Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-2 Inter Miami CF

Photo by: Marjorie Elzey

In front of a crowd with a considerable smattering of pink and black, the Philadelphia Union fell to a nine-man and Messi-less Inter Miami FC on Saturday evening, allowing a backbreaking goal in second-half stoppage time to drop all three points at home.

The Flamingos were also without one of Messi’s former Barca cronies in Luis Suarez. Though, both Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba both featured in the starting XI for Inter Miami.

Meanwhile, the Boys in Blue were without their own prolific Argentinian. With the recent news that Philadelphia had agreed to terms for the sale of Julian Carranza to Feyenoord in Rotterdam, Carranza was not in the lineup for the match ahead of his imminent departure.

And so, in the eighth ever matchup between Philadelphia and Inter Miami, the Union would look to Mikael Uhre to fill the void.

Right on cue, his number was called.

Just 3 minutes into the match, Jakob Glesnes found a dashing Mikael Uhre in behind the Miami backline. The Dane finished it coolly with his weaker foot around Miami’s Drake Callender – imparting a jolt of quality and liveliness into the side.

Shortly after, Jeremy Rafanello found a scampering Quinn Sullivan into the wide channel who was close to making it a two goal advantage. Tomas Aviles was there to meet Sullivan and bodied Sullivan to throw his shot off target.

Philly held strong throughout the first half an hour, not leaking many chances through to Semmle.

Just after the half hour mark, Alejandro Bedoya and Quinn Sullivan each had chances to extend the advantage.

Bedoya headed a high cross down to Callender’s right – just missing the frame. Sullivan had a chance fall to him around the penalty spot that he fired into the body of a Miami defender – one he will want back.

The second half began with some tough luck  for the Union. Julian Gressel smashed home a chance that fell to him inside the box, and Miami were level.

Around the 65th minute, Leon Flach tried to spring a counter attack the other way and was fouled in the process by David Ruiz who was issued his second yellow and a red card.

Tai Baribo was summoned in the 81st minute and was immediately thrust into action. He found himself face to face with Drake Callender after falling to the ground in the box, but he put it directly at the Miami keeper.

Another Miami player suffered their second yellow card sending off after Thomas Aviles was sent off in the 85th minute for delaying a restart.

Yet the team found a way to blow it.

In stoppage time, the Union ganged forward in search of a winner. Jack McGlynn played an errant pass around Miami’s 18 yard box that was intercepted and brought the other way by Miami. Leo Afonso, who was subbed on in stoppage time, ran past both McGlynn and Glesnes and tucked it past Oliver Semmle for the lead.

That is how the match would end –  a truly heart breaking finish.

Onto the next one where the Boys and Blue head to Cincinnati on Wednesday where they will meet some familiar faces for a midweek duel.

Three Points
  • A strong first 45 – The first half was quite possibly the best and most complete 45 minutes exhibited by the team in the 2024 season. The Union led the expected goal battle by a staggering 1.08 to 0.03 at half time.
  • Lapses in concentration – The two goals against were indicative of just small lapses in concentration that the team paid for. The Union did have opportunities in the second half, but their lack of ability to finish can be summed up to, you guessed it, lapses in concentration that continue to bite this team.
  • Another bad result – The Union looked poised to take the match to Miami after a strong first half. The team went from the driver’s seat to chasing the game and couldn’t quite find their footing in the second half.

Philadelphia Union 

Oliver Semmle, Kai Wagner, Jakob Glesnes, Nathan Harriel, Olivier Mbaizo (Tai Baribo — 81′), Alejandro Bedoya (Jesus Bueno — 53′), Leon Flach, Jack McGlynn, Jeremy Rafanello (Chris Donovan — 71′), Quinn Sullivan, Mikael Uhre

Unused subs: Andrew Rick, Olwethu Makhanya, Sanders Ngabo, Markus Anderson, David Vazquez

Inter Miami FC

Drake Callender, Tomas Aviles, Jordi Alba, Sergii Kryvstov (Noah Allen — 90′), Sergio Busquets, Julian Gressel (Ryan Sailor — 90′), Benjamin Cremaschi (Franco Negri — 90′), David Ruiz, Marcelo Weigandt, Leo Campana (Leo Afonso — 90′), Robert Taylor (Yannick Bright — 78′)

Unused subs: CJ Dos Santos, Ian Fray, Lawson Sunderland, Shanyder Borgelin

Scoring Summary

PHI: Mikael Uhre — 3′

MIA: Julian Gressel — 47′

MIA: Leo Afonso — 90′

Discipline Summary

MIA: David Ruiz — Yellow card (foul) 32′

PHI: Alejandro Bedoya — Yellow card (dissent) 34′

PHI: Kai Wagner — Yellow card (foul) 63′

MIA: Tomas Aviles — Yellow card (tactical foul) 66′

MIA: David Ruiz — 2nd Yellow (Red card issued) (tactical foul) 69′

MIA: Leo Campana — Yellow card (foul) 75′

PHI: Leon Flach — Yellow Card (dissent) 82′

MIA: Tomas Aviles — 2nd Yellow (Red card issued) (delaying restart) 85′

MIA: Sergii Kryvstov — Yellow card (delaying restart) 88′


  1. Jesus Christ

    • Speaking of Jesuses, Jesus Bueno seems really off his game from last year.

