Union match reports

Match report: Inter Miami CF 2-0 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

The Philadelphia Union fell to Inter Miami 2-0 on a warm Saturday night in Fort Lauderdale, after the Union failed to turn around a sluggish start to the game. 

Corentin Jean and Robert Taylor scored the goals for the hosts.

The Union surprised many by playing a full strength XI in a week where the club will travel to El Salvador for their first Concacaf Champions League match. Despite the full strength squad, the Union were unable to take any points from Miami, leaving questions about how well the roster will be rested come Tuesday. 

Miami also opted to keep their same starting XI from week one, which included familiar face Josef Martinez, newly acquired from Atlanta United. 

Miami started the first half on the front foot, setting the tone for the entirety of the game early.

Despite dominating possession, Miami gave up the first shot of the goal after giving up the ball in their own defensive third thanks to a well timed challenge from Kai Wagner. The ball fell to Julian Carranza who was able to get a shot away. The chance was ultimately unconcerning for Miami keeper Drake Callender, who was able to collect the weak shot easily.

Neither team was able to generate much as the half progressed, with possession and build up play being spotty, and the game being largely stop and start thanks to chippy play from both teams. 

Andre Blake’s first action came in the 19th minute after he punched away a curling ball in from a Miami free kick. Miami was ultimately unable to convert the subsequent corner. 

The first card came in the 21st minute to Leon Flach for a late challenge, and Jose Martinez picked up his own yellow three minutes later for delaying a quick Miami restart by dropping a second ball onto the field. The two quick yellows were indicative of an aggressive first half that saw a handful of coming togethers between the two sides.

Miami’s DeAndre Yedlin secured Miami’s first yellow after going shoulder to shoulder and catching Wagner in the face with a flailing elbow.

Going with the run of play, Miami scored the first goal of the game thanks to an outside of the box strike from Corentin Jean that beat Blake to his right side. The goal came off of a Philadelphia turnover from a goal kick hit with little conviction into the middle of the field. 

Philadelphia had a chance to answer moments later, taking advantage of sloppy Miami play in the back, but were ultimately denied by Callender, a theme that would continue throughout the night.

Frustration built for the Union throughout the first half, with the team objecting to multiple calls, including a penalty shout after Callender cleared out a Union forward on the edge of his box. The play was ultimately deemed to be clean.

The half closed with a Union free kick that ultimately came to nothing after Mikael Uhre volleyed the resulting ball in high over the crossbar.

Philadelphia opened the second half on the attack, opting to utilize a more possession based style of play that allowed for increased buildup play in their own attacking third. Despite the adjustment Philadelphia still struggled to find open shots. 

A handful of changes took place around the 60th minute, with an injury forcing Miami to swap midfielder Franco Negri with Ryan Sailor. Additionally for Miami, Nicolas Stefanelli made way for Bryce Duke.  

The Union answered with their own subs in the 62nd minute with a double substitution that saw Jack McGlynn replacing Flach, and Joaquin Torres replacing Uhre in an attempt to spur the attack.

Both teams had scoring opportunities immediately after the brief break for injury, with Miami ringing a shot off the crossbar, and the Union working forcing a near post save out of Miami’s Callender. 

The stop and start nature of the first half returned in the 73rd minute with Miami’s Jean being treated for injury after a collision between two Miami players in their own box. Jean was ultimately subbed off, being replaced by Robert Taylor.

Taylor took almost no time to get involved in the game, scoring Miami’s second within a minute of being on the pitch. Taylor put home a right footed volley past Blake into the side netting for an early candidate for goal of the season.

Miami largely controlled play to see out the game, with the Union only having one attempt on goal after the 69th minute. 

