Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-0 FC Cincinnati

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

For a second straight year, Philadelphia Union are one win away from appearing in MLS Cup.

A second-half goal by Leon Flach and more heroics from goalkeeper Andre Blake powered the Union to a 1-0 victory over FC Cincinnati on a brisk Thursday evening at Subaru Park, advancing the Union to the Eastern Conference Final.

For the seventh playoff game in Subaru Park history, Jim Curtin made just one change from the lineup that ended the season, with Kai Wagner returning from suspension to replace Matt Real at left back. Jack McGlynn started in central midfield for club captain Alejandro Bedoya, who missed the match with a hip flexor injury.

Rally towels waved in the wind blowing off the Delaware River as the match kicked off just after 8 p.m. The match started brightly, with Cincy pushing forward and Philly looking to hit on the counter. Julian Carranza had the first decent chance after six minutes, when he latched on to a long ball from Kai Wagner and fired at the keeper from close range. Roman Celetano, though, was equal to the task. Daniel Gazdag sent an unmarked header from six yards wide just moments later.

The Union had the better of the possession and the position through twenty minutes, working the ball down the left flank with ease. But they could only muster a few half-chances to show for it, while Brandon Vazquez managed a shot from distance that forced Andre Blake to smother.

It didn’t take long for the game to get chippy and physical, with the referee making inconsistent calls as players clattered and banged into each other. Nick Hagglund picked up the game’s first yellow for knocking down Mikael Uhre on the wing.

As the match reached the half-hour mark, both sides had half chances. Cincy ended a good move around the box with a whipped shot from Obinna Nwobodo just wide of the post, forcing a dive from Blake, while the Union finished a good counter with a scuffed shot from Jack McGlynn.

Neither team fashioned a decent scoring chance in the rest of the half, and despite some physical challenges, neither team picked up a card either. The sides went in to the locker room at 0-0, with the Union contemplating how to handle their first real test at home since mid-June.

Andre Blake came up huge in the 50th minute to stone Junior Moreno at the end of a good Cincy counter. The one-time strike from outside the box looked to be curling into the net, but Blake stretched to his full Goalkeeper of the Year frame and pawed the ball wide.

The physicality continued. Jose Martinez picked up a knock to his ankle, and the referee drew a protective circle of vanishing spray around him as he received treatment. Martinez drew a yellow card from Matt Miazga moments later after a coming-together before a corner.

Leon Flach — of all people, Leon Flach! — gave the Union the lead with a 59th minute goal. After a well-worked combination between Gazdag, McGlynn, and Carranza into the box, Gazdag was dispossessed. While some screamed for a penalty, Mikael Uhre kept the play alive, poking the ball to the onrushing Flach. The young German-American midfielder made no mistake with his powerful finish from 15 yards, sending the Subaru Park faithful into raptures.

Suddenly, the game burst to life, with Cincy needing a goal to stay alive and the Union sensing opportunities on the counter. Almost immediately, Uhre had a 2-on-2 chance, but his shot from outside the box was soft for Celentano.

Uhre’s night ended in the 68th minute, as Cory Burke replaced him after a frankly silly sequence saw Olivier Mbaizo pick up a yellow card for kicking the ball into Alvaro Barreal.

Once again, Blake kept the match level as Cincy sought their equalizer, getting down low to parry away Luciano Acosta’s dangerous effort. And the Union could have gotten their goal at the other end, with two dangerously whipped crosses in front of the keeper going wanting.

With 15 minutes to go, Cincinnati manager Pat Noonan introduced old friend Sergio Santos, making his return to Chester after a midseason trade. Things got chippier and chippier as referee Tim Ford increasingly lost control of the game.

Blake bailed out the Union once more after Vazquez stole the ball off Jack Elliott in the Union box. By this point, the Cincy players must have felt that scoring seemed an impossibility, as Blake once more stretched out to preserve the Union’s lead.

Jack McGlynn exited for Matt Real with five minutes left as Curtin looked to shore up his midfield. The Union put the screws on the match, pinning Cincinnati deep and keeping possession. Wagner nearly whipped a ball from the wing right under the crossbar, forcing another save, and off the corner three Union players had a chance to put it in and all missed. Burke, too, curled one just wide in stoppage time.

The stadium erupted in delight and relief when the final whistle blew after six minutes of second-half stoppage time.

The Union now await the winner of the match between CF Montreal and New York City FC in the Eastern Conference Final. That match will be at Subaru Park next Sunday, October 30.

