Concacaf Champions Cup / Match Report

Match report: Philadelphia Union 3-3 Deportivo Saprissa (Union agg. 6-5)

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Another day, another CONCACAF rain game.

Days after their home opener, the Philadelphia Union welcomed Deportivo Saprissa to Subaru Park, where they won the series on aggregate, 6-5.

While Saprissa was first on the board after Luis Paradela converted a penalty with a shot to the top left corner, the Union were quick to answer thanks to a header from the center of the box by Julian Carranza.

After a smattering of goal attempts from both sides, Quinn Sullivan found the back of the net from the right side of the box in the 26th minute. The Union’s lead would be short-lived, however, as Warren Madrigal snuck one past Semmle from close range just two minutes later.

Prolonged by four separate VAR incidents, the first half ended tied at 2, but not before Olivier Mbaizo claimed the first booking of the night.

The second half started with a frustrating series of missed attempts for the Union, and Saprissa quickly took advantage of the Union’s shakiness. A handball by Jakob Glesnes in the 61st minute preceded a successful free kick by Mariano Torres, giving Saprissa the 3-2 lead.

With the aggregate score level at 5-5 and even on road goals, and the possibility of 2 extra time halves looming, Curtin sent Jose Martinez and Mikael Uhre into the match for Jesus Bueno and Quinn Sullivan in the 65th minute.

As the 90th minute drew closer, both sides looked for a decisive score to end the series after 180 minutes. A massive save by Semmle in the 85′ followed by a one-man breakaway from Chris Donovan ended the clock and signaled the need for extra time.

Despite being down to 10 on the pitch after Jack Elliott was sent off, Philadelphia struck first in the 94th minute as Kai Wagner found Mikael Uhre for a wide open finish. Saprissa tried its best to produce another goal, but even a heartstopping sequence of attempts in the final minutes fell short, instead hitting the crossbar on back-to-back shots and sealing Saprissa’s fate.

With the win, the Union book their spot in the Round of 16 to face Pachuca of Mexico.

Three Points
  • Quinn Sullivan: The preseason focus may have been on little brother Cavan, but after scoring his first goal of the year, it’s becoming obvious that this could be a big year of development for Quinn Sullivan.
  • No Blake? No problem: Don’t let the final score fool you; Semmle stepped up and made some big plays tonight. Considering how many games Blake could miss for international duty this summer, Semmle might make all the difference for the Union.
  • VAR: A total of 9 minutes was added to the first half as the referees sent seemingly everything to review. Could this be the next CONCACAF trend? For the sake of everyone who sits around me, I hope not.

Philadelphia Union 

Oliver Semmle, Olivier Mbaizo (Nathan Harriel — 115′), Jakob Glesnes, Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Julian Carranza (Chris Donovan — 84′), Jesus Bueno (Jose Martinez — 65′), Daniel Gazdag (Damion Lowe — 90’+5′), Jack McGlynn, Quinn Sullivan (Mikael Uhre — 65′), Markus Anderson (Alejandro Bedoya — 45′)

Unused subs: Sanders Ngabo, Matthew Real, Tai Baribo, Jeremy Rafanello, Holden Trent, Olwethu Makhanya

Deportivo Saprissa

Kevin Chamorro, Pablo Arboine, Fidel Escobar, Gerald Taylor, Mariano Torres, Jefferson Brenes (Ariel Rodriguez — 71′), Joseph Mora (Kendall Watson — 90′), Luis Diaz (David Guzman — 45′), Javon East (Orlando Sinclair — 105′), Warren Madrigal (Jefry Valverde — 71′), Luis Paradela (Eduardo Anderson — 79′)

Unused subs: Esteban Alvarado, Ulises Segura, Abraham Madriz, Douglas Sequeira

Scoring Summary

SAP: Luis Paradela — 14′

PHI: Julian Carranza — 17′

PHI: Quinn Sullivan — 26′

SAP: Warren Madrigal — 28′

SAP: Mariano Torres — 62′

PHI: Mikael Uhre — 94′

Discipline Summary

PHI: Olivier Mbaizo — 40′ (foul)

PHI: Jack Elliott — 90’+3′ (foul)

SAP: Joseph Mora — 90’+6′ (foul)

PHI: Oliver Semmle — 102′ (foul)

PHI: Damion Lowe — 104′ (foul)

PHI: Alejandro Bedoya — 116′ (foul)


  1. Is this what it’s gonna be like every single game? Unnecessary drama? I thought away goals would send it to PKs? This could’ve all been avoided if the U didn’t give up that late goal in the first leg. But a win is a win is a win. Take it and just move the fork on.

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    There was a time I would be thrilled with this. Now here we are with measured sustained success. And all I’m really thinking about already is combined minutes played and the fizz out as the games and year drag on. The over 15 minutes of added time on top of the extra time for OT… remember when 4 minutes was like “oh shit!”
    The red card on Jack was an egregious decision. The post(s) at the end in the melee was wild. Nice having a competent back up goalie cause Bendik does not win them this home and home. No way.
    In other news, remember when Union could defend? Those were the days.

  3. That was insane.
    Semmle may have made some great saves, but he was largely responsible for the third goal against. His wall was way too far past the near post leaving a huge amount of space for the free kick to go in.
    As El Pachy says, the defense has been atrocious. 7 goals against in 3 games by essentially the same group that gave up less than 30 goals all season 2 years ago? Last night it was 3 set piece goals but easily could have been more from the run of play.
    The ref was horrible. Early on he got some calls wrong in the Union’s favor when Union players slipped on the wet pitch and a foul was called despite no contact (why did they run the sprinklers before the game after it rained so much?). Then, no cards for persistent infringement (I thought even CONCACAF refs knew about that). Then a straight red for no apparent reason given that there were two other defenders back. Then once the Union took the lead, almost every call against them including a yellow to Semmle for time wasting when he wouldn’t restart with a second ball on the pitch. Absolutely ridiculous.

    • Richie_the _Limey says:

      Could argue that Semmle was responsible for the penalty too – he should have come for that ball. Too often he was rooted to his line like a high school goalie. His lack of conviction made the defenders visibly weary which makes the whole backfour play with a lack of confidence.

      Did he even come and catch one ball that was put into the box? He might have made a couple of decent saves but he also has let soft ones in too. His nervousness, TERRIBLE kicking (made Andre look like Ederson), and complete lack of any aggression in his own area makes him an absoloute liability. We cannot survive with that guy between the sticks.

    • Semmle is +1 in my book. Save three breakaways but let in two soft ones. I haven’t seen a good view of the Gutiérrez goal but it looked like it went right over his head and he was going the wrong way on the free kick last night.

      Defense is horrid. They are actually tripping over themselves — Mbaizo in the middle of the field gave one away — Glesnes is off balance and gives up the handball for the free kick. Lowe is 20 yds out of position in overtime gives up another break away. Elliot has to take a red card. Great news!! This won’t last.

      Agree, I understand the referee hounding Semmle every play but the card was at the wrong moment because the ball came back into play and there were two balls on the field.

  4. The good – 8 goals in 3 games with 2 from our $$ striker

    The bad – 7 goals let in over 3 games v weaker teams.

    Also bad – 300 min played over 8 days with 120 more over the next week.

    Also, bad ref with typical CONCACAF calls balanced by double post saves courtesy of the soccer gods and karma

    • The double post save nearly ended me–for a second I could have SWORN the ball hit the line and I was dreading any sort of review

  5. Glesnes responsible for two goals this time. Unlucky or lost a step? Ref was totally inconsistent as usual. Semmle was the best player on the Union side by a mile, good pick! We win and move on but only by brute force defending and a good bit of luck. Exciting match!

    • Richie_the _Limey says:

      Semmle was responsible for those goals – not Glesnes.

      • Let’s see:

        #1 clear penalty as Glesnes’ miskicked into the guys leg.
        #2 Handball just outside the box.

        Blake unlikely to save the PK and would have had trouble with the free kick. Bendick saves neither and likely gives up a save that Semmle did make.

  6. The recap of the game said the Elliot red card was DOGSO. I could have sworn Glesnes was several yards deeper when the foul occurred. How the foul on Gazdag at mid field didn’t get a yellow, or the pulling down of Mbaizo from behind didn’t even get a foul called.

    • Semmele came up big at the end. Looks like he needs to develop a little more command of his box. Some punches that should have been caught led to some scary moments that should have been more routine. But job number one is making the save and he took care of that by and large.

      Hopefully Glesnes overcomes the rough patch. I always wonder about players developing a malaise when the overseas deals don’t materialize and you have to accept being an MLS lifer.

    • There was no way that was DOGSO. There were two other defenders back. That should have been overturned on review.

  7. Thrilling game. Glad for the chance to play Pachuca. But the boys are going to need to tighten things up. I’m not going to panic about the defense. I’ve always thought our stingy defense had an awful lot to do with Blake making saves many keepers just wouldn’t. It’s also the very beginning of the season, one in which our best center back is returning from surgery. I think it’s reasonable to think things will improve.

    I am happy to see a more free wheeling attack. Those were quality goals. If we can keep that up and get the back line back in shape, it will be a good season.

    • Last season Blake did not make all that many insane saves. Our defense really was that good. And wow is Glesnes having a tough time this season so far…

    • I agree–I think Glesnes coming back from surgery and Blake being out of net make things a bit shaky for us. HOWEVER, if things are going to be shaky, at least the offensive is finding the net.

      I think I was getting so used to being a defensive fortress with the occasional goal that the opposite had me momentarily panicked

  8. I won’t comment much on the CONCACAF ref who showed his true colors at the end of the game (like last time when the Mexican ref managed to show yellow cards to many key Union players). Instead let’s focus on the offense. Is it just me or does it seem like a huge spark is there when Quinn is in the game? The passes across the board are crisp (especially for early season) and movement is there. I don’t recall that kind of pace and excitement all of last year. I love Jack but with him and Alejandro in there we have a slow methodical team with little pace. Quinn goes to the bench and instantly things slow down. Also, I love Alejandro, however his slowness is obvious. He was awesome running to the corner but in terms of defending and quick reactions, it just isn’t there anymore. I am going to delay saying much about Glesnes other than to point out that he was out with an injury at the end of the season and is slow and out of sorts. Overall, a crazy, exciting, huge win though should have been much easier.

    • Agree on Sullivan, but I’m also OK with Curtin pulling him when he did given the combination of his work rate and fixture congestion.
      Bedoya running to the corner like that was especially impressive given that he had been on the field for 70+ minutes by that point. Maybe they’ll get more out of him than expected this year. There was also a chance for someone else to go to the corner about 4 or 5 minutes later but instead, whoever it was went towards goal and the ball ended up back with Saprissa. Hopefully the team will learn to understand the situation better in the future.

  9. The whole CONCACAF experience left a bad taste in my mouth. All liquids in cups…. Well OK, I can live with that, but if I was a Saprissa fan (who were loud, friendly and well behaved in section 127) I would have been insulted. But then we have terrible refs, not to mention terrible linesmen, unforgivable VAR interruptions (how can it take 4+ minutes for the VAR ref to decide to pass the decision to the on-field ref?), and since when do we not play National AnthemS before sporting events in the USA? It’s like CONCACAF took Subaru Park hostage. Can’t wait for the next one….

    It was an exciting game though. Many thanks to both teams for delivering that in spite of the bs.

    • Concacaf does not play anthems because these are club teams not national teams.

      • Now if only the MLS (and other sporting leagues in the US and Canada) would come to their sense and not insist on playing it before every game. The rest of the world doesn’t bother with it except on special occasions.
        Or go play the national anthem for every country represented by every player in the starting lineup for either team.

  10. Forgot to mention one silly thing that struck me. Watching Marcus Anderson (who i thought was great in his first game) reminded me of Folarin Balogun. How crazy is that?

    • Union decided to play forward through the right 100% of the time or more likely Anderson didn’t want the ball. He offered nothing for Wagner. Guessing that was the reason for the Sullivan change at the half. Can we get a touch count?

  11. The good: wow, what a start to the season for Quinn Sullivan. 1g/3a so far (counting secondary assists), but more than that he’s looked really dynamic in the midfield. Covers a ton of ground and dangerous any time he gets the ball. There will be ups and downs this year, but he’s still only 19 (for another month) and there’s plenty of space to grow.
    The bad: woof, seven goals in three games is pretty bad. I have confidence that Glesnes will turn it around; he has a proven track record in MLS. Less confident in Semmle who will need to play this season. And what are they going to do with Lowe/Elliott suspended against Pachuca?
    The ???: not sure what to make of Daniel Gazdag so far. There’s been end product including the goal against Chicago, but too often he seems disconnected in the buildup. Would be curious if others agree.

