Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-1 CF Montreal

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Kei Kamara’s second-half strike canceled out Julian Carranza’s first-half penalty, leaving Philadelphia Union and CF Montreal tied at 1-1 and sharing the points on Saturday afternoon at Subaru Park.

Back in action after the club’s first loss of the season, manager Jim Curtin sent out the same XI from the past two matches. Sergio Santos was absent from the bench through injury.

The Union got on the board after 20 minutes. A well-worked passage of play saw Mikael Uhre feed Daniel Gazdag, who ran at the defense and attempted to find the sweeping run of Julian Carranza in the box. Montreal’s Kamal Miller bowled Carranza over, and the referee pointed to the spot. Carranza sent keeper Sebastian Breza the wrong way to notch his third tally of the year.

After a first half where the Union were on top, Montreal turned the tables in the second. The halftime sub of Kei Kamara for Sunusi Ibrahim paid dividends on the hour mark, when the MLS veteran cut in front of Jakob Glesnes and fizzed Romell Quioto’s cross past Andre Blake for the equalizer.

Curtin looked to get his side back on top, introducing Jack McGlynn and Cory Burke on 66 minutes, but they were unable to find a winner in a chippy second half that featured six yellow cards.

“We have to find a way to generate more scoring chances,” Curtin said after the match, noting that his side’s two shots on goal “isn’t enough in our home stadium.”

The Union look to get back to winning ways next Sunday, when they travel to Tennessee to help Nashville SC inaugurate GEODIS Park. First kick from MLS’s newest venue is on May 1 at 4 p.m.

Lineups

Philadelphia Union 

Andre Blake, Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Nathan Harriel, Jose Martinez, Alejandro Bedoya, Leon Flach (Jack McGlynn 66′), Daniel Gazdag, Mikael Uhre (Paxten Aaronson 89′), Julian Carranza (Cory Burke 67′)

Unused subs: Matt Freese, Matt Real, Stuart Findlay, Olivier Mbaizo, Quinn Sullivan, Jesus Bueno

CF Montreal

Sebastian Breza, Kamal Miller, Rudy Camacho, Joel Waterman, Lassi Lappalainen (Zorhan Bassong 82′), Victor Wanyama, Ismael Kone (Samuel Piette 82′), Alistair Johnston, Djordje Mihailovic, Sunusi Ibrahim (Kei Kamara 46′)

Unused subs: James Pantemis, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Gabriele Corbo,  Joaquin Torres, Ahmed Hamdi, Matko Miljevic

Scoring Summary

PHI: Julian Carranza — 21′ (PK)
MTL: Kei Kamara — 59′ (Romell Quioto, Alistair Johnston)

Discipline Summary

PHI: Alejandro Bedoya — 55′ (foul)
MTL: Joel Waterman — 61′ (foul)
PHI: Jose Martinez — 82′ (dissent)
MTL: Kamal Miller — 90′ (foul)
PHI: Kai Wagner — 90+1′ (foul)
MTL: Zorhan Bassong — 90+3′ (foul)

Statistics
PHI Statistic MTL PHI Statistic MTL

45.6

Possession % 54.4 41 Duels Won 52
4 Shots 8 14 Tackles Won

9

2

Shots on Goal 3 2 Saves 1
0 Blocked Shots 1 10 Clearances

10

380

Total Passes 444 17 Fouls 10
69.7 Pass Accuracy % 80.4 3 Yellow Cards

3

1

Corners 1 0 Red Cards 0
3 Crosses 12 1.2 xG

0.5

1

Offsides

1

29 Comments

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    It probably wouldn’t have made any difference given how late his actual yellow was, but is there any reason Miller didn’t receive a yellow for the foul that led to the PK?
    .
    Right now the Union offense really needs some work. Aside from the one goal in Toronto, the only other goals they’ve scored in the last 3 weeks were on a PK and an own goal. At some point they need to put up or shut up.
    .
    At this point I don’t think it would surprise anyone if they come back to Subaru Park in 3 weeks riding a 5 game winless streak including an early exit from the Open Cup.