      • Jose Blanco says:

        Bc he never play. How young guys supposed to get into rhythm with no playing time. Aquire players just to never see the field or the bench.

      • Great One says:

        Because Curtin never gives him any sort of run of play

      • Fair points, but which is cause and which is effect? We want to see more rotation, but then Kai calls out the owners for not investing in new better players so the drop off isn’t so steep when starters are out for international duty or injury.

  2. Andy Muenz says:

    An absolute embarrassment. Glad I decided to stay home and watch on TV rather than waste the 15 minute drive to and from the game. First home game I missed in 22 months and it was because I had no desire to go.
    First time ever I stayed home for a game in Chester when I wasn’t ill (excluding no fans games during COVID)

  3. This is the lowest point for me as a fan since I started supporting them when they were putrid in the early days. This useless team cannot beat a team with a two man advantage. Then they go and lose, setting yet another ignominious record. Putrid, pitiful, I am just pissed off at the continued lack of commitment to the fans by the cheap assed ownership. Get serious!

  4. WSSM.

    The Union “Cliff of Despair” is

    officially open. 🙁

    Holy Crap That Sucked.

    Better have some amazing transfers



  5. WSSM

    This is not a good look.

  6. You children … you unpoised foolish children. Two men up and let’s rush and panic instead of control and poise. You fucking disappoint me.
    Nathaniel Harriel being the most childlike of them all.

    That’s all you get from me. I waited nearly 6 weeks to be able to watch you play… and you shit your diaper like a child.
    Fuck off.

  7. I stated after last game they were a middle of the table team and nothing more. With having to rely more on their bench, my original assessment might have been optimistic. I didn’t see much from the replacements. This embarrassing loss rivals anything from the early years. This losing virus is going to be tough to shake without better quality on the field.

  8. Union is to MLS as Albania is to EUROs

  9. Das Gaffer Jurgen says:

    It was after the Miami match last year (hereafter “The Capitulation in Chester”) that I swore I would never go to another match. Was only interested in this match to see Luis Saurez, but still decided to go after he went to the Copa America.
    Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice. . . .
    That was a flaccid, uninspired, dime-store collection of middling talents managed by another middling talent. Is that an insult to actual middling talents?
    This team is hopeless without Carranza (who’s probably ready to swim to Holland at the point), Gazdag (riding pine for Hungary) and Martinez. McGlynn? Please. He was awful out there tonight? Uhre? Goal aside, gag me with a spoon. I could say that same for everyone else. I might need electroshock therapy to rid myself of watching Harriel play centerback.
    Jim has clearly lost the room, but the glare also needs to go to the front office and the sporting director. This. Team. Stinks. and needs a total clearout, a new plan and actual footballing talent before I ever set foot in that ground ever again.

    • (Still sort of a) Union fan says:

      Don’t forget the ownership group. Personally, I would start there, but there is room for debate. Sugarman says he told Jim and Tanner, “Just tell me what you need.” So how true is that and how do those conversations play out? Probably never know.

  10. Eric Boyle says:

    As the English would say absolutely shambolic. Your analysis is too kind. What a Fing embarrassment. Sad to say we played better when Miami had all 11. Nothing close to a shot on goal after they went down.

    This was worse than getting beat with Messi playing last year and it is damn close to defeat at the head of the hired Welsh gun in the cup.

  11. Here’s the one positive. No amount of spin can cover up the stink now. Change or Die is the fitting motto.
    . . .
    Nobody worthwhile will want to play here unless the pay and prospects are worthwhile, especially when we don’t have the bling town advantages of Miami, LA, NYC, and a few others. Our current players already exhibit that.

  12. paulcontinuum22 says:

    What RePete said.

  13. Atomic Spartan says:

    Sold our ducats to this match long ago. Walked the boards at OC, got pizza, some Dole Whip. Was one of the 275 at Carey Stadium to watch the Noreasters beat FC Lone Star 3-1 by playing energetic, creative soccer. There’s a good team in OC, check it out this coming Friday. Came home, watched the U and ruined everything. Had low expectations for this match and the U managed to be worse than imagined. Coaches lose jobs after streaks like this. This team is SNAKEBIT.

    • Eric Boyle says:

      I used to go to Noreasters games back when they played at OCHS. Fun time.