    • I think Gazdag has been sharp. This game, Saprissa games him out more. And fouled us heavily to break the rhythm. But go back to the team goals from the prior two matches. Not only is Gazdag on the scoresheet but he is instrumental in buildup with some one touch passes and quick reads.
      Quinn is putting together a potential breakthrough season. Fantastic stuff. He just needed Bedoya to sit so he could get the chance. (I’m speculating that might be the reason for the offseason drama. Tanner pulled rank to force Jim to change.)
      Semmle is young and unblooded. But my word, did he have some really nice saves this match. He’s far better than Bendik. And the possibility is there that he only gets better.

      • Semmle is a major upgrade over Bendik. He’s a young guy who has some weaknesses to clean up, but he has made some fantastic saves. For a backup keeper to a legend, you can’t ask for much more than he is giving you.
        I agree with Deez that I think Gazdag was game-planned out of last night. He was good on Saturday, but you do want your #10 to find the game even when the other team knows you are the fulcrum.

    • Semmle is definitely not Blake, and he definitely has room for improvement (the 3rd goal). At the same time in two games he has made at least 2 important saves, and last night he actually made 3 saves at close range that ended up being called back for offsides. Considering he’s only been with the team for a month and been forced into 2 starts in the first 3 games, I’m causiously optimistic.

    • My guess is that they will move Wagner to center back and put Harriel or Mbaizo on the left.
      Regarding Gazdag, he seemed pretty invisible last night which is troubling given how often that happened last year.

    • I agree on Gazdag. He just isn’t very good now, given how much he is paid. The more he attempts to play as a classic “10” the less effective he becomes.

  12. I envy all of you who were at the match because it meant you didn’t have to listen to the bozo doing the commentary on FS2. I watch 4-6 matches a week on TV and he was easily the worst I can remember in years. It was like he was given media guides and 30 minutes to prepare to call the match. His match analysis was horrible, his constant references to basketball useless and annoying and his grasp of US history was so bad it was funny (what river did Washington cross?….was it the Declaration of Independence or Constitution that was written in Philadelphia….you get the drift). He referenced he was a product of “Dade County education”, to which I’d be issuing a disclaimer if I were Dade County. He was a poster child for the adage of “You can keep your mouth shut and let people think you are ignorant, or you can open your mouth and prove it”.

    • My favorite commentator moments of the game,
      “Jesus Bueno, that means Jesus good which a lot of people believe”
      “Im quite the geography nerd”
      “Markus Anderson wears the number 35, the same number as union owner Kevin Durant”
      “The “X” “V” kits”
      And much, much, more.

    • My wife (who stayed home last night) texted me during the game to ask if they had changed the name of the stadium again to Chester Park. Apparently that’s what the announcer called it.

    • That dude was the worst I’ve ever heard. It was amazing

    • Agreed. If he is on the next game I invite everybody to play the “Idiot Commentator” drinking game. Every time that idiot gives us a translation of Jesus Bueno’s name, or how much he likes the XV kits, or publicly displays his ignorance of American history (just don’t bring it up if you don’t know!), or talks about his life in Miami, you drink!

      • I thought he was horrible, but tbf never heard a professional game with a single commenter. He had to force conversation, and it showed

    • As Bridget Fonda says… “I never did mind the little things.”
      I appreciated the guy for doing that job alone. Called the game and had to provide color.
      Which he did.
      Thumbs up.

    • Couldn’t make the game but man oh man that was horrible. Both FS2 broadcasts were bad and neither had an analyst, just one guy talking to himself.

      Can’t believe I am saying this but give me back Apple TV!

      • You have to remember that Fox completely gave up putting any quality into their MLS broadcasts once Apple TV started. Their production screams cheapness especially with having one man booths for all CCC games. They didn’t even bother having John Strong and Stuart Holden call MLS games last year. Maybe that will change this weekend with the Miami Messis being on Fox.

  13. So Glesnes gives up 2 more goals, penalty and handball leading to a direct kick goal. Hope he gets his shit together. Semmle is the man!!! Glad we have a really good backup for Blake finally. Inconsistent reffing as usual and reviews took WAY too long. Still a really entertaining match. There were times Union faithful noise was dwarfed by the Saprissa loyal, they were really into it. All in all an entertaining match, especially since we move on.

