Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 2-2 CF Montréal

Photo Courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union managed to score twice in the second half, but ultimarely settled for a draw against CF Montréal on Saturday evening at Subaru Park on their last game before the FIFA international break.

Jim Curtin shook things up for the Union’s third game in a week with a new lineup featuring a back three of Jack Elliott, Damion Lowe and captain Jakob Glesnes. Defenders Kai Wagner and Olivier Mbaizo provided offensive width while José Martinez, Leon Flach and Jack McGlynn occupied the middle of the pitch. In Julian Carranza’s absence, Daniel Gazdag and Mikael Uhre shared the striker responsibilities.

Montréal (4-7-5, 17 points), took an early 1-0 lead inside the opening minute courtesy of a Sunusi Ibrahim goal. Ibrahim, who scored twice in a win against D.C. United on Wednesday, claimed the fifth-fastest goal in club history, clocking in at 49 seconds. Down a goal early on, Philadelphia nearly equalized in the fifth minute with a chance from Mikael Uhre, and again in the 15th minute, before Daniel Gazdag was ruled offside and the goal was called back.

Around the 30th minute mark, frustration began to brew on both sides, and in the 41st minute, Ariel Lassiter’s initial yellow card get upgraded to a red card, as the forward used his elbow in the process of getting around Jose Martinez.

Down a man, Montréal fell back into a defensive position for the rest of the second half, waiting on the Union to make their move.

Coming into the second half, Curtin shifted back to the diamond with Glesnes and Flach taken off in place of Quinn Sullivan and team captain Alejandro Bedoya. Philadelphia pulled level in the 56th minute after Daniel Gazdag won a penalty after being tripped up by Montréal goalkeeper Sebastian Breza in the box. Gazdag, who is set to join his country for Euro 2024, artfully needled it past Breza for his 50th regular-season goal in a Union kit. Gazdag is now tied with Sebastian Le Toux for most MLS goals in club history.

Only 2 minutes later, the Union went ahead 2-1 as Quinn Sullivan played a perfect ball to Mikael Uhre, who scored for the first time since May 11 against Orlando City. The goal was Montréal’s ninth conceded goal in the first 15 minutes of a second half, which is more than any other team has conceded in that span in the MLS this season.

Things were looking up for a Philadelphia offense finding their (momentary) stride, but in the 63rd minute, Jack Elliott was shown first a yellow card, and then a straight red, for colliding with Montréal’s Raheem Edwards. No longer a man up, and unable to make a change, the Union found themselves falling victim to a Montréal set piece. While the shot initially crashed off the post, Montréal captain Samuel Piette was waiting to tap it in over the line.

Finding themselves equal on players and goals, Montréal retreated yet again into a defensive shell. Despite constant attempts for a third goal, the Union were unable to find the net once more before the night came to an end.

Montréal extended their unbeaten streak to three matches (1-0-2). The Boys in Blue are now winless in their last six home matches (0-4-2), having not won a game at home since March 30th. They return to host Inter Miami CF on Saturday, June 15.

Three points

  • If you defend it, they (the goals) will come: Jack Elliott said it himself after Wednesday’s game versus Toronto FC, not conceding goals is important, because eventually, scoring goals will happen. And thank goodness they did.
  • Uhre redemption arc: Is it too soon to be excited that things are looking up? Uhre needed that goal, I needed that goal, you reading this probably did too. Like I said last game, progress, not perfection. Perhaps all hope is not lost.
  • Causation or correlation? I joke in lieu of crying, but at what point do we ask the Union to force Jim out of suits and shut down Union Yards?