      Regrettably we didn’t sell our tickets because of other matches we missed, and we hoped for the best. Now we’ll be lucky if the tickets sell for $10 for the rest of the year.

  14. Watching the Union post-2022 has really become a chore. They don’t offer anything remotely interesting. I’ll keep watching because I’m a sicko Philadelphia sports fan and hate myself, but I can’t imagine this style of soccer is shipping units among casuals.


    Where is this team going? Is the plan still ACADEMY kids + guys they pluck from the 3rd tiers of Europe? I don’t think that’s enough.

  15. Wow….

  16. Great One says:

    Can’t polish this turd… time for Jim to go. And yes the ownership is more at faults, but they can’t be fired. Sullivan started the year great in mid, and Winn see another game there now

  17. Forbes estimates the value of the Union at $575 million, up from $240 million four years ago. Spend some on the team or sell and get the f**k out. Even Wagner was quoted as follows: “Our front office has to see now that we need to invest in the team.” It’s just insulting for U ownership to think we won’t go away…

      • Wracked Opinion says:

        Exactly, Joe!

        Once the Messi MLS era began, the operandi of Union ownership gaslighting Union fandom that selling our best players was a continuing valid strategy for competitive play was OVER.

        Unfortunately this appears to be the potential beginning of a slow franchise death.

        Ownership got away with alienating most of the original Sons of Ben.

        But if they lose this current generation of fans… which will happen… when selling their best and talented young players.

        A very concerning crossroads for this franchise.

  18. After that performance last night, it’s time to roll our rusty rocket out of mothballs, load Harriel on it and send him on a one-way trip to the sun.

  19. So McGlynn’s lousy pass was picked off. That’s one thing. But how were we so open there with no one but Glesnes back for cover? Team really lacked composure through those last 20 minutes. Why play so panicked for a win in June in MLS? I think this loss sits more on the coach. You need to have a plan for these situations and avoid over confidence because you’re up two men. Poor. And unfortunately today not surprised.

  20. I’m through defending this team after that utterly pathetic second half performance. People are wailing about Harriel, but I’d complain more about Mbaizo, who screwed up pass after pass after pass, killing opportunities. Also, I don’t know how Semmle gets beat on the near post for that goal. No way Blake lets that in.

    But then you’d still be talking about a draw at best, while up 2 men. This match was enough to convince me not to renew my partial ticket plan for next year. I’m not willing to sit in the stands to repeatedly watch home performances like this.

    • Poor and clueless says:

      Made no appreciable changes to a stale, rotting roster.

      Thought that would work with the same stubborn mule running it.

      Why would anyone be surprised by what you see?

      All I need now is a new buyer to pay off the lease……

      • I honestly thought the team would be really good this year. The problem is that there has been unexpected regression on the defensive end. I can’t explain it, but it’s awful, and twice as awful given their record at home.

    • I can’t fault Semmle on that. The goal was really well taken, from the heavy touch to get past Glesnes, counting on his pace to the placement, lifting it just enough to get over Semmle’s outstretched leg. Alfonso did really well there and deserves the credit. Would like that quality finishing on our side.

  21. Only saw highlights. Baffled on how you cant win with being 2 players up. As I said in earlier posts, not the same team without Caranza and Blake probably would have gotten a hand on the 11st goal. Spend some money on the first team. Tanner can not miss this time Find and sign Caranza or better player or no playoffs.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      There were highlights?

    • Do your job Tanner ! ….. The academy system seems to be the most important cog in the union machine. Develop players sell them, then put the money in your owners pocket and f the 1st team. It just sucks! no wonder all the seats are empty. ps Tanner has known Caranza was leaving for a year. He better have a better replacement signed by July 1st. There are no excuses. No Tai Baribos either Get to it now.

  22. The Union better rethink any plans they have to expand the stadium. They keep losing, even at home, and with Carranza leaving, its not going to get better (maybe Tai Baribo can replace him? – no wait, Curtin doesn’t like him). No one will be going to Chester next year outside of the true die-hards.

  23. Henry Scobie says:

    Something that bothered me from last year’s Leagues Cup semifinal loss to Inter Miami was how many of the current Union squad took to social media immediately after getting rolled on and said nothing about the loss and more about how great it was to meet their football heroes and post selfies with Messi et al. A couple of current Union players still have their Messi photo-op as their profile pic. Now while I can understand the excitement and impact of meeting a world-class legend like Messi for young soccer players, the notion that getting trounced at home in the semifinal of an inaugural tournament was somehow an ancillary (if at all) concern was deflating. This organization needs an injection of new faces and enthusiasm not scarred by the near misses of the last few seasons sharpish.