Three Points
  • What the Flach. What were the odds that the winner would be scored by Leon Flach, who’d registered zero goals so far in 2022? Union players have risen to the occasion all season, and Flach’s excellently taken goal was no exception.
  • A nervy first half. After a summer of crushing the dregs of MLS at home, Cincinnati frustrated the Union through the first 45. But the Boys in Blue picked up their level in the second half, found a winner, and then kept the all-important clean sheet.
  • More home cooking. Now the Union have time to recover before the Eastern Conference Final, which will be played in Subaru Park’s friendly confines. This magical season just keeps rolling on.

Philadelphia Union 

Andre Blake, Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Olivier Mbaizo, Jose Martinez, Jack McGlynn (Matt Real 86′), Leon Flach, Daniel Gazdag, Mikael Uhre (Cory Burke 68′), Julian Carranza

Unused subs: Matt Freese, Nathan Harriel, Brandan Craig, Richard Odada, Quinn Sullivan, Paxten Aaronson, Chris Donovan

FC Cincinnati

Roman Celentano, Matt Miazga, Ian Murphy (Sergio Santos 75′), Nick Hagglund, Alvaro Barreal, Junior Moreno (Dominique Badji 89′), Obinna Nwobodo, Alvas Powell (Ronald Matarrita 68′), Luciano Acosta, Brenner, Brandon Vazquez

Unused subs: Alec Kann, Ray Gaddis, John Nelson, Zico Bailey, Geoff Cameron, Arquimides Ordonez

Scoring Summary

PHI: Leon Flach — 59′ (Mikael Uhre)

Discipline Summary

FCC: Nick Hagglund — 25′ (foul)
FCC: Matt Miazga — 58′ (other reason)
PHI: Leon Flach — 63′ (foul)
PHI: Olivier Mbaizo — 68′ (other reason)
PHI: Daniel Gazdag — 81′ (time wasting)
PHI: Jose Martinez — 81′ (foul)

PHI Statistic FCC PHI Statistic FCC


Possession % 54 39 Duels Won 51
16 Shots 15 9 Tackles Won



Shots on Goal 5 5 Saves 5
2 Blocked Shots 6 27 Clearances



Total Passes 414 12 Fouls 11
69.9 Pass Accuracy % 75.6 4 Yellow Cards



Corners 8 0 Red Cards 0
11 Crosses 16 1.9 xG







  1. Blake—man of the match. Showed why he is MVP without question. Congrats to the Union!

  2. Hey, Pete. You still with us? Thought about you with a smile with all of the drama and tension right up to final whistle. 🙂

    • Almost didn’t make it, Hopkins. That game went exactly the way I didn’t want it to and I was sure that ref was going to give it to Cincy. Only thing worse was the 2 hours it took to leave. Thank God we won. Was ugly.

  3. Murphthesurf says:

    Way to go Union !

    Andre Blake is MVP.

    Get well Ale !

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    Andre Blake.

  5. I knew I should have taken Flach in the office pool 🙂
    Tim Ford was just horrible and there is no way he should have the whistle for a game in the playoffs, much less one this deep.
    As far as the Union goes, one thing I noticed that can definitely be improved upon was that McGlynn kept drifting into the middle and even over to the left side which limited the Union’s attack down the right side. Definitely a difference between Jack and Ale.

    • The Union Jack says:

      With Bedoya not available and Cincinnati hounding Gazdag and Martinez all night I was hoping McGlynn would have a coming out party and show the league what he’s got. He came up small last night.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Jack likes certain spots on the field. He had trouble finding those spots. Then when he did get to those spots he wasn’t getting the ball….

      • Thanks for bringing this up because I forgot to mention this in my comments. I think your assessment is a bit harsh. McGlynn made some wonderful passes offensively, but he is a defensive liability for 2 separate reasons: 1) He lacks outright foot speed and 2) He does not yet have a man’s body, especially in the upper torso. I saw three separate occasions where a Cincinnati player was able to body McGlynn off the ball or get past him by bodying him away (and using the body in that way is not a foul ever). Though the Captain may not be fleet, he is never going to be bodied off the ball. McGlynn had a wonderful opportunity on his left foot for a shot on goal in the first half, but he scuffed it. Gazdag did the same thing later on his right. I thought McGlynn’s play was acceptable, though not without faults.