Philadelphia: Oliver Semmle, Olivier Mbaizo é(Nathan Harriel—64’), Jakob Glesnes (Quinn Sullivan—45’), Jack Elliott, Damion Lowe, Kai Wagner, Jack McGlynn, José Martínez (Chris Donovan—89’), Leon Flach (Alejandro Bedoya—45’), Dániel Gazdag, Mikael Uhre

Unused subs: Olwethu Makhanya, Jesús Bueno, Jeremy Rafanello, Tai Baribo, Chris Donovan

CF Montréal: Sebastian Breza, George Campbell, Gabriele Corbo, Fernando Álvarez, Ruan, Samuel Piette, Nathan Saliba (Victor Wanyama—66’), Raheem Edwards (Bryce Duke—65’), Dominic Iankov (Joaquín Sosa—45’), Ariel Lassiter, Sunusi Ibrahim

Unused subs: Jonathan Sirois, Ilias Iliadis, Rida Zouhir, Grayson Doody, Alessandro Biello

Scoring summary

MTL — Sunusi Ibrahim — 1’

PHI — Daniel Gazdag — 56’

PHI — Mikael Uhre — 58’

MTL — Samuel Piette — 66’

Misconduct summary

MTL —  George Campbell (Yellow Card Caution)– 28’

PHI — Dániel Gazdag (Yellow Card Caution) — 38′

MTL — Dominik Yankov (Yellow Card Conduct) — 41’

MTL — Ariel Lassiter (Red Card-Violent Conduct) — 45’

PHI — Jack Elliott (Red Card-Serious Foul Play) — 63’


  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Union didn’t bother to give 100% on two occasions and paid for it. Very unprofessional performance by the team. 25 shots, 10 on goal, on 2 goals and one of those was from the spot.
    Hopefully I’ll be able to sell my tickets next game to some Miami fan who will actually enjoy themselves.

    • Eric Boyle says:

      Better sell them quick before they find out Messi won’t be there!

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I probably won’t get as much (and would have sold them several months ago if he was supposed to be there) but they have plenty of other aging superstars who casual fans might want to see.

  2. How did that happen ?

    Bizarre- and another draw

  3. paulcontinuum22 says:

    This team is such a dumpster fire not even Carlo Ancelotti can fix ir. The union’s 2024 Give Away 2 Points Tour continues.

  4. We are a middling team and nothing more. A couple good players and the rest MLS capable. As others have said, the league past us the last 2 years. We had our run and we’ll probably have some entertaining games with what’s left of the season. Look to see some of the younger players, but it’s back to what we remember of the past.

    • I certainly want to feel similarly after this streak, but Philadelphia is 1st in the East (2nd overall) in xGD/90 which is more predictive of future performance than standings, indicating rotten luck. I fear for the future beyond this season or maybe even summer transfer window, but trust the process as of now.

      • MikeKnows says:

        Need Albright back. Go look at the last 15-20 players Union have brought in since Albright left. Dumpster fire. Go look at Cincy since he got there. No coincidence. Shot the wrong dog.

      • MikeKnows says:

        Need Albright back. Go look at the last 15-20 players Union have brought in since Albright left other than Carranza at end of 2021. Dumpster fire. Go look at Cincy since he got there. No coincidence. Got rid of the wrong guy.

  5. Lack of mental discipline. Montreal stinks and they scored within 60 seconds. Embarrassing.


  6. Another draw, and this time they worked hard not to win at home…sleeping at the start again against what was the No 13 team to give up a first minute goal, then get a man advantage with a comeback lead to give up both. Thankfully we had a PK again to make up lack of goals from play.
    . . .
    Yeah, Uhre had a goal. I gave up on any upward arc with him long ago. I’d love to be proven wrong though.
    . . .
    We don’t deserve the playoffs with only 4 wins in 16 matches, but the stack of draws keeps us hovering right below the line. The question is what can this team do to improve?
    . . .
    Unfortunately, $$$ is a problem rather than a solution. That’s not just by not buying difference makers. There’s seemingly a lack of enthusiasm by guys who made us contenders with zeal until this year. Gripes over lack of appreciation and frugal pay from the top bubbled in the offseason.
    . . .
    The overall play seems like guys now looking to do only enough not to get fired, a real Initech company feel from the film Office Space.

    • + 1 Blake kind of hinted in that direction as you stated in your theme. Union managemtent paid him off and have kept him quiet with a new contract which they felt they had to do. His moving on from the team would be a major setback even to the most loyal fans even though Semle has done a credible job… Its got to be discouraging to players when you see teams like Miamai and LAFC almost always coming up with the missing pieces to take them to the next level… Management needs to show some love to the fans that supported this team since the start. I know that Danny Califf would have said something to the press if he were on the team now. I guess its a fine line that you must tread … Andre should have been more vocal in Public .He has nothing to lose. He would be picked up by another team in a heart beat…..

