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Match report: New York City FC 0-2 Philadelphia Union

photo: Marjorie Elzey

Philadelphia Union ran out 2-0 winners behind first half goals from Alejandro Bedoya and Daniel Gazdag, defeating New York City FC for their first ever win at Yankee Stadium.

Jim Curtin made just one change to the team that defeated San Jose last weekend, with Julian Carranza returning from suspension to replace Cory Burke. Mikael Uhre was unable to recover from injury to make the bench.

The Union would grab the lead in just the 12th minute. Kai Wagner delivered a dangerous ball into the NYC box from a free kick on the left side. Carranza was able to get a touch on the ball to keep the play alive and the ball fell to Bedoya on the left side of the box. The captain kept his composure and slotted home with a side footed shot into the lower right corner of Sean Johnson’s goal.

There was a big flash point in the 28th minute. Santiago Rodriguez brought down a long ball from Johnson over the top and was in on goal. He rounded Andre Blake and Jack Elliott made contact with the midfielder and he went down in the box. Referee Ted Unkel initially pointed to the penalty spot and showed Elliott a red card for the denial of a goal scoring opportunity. But after a VAR review, Unkel eventually went over to the video monitor himself to review the play and then correctly called Rodriguez for handball when bringing down the ball over the top.

Philadelphia would notch their second goal just minutes later in the 33rd minute. Bedoya found Nathan Harriel making an overlapping run on the right side and then the right back delivered a perfect low ball across the front of goal that Gazdag tapped into an empty net from close range.

Sergio Santos had the ball in the net just before the halftime whistle, but the goal was chalked off as the striker was fractionally offside when the ball came to him.

New York dominated possession for much of the second half but failed to carve out too many clear chances. Their best chance was probably when Castellanos did well to elevate for a header at the back post and loop the ball toward the Union goal, but Harriel was on the line to clear the chance away.

A melee broke out just after the 70th minute when Castellanos tried to grab the ball away from Blake after it had gone out of balance. Shoves and words were exchanged between both teams but only yellow cards were show for Wagner and Castellanos when the dust had settled.

The win was the first for the Union at Yankee Stadium. Philadelphia continues their unbeaten run to start the season and have won three straight matches. They currently sit at the top of the MLS Supporters Shield table as of Saturday afternoon with 10 points from four matches. The Union are next in action after the international break, when they host expansion club Charlotte FC on April 3.

Three Points

  • Still unbeaten: Philadelphia is off to their best start in franchise history with 10 points through four matches.
  • Harriel: Nathan Harriel has officially arrived and claimed the right back spot. His assist in the first half was a thing of beauty and his goal line clearance in the second half kept the clean sheet.
  • No Uhre, no problem: While Union fans still wait to see what new striker Mikael Uhre brings to the team from the start of a game, players like Bedoya, Gazdag, and Burke are keeping the Union up and running with big goals so far this year.

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake, Kai Wagner, Jakob Glesnes, Jack Elliott, Nathan Harriel, Jose Martinez, Alejandro Bedoya, Leon Flach, Daniel Gazdag, Sergio Santos (Quinn Sullivan 78′), Julian Carranza (Cory Burke 65′)
Subs: Matt Real, Olivier Mbaizo, Brandan Craig, Paxten Aaronson, Jack McGlynn, Jesus Bueno

New York City FC

Sean Johnson, Alexander Callens, Thiago Martins, Malte Amundsen (Chris Gloster 78′), Andres Jasson (Heber 46′), Maxi Moralez, Alfredo Morales, Keaton Parks (Nicolas Acevedo 46′), Valentin Castellanos, Talles Magno, Santiago Rodriguez (Thiago Andrade 78′)
Subs: Gedion Zelalem, Maxime Chanot, Luis Barraza, Justin Haak, Kevin O’Toole

Scoring Summary

PHI: Alejandro Bedoya -12′ (Carranza, Wagner)
PHI: Daniel Gazdag – 33′ (Harriel)

Disciplinary Summary

NYC: Andres Jasson – 11′ (foul)
PHI: Julian Carranza – 14′ (dissent)
NYC: Santiago Rodriguez – 52′ (dissent)
PHI: Daniel Gazdag – 67′ (foul)
PHI: Kai Wagner – 73′ (other)
NYC: Valentin Castellanos – 73′ (other)
PHI: Cory Burke – 74′ (foul)
NYC: Talles Magno – 85′ (foul)


  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Bedoya’s 3rd game winning goal against NYCFC since 2020.
    Team played a great compact defense.
    Even if there hadn’t been a handball, Elliott did not deserve red. Rodriguez was already going down when contact was made and while it was probably still a foul, it was no longer an obvious goal scoring opportunity as the ball was about to go over the endline. But then again, Unkel showed he is incompetent when he gave the yellow card to Burke.
    Pretty sure the only reason there was 6 minutes of stoppage time was that Unkel was trying to put in enough time so he wouldn’t be charged with a full vacation day. He certainly didn’t put in 90 minutes worth of work.

  2. Stoked about the win! Well done.

    But seriously, that the Union are in first place reflects above all how mediocre MLS is.

    And this Carranza character is pretty much useless, but at least he can put on a uniform, unlike Uhre. That Miami wants to unload Carranza and then today loses to Cincinnati, what does that tell us?

    Amazing to be able to pull out a road victory when El Brujo is as invisible as Carranza was.

    But, hey, a win is a win, and I am happy for Jim and the boys. Maybe they can finally build that supermarket in Chester that was promised when Sugarman and Co. got all those tax breaks and public funds to build that stadium, eh?