  24. Maybe Tanner has lost his mojo because he so far removed from his European connections and familiarity current hidden gems. They fell into the Caranza deal a few years back because Miami had other plans. I am starting to think Tanner has to hit with his next couple of moves or he is gone. Somebody’s feet need to be held to the fire. The fans are going to walk away if they put another half ass retooling job. It’s time for Jim to be real with us if he is to have any credibility with th we fan base. He needs to go Danny Califf on Sugarman. He should not worry the soccer coaching circle is an old boys club. Even Jesse March continues to find work after his epic failure at Leeds. Show some honesty and courage Jim.

  25. The Beautiful Game says:

    First, Happy Father’s Day – it originally was my son beginning to play this wonderful game at a very young age which introduced me to this sport. Over the years we became much more aware and involved in the soccer community including the Union. We have been STHs since 2014 during the John Hackworth days ….

    It is clear to me – and I believe I say this for most STHs – that this Union group’s window has closed. Since Ale arrived six or seven years ago or so they improved consistently year over year and through last year were still competing at a high level. In my opinion they have unfortunately peaked and are now, at best, fighting for a spot in the playoffs.

    Although it likely will not happen – the item which would make me feel much better (other than a difference making DP striker) would be the communication of a plan by Sugarman for the U to getting back to being able to compete for trophies …… hope springs eternal

  26. No moral victories here. Keep winning the xG game and finding ways to lose. The MLS writers have until now been very kind to the union based on the underlying numbers saying that they will right the ship. I would’ve also done what curtin did and throw in all attacking pieces up 2 men and it exposed what we really are. Nothing in attack (without carranza or a beautiful pass that gift straps the goal for you). We should sell all our current strikers for just one high quality striker. Leaning so heavily on pushing into attack left us exposed and we got burned. This type of embarrassment is what gets people fired. Hopefully it wakes up the front office that maybe we should actually spend a bit on some true finishing talent. Mbaizo and Bueno have regressed badly, presumably due to lack of playing time.

  27. Deez Nuggs says:

    We out played them the first half with a very high and aggressive press.
    I don’t know what was said during the half, but they came out completely flat. No energy. Jack McGlynn in particular was lazy lazy lazy in all his tracking runs. Baribo was the right sub for bringing a jolt of energy. Should’ve happened twenty minutes earlier.
    Flach and Uhre again the only ones looking like they were trying in the second half. Credit to them.

    • Eric Boyle says:

      Agree on McGlynn and Flach. It seemed like every time Uhre got the ball in the second half he had it taken off his feet by a Miami player or otherwise turned it over. Most of this happened right in front of us. Don’t matter they were all flat. As my son said it was like watching a Flyers power play!

  28. Think even the folks in Chester realize how bad last night was — no Happy Father’s Day tweet on the team’s account. Considering the next news from the club is probably announcing Carranza’s sale, rough time for the poor intern.

  29. Zizouisgod says:

    The reality is that one of the most important players on our team is Blake and we could always count on him to make 1-2 huge saves every match. We haven’t had that this year and the backline is unnerved by this which has led to some odd decisions like last night where both Glesnes and Wagner dropped to cover the goal line on the Gressel goal. This was clearly the wrong read by both and while their collective intent was in the right place, they should have been defending further up the pitch near the penalty spot.

    TBH, I’m not sure what the solution is, but the side is clearly unsettled and doesn’t have the confidence or string leadership to play their way out of it.

    Are we just at a point where we’ve properly compensated our core group for their performance and are now just stuck with an average side by MLS standards until the next generation is ready? Kinda feels like it.

  30. OneManWolfpack says:

    I always try to stay positive, as like many of you, I have been around since the start – going to damn near every home game since 2010. It’s hard to be positive at all though. Saturday was incredibly bad, top 5 all time loss. Just embarrassing. I love going to the games, but if there isn’t a commitment from this ownership, this offseason, next year will be my last as a STH. I am willing to give them a chance to make some moves. I know they probably won’t, but I’ll bite one more time. I understand not winning every game and every Cup. But it is obvious to even the most basic of fans, that this teams needs players and needs investment to catch up to other teams. We are still playing MLS 2.0, in 2024. And SHOCKER! it’s not working.

  31. The biggest problem is the strategy the team plays with. Curtin runs them out of steam almost every game due to his counter attacking philosophy. The great teams can counter attack well and possess well. Curtin just runs the team dead in the first half with pressure which looked great at first but it came with a price. And being that if you play a counter attacking style all game,you will need to sub early. As we know Jim is the worst sub tactician in the league. Overall, the team is always dead come 2nd half and at the end ofthe game. It showed this w
    Game when Miami came out strong begging the 2nd half ax the union looked sluggish. Fire Jim! We need a new coach immediately!

    • Eddie Would Go says:

      Great observations. Unfortunately, this problem will not go away until Curtin does. Enough, already!

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