  2. I’ll be the first on this train; I think the 8 spot is our next need of an upgrade. Flach and Bedoya do all the running and pressing needed but they are so poor going forward it’s hurting the team.

    Flach, is who he is. At this point his future seems to be as our next #6 after Martinez is sold.

    Bedoya is good for a pretty assist or goal once a month. Between those moments he just doesn’t offer much going forward.

    I think Curtin needs to do better here. Either start McGlynn more often and try to actually score and get up on teams before brining in Flach for defense. And/Or sub in Sullivan/Aaronson much earlier to spice up the game.

    The front three still aren’t perfect – Gazdag dribbles and loses it too much, Carranza is still missing passes and killing attacks – but actually having 1 or both 8s able to contribute offensively and connect passes would be a huge help.

  3. 3 kind of meh, at best, matches in a row.
    .
    Still kinda unconvinced about Gazdog as a chance creator.

  4. Gazdag plays well with the ball at his feet. And his passes are probing. It’s Bedoya and Flach that are killing us. Neither should be starting.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    Can’t score. Can’t win. Passing is a problem. Possession is a problem – not a huge one, but still an issue. This team defensively is fine. Very good most of the time, even. Going forward they need to get it together. Quickly. Next two games, not counting the Open Cup game – at Nashville and at LAFC – will tell us a lot. Get results there and we’re fine. Losses all around would bring us crashing back to Earth. We shall see…

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I think passing is the biggest problem. Lack of possession is fine as long as you can complete passes on the counterattack. The problem is that the Union seem to have gone from counterattack to no attack.

  6. The passing between the middle third and attacking third is just not working. Many times they look like they’re trying to play at a speed they’re not capable of… one touch attempts that bobble or drift. I’d pile on to Bedoya and Flach, too, but they’re not the only culprits.

    • John P. O'Donnell says:

      All I keep seeing is balls played into the wrong space. Player goes right and the ball went left or the they tried threading a pass instead or giving it to someone wide open. For the most part I see it as curing itself the more they play together.
      .
      At some point in this stretch of games it’s time to see Flach at the six and rest Martinez and Bedoya giving the kids a start. My guess it happens against Orlando.

      • Agree. I think Carranza, Gazdag and Uhre will figure it out.

        I’ve been worried we’re running Ale into the ground since 2019. To me, he should be moved into the James Milner at Liverpool role: Spot starts, sub appearances. He’s not a full 90 every game guy anymore. I’m sure Curtin prefers the defensive cover of Flach to what he gets from McGlynn or Aaronson, but Flach just doesn’t have it in attack. not sure he ever will.

  7. That s*cked…… a total malaise against Canadian teams?

    Jim? WTH……

    We can see that once Uhre, Carranza and GasBag get it together, it will be beautiful.

    But man….. Look at the schedule in May. WOW….. When will they get it together?

    So how’s it gonna be Jim?

    Next 4 games…… 12 potential points against playoff quality teams, 3 in their buildings…. including US Open Cup at Orlando.

    What will we look like against NYRB back at Subaru, May 14?

  8. Chris Gibbons says:

    I understand all the frustrations in the midfield, but it’s the second game in a row where it could’ve been 3 or 4-0 after 20 minutes and it wasn’t. Montreal took their only chance, while the U wasted several. That’s the story.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      To me, that’s the frustration.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      once it clicks… lights out. By mid June or July this team will be purring. That’s my instinct. The top three are just fantastic.

      • Jeremy Lane says:

        I feel the same. It’s frustrating right now, but let’s try not to overreact. It was so nearly there on more than one occasion. Once Gazdag and Uhre are truly on the same wavelength, I think they could really boss things.

  9. Atomic Spartan says:

    Nancy subs Kamara at the half. Goal. Jim subs at 65+, Pax in desperation time and toys with subbing Mbaizo? At this rate he’ll compete for the Andy Reid Memorial Clock Management award. JC does most things right. So what’s his problem with the player-time confibulum?