      • His play wasn’t bad, it was his positioning that I had an issue with. And I’m rewatching the game and just saw the goal. The play started with a McGlynn-Gazdag-McGlynn give and go with McGlynn over near the sideline. I think he’d be more effective in the buildup if he spent more time there rather than drifting towards the center.

    • Vince Devine says:

      It was so apparent, I’m thinking it was part of the game plan (overload the left when in possession).

      • That was Alvas Powell’s side where he was playing wing–the definite weak link for Cincinnati FC.

  6. OneManWolfpack says:

    Hate to do the ref thing but that was just flat bad. Anyone who watched that game saw that guy was out of his league.
    Andre F’N Blake. Leon F’N Flach.
    East Final… LFG

  7. Ashley Rice is a treasure. She and Jay Wright and Edmundo Sosa set a tone and a pace for the night. And then Tim Ford did his best to keep a thumb on the record, slowing and distorting the game into something more frustrating. FCC seemed content with a slowed down, stop-start stop-motion affair. Seemed like they were stalling for penalties in the first minute. But then they seemed to get the better of those brief intervals of fluidity that remained. The game had a little bit of the feel of Open Cup final vs. SKC, but luckily it never had a chance to get to that.

    The first 45 were so tense. Why do we pay good money to feel so on edge? Maybe it’s for a chance to walk that knife edge as a brash loud collective and emerge unscathed. At the half it felt like the Union were lucky to be up 0-0. Once Flach (of course, it’s always Flach who scores) got us some doop, for a few a second goal seemed imminent. Then no, and another tejse rollercoaster, but the Union’s talent (and most of all, Blake’s) edged us ahead for good. And then it was time for us to kill time.

    Somewhere in PA right now there are people driving back to Cincinnati. Just want to say, gg. It was easy to hate Mr. Ford and his hapless helpers. It was something more familial to see Gaddis wave to the crowd, to see Powell, and Santos on the field during and after. I think FCC are a team we should respect, while also hopefully consistently dispatching in those seemingly inevitable encounters in playoff future. Gg Cincinnati. Go back to Ohio, yes, but drive safe holmie.

    • Shared that last paragraph with a friend of mine who is an FCC season ticket holder. She thought it was a super nice sentiment.

      • Glad it landed. My son and I drove to Charlotte for that drubbing, so it was an easy perspective to picture.

    • I commented during and after the game that I respect FCC and how far they have come. It’s an easy team to like and they are incredibly dangerous. I fear them next year. Hell, I feared them last night! But they don’t engender the hatred I have had for certain teams, like the Dom Kinnear Houston teams, for example.

      • All more recent on this side. There’s at least one team I’ll never be able to root for for any reason, in NYCFC. The Colorado team that broke CJ’s face that freezing opening day comes to mind second.

  8. FCdelcofella says:

    Incredible game! Thought the union weren’t at their best but maybe because Cincy is a solid, tough team. Playoffs are supposed to be tough. Think the U have a really good chance to win next week. They played a B- game and still won. Urhe, Gazdag and carranza struggled to link up. I think they’ll have better chances against Montreal or NYFC. Blake was brilliant and cheers to flach for scoring a f’ing massive goal! One more win boys and then roll the dice! Anything is possible. C’mon U!!!!!

  9. Who the hell was that “referee”?

    I use the term losely.

    A wins a win.

    Andre IS MVP….

  10. Fitting that Andre Blake was the difference. Man earned the win. All is well.

    But I can’t let the ref go.He deserved the abuse he got. I can’t recall a match officiated that poorly. Say what you want about individual calls, but he had no control. It’s a shame he made a mess of things. I genuinely had a hard time enjoying the match it was so hard to watch.

  11. PaulContinuum22 says:

    More whews per square minute. Bring on the asterisk champs. LA gagged tonight, which means a Texas team’s gonna have to get it done next week.

  12. Finally home after a VERY long trip home. Boy child decided he needed to pee once outside the park so by the time he waited in the portapotty line our “not leaving the parking lot for an hour” fate was sealed.

    So happy they stuck it out and won, but damn what a mess of a game. Though the ref ended up making horrible calls in both directions, earlier in the game there were so many crap calls against us and no calls agaisnt Cincy that I fleetingly thought there was some kind of fix in to give NYCFC an easier path to the Cup game.

    Cant recall the last time I saw so many pointless headers and pounding it downfield to no one in particular. We made a number of great passes directly to Cincy. It was like my kids weekend soccer games out there and at times seemed like our guys had never played with each other before.

    Praise the lord we had Dre out there or it would have been ao much uglier.

    I really hope this was just a bad style matchup. There will be lots of film to go over and time to get things right for next Sunday.

    • Switch to Lot A. Yesterday was as backed up as I can remember and still only about 10 minutes from starting the car and turning on to 291.

      • Lot A is a season Ticket Holder Lot. I believe that those who hold passes in Lot A have been grandfathered in from the earlier seasons. The Lot used to be much larger. A lot of STH’s were switched over to Lots B & C through the years.

      • They did cut Lot A in half a few years ago. I wonder if they’ll expand it again next year. I know at least one person who switched from C to A between last year and this year so they have let new people there. I thought they were both cash and season ticket passes, but I could be wrong since I’ve never tried to pay with cash.

  13. John P. O'Donnell says:

    Blake is a legend but Flach with a goal was not what I could ever imagine.

  14. I got home last night in time to watch the second half of El Trafico but I fell asleep and woke up to see LAFC score to make it 3-2. So, I decided to write this in the a.m. Here are my observations from Section 105:

    1) The stadium was full and electric last night. We the Union fan base did our part in giving the Union home field advantage.

    2) A harbinger of things to come occurred in the 6th minute. Wagner sent Carranza in on goal from the left center. If you watch the replay, you will see the Cincinnati defender tug Carranza’s shoulder and you will see Carranza stumble slightly before he takes his left foot shot which is then saved. I know it is the 6th minute, but. . . what if, after the unmistakable but seemingly slight shoulder tug, Carranza gets his feet tangled and goes down? Hmm. . .

    3) The Union had slightly the better of the play (and chances) in the first half although both sides had some good scoring chances. Although both teams play generally good defense, the play was quite open and fast, marred only by poor officiating (more of that later). I have not watched a replay of the game, but I noticed that on a number of fouls called against the Union in the first half, the whistle only blew after the Cincinnati player fell down after being bodied by a defender–there was no kicking or tripping by the Union. In most leagues, such physical play is allowed.

    4) The Union frequently have a lull coming out of halftime, and this game was no exception. But after the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Union had a good spell of offensive possession and chances. The Flach left-footed goal was the deserved culmination of those chances. As my friend Bob remarked, “You could see this coming.”

    5) Cincinnati pressed the attack after that. In the 63rd minute, Leon Flach was shown a yellow card for a foul on Acosta on a play that in my mind was questionable, but I can see why the foul was called. From the ref’s viewpoint where Acosta was between him and Flach, it looked as though Flach might have gotten Acosta’s right leg; from where we were (higher up), it looked as though Flach bodied Acosta from his right and sent him down. If Flach got leg, it is a yellow card; if he didn’t, it is not even a foul. You can watch this replay and judge for yourself at the 62nd minute, but the highlights do not have a definitive reverse angle. But let’s give the ref the benefit of the doubt and say that he got it right.

    6) Let’s flash forward to around the 75th minute. The Union have the ball on their attacking right side, but they are moving the ball backwards. The Cincinnati defenders do the exact same maneuver that Flach got carded for, bodying from the right rear and looking to have gotten leg. The second Union player is sent sprawling into a Cincinnati defender and hits his head on the Cincinnati defender’s knee and holds his head. The Union have two players down and play is allowed to continue, making the Cincinnati attack 11 on 9. That kind of inconsistency is simply inexcusable and that is my No. 1 gripe of poor officiating, when the failure to call a foul results in an offensive chance for the fouling side. To be sure, the AR was in better position than the ref and should have flagged either one of the two fouls, but especially with a potential head injury, play should have been stopped.

    7) Andre Blake is THE MAN! Since he wore the captain’s armband for this match, he had to run more than usual to “confer” with the ref about his inconsistent calls.

    8) On the way home, we listened to the SiriusXM radio broadcast of the LAFC/LA Galaxy match as called by one Dave Denholm. I grew up in LA listening to Hall of Fame broadcaster Chick Hearn, whose goal was to give a “Words-Eye” version of the play by play. Dave Denholm clearly went to the Chick Hearn School of Broadcasting. I don’t follow those clubs and I only know their star players, but Dave identified each by name during the play-by-play without identifying the teams. Here is a sample of the nuggets that we heard (and which had us laughing in the car): After a foul by an LA Galaxy defender. . . “That foul deserves a yellow card. . . Oh, the ref is lecturing him. You’re not his mother–give him a card!” A little later after the same player fouls again. “What? No card? Another lecture. What are you going to do, send him to bed without dinner?” It was a treat to hear a broadcast of this quality on the radio.

    • Ford was completely inconsistent all night. Not sure if he had money on Cincinnati or is just incompetent.
      Regarding the Carranza play early on, that was exactly what I saw live. I’m pretty sure the contact was out of the box, though, so it wouldn’t have been a PK.

      • The foul on Carranza might have been a DOGSO because it was from behind.

      • Re: Ref Tim Ford. One of my life maxims is “90% of what people attribute to conspiracies can be explained by incompetence, sloth or both.” In Tim Ford’s case, I vote for incompetence.

      • It’s hard to call DOGSO when he actually gets off a shot on goal.

    • 2) sergio santos would have gone down. i have more respect for players like carranza who stay on their feet and get the shot off. especially in the 6th minute, where ref doesnt want to make a game altering call

      MAN O MAN does that game change if Gazdag buries that early header

  15. One more VERY important thing that came with home field advantage in the playoffs re: yellow card accumulation. Here is the MLS rule: “A player receiving a yellow card in Round One and a yellow card in the Conference Semifinal will be suspended for the Conference Championship. For clarification, a player who is issued/receives a second cumulative yellow card in the Conference Championship is eligible to play in MLS Cup.” Because the Union had a bye in the first round, they cannot lose a player to yellow card accumulation. What this means is that even if each of the four Union players who got yellow cards last night got yellow cards in the Eastern Conference Championship match, they would be eligible for the MLS Cup. By contrast, NYCFC’s Nicolas Acevedo is on a yellow card; Montreal’s Kei Kamara and Ismael Kone are on yellow cards. If any of those players get a yellow card in their match on Saturday, they would be ineligible for the Conference Championship.

  16. Andre Blake is the man.
    But to all those bagging on Flach all year long. You’re welcome.
    We won that game in spite of the ref though. One of those games where you have to be twice as strong to overcome the disadvantage.

  17. A really good win. Committed and tough performance from the group, even if it was less beauty and more dogfight than we’ve been treated to at Subaru Park this summer. It was never going to be easy given how well-prepared and disciplined the Cincinnati side is. Credit to Pat Noonan and their players for turning around their fortunes. Hopefully we can look forward to tough games against them for years to come.
    I was part of the 18,000+ yelling at Tim Ford for much of the match. On reflection, his main flaw was a huge amount of inconsistency. He’d let everything go for like 10 minutes and then start calling every little tug and coming together. In the second half, Philadelphia was getting the worst of it because Cincy was the team pushing. In the spirit of good faith, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt that: (i) this is a really tough sport to referee; and (ii) that goes double in the playoffs, particularly when it is your first.
    Couldn’t be happier for Flach. Literally all the guy does is work his tail off for 90 minutes every time he’s out there. The epitome of what fans want from a player–100% commitment. He deserved that moment and, to his credit, took it really well when it arrived.
    Thought the Union would tack on a buffer goal a few different times. Their offense wasn’t clicking like we’ve seen it in their best games this year, which is probably credit to Cincinnati.
    Andre Blake really ought to be getting MVP shouts all across the land. The guy only needs a one goal lead. He was flawless. On to the next one!

  18. I was chatting with a friend of mine who is an FC Cincinnati fan and watched the game on TV. I asked her what her opinion of the ref was and she said, “We felt the ref was inconsistent and also that Union got fairly beat up.”
    I also asked her what she thought of JP as an announcer and she said he was very unbiased and even seemed to favor FCC sometimes. I told her we were lucky to have him on play by play for the last 13 seasons.

    • I always appreciate any fan who can step back from the emotion of it all to try to give an objective assessment of what they saw.

  19. Gruncle Bob says:

    Many of FCC’s chances should not have occurred at all, because play should have been halted and the U awarded a free kick. If a mere mortal had been in goal, at least 1 of those would have gone in, thus dramatically changing the complexion of the game.
    Yes, Ford sucked, and that is an understatement. But the problem lies with MLS. Year after year the officiating quality is poor, and it never improves. Do the owners hold Garber responsible? NO. Does Garber hold anyone in league management responsible? NO. It is amazing that a group of smart businesspeople who created something of enormous value from nothing allow this to continue.
    How about this:
    1. Pay officials a LOT more to attract the best.
    2. Maintain a rigorous performance evaluation process.
    3. FIRE the bottom 10 percent EVERY YEAR, no matter what.
    It’s what they do in their “real life” businesses, why not in MLS?