Ultimately the Union looked uninspired in the defeat, but will need to bounce back quickly as the head to El Salvador to take on Alianza in the Concacaf Champions League come Tuesday. The game will kick off at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Three Points
  • Another slow start… Keeping with the theme from last week, the Union opened slow against Miami. The difference however was that tonight the Union were unable to turn things around. It’s something to note as slow starts were a common gripe last season as well.
  • The Dark Arts return… Another common theme of Union matches last season were the Dark Arts, or chippy play. Usually the style of play benefits the U, throwing opponents off their game, and giving a boost to the boys in blue. Not the case in Miami, with the aggressive play leading to more stoppages than anything else.
  • No time to overthink… Any other week examining this game in great detail may make sense, but with the Union about to start continental play, flying straight to El Salvador from Miami, there’s no time to ponder what went wrong with Miami. Onto the next.


Philadelphia Union 

Andre Blake, Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Olivier Mbaizo, Jose Martinez (Quinn Sullivan), Alejandro Bedoya (Andres Perea), Leon Flach (Jack McGlynn), Daniel Gazdag, Mikael Uhre (Joaquin Torres), Julian Carranza

Unused subs: Holden Trent, Matthew Real, Nathan Hariel, Damion Lowe, Jesus Bueno

Inter Miami CF 

Drake Callender, Franco Negri (Ryan Sailor), Christopher McVey, Serhiy Kryvtsov, DeAndre Yedlin, Jean Mota (Victor Ulloa), Gregore, Rodolfo Pizarro, Stefanelli, Corentin Jean (Robert Taylor), Josef Martinez (Ariel Lassiter)

Unused subs: Nick  Marsman, Harvey Neville, Aime Mabika, Benjamin Cremaschi

Scoring Summary

MIA: Corentin Jean – 23’ (Rodolfo Pizarro)

MIA:  Robert Taylor – 77’ (Jean Mota)

Discipline Summary

PHI: Leon Flach – 21’ (Foul)

PHI: Jose Martinez – 24’  (Time wasting)

MIA: DeAndre Yedlin – 30’ (Foul)

PHI: Alejandro Bedoya – 79’ (Foul)


PHI Statistic MIA PHI Statistic MIA
52 Possession % 48 43 Duels Won 44
11 Shots 10 8 Tackles Won 7
4 Shots on Goal 2 4 Saves 1
0 Blocked Shots 5 28 Clearances 7
392 Total Passes 377 14 Fouls 15
75 Pass Accuracy % 75.1 1 Yellow Cards 5
5 Corners 6 0 Red Cards 0
14 Crosses 5 1 xG .5
2 Offsides 0


  1. el Pachyderm says:

    Just Play Well.

    Absolute shit tonight. Slow thinking. Cavalier whiny-ass shit soccer. Spent more time hacking the other team and complaining then playing. Technically bereft. So so many simple technical passing and receiving mistakes. Zero continuity. Were you all high? Hits from the bong in the dorm room by black light and Portishead? What the hell have you been doing in Florida for a month?
    Unacceptable. Fix it.

    As for the color guy who I was told was Dunseth. It is okay to let the other guy call the game —which is his job. The same talking points over and over and taking too long to say them. Not a bit of tactical nous. TalkTalkTalkTalk____Talk.
    Where’s Danny. How I miss Danny.
    Nice job Thomas. Keep it up.

    • I completely agree on the color guy. He didn’t understand that less is more. I didn’t understand how Flach’s challenge deserved a yellow but the Achilles scraping challenge against Glesnes didn’t deserve a card. But my take away was the boys didn’t deserve a result. They couldn’t string 3 passes together.

    • My 5 Comments/Concerns About Last Nights Game

      Game appeared to be videoed from the Moon with a telephoto lens. Apple needs to figure this out fast. Worse then ESPN plus video.

      Kai Wagner needs to realize he is going to get this type of harassment all year. Figure it out and deal with it without getting caught for retaliation yellow cards. The Union need you on the field.

      Blake is Amazing but still Mortal.

      Sometimes too many cooks spoil the pot. Curtin threw the Kitchen sink at Miami at the end of the game. Completely disjointed.

      Why doesn.t the Union web store sell the shirts that Curtin waers ? sorry I digress

    • Everything about the Apple coverage is wrong. The pre-game “whiparound?” Meaningless drivel from 4 people who present as morons, on a set that looks like someone’s basement. Commentators? Not knowledgeable in the least. I even tried to listen to the game on radio, but they weren’t synched to the video—ended up watching with no sound, which only made the poor video coverage even worse.

