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Match Report: Philadelphia Union 2-0 Minnesota United

The Philadelphia Union met Minnesota United at home for the matinee fixture on Saturday. An uncharacteristically sunny home game led to a 2-0 victory on Kid’s Night. Both teams entered this matchup undefeated, with the Union handing Minnesota their first loss of the 2024 season.

Philadelphia’s lineup was fairly standard, sporting their usual diamond midfield and dual forwards. 

Daniel Gazdag’s 16th-minute goal puts him within three of beating Sebastian LeToux’s scoring record. 

Union capitalize in the first half

Early in the first half, Gazdag converted off a corner from Kai Wagner, which bounced around in the box before falling at his foot for a tap-in at the back post.

Minnesota developed a theme of clogging the right side of the pitch, leaving Wagner and Jack McGlynn wide open to receive diagonal balls on the left. Their deep runs led to a few promising chances for the Union, where the forwards failed to get on the end of their crosses.

Quinn Sullivan also worked to penetrate the Minnesota defense and attempt several crosses on his own. His performance earned him the Sons of Ben’s man of the match. 

In the 41st minute, Andre Blake made a decisive save to deny Minnesota’s Teemu Pukki, a save that would prove crucial later on in holding onto the clean sheet. Blake took multiple knocks from Minnesota’s attackers on aerial challenges. Philadelphia wrapped up the first half with a team effort to prevent their opponents from earning a late chance. 

Maintaining the clean sheet

Mikael Uhre continued to narrowly miss the mark on crosses, giving up a few chances for the Union to increase their goal differential. Quinn Sullivan had himself a go on a side volley from outside the box, which narrowly sailed over the crossbar. His performance in this match was impressive overall.

Around the 70th minute, Blake went down in his box complaining of lightheadedness, seemingly from the multiple collisions he was part of earlier in the match. Philadelphia’s medical staff made the call to remove him from the match, bringing on Oliver Semmle as a replacement.

Semmle would go on to make one save on top of Blake’s three to hold the clean sheet at home. Minnesota did have some attacking chances and found the back of the net in the 81st minute, but Tani Oluwaseyi was narrowly offside in the run of play. VAR checked and confirmed no goal. 

Almost immediately after, Julián Carranza beat his defender for a volley inside the box, extending the Union’s lead to 2-0.

In ten minutes of stoppage time due to Blake’s injury, the Union managed to hold Minnesota off long enough for referee Sergii Boiko to blow the final whistle.


Three Points:
  • Semmle again: Oliver Semmle has proven himself yet again filling in the shoes of Andre Blake. Coming off the bench as a goalkeeper is no easy feat, and he handled himself well in doing so.
  • Kid’s night: Jack McGlynn and Quinn Sullivan both put in solid shifts on the outsides of the diamond. Their on and off-ball movement continues to be an issue for opposing defenders.
  • Remaining undefeated: Following their victory, the Union remain one of the few undefeated clubs this season. While they aren’t sitting at the top of the table, not giving up points will be huge in the coming months as they look toward the postseason — and the eventual tiebreakers.



Andre Blake (Oliver Semmle– 74’), Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Nathan Harriel, José Martínez, Jack McGlynn, Quinn Sullivan (Jesus Bueno– 90+8’), Daniel Gazdag (Chris Donovan– 88’), Mikael Uhre (Alejandro Bedoya– 66’), Julián Carranza

Unused subs: Markus Anderson, Damian Lowe, Tai Baribo, Jeremy Rafanello, Oliver Mbaizo


Dayne St. Clair, Joseph Rosales, Devin Padelford, Michael Boxall, D.J. Taylor (Victor Eriksson– 84’), Hassani Dotson (Moses Nyeman– 90+3’), Wil Trapp (Alejandro Bran– 70’), Robin Lod (Franco Fragapane–70’), Caden Clark (Bongokuhle Hlongwane– 60’), Teemu Pukki (Tani Oluwayseyi–70’), Jeong San-bin

Unused Subs: Hugo Bacharach, Clint Irwin, Morris Duggan


Scoring Summary:

PHI:  Daniel Gazdag – 16’

PHI: Julián Carranza – 84’


Discipline Summary:

PHI: Martínez – 64’

MIN: Dotson – 69’

PHI: Harriel – 90+5’

Referee: Sergii Boike


  1. Thank you for the write up, Alexandra.
    Feel this was their most complete effort this season. Reminded me a bit of 2 years ago when many games they were just better than the other team… and that’s how it played out.
    Happy to see. Not even going to nit-pick today.
    Good signs. I am hopeful.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      It makes sense that it would be their most complete effort since it was there first with a full strength lineup and no Champions Cup.

    • Deez Nuggs says:

      Glad to see you optimistic, pachy. Me too. This was a team that was top of the west, having beaten LAFC in their last match. And we made them look like a USL team. They simply couldn’t threaten. Very pleased to be at this one. Beautiful day out.

  2. I feel like Sullivan was more than solid. He was great. He routinely beat the entire left side of the defense himself. He put in several good balls that should have been an assist or two. He was basically a one man offense on the right side of the field for most of the game.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, Semmle would have been given an assist on the second goal if they used hockey scoring rules.
    Good overall effort by pretty much everyone. Really only one serious chance for Minnesota whereas the Union could easily have scored 5 or 6.
    I thought the regular refs were supposed to back this weekend. I certainly couldn’t tell it by this one. There was no consistency with his calls.

    • On the second goal, Semmle’s ball was first intercepted by a defender’s header virtually straight up… so maybe not a secondary assist.
      But man, Bedoya’s header (the next touch after that) was so perfectly placed for Carranza’s volley finish.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Bedoya is definitely showing that he can be a contributor off the bench.

      • Deez Nuggs says:

        I’ll say it again. The offseason drama with Bedoya was never about him. Tanner was making clear to Curtain that Quinn needed to start. And Bedoya had to sit more in order for that to happen.

  4. Delco Roots says:

    Professional win. Union were the better team from stat to finish. It seemed like Minnesota was mailing it in after a while. They had no fire.

    I continue to take Blake for granted. His save on Preki (I think) in the middle of the first half seemed to be the breaking point for Minnesota. I also suspect he pulled the defense together over the last few days and reminded them that the Union’s calling card is stout defense. Glesnes and Elliott played like the pair that we have come to expect.

    I know this is not the consensus, but I think that Martinez is the most critical player for the Union. I acknowledge some of his shortcomings, but, man, he is Philly tough, and (I believe) cares more than anyone else. And while we all (justifiably) joke about his yellow card accumulation, he rarely seems to pick up a red.

    I agree with the article comment about Sullivan and McGlynn. Their attacking down the flanks is a constant pressure on the opposing team, and it seems to take those teams by surprise. I am trying to enjoy these two homegrowns while they are here, as they will outgrow MLS soon.

    • Deez Nuggs says:

      Am I juvenile? Yes I am. But I couldn’t not call him Poopy Pukki.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      If Martinez could find a way to be more consistent, he could be a great player. Unfortunately, too many times he’ll make a great stop and then turn the ball over in a bad position.
      And he really needs to cut down on the bad yellow cards. I have no problem with his cards in the run of play, but why does he need to pick up dead ball yellows like today? If he’s the most critical player on the team, he doesn’t do them any good when he’s not available due to suspension. He has 3 yellows in 4 games meaning he’s 2 away from his first suspension which seems likely to come against either RSL (April 27) or DC United (May 4).

      • Delco Roots says:

        Andy, you are completely correct. But at this point, Martinez is who he is. His mistake is the deadball yellows (to your point.). However, I will take the good with the bad at this point.

      • He literally marked Lod out of the game in the second half, which effectively neutered any chance at offense Minnesota had.

      • All3Points says:

        Yes, JayKoz. It was a thing of beauty.

      • Atomic Spartan says:

        Ref had rabbit ears on the card.

      • Wracked Opinion says:

        Agree with you about Martinez, Andy!

        Yours is such a perfect, astute commentary.

        I love his aggression, hustle, plus defensive prowess and can even tolerate his sometimes careless ball-handling.

        But fouling must be especially strategic for defenders.

        His awful, thoughless, habit of taking dead ball fouls… especially to antagonize the referee is amateurish, senseless, plus ultimately costly: for missing games from accumulation.


    • John P. O'Donnell says:

      I’m not sure about McGlynn and Sullivan are out growing MLS soon. Are they good enough for the top five European leagues right now? At some point this summer I think MLS is changing how they sell and keep players. Going to a Belgium team until you turn 18 already looks to be in question now. We shall see soon enough as the rumor is changes coming for the summer window.

      • I’m kinda with you. I’m not so sure these guys are locks for Europe. I think it will all depend on whether they get decent offers at clubs they see as a step up. But I would not at all be surprised if they stay in MLS for the long haul. We’ll see.

  5. Loved that, I feel like I haven’t seen a straightforward, clean, Union win in ages.

    We have more points at this point of the season then we did at the same point of the season in 2023. (6 in 5 games in 2023 to 9 in 5 games in 2024)

  6. Martinez committed the stare of the game after the ref issued a yellow for dissent… his stare was lethal when he called him over,,,,,,,,,such intensity…….he had a good game.

  7. Deez Nuggs says:

    Fun fact. FC Cincinnati is top of the supporters shield. 3 points ahead of the Union. But the U have a game in hand thanks to the Seattle postponement. Otherwise (if we win that game) we are on exactly the same pace.

  8. The Choppet says:

    Perhaps the chaotic schedule with so many fixtures to start the season led to chaotic play. This team appears to be settling into form and the overall talent is beginning to assert itself. I am hopeful for the MLS campaign.

  9. If Sullivan keeps progressing at this rate, he may become The Mighty Quinn “,
    “When Quinn the Eskimo gets here, everybody gonna DOOP! “

  10. Beautiful, convincing victory over a top-performing club. And the defense finally looked like we expect the Union defense to look. Blake’s exit is a bummer but he’ll be back soon enough.

    The Union always, always start the season slow. CCC makes it worse. Open Cup leaves you no time to catch your breath. But no Open Cup matches this year. And Tannenwald in the Inky said he was almost happy they crashed out against Pachuca because it would give them an edge in MLS play. I think maybe he was right.

    And I think our boys are back. And the rest of the league is in trouble.

    • John P. O'Donnell says:

      Crashing out early of CCC is never good. This year the winner gets 5 million and qualifying for the Club World Cup which brings in over 50 million just for punching the ticket into the tournament.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Yeah, but were they ever going to win CCC this year? Crashing out early has some advantages over crashing out late.

      • Atomic Spartan says:

        Will anyone beat the Pachuca team we saw? especially on their home mountain?

      • Andy as you say, that was really Tannenwald’s point: if you aren’t going to win it, or come close, then all you’re doing is straining yourself and, effectively, sacrificing some league games that you really need to win. Now, if they can get a win against Nashville next weekend, the U. are suddenly looking at being near the top of the league table.

  11. Nice win by the U, definitely their best end to end game of the year.

    Why does the Union need to play all their games at night and say folks can’t make day games due to kids sports? But, then they have kids day at 2pm and 19,000 show up. It was so nice to sit in the sun for an early season game rather than survive another cold rainy night. More please, sir!

    • Well, it was cold and it did rain in the second half.

    • Caveat…. Holiday weekend, in between youth/High School sports seasons as well. Afternoon games traditionally haven’t drawn as well during the season (youth sports, vacations, people do things like yard work, errands, home improvement, etc. during the day).