  10. el Pachyderm says:

    Still not concerned. I thought they offered a good response after last weeks loss. I am certain, once Carranza, Uhre, and Gazdag have more time together they are going to pepper the goal with better results. They are so much better than any pairings we have every had… and that was evidenced immediatly when Corey came on IMO. Uhre is going to score so many goals in this legue.
    .
    A bit worried with Ale today. Just way off offensively. Continue to be concerned about Flach…phew with a 3 on ZERO to put the premature-pass behind the player—- under no pressure. Defintetly concerned about Ale and Flach on field together.
    .
    Gazdag displaying what I thought he would… just a total baller.

    • Jeremy Lane says:

      Same thought about Cory. I was disappointed in his workrate, too. Once his shot from the Uhre layoff went (so, so, so, so) wide, I felt like he wasn’t in the game.

      • Yeah while our first two choices at striker are as good as we’ve ever had, our depth is shaping up to be poor. Santos already has a new injury and will be out for weeks, Burke is looking like this. Darboe is only 15 and Pierre is on a U2 contract.

        I seriously think we need help for depth already, because I don’t think Gazdag or Sullivan can be productive as a second striker.

      • Was at game and have to agree with everything stated above. Front 3 had some fantastic interplay with final touch missing. We’re all waiting for Uhre to break out, but he had a few awful build-up killing passes during both halves. My son commented that they need to pull #7 at half. I didn’t quite see it his way since Uhre was part of the more creative sequences of the game. Love afternoon games at the park. Makes the commute from Lancaster area a bit easier.

  11. Kinda unrelated to the Union match, but I missed it because I was attending a USL Championship match in Charleston that turned into a Philly reunion. Charleston Battery is coached by Conor Casey (yeah, they play like Casey…lots of physicality). Louisville is coached by Danny Cruz (never envisioned him as a coach). Playing for Louisville is one Corbin Bone (who came on as a sub and contributed as assist instead of his usual card)

  12. Deez Nuggs says:

    Was it just me, or was there a stiff wind inside the 18? Seemed like we’d slice Montreal up, get behind and soon as we hit the box every pass is behind or too hard.

  13. That was a very disappointing draw yesterday that feels like a loss. The usually-reliable Glesnes lost Kamara for 2 seconds, the pass went through Wagner and into the back of the net. Then Montreal ran out the clock. Here are my observations from having attended the match:
    1) From the start of the match, Montreal played a very high defensive line, daring the Union to play direct, which they failed to do effectively. This has been a recurrent theme over the past 2 or so years.
    2) When the Union did get chances around the box, they were afraid to pull the trigger and shoot. An open shot from anywhere at the top of the penalty box really ought to be taken, but there seems to be a mortal fear of failure.
    3) Once again, Ale’s legs failed him after 60 minutes. I don’t want to see him try to pace himself–that’s not his game. Pedal to the metal for 60 minutes, then sub for fresh legs. We have capable subs–let’s use them.
    4) The persistent fouling by Montreal, particularly pushing Uhre in the back, contributed to the general lack of flow of the game. Persistent fouling needs to be carded, period, even in the first half. The Union were no angels, either, but there seemed to be a lot of inconsistency to me. Some jersey tugs were allowed; others (like Wagner’s at the end of the game) were not. Unfortunately, Martinez’ frustrations boiled over and he got carded for bouncing the ball in dissent.
    5) I was very impressed by Montreal’s goalie Sebastian Breza, not so much by his ball-stopping but rather by his excellent and quick decision-making which thwarted a number of potential Union chances.
    6) The Union starting XI had 9 different nations represented.