  7. Tanner ( Hammer ) Time,,,,,Tanner must see this group needs help. Immediate and pending help. Another short term 1 to 2 year trial loan type contract with another team who has young player with a ton of scoring potential who is getting limited playing time because the people in front of him are superstars that must play and earn their salary….. That method certainly worked with Caranza coming to Philly……. You can certainly work that out . Take a calculated risk. We know you have some eye for talent and connections in Europe. If the Union organization want the fans to stay interested in the rest of the season give us some hope. In the words of Doctor evil “Throw us a friggin bone “

  8. I swear to God, when I watch this “team” now , I can’t help but reliving the same lousy feeling I had watching them when first becoming a STH back in the 2013 – 2018 years. When they score you are just waiting for them to concede and they always did. The difference is I am paying 30-50% more! If Carranza is smart, he will run to a team with trophy ambitions, which is most teams, not the Union. What an utter disappointment. I am about done paying for this stupidity…

  9. I attended a dance recital for 2 granddaughters last night (It was lovely, thanks for asking.) and I returned home to watch the Union game on Crapple from Lassiter’s red card forward. I just rewatched the play in which Elliott was red-carded (Note: You can only see the slo-mo replay on the full replay from Apple–the replay does not appear on the YouTube highlights.). First of all, Ted Unkel, as usual, was not in position to judge whether or not it was a foul, much less a red card. Secondly, as I saw in real time, it was not really a 50:50 ball; Elliott was clearly on the ball first, flicked it with the outside of his right boot to the sideline, and his right boot remained close to the ground, but with studs facing out. The Montreal player slid into Elliott’s boot, having missed the ball by a wide margin. No doubt, the Montreal player was injured badly. Please forgive the tort analogy, but the Montreal player had the “last clear chance” to avoid the crash by not going to ground and pulling up, but he did not do so. The red card was apparently decided by VAR, and I thought that the protocol should have been the same as when Lassiter got the red card. Unkel should have reviewed the play (that he quite clearly did not see in the first place). As my British friends would say, the call was “harsh.”

    Was there booing after the match ended?

    • Andy Muenz says:

      It was probably about 30 yards away from me and in real time I thought it was a red card as soon as it happened. Unkel first pulled out a yellow but then pretty quickly changed it to red. VAR looked at it AFTER that (at least based on the message on the scoreboard). Since they did not recommend that Unkel change the call, he did not go to the monitor.
      There was definitely booing at various points last night, mostly from me (especially since I was also watching the hockey game on my phone and was booing that too).
      Glad you enjoyed the dance recital.

    • Gruncle Bob says:

      I agree with your assessment of the Elliott call. I am not convinced it was even a foul. The Montreal player placed himself in danger. But Unkel, being one of the shittiest officials in the league, got it wrong. As usual, VAR did nothing.
      This team leaks goals. This team will struggle to make the playoffs, which considering that means top 9 of 15, is pathetic.

    • Agree with everything above expect per Joe Tansey who was the pool reporter, Unkel did not consult VAR, he changed the call from yellow to red on his own. Seems he saw the cut on the MTL player’s leg and the blood and changed the call.

  10. One watches Jose Martinez and genuinely wonders to himself if he has a gambling history with a knuckle breaker on his heels. His play has been so inexplicable —> one wonders.
    How does a player who wins a tackle on the ball well in advance of the other player get a red card?
    I know… THEATER.
    still just …. Waiting. I’d bet my next paycheck the team starts playing better in about 3 weeks or so like Curtin teams of old… then the season shuts down for the mindless needless mid season money grab which will Doldrums them again.

  11. Deez Nuggs says:

    We did more than enough to win this. The Elliot red was not even a card, when you rewatch it.
    For me, Uhre is the only one shining out there. He got the goal he’s deserved for 4 games now, putting in the work on both sides of the ball.
    I’m done with Jack McGlynn atm. He’s back to being a defensive black hole and now he’s killing every attack too.
    What the full-on F is Jim thinking playing that system to start?? They always look like they have no idea what to do. Of course they got scored on in the first minute.
    Cliff of Union Despair welcomes us home.