  12. This is great! Feel like I was at the game after reading this. More content like this.

  13. I was a bit too busy after the game to have commented before now, and I agree with you about many of your observations. I thought that I would share a few from Section 105:

    1) Despite a little bit of rain, it was mostly pleasant to sit outside in 60 degree weather for a day game. Perhaps it is just a reflection on the games that I have personally attended, but the last day game I remember was that COVID debacle against NYCFC in the playoffs.
    2) Yes, this was a quality win against a quality opponent. The rest did the Union good.
    3) We are so used to the Union and top teams in the league playing out of the back that Minnesota’s complete failure to once play out of the back was nearly shocking. In the bad old days, the Union did not play out of the back because of lack of ball skills–they would simply turn it over in bad positions. I had not seen Minnesota since last year, so I don’t know whether this is their MO or whether it was simply respect for the Union’s press.
    4) Jose Martinez had an awesome game. Yes, there were a couple of giveaways, but there were far more brilliant plays in the Union end and at midfield that started rushes. I don’t know exactly what he said to the ref to earn his yellow card for dissent. His comment was quite short (by Jose standards), so I hope his words were choice. Arguing about a corner kick was a silly reason to pick up a caution, but unfortunately, that is a part of Jose Martinez’ package.
    5) The reffing was OK. Mostly, the head ref “let them play,” so there was a good deal of physicality on both sides that was allowed. The worst reffing exchange occurred around the 60th minute of the second half. Carranza was a bit off balance and he was pushed by one of the Minnesota players to the ground right in front of the ref–no call. A couple of minutes later right in front of us, Carranza is pressing a Minnesota defender and Carranza touches his back without pushing and the defender goes down in a heap. The AR flagged a foul and the ref called it. Carranza was understandably miffed. One of the fans in our section stood up and yelled, “Don’t punish Carranza for being big!” We had to laugh.
    5) Around the 70th minute during the run of play, my soon-to-be 11 year-old granddaughter tugged on my arm and said, “Look–Quinn Sullivan is eating a banana.” And sure enough, he was. And he followed that up with a second a couple of minutes later, exactly matching the scoreline with his bananas.
    6) The defense was MUCH better than in the other home matches the Union played. The international break came at a good time for Elliot and Glesnes and it was good for Lowe to get some rest. Even without the CONCACAF Cup competition, the Union are going to be playing a lot of games and they will need all of their CBs.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Regarding the ref and his inability to get the Caranza calls correct, that was about the time I yelled, “Go back on strike”. (Are we actually sure that they weren’t holdovers from the replacement group, I don’t remember hearing any of their names before).

      • I don’t know who they were either, Andy. Not the best and not the worst we have seen. Carranza gets very little love from the refs in MLS.

    • thanks for sharing, funny about your granddaughter

    • Deez Nuggs says:

      LOL I also hope his comments were ‘choice’. I’m imagining a verbal bouquet of insult and profanity such that a hardened drill sergeant would clutch his pearls. Just impersonal enough to avoid a straight red.

  14. Looking at the standings, here’s a thought. Say Seattle isn’t postponed and we win by any amount of goals, we are in 1st place in the East today…maybe the MLS article on Cincy being underrated becomes one on the U?

    • pragmatist says:

      I’m ok with being underrated, and not having it reported. Let’s have everyone sleep on us as we’re rounding into form.

      • Pragmatist I’m with you, and in fact, I thought the whole league was sleeping on us in the preseason expectations. If the team keeps playing like they have the last two matches, the sleeping on us won’t last long.

    • Or, don’t fall asleep on defense for ten minutes against a terrible Austin team? That is two points dropped that could bite them later.

  15. PhangPhanSwoopGritFrank says:

    They’re starting to get on a roll and still no regular season losses. Good start.

    • Love the handle!! Hats off to you !

      • PhangPhanSwoopGritFrank says:

        Thanks! Maybe one day we’ll get a YouTube series starring all five getting into some shenanigans and then a team up. The “PhillyVerse” haha.

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