brother and their family came out from California. I’m glad to have been in the stands and experience that excitement. The tristate area has 5 sports teams to spend their time on. And American football rules the day. Soccer fans are a minority and the casual fan isn’t showing up on a regular basis. A better PK from Monterio could have changed the game but I doubt that the outcome would have been different. It’s a tough loss but the boys were in it till the end! That’s what I took from it! And as usual the discussion on this page is great and thoughtful!

    • Teams like Seattle and Portland would have filled a higher percentage of the stands with their own season ticket holders leaving fewer left by the time the general public (aka CA fans) could have accessed them.
      .
      Plus a 6pm start on the west coast is more family friendly than the 9pm east coast.

  25. Well…..look at the bright side: U will never be forced to display your offensive ineptitude on that bright a stage ever again-so there’s that at least.

    On a darker note-U are not making the Playoffs either. That market only entertains teams that can score goals. So-you can get a huge head start on your offseason planning. Never too early to begin.

    I’m looking forward to Tanner throwing more draft picks away for cash to blow on more foreigners who lack speed & skill on the ball.

  26. CA is a far better club so I give that due credit. CA also doesn’t have a salary cap, they have high altitude and smog, and some other things that made this chance a long one. They also got some lucky breaks on referee decisions, and once again, a deflection. We were chasing the game needing two goals late in the match, and only then did CA get its two goals.
    * * *
    I’ve no issue with Curtin’s and the teams’ strategies and efforts in the match. It came down to the same basic problem…players not being able to finish. They can only do their best, and they did. This problem needs once again to be directed to ownership and others in charge of trades and signups. We need goal producers.

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