    Doop rhymes with droop, which is exactly what my enthusiasm for this franchise is doing… Droop Droop Droop Droo Droo Droo Droo Droo Droop…

    And, please, may some European team snatch up Castellanos already? What an annoying prick, almost as annoying as Higuain. Please just go away…

    Also annoying is Yankee Stadium as a soccer venue. What a joke.

    But a win on the road against the allegedly defending MLS champs, hey, time to party and get back to March Madness.

    • Lighten up Francis.

      It’s a big win. Carranza had the cross to Bedoya off the service on the first goal. Great start to the season. Finally a win in that band box In NY. Be happy.

    • What an absurdly negative post after a 2-0 win at the defending champions. Cut Carranza some slack, he’s got 2 assists in 3 games. And weird timing to lose your enthusiasm for the club when they’re off to their best 4 game start ever since with maybe the best squad they’ve ever had.

    • Eddie the eagle says:

      You’re watching the wrong sport if that’s your summary.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Genuinely not sure you watched the game Eddy. But hey… enjoy March Madness

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Sheesh. You make me look like a brite white light bulb.

    • Did you watch this game?

    • I smell an NYCFC troll.
      Either that, or Rip VanHackworth.

      • It’s fine to disagree with me, and, yeah, maybe I was overly negative in my post. But to call me “Dumb”? Really?

        I have been around this sport all my life. My father was a professional, I played at the university level and had a trial with a team in Germany. Also have a Ph.D. and have published a bunch of books and am fluent in 6 languages. So, I know how mediocre MLS is and I really don’t think I am dumb, but you, Kmax, are simply rude and revolting.


    • This is a dumb comment. I have also made dumb comments, so I know one when I see one. Own it.

  3. How can you watch what they’ve done the last couple of years, and the start they’re off to this season, then post that? Yikes. The only part I’ll spot you is the ongoing yankee stadium debacle.

  4. Henry Scobie says:

    I am not going to say that today’s 2-0 victory at NYCFC offers any kind of payback or provides any feelings of solace or catharsis after last season’s Eastern Conference Finals loss. But with a total team performance like today and the best start to the season in franchise history, how can I not be excited about this statement win and the prospects for what’s to come for the Union in 2022? What a great time to be a fan.

    Kudos to Flach and Harriel in particular today – I thought both had excellent performances.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    Some thoughts from me:
    Unlike Eddy, I thought Carranza was good today and the assist on the first goal was well done.
    El Brujo was frustrating today. Someone needs to tell him to have some urgency from time to time. Dude is so cavalier on the ball at all the wrong times. He turned it over too many times for me today.
    Bedoya is a man on a mission this year. He is playing smart and he’s standing out for me.
    That pitch is, and will always be, a complete joke.
    I saved about $1,000 last year because I woulda been flying to Portland to see the Union play in the MLS Cup Final, if it wasn’t for Covid. NYC is a fraud champion. No doubt the Union beat their ass last year in the East Final at home, if they’re at full strength.
    NYC’s “championship” banner might be the only thing worse than their field.
    Their defense has been excellent. 2 goals against in 4 games is great. But the possession stats are brutal. They need to possess the ball at least a little bit.
    Barring an injury, we might never see Mbaizo play again. Harriel has been incredible.
    Best start in Union history. Unbeaten. They have a week off. And their $3m+ striker has played about 30 mins so far. I have ZERO to complain about.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Calling that travesty a “pitch” is an insult to pitches all over the world!
      Mbaizo could also play if Harriel is on U-23 duty or something.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Fair point… BASEBALL DIAMOND!! Haha.
        As for Mbaizo playing, yeah, I realize that… just making a point that he has taken that job with both hands and doesn’t seem to be letting it go.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I agree on Harriel. Was my way of pointing out that he should be getting national team consideration.

  6. el Pachyderm says:

    Dude Wipes.
    What a goddamn disgrace.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Short and sweet. Well played Elephant

    • Soccerdad720 says:

      Hahahaha! I thought the same thing. (In all honesty though, can’t say it’s all that worse than Bimbo).

    • Watching the game and seeing that on their sleeves, I kept thinking all the NYCFC players really needed to use those wipes! Cuz their asses must be chapped with all the whining they were doing! On the other hand great all around game! Harriel is a beast!

  7. Gruncle Bob says:

    Road wins are rare and should be saluted with copious amounts of celebratory materials, especially on the joke field. Our lads took care of business, and that is what matters most.

  8. Kudos for the first win at Postage Stamp stadium and Kudos to MLS for leading off the recap article with the salty Union post digging NYCFC’s tiny championship flag. Recap video with the homer City announcers never considered the review was for a handball and only indication that was the issue was seeing Unkle tap his arm after the review. Announcers made it sound like they were reviewing red v yellow. Also no video of the goal line clearance by Harriel but everything else was Union goals or the one called back for offsides.

  9. Andy Muenz says:

    Looks like Charlotte (Union’s next opponent) got its first win last night against New England 3-1. I wonder if it was too cold for Carlos Gil?

  10. Best start in team history.
    Top of the table.
    Harriel improves an already impressive defensive back 4.
    …and our best 11 hasn’t seen its debut.
    Nothing to complain about here…

  11. We didn’t just beat NYCFC at Yankee Stadium finally: we pretty well dominated them.

    Our defense was awfully impressive. Harriel is a freakin’ revelation.

    After 4 matches we have 10 points, atop the East, #2 in Supporter’s Shield standing (and that’s on goal differential)… and all that with only 2 of our 7 goals being scored by a striker. Our #4 striker.

    I think this is gonna be another awesome season, folks…

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