      All this for $99 a year?

      • On the other hand, I’ve been enjoying that now it’s easy to watch all the games with Spanish commentators, who have been very good!

  2. Forgettable night for the U. Not up to it, again, to start. Anonymous midfield. Uhre? Good to see the improvement in the second half, but not enough.
    Credit to Miami. Two goals from their only two shots on target.Their keeper had a good night, too. It’s a long season. There will be more matches like this.

  3. We have played 4 halves so far 3 1/2 of them have been flat.


  4. Was unable to watch due to a family event (no regrets). Sounds like this is not one worth watching on replay.

    • Don’t worry about replay…there isn’t one. Thanks, Apple TV for making replays a thing of the past.

      • Jeremy Lane says:

        Except that you can totally watch a replay. It’s there. Go to the game page, scroll to the bottom, and click (or click and hold, depending on OS) on the Season Pass icon, and choose the full game replay.

      • McMohansky says:

        I can’t on the amazon firestick fed apple tv app on my tv.
        Nothing there.

  5. Jeremy Lane says:

    Not great. But it still took two great goals to beat them. I’d be concerned if this was at home, but in game 2, on the road, it’s just one of those days. Easily could have had a draw given the chances for both sides. Miami had their finishing boots on and were more up for this game. They could take those same shots twenty more times and not score either. (The U will be more upset that they gave the shooting opportunities up than about the goals themselves.) Kudos to Miami for putting them away. On to CCL.

    • Delco Roots says:

      This game will be long forgotten by the end of April.

      And, I didn’t think I’d see the game where Blake gets beat by two shots from 18+ yards out. However, those were special shots, especially the second one.

    • @Jeremy Lane, thanks for the tip about finding replays. I never would have found it.

  6. Andy Muenz says:

    I’d comment more but it was hard to see the game on TV without my binoculars.

  7. I tried to cast the game from my computer to not-so-smart TV and the quality was unwatchable. Yes, Dunseth was annoying, as was the pre-game show. The Apple gang needs to take some cues from the coverage of the Premier League, which is quite good (although, to be sure, casting can be problematic from Peacock).

    1) Am I the only person who thought that in-form Andre Blake saves that first rocket from Jean? Yes, it was a great strike, but Blake had a sight line and did get a hand on it–he seemed to be caught a bit flat-footed. Blake had no chance on the second goal and cannot be faulted at all.

    2) Penso is not a very good ref, period. I have noticed over the years that when he is in charge, the games tend to get ugly. He was not the reason the Union lost, however. Soccerdad’s comment above is spot-on, Flach’s late challenge was foul-worthy, but there was no intent to injure, it was from the side and was not an accumulation of persistent fouling. Even in the second half, there should be no yellow card. By contrast the foul on Glesnes from behind has serious potential for injury and should have been carded. Unfortunately, this is typical of Penso’s officiating. I don’t have a problem with the lack of a penalty call on the goalkeeper interference in the box. If it was a technical foul, it had no impact upon the play–the ball was going out no matter what. I cannot imagine that would result in a PK in any professional league.

    3) I continue to believe that Bedoya needs to be restricted to playing 60 minutes, which means 60 minutes of his all-out hustle, so that he does not have to pace himself.

    4) We are spoiled. We [unrealistically] DO expect the Union to win every game because they are a good team. There was no magic in the U last night and there was for Inter Miami, period. It is way too early to panic. DOOP!

  8. Totally bad loss. Curtin at it again, not motivating. He did exactly what everyone said not to do with Miami… He didn’t WORK THE WINGS WITH MBIZO and VAGNER…. and Martinez again S*CKS at passing and maintaining any semblance of NOT losing his mind after making bad passes. I counted 6 passes directly to Miami players, enough please.

    Jack McGlynn needs to start in place of that moron, every game.

    • McMohansky says:

      McGlynn was poor again when he came on.
      Martinez had his worst game in a while but he’s still levels above Flach and Bedoya who may give way if McGlynn can consistently impress this season.

