Commentary

Union II’s first 2022 post-season friendly

Photo: Ben Ross

Last Wednesday, October 12 Philadelphia Union II played a post-season friendly match, outscoring its opponent 3-2 on goals by Frank Westfield, Marcos Zambrano and Stefan Stojanovic.

The match was “closed,” but Philly Soccer Page has been granted access to Union II’s basic boxscore data which is shared below. We do not identify the opponent beyond saying it presented as an Eastern Conference MLS NEXT Pro side. We were not able to observe the match because of a scheduling conflict.

It is hoped that future post-season friendlies may be seen in person. PSP will publish such data and observations as are available and pertinent.

Substitution is more free than in formal league matches.

Observations on match number one

No first-team players participated. The ten Union II professionals and ten academy amateurs comprised the game day roster.

Union II scored the math’s first three goals. The opponent scored its first in the same minute as Union II’s first wave of substitutions that included switching out both center backs, but we do not know whether the goal came before or after the switch.

Gino Portella got his first start and second appearance of the 2022 season and played 60 minutes at left center back.

Stojanovic started at a new position, right center midfield, and played 60 minutes there scoring the match winner in the 55th and providing the assist to  Zambrano for the second in the 42nd.

Westfield scored his first professional goal in the 38th on an assist from Luke Martelli. We cannot confirm that it came from a corner kick, although we have seen Martelli serve corners in practice.

By PSP’s unofficial records academy players Daniel Kreuger and Devin Stopek made their Union II debuts, Kreuger 60 minutes as a starter and Stopek 30 minutes as a  sub. Both are center backs. As both are right-footed and Nathan Nkanji has more experience as a left center back, we suspect Stopek came on for Kreuger, but we cannot confirm that.

Those records also indicate a debut from striker/attacking midfielder Luciano Sanchez who played  16 minutes as a sub, and a substantive debut from striker/attacking midfielder Marcello Mazzola who had previously cameoed for one minute against Columbus at Columbus on August 27th. Mazzola got 16 minutes like Sanchez.

We are sad to report that apparently academy defensive midfielder Logan Oliver will be recovering from injury for 2022’s foreseeable future.

Academy attacking midfielder Bajung Darboe was not in the game day roster for reasons unknown. We are unable to confirm that he simply needs rest after his first ten-month professional season.

BOXSCORE: 1ST MATCH

12-Oct-22, Weds; Home; Not observed.

W  3 – 2

U II Lineup

4-2-2-2 “Box” aka “Empty Bucket”

  Start Subs Unused Out Rest
GK Rick^ Thompson
LB Martelli*^A
LCB Portella* 60’ Nkanji 30’
RCB Kreuger^ 60’ Stopek^ 30’
RB Westfield^ G 74’ Uwimana^ 16’
LDM Villero* Oliver
RDM Diallo*
LCM Paternina*60’ Perdomo 30’ Darboe
RCM Stojanovic GA 60’ Ramirez^ 30’
S Zambrano^ G 74’ Sanchez^ 16’ Riasco
S PierreA ‘74 Mazzola^ ‘16

^ = amateur; * = left footed. G = goal; A = assist.       Distribution: 1st – 0, 2nd – 10, Am – 10.

Goals

U II      38th min           Westfield (Martelli)

U II      42nd min          Zambrano (Stojanovic)

U II      55th min           Stojanovic (Pierre)

Opp     60th min

Opp     79th min

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