    • I could not agree more. I have seen better (meaning more consistent) officiating at youth matches. The quality of the play in MLS is vastly improved from 5 years ago; the quality of the officiating may even be worse. As I was sitting in the stands last night, I was pondering what the game might have been like had it been officiated by one of the Premier League professionals like Michael Oliver or Anthony Taylor. These are two quality teams and the quick pace and flow of the game would have been enhanced by quality officiating.

    • I have to agree here. The ironic thing is I was taking two folks down to the game who knew only a little about the team and the league. They had just happened to get tickets and I offered to give them a lift. Talking on the way down before the game I said that one of the main complaints I had with MLS was the officiating. And then that match happened. Just embarrassing really. These playoff matches should be a showcase for your league. Some of the nonsense can be fairly put on the players, but the overall performance for Ford was just objectively poor. MLS has to do better.

    • The game officials for MLS games are not overseen nor employed by MLS. They are from PRO (Professional referees Organization) which is overseen by the USSF.

      • Gruncle Bob says:

        Thanks for the info. It seems that it’s even worse. MLS has outsourced an extremely important part of its product and has done/is not doing anything to fix it.

      • Referees are overseen and administered by the Federations, as mandated in FIFA’s bylaws for professional leagues. MLS has no control over this, bnor does USL, or any other professional league.

      • I don’t think it’s that simple. Check out the PGMOL in England. The prem is clearly playing a major role in official selection, training, and evaluation.

      • It’s also funded in part by the English FA. The Premier League isn’t the one that’s selecting the match officials. The PGMOL is responsible for training officials and selecting those that attain and maintain a standard to be part of the select group. The Select Group are the only officials who can oversee EPL Matches.
        Everyone complains about the refs in MLS (USl as well). Yes, PRO has a shortage of experienced match officials. The pro game has grown so rapidly over the past 5 years (MLS, USL, MLS Next Pro, USL L1, USL L2, NWSL) there are simply not enough experienced officials.
        It’s just one of those things that’s going to take time. Yes, it sucks. It’s frustrating for all involved (players, coaches, officials, fans).

    • If we can’t have promotion / relegation for our teams, enact for our officials?
      I like it.

  20. I find myself thinking the Union have survived their toughest matchup of the playoff run. Cincy (Union West-ish?) seemed to give them fits this season, so not surprising that it was touchy last night. Definitely a sign of maturity that the U came through the adversity with the W. The only things left to worry about are injuries, cards, and bad refs. None of the opponents are frightening. This is what we’ve been waiting for, faithful!! We have a team that can control its own fate.

    • Do not underestimate Montreal or NYC FC, please.
      Both teams have old veteran offensive weapons that can win matches: Old man Methusalah Maxi Morales, and Father Time Kai Camara.

      • PaulContinuum22 says:

        I want the asterisk fake champs. Unfinished business. Winning the cup under dubious circumstances.

  21. PaulContinuum22 says:

    Conference finals times set. We get the early game (3pm, ABC. LAFC has the prime time slot (8pm, FS1).Tks, Sporting News.

  22. Alejandro Bedoya.
    Occasionally my wife will sit down and watch a match with me. She’ll always ask “what do I look for?” For the Union, after the usual “defensively excellent, ruthless and direct in attack” I added “incredibly right-handed; almost all attacks go up the right hand side of the pitch.”
    Ale is the reason for that. Turns out without him, they’re ambidextrous. Also, they have a very hard time linking with the forwards. So, in addition to the defensive contributions noted above, I’ll add that he’s one of the main reasons Union was ripping sides for 4, 5, and 6 goals.
    Without him, I expect these tense, low-scoring affairs.
    Good, professional win yesterday. Well done. All hail Andre!

  23. PaulContinuum22 says:

    Fake champs, then, next Sunday. Let’s see the mudder-forkers play a full strength U instead of last year’s version.

    • What makes you think the league won’t find a reason to eliminate half the Union team to make sure New York makes the finals?

  24. PaulContinuum22 says:

    They won’t. They CAN’T. And it’ll be the evening game, surprisingly. Confirmed 15 minutes ago. LA-Austin is the 3PM game on ABC. FS1 gets U-NYC at 8 next Sunday

  25. Part of me is very excited that we get to avenge our pathetic playoff loss to NYC last year.

    And part of me is very worried, because… we’re already beaten them twice this season. It is *very* hard to beat a good team 3 times in one season. And NYC is a very good team.

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