  14. At least its been fun so far, plus we got the result. Offense looks to be a little more fluid this season, which is great.
    I still don’t love always just throwing it up and hoping for the best. The team looks better and capable when they do some build up. This is why I wish Quinn played more last year. Does anyone know why Baribo isn’t given more chances? I liked most of what I saw from Anderson, especially being willing to take some chances.
    The subs were a little better last night. Late subs and not using them all the first couple games is egregious knowing there were and will be so many games this season. This continues to be Curtin’s biggest flaw that he doesn’t seem to want to fix.
    What happened to the defense? Does Blake cover up that much usually? CB’s especially seem off to start the year.
    What in the world was the announcing last night? One person instead of two, and he sounded like they set him up with a laptop in his living room and he was making some comments. Did you know Jesus Good was the translation for Jesus Bueno?

    • All three goals allowed last night were directly off of set pieces (PK, corner kick, and free kick). Semmla could definitely have positioned the wall better on the last one.

      • No the goals were not directly on this defense, but generically this season they’ve looked shaky, especially considering the core group has been together a while.

      • For sure, I agree. I’m talking in general, the defense has looked shaky, especially considering they’ve worked together for a while and know each other and the system.

  15. How many f-ups does Glesnes need to commit before this coach figures out the need to pull him?

    The guy can’t move or run!

  16. Crazy game. Intense. Really was not sure the U would manage to get through. There was exactly one very unlikely scenario where we would go to extra time… naturally that’s exactly what happened. The team deserves a ton of credit for the heart they showed after going down a man to not only see the game through two extra periods but also find the winner!
    Saprissa is a powerhouse club. No pushover. They came to play. And they had learned from the last game.
    Their fans were out in force too. In section 130 it maybe was near 50/50 fan split. Personally I was surrounded on all sides by their fans.
    At one point towards the end, after that last bad throw in call that earned Ale his yellow, the gentleman next to me came over and said, “I am for Saprissa, but this ref… he is really bad. He’s got calls wrong both teams, both ways. This call here is very bad.” He congratulated us after the game and even a bro hug. Nice dude. “You have to control your home. That is why we lose,” he said.

    • We were in 108 and had similar conversations with Saprissa fans. They were the nicest away fans that I think I have encountered at the stadium. And aside from the ridiculous theatrics in the first half (East was laughable), the team played a great game and should have made them proud.

    • Saprissa fans definitely outclassed the Union fans who only know three words… Sucks! Doop! and Union! We did come together with that old standby – Ref, you suck!

  17. Quinn Sullivan is clearly gonna be our spark plug this year. He’s looked consistently outstanding.

    Uhre having 2 goals already in this young season is huge.

    Semmle looks good overall and is clearly a signficant upgrade from Bendik. However, goal #3 is on him, as he was not positioned properly.

    The red card on Elliott was absolutely outrageous. There was not much contact — I’ll even grant a yellow, since it was a lunge, but not even close to reckless enough for red. And calling it a DOGSO is absurd, as there were TWO OTHER DEFENDERS BACK. With Lowe out too, I wonder if we might see Harriel at center back…

  18. Holy hell, Sullivan. Last year and the offseason were focused on McGlynn and Cavan, all while Quinn was getting ready to drop this season on us. If he can keep this level of play all year, we won’t see him here in 2025.
    When he came out last night, the game completely changed. I know he was tired, and he’s played a lot of minutes already, but the difference with and without was clear.
    The defense will be fine. As Pete mentioned, Blake covers up a lot of their mistakes. Plus, he organizes the defense better than a young guy new to the club. Semmle will get better as he gets more comfortable, and Blake will improve everyone around him when he gets back.
    Also for the defense, Harriel and Mbaizo are both playing well. It’s good to have 3 quality outside backs, especially in a busy schedule.
    Not a lot of people are talking about Markus Anderson. I thought he put in a great shift last night. He was working his butt off, had the strength for the hold-up play against the strong Saprissa defenders, and clearly has speed that will translate to league games. If that was a true sign of his abilities, it will be great to have that depth at forward, especially with Uhre finding the net early in the season.
    It was an insane game. And props to the Saprissa fans around us last night. They were great sports, and we shook hands and had a quick smile after the game out of appreciation for the intensity of the night. They were good people.

  19. Fellas, Quinn has always looked good, but Curtin does not like to alter from his beloved starting lineups each season. Screamed for Quinn to start all last season. Hardly any mention in this thread of the excellent number 9 ability from Anderson tonight ?!?! Uhre out Anderson in. But again, Curtin will most likely not make that move and Anderson will start next season and I’ll again mention I was asking for this in year previous. Curtin is always just a tad bit late. Also, horrific substitution decisions by Curtin in this game which is the reason we had to send this one into OT.

    • Too early to say this re: Curtin/Anderson, but yes, he does have this tendancy.

    • Not sure what you consider horrific about his subs. He used all 6, the first being as early as halftime, and still had one in reserve to make when Elliott picked up the red card. Plus he was able to rotate some players so hopefully they won’t be gassed in Kansas on Saturday.

    • While I have always thought that Quinn had a lot of potential, I think that for me, personally, he had a tendency to second-guess himself a lot during play. Easy for me to say while I’m sitting in the stands, but I’ve seen a lot of confidence from him these last couple of games and I think it’s what’s making all the difference

      • The difference that I have seen is that he is much stronger on the ball–though he is and was pretty muscular last year, he is clearly bigger this year and cannot be easily dispossessed. And he has great speed, with and without the ball. Assuming he stays healthy, I think he is both a double-digit goal scorer and assist-maker this year.

  20. Blake Zuschnitt says:

    I’ve been really impressed with Sullivan these first 3 games. His movement has been great. It’s what the U missed going forward down the right last season, and he’s worked well with both carranza, Uhre, Mbaizo/Harriel coming down that side. He will be vital to any run this team makes this season.

    McGlynn looks like a totally different athlete this year. He still looks a little on the slower side, but he has thrown his body around a bit these first two saprissa games in an unexpected fashion. Had a few tough giveaways last night, but so did every other player in the XI. He gets ripped for his foot speed, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find another player on this roster who has the control, decision-making, and deliberate deception he has on the ball under pressure. He’s shown up defensively as well, definitely has held his own out of possession. He’s been immense in these first three games, yet his full impact won’t ever show up in the score sheet.

  21. Here is the view from Section 105:

    1) It was a lot easier to get to the stadium and to our seats last night because the stadium was only about 60% full. I was surprised at the number of Saprissa supporters. The ones around me were vocal, but polite.

    2) Regarding the penalty given to Glesnes in the 9th minute (which was converted in the 14th minute), in real time, it looked to me as though the Saprissa player had intentionally dived over Glesnes’ leg. The highlights do not show his writhing in pain rolling around after he went to ground. If you watch the replay of the incident, you can see what happened: Glesnes was tracking the ball and swung his right leg backwards to clear the ball out of the box. That motion tripped the Saprissa player, who Glesnes probably did not know was there. It was incidental contact and should not have been called. That the review took 3 minutes bespoke that it was not a “clear and obvious” error.

    3) The Union do not defend as well without Jose Martinez in the lineup as they do with him. Any similarity between Jesus Bueno and El Brujo ends with nationality. Bueno had a particularly difficult game.

    4) If you look at the discipline summary above, you might think that the Union were fouling left and right. You would be wrong in thinking that. The Union were called for 20 fouls with 4 yellows and a red; Saprissa were called for 30 fouls with a single yellow card. Towards the end of the game, 3 Saprissa egregious fouls (meaning that they warranted a yellow card) were not even whistled, resulting in Saprissa attacks. The referee’s and ARs performances were so poor that the regulars around me and I thought that the replacement crew on Saturday did a better job–and they were pretty bad.

    5) The red card on Elliott was not a DOGSO. Mbaizo was back, though not in a direct line, with the player pulled down. In watching the replay, the Fox announcer said (correctly) that the card was for a tackle from behind which is supposed to be a red card, but hardly ever is. I for one would like to see this enforced across the board because I think that tackles from behind are so dangerous.

    6) This is not an ideal way to start the season playing this many minutes in succession. At least there is some degree of rotation of personnel.

    • John P. O'Donnell says:

      Point five is spot on for me and I remember a few years ago to start the season this was emphasized with tackles from behind being a straight red. You would think in appeal with it being called a DOGSO they might win but Curtin commenting he understands and pull the shirt looks like they’ll move on.

    • You are spot on. They also missed the throw-in violation (foot OVER the line) on the throw that Glesnes handled.
      That crew hailed from Honduras/Nicaragua/El Salvador. I would love to see a list of their last 20 matches worked. That crew had absolutely no business being on that pitch. The referee’s unwillingness to call fouls on Sap created a dangerous environment for Union players. Sap players had clearly been coached to play hyper-aggressively and hyper-physically by a “hot seat” coach. Play the man, not the ball, hit hard – maybe you’ll cause an injury that will help us win.
      It’s not soccer and it’s not entertaining. Is a season (or career) ending injury really worth 1 or 2 mil GAM? The minnow teams have no chance of winning the tournament. So they go out and hack, hack, hack.