  14. Jim, Jim ,Jim… out coached against. The boys in blue played alright just not as a team. At the game it was obvious that Montreal knew what Jim was going to put on the field, when he was going to sub and how we were going to play and built their plan around the know im, Jim ,Jim… out coached against. The boys in blue played alright just not as a team. At the game it was obvious that Montreal knew what Jim was going to put on the field, when he was going to sub and how we were going to play and built their plan around the know plan. Anyone, who has watched one union game knows Jim’s plan. Karma’s sub was strategic, the Montreal offense was painfully slow the first half. Glesnes was lulled into being over confident and did that thing he did last year a couple of times where he tries to play it too cool but gets burned in the process. Kamara is fast and pounced on Glesnes and he was burned. Great subbing on Montreal’s part. After the goal they controlled the game. I almost sure there were additional subs than listed above. I wish Jim would spend more time on strategy than he does picking out his Prada outfit. The only stats we were slightly better on was tackles. Yes this is all harsh, but it is Philly and we should have won the last two games( thanks to MLS for issuing a red card after the Toronto game, garbage officiating). Agree, with a lot of the points above. Bedoya is our captain and does more than we know, but his legs are just not there. He is helping and tutor Harriel but he is just struggling to keep pace. Flach is doing better than most give him credit for, it just is not flashy and in the box. He does a lot in the midfield, but agree he is still struggling. Carranza, Uhre and Gazdag look like a three legged dog. They look out of sorts and passed almost every ball behind each other. Uhre, makes some weird directional runs that doesn’t help and throws his teammates off. I place a fair bit of blame on coaching. Watching in person, singularity they looked alright, but this is a team sport. Get them to sync up and there is a ton of potential. Figured it out Jim…. Anyone, who has watched one union game knows Jim’s plan. Karma’s sub was strategic, the Montreal offense was painfully slow the first half. Glesnes was lulled into being over confident and did that thing he did last year a couple of times where he tries to play it too cool but gets burned in the process. Kamara is fast and pounced on Glesnes and he was burned. Great subbing on Montreal’s part. After the goal they controlled the game. I almost sure there were additional subs than listed above. I wish Jim would spend more time on strategy than he does picking out his Prada outfit. The only stats we were slightly better on was tackles. Yes this is all harsh, but it is Philly and we should have won the last two games( thanks to MLS for issuing a red card after the Toronto game, garbage officiating). Agree, with a lot of the points above. Bedoya is our captain and does more than we know, but his legs are just not there. He is helping and tutor Harriel but he is just struggling to keep pace. Flach is doing better than most give him credit for, it just is not flashy and in the box. He does a lot in the midfield, but agree he is still struggling. Carranza, Uhre and Gazdag look like they don’t practice together. They look out of sorts and passed almost every ball behind each other. Uhre, makes some weird directional runs that doesn’t help and throws his teammates off. I place a fair bit of blame on coaching. Watching in person, singularity they looked alright, but this is a team sport. Get them to sync up and there is a ton of potential. Figured it out Jim….

  15. im, Jim ,Jim… out coached against. The boys in blue played alright just not as a team. At the game it was obvious that Montreal knew what Jim was going to put on the field, when he was going to sub and how we were going to play and built their plan around the know plan. Anyone, who has watched one union game knows Jim’s plan. Karma’s sub was strategic, the Montreal offense was painfully slow the first half. Glesnes was lulled into being over confident and did that thing he did last year a couple of times where he tries to play it too cool but gets burned in the process. Kamara is fast and pounced on Glesnes and he was burned. Great subbing on Montreal’s part. After the goal they controlled the game. I almost sure there were additional subs than listed above. I wish Jim would spend more time on strategy than he does picking out his Prada outfit. The only stats we were slightly better on was tackles. Yes this is all harsh, but it is Philly and we should have won the last two games( thanks to MLS for issuing a red card after the Toronto game, garbage officiating). Agree, with a lot of the points above. Bedoya is our captain and does more than we know, but his legs are just not there. He is helping and tutor Harriel but he is just struggling to keep pace. Flach is doing better than most give him credit for, it just is not flashy and in the box. He does a lot in the midfield, but agree he is still struggling. Carranza, Uhre and Gazdag look like a three legged dog. They look out of sorts and passed almost every ball behind each other. Uhre, makes some weird directional runs that doesn’t help and throws his teammates off. I place a fair bit of blame on coaching. Watching in person, singularity they looked alright, but this is a team sport. Get them to sync up and there is a ton of potential. Figured it out Jim….

  16. soccerdad720 says:

    On the PK….carranza was lucky. It was a shit penalty, and if keeper’s guesses correctly, it’s an easy save. A penalty must be placed within a foot of either post, no exceptions, or it’s a shit penalty.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      correction. if a penalty goes in how it was taken is irrelevant. you and I have ZERO idea of the eye feint. what carranza’s pK history is. none.
      .
      all the things to discuss… and this is your hill?

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