  9. DanielHaus says:

    I knew the exact type of battle we were up against when I saw Chris Penso was the referee. Multiple head contact against the Union missed. Stud up tackles missed. And great awareness on that dummy. The guy has been atrocious for years and I’m sure we will see him again in the near future to witness this exact train wreck style of game it always devolves into with him in charge. Win Tuesday and all is forgiven.

  10. After this game, I vote for and encourage Curtin to take the USMNT job.

    He’d be perfect for that “Reyna’d” org, and we’d get an aggressive European coach Ernest has wanted since he got here.

    Then nobody would touch us, as designed by Tanner… MLS, CONCACAF, Club World Cup.


    Section 114 has spoken.

    This game was an embarrassment. Even those ridiculously bad announcers Apple+ assigned to the game embarrassed themselves over and over with their ‘knowledge of the Union”.



  11. Chris Gibbons says:

    Put the pitchforks down.

    Last year was the best Union side in history and certainly one of the best sides in MLS history statistically. They also got hammered by Cincinnati and Charlotte on the road last season.

    Losses happen – this one required to two GOTW candidates. So it goes.

    • pragmatist says:

      I say every season that it takes about 6 weeks to find out who teams truly are. Underperforming teams find their footing. Overperforming teams come back to earth. Everything settles down by the end of the 2nd month of the season and we can make real predictions from there.
      And if you are going to lay an egg, do it at the beginning of the season when there is a lot of time to correct what went wrong.
      I appreciate the Philly-ness of the fans but take a few deep breaths, everyone. They didn’t forget how to play over the winter.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Can we keep the pitchforks out against the Apple TV camera coverage?

  12. PaulContinuum22 says:

    Any time you score two goals you should CRUSH Inter Miami. Yikes.

  13. Kind of beside the point to say this game will be forgotten. One more point and Union would have won supporters shield last year and hosted mls cup. ALL THE POINTS COUNT THE SAME, early or later in the season. If Union loses supporters shield and home field throughout the playoffs by 1 point, we should rue not being able to tie Miami last night just as much as any other dropped points.

  14. That was a disappointing result. I was unavailable to watch the game due to another obligation and wasn’t able to watch the replay until last night. I was glad to figure out where the full game replay is on the Apple TV+ phone app. Also was grateful to find the setting that turns off sports scores in the app but didn’t find it until after seeing this result. I didn’t listen closely to the announcers and from the comments here that sounds fortunate.
    As for the game, that was rough. First impression is that it was a fun back and forth attacking game. It seemed like a tennis match with how quickly the ball shifted from side to side. The Union struggled to connect a ton of passes but I felt the game was played at a good pace and wondered if both teams could keep it up all the whole time. They certainly tried.
    In the end two great plays from Miami rightfully gave them the win. I would argue that Blake misplayed the first goal as he shifted to his left, had his momentum going too far that way, and then couldn’t get back to his right far enough, fast enough to make that save. He tried hard but couldn’t make the save. Flach also was unfortunately delayed pressuring Jean on that play as he doubled up on Pizarro(?) in the middle and got pancaked so he was a half step behind getting to Jean.
    Their second goal was a moment of brilliance. Taylor stole a pass from his teammate, took it off his chest, and buried the volley. Yes, Glesnes probably should have stepped higher, sooner. Martinez certainly shouldn’t have let Taylor beat him to the middle. Blake didn’t have much of a chance against such a well struck ball but there was a slim chance he could have punched that away. But it was a brilliant shot.
    On the other end, Callendar stood on his head and made the big saves. His defensive line muddied the game for the Union attack and that combined with the early season rust meant the Union’s attackers did not take advantage of their chances. That pass from Uhre to Gazdag was amazing. The pressure from the front three backed by the midfield was working but the final effort was lacking that night.
    The Union have a short time to bounce back for the game against Alianza so I hope they get in the right head space quickly.

  15. Would love a game preview for tonight and how to watch.
    know nothing about Alianza.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *