Match Report / Preseason / Union

Preseason match notes: Philadelphia Union 1 – 1 Austin FC

Photo courtesy @PhilaUnion and Philadelphia Union Communications

The Philadelphia Union drew its preseason match against Austin FC Tuesday evening in Clearwater, FL in what may be a preview of the Union’s trip to Texas’s capital on March 16th.

A Nathan Harriel feed to a Quinn Sullivan cross gave Julian Carranza a back heel that nutmeged Austin’s newly signed goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland in the 37th minute for Philadelphia’s first goal of the preseason.  Austin’s Dani Pereira equalized in the 54th.

The absence of a video stream means we did not observe individual play, group tactics, in-game adjustments, or anything else. Check @PhilaUnion for some photos. At this writing there were no video clips. There were no photos on @Austin FC.

In advance:

Philadelphia played Flamengo on Sunday in St. Petersburg, FL, so it was playing Austin the second day after its previous match. However, except for Chris Donovan and Quinn Sullivan, no one had played more than 45-minutes plus stoppage time against the Brazilians. That is the equivalent of a hard daily practice but no more. Barring Donovan and Sullivan, both of whom  played against Austin anyway, everyone healthy and present on Sunday recovered and were available to play on Tuesday (see Union Lineups in the Boxscore below). So the conditioning purpose of preseason remains on track.

It was Austin FC’s first announced preseason scrimmage. The Green-and-Black’s biggest recent news is that attacking talisman, Argentine Sebastian Driussi, now has a Green Card.

Parenthetically, Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer confirmed after Sunday’s match that Jose Martinez has gotten his Green Card, and that Daniel Gazdag and Mikael Uhre are in the process of getting theirs.

Next game

The Union’s next preseason match will be Saturday January 27, at 11 a.m. at the DiMaggio Complex against NYC FC. It will be closed to the public and we seriously doubt it will be streamed. We are hoping for another bilingual live blog.

Three points – plus one
  1. In the article referenced above Jonathan Tannenwald cited Jim Curtin as saying that the Union is determined to find Brandan Craig professional minutes somewhere this season, if necessary away from the club on loan. Neil Pierre’s performance against Flamengo did nothing to discredit the idea.
  2. The three new green cards give Sporting Director Ernst Tanner maneuverability to strengthen the roster if a way opens during the season. The first team roster will need six of the eight international slots that are allocated to the club annually. Should Union II Venezuelan loaneee Carlos Rojas Torres return, he would need a seventh international slot, leaving Tanner with an extra.
  3.  If the Jamaican national team calls up Andre Blake for March 2 against the USMNT in the semifinal of Concacaf’s Nations League, and again for either the final or the third place match on the 24th, the brick wall will miss the Union’s match away against Portland on the March 23.
  4. Venezuela’s U23s tapped off almost simultaneously with the Union. Jose Riasco dressed but did not play. Venezuela tied Ecuador 1-1, reducing their odds of advancing to the CONMEBOL PreOlympic qualifiers’ final four. If Venezuela fails that task, their last match will be February 1 and Riasco might return for the second trip to Clearwater Monday, February 5.

Union Lineups

1st half (4-1-2-1-2, L-R) Andre Blake (Francesco Montali 30′); Kai Wagner, Damion Lowe, Jakob Glesnes, Nathan Harriel; Jose Martinez (Jesus Bueno 14′); Jack McGlynn, Quinn Sullivan; Jeremy Rafanello; Julian Carranza, Joaquin Torres.

2nd half: Francesco Montali (Holden Trent 57′); Matt Real, Olwethu Makhanya, Neil Pierre, Olivier Mbaizo; Jesus Bueno; CJ Olney, Sanders Ngabo; David Vazquez; Chris Donovan, Jeremy Rafanello (Nick Pariano 67′).

Away: Riasco, Gazdag, Uhre. Probably still injured: Baribo (ankle), Flach (pectoral muscle, in Philly). Probably coach’s decision: LeFlore, Rick. Craig, Westfield.

Austin lineups

1st period: Stefan Cleveland GK; Cheick Touré ?, Matt Hedges CB, Antonio Gomez (Trialist) ?, Jon Gallagher LB, Alex Ring DM, Owen Wolff M, Sebastián Driussi AM, CJ Fodrey M, Sébastien Pineau ?, Ethan Finlay M.

2nd period: Brad Stuver GK,  Hector Jimenez D, Sal Mazzaferro ?,  Julio Cascante D, Alonso Ramírez ?,  Jhojan Valencia M,  Dani Pereira M, Valentin Noël ?, Emiliano Rigoni M,  Chris Garcia ? (Bryant Farkarlun 79′), Jáder Obrian F.


Union           37th min           Julian Carranza (Quinn Sullivan)

Austin.         54th min           Daniel Pereira


Austin          88th min          Yellow               ??? ??? (foul)

 Whistle and Flags

There is an apparently authentic full statement on the internet that the regular referees, assistant referees, and fourth officials who responded have voted unanimously to authorize a strike against the Professional Referees Organization – the umbrella assigner for the US – starting January 31 if there is no Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by then. VAR officials have also been drawn from that pool. Jose Roberto Nunez (@JoserNunez91) reported the story on X (formerly Twitter) late Monday evening.


  1. The Union posted a clip of the Carranza goal and it is…. MAGNIFICENT. Harriel and Sullivan charging up the right side. Nate feeds Quinn, who drives the endline, cuts back to Carranza who back-heel nutmegs the keep. Beautiful flowing stuff.

  2. Thank you, Deez Nuggs!
    Here’s the URL. Remember links don’t work in comments.
    Correction in the text above will follow.
    In my opinion Harriel should get the “hockey assist” for the feed.

  3. And @AustinFC has now posted a video clip of the Austin Goal.
    Here is the URL. Remember links don’t work within comments.
    Others should also evaluate the event, please. To me it looked like Makhanya and Pierre got there a fraction too late. Didn’t look to me like there was much Montali could have done to stop the shot, but I am not a goalkeeper.

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