    • I agree, if you hadn’t caught the game, the disciplinary summary would make it seem like the U were on a fouling spree. Plenty of chances for Saprissa to be called out, but somehow they all got missed (insert eyeroll)–how one of their players got away with putting his hands around someone’s neck in the final minutes of extra time is BEYOND me

  22. If Saprissa scored at the end of the second overtime half, would they have won on away goals or would it have gone to PKs? I tried to find the answer online after the match, but did not find anything definitive. My wife and I were in row S of section 133 below the Saprissa supporters group and surrounded by other Saprissa fans. They were loud, enthusiastic, and very well behaved. The funniest moment was when my wife asked one of their supporters sitting right next to us what a certain Spanish word they were yelling meant. He said “It’s not good.”

    • I’m pretty sure Saprissa would have won on away goals if they had scored at the end there. It’s a disadvantage of hosting the second game. I know that’s how it used to work in UEFA when they used to use the away goals rule.

      • David Stradley says:

        The announcer (and I know there were plenty of critiques of him) mentioned the away goals tiebreaker didn’t apply to overtime. So, if the aggregate was tied after overtime, it would have gone to penalties. Who knows if he was correct? If so, it would have given more time for random movie references.

      • David. That it poor phrasing from the announcer. The only way you can get to overtime is if the away goals also are tied. But I think if the extra time ended with a 4-3, Saprissa would have won on away goals even though the aggregate ties.

    • I looked up the rules. Rule says that if total goals and away goals are tied after regulation, away goals no longer matter in overtime. So if Saprissa had scored during overtime, the game would have gone to a penalty shootout.

  23. The palms of my hands were full of sweat during that game, end to end excitement. Good for the Union to come out on top despite hardship.

    My motivation for posting however is Oliver, to me he looks like a diamond in the rough, what a kool dude goalie he is, kudos to the Union for finding him….. that certainly is good scouting…..

    • John P. O'Donnell says:

      He was drafted by the Colorado Rapids but not signed. Later he signed with Louisville City of USL where he had 12 shutouts in the regular season and one in the playoffs. The Union paid 100K plus incentives and he signed a new contract to 2025 with an option for 26. They also sent Colorado a 2nd round pick for his MLS rights.
      On a side note it’s good to see MLS and USL doing business. The negative is an MLS team who didn’t sign a player somehow still have his rights.

  24. All of you reminded me of another officiating deficiency that I failed to point out earlier. In the first period of OT, one of Saprissa’s players attempted a couple of long throws into the box. Because his technique was bad, the throws were illegal every time. I have seen such called by officials in my 9 year-old grandson’s travel league. There is no excuse for ARs missing it at this level.

  25. Sorry that I missed it. Was feeling like crap and didn’t want to make myself worse! Or infect other fans! Thought Sullivan was great again, our backup keeper is pretty good! Came up big overall! Have to wonder what’s going on with the defensive lapse! Glesnes looks lost! That’s my main concern! Our offense has been good. But we are bleeding goals! Also have to agree with others here about the amount of minutes already this season! I’m always optimistic about the new season and the trips to the Park! So far a good start. Let’s keep it going!

  26. Wracked Opinion says:

    The Good:

    Union eked out a win!
    Quin’s masterful service.
    Semm’s big saves.

    The Bad:
    Union’s giveaways, lack of on-ball pressure, plus ball-watching leading to defensive lapses.

    The Union’s overall defensive intensity, plus structure markedly degraded last season and continues to do so.

    Too much engagement with the referees and subsequent yellows for doing so. JUST STOP IT! Focus and play the game.

    Unfortunately yes: the Officiating Crew was poor… from referee, to sideline, to VAR… for missed calls and interminable delays.

    The Fox broadcast: with the single announcer trying to do play by play and color. Please just find and pay two competent people, PLEASE.

    The Ugly:

    Too many terrible Union giveaways!
    Worst of all, off of throw-ins and free kicks. Much of this is caused by a lack of off ball movement and thoughtful, determined runs into open space.

    I. M.H.O. Union need to play smarter, much more disciplined
    soccer so to reach their capability.

    Just too many lapses: physically, mentally and emotionally by this squad.

    They narrowly avoided yielding a late goal: which has become a habit begun and persisting from last season.

    Hopefully they will improve: so to maximize their talent and season.

    We will see.

Leave a Reply

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