    • Unionrocks says:

      Yes should have won and I feel curtain is playing Lowe to keep him happy hence the change in system.
      Agree on Uhre but disagree on Jack, though he was very good. He created the penalty with a terrific ball into the box and a number of other good balls played in behind their backline. He is our most accurate forward thinking player, everyone else just kicks it forward. I like the fact he doesn’t want to give the ball away and if you feel thats slowing the attack down, its not. Its decision making.

      Sullivan is not a striker and is just a good moment player and not consistent. Needs to go back to the right #8.

      Curtain and his coaching staff have showed their lack of tactical balance this year and cannot adapt like other teams have. Example against Toronto, longstaff followed mcglynn everywhere knowing flach was not capable of starting any attacks. Where was plan B?
      We still boot the ball up the field in numbers down situations hoping for miracles.
      Not going to get better until changes on the roster and coaching staff happen

      • paulcontinuum22 says:

        And ownership.

      • I respectfully disagree. Uhre is playing like garbage. His touch is horrendous and can only score inside the 6 yard box. That’s pathetic. He’s been awful when pressured on a scoring opportunity. We have so much trouble because when we move the ball inside the opponents 18 the head of the snake is cut off because our forwards, Uhre and Carranza can’t hold the ball up top and can basically only score inside the 6.

  12. John@127 says:


    The run of play from the Union has been abysmal. The 3 back line was a mistake as no one seemed to know what they were doing for the first 15 minutes. Draws suck. Six games at home without a win sucks. Looking lost offensively and defensively on your home pitch is disheartening.

    They used to be abysmal. They are not as bad as they were 10 years ago, I was there. But they aren’t much better either.

    Ownership mission clarity is abysmal. It’s easy to spend rich people’s money for them, but seriously, what are they working towards? Is the mission of the club to have the most productive academy in MLS? Or do they actually want to win trophies at the senior level? What would you do if it was your money? Your investment?

    Criticism of Jack McGlynn is abysmal. He is the real deal. The last two games opponents have man marked him and look at how sterile our attack appears. He’s dropping deep to create opportunities and teams are closing him down as soon as he crosses midfield. Stop with the nit picking on his defense. He’s not a 6, but he’s a credible 8. He works both sides of the ball. His effort and effectiveness on defense has improved. It had to for him to get the kind of attention he’s getting from other leagues. We will miss him whenever he goes, and he will go.

    The Elliot red card was abysmal. The foul should have been called on the Montreal player – that’s who was late. You should not give a red card just because a player is bleeding. Why can’t refs initiate their own review? If he chose to view the replay, he may have made the correct call. Or am I too optimistic

    PSP is amazing. Love the articles and the forum for fans. Thanks to everyone that stepped up and kept it going.

    Fans booing their own team is, well, very Philly. I don’t, but my silence speaks for me.

    I’ll be back in two weeks to watch the Union. And I will once again root and cheer for my home team expecting a different result.

    To paraphrase Albert Einstein: Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result is the definition of crazy. That makes me a crazy Union fan.

    Oh well.

    • It’s not spending rich people’s money for them, but reminding them how other people spend their money and efforts.
      . . .
      Happy customers and emplpyees are good business. You get what you pay for. Underpaid employees don’t work well, and people will seek better opportunities elsewhere. Customers want product satisfaction, and won’t patronize on what doesn’t provide that.

  13. What I see happening is, teams have 10xs the better touch on the ball, they are moving with and without the ball when pressing their opponents. Other team’s forwards have better touch and can hold the ball and wait for support. The Union need to establish a possession game and work up the field with purpose. We are too slow when passing and moving the ball around the pitch. Opponents have an easy time closing in our wing backs and touchline, therefore having to play the ball back to our backline when in the process of pushing forward. Curtin needs to start other forwards like Baribo who shows he has good touch on the ball and has a good eye for goal.

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