The Philadelphia Union had an up and down week this past week, with a tough loss last Wednesday but a strong win on Saturday.
On Wednesday, the Union faced the Minnesota United at Allianz Field in Minnesota. Goalie Andre Blake was back in goal, but forward Cory Burke was still out with injury. To fill his spot, Dániel Gazdag started.
The game did not start the way the Union wanted when a yellow card was given to defender Olivier Mbaizo at the fifth minute.
At the 41 minute mark, it got worse for the Union when Minnesota drew first blood with an Adrien Hunou goal. With the risk of the team going into halftime in a losing situation looming, Gazdag kept the Union’s hope alive with a goal at the 45 minute, sending the game into halftime tied 1-1.
Coming out of halftime tied, the Union knew that they needed to get ahead of Minnesota. At the 54-minute mark, Gazdag scored another goal. The feeling of being on top was short-lived, though, because the next 10 minutes were all Minnesota.
The Minnesota domination started with a substitution of midfielder Robin Lod for Ethan Finlay at minute 61. Lod scored the second goal for Minnesota at minute 63.
Four minutes later, they grabbed their third goal of the game with a header from midfielder Franco Fragapane.
Union Head Coach Jim Curtin tried to get momentum going for the Union by making substitutions, such as putting in Jack McGlynn for Leon Flach and Paxten Aaronson for José Martínez, but the team still came up short and dropped the game to Minnesota 3-2.
After Wednesday’s loss, the Union came home at Subaru Park against Nashville SC. At the time, the Union was third in the Eastern Conference and Nashville was second.
All of the usual starters were starting for the Union except Burke, who, once again, was out and had Gazdag filling his spot.
In a game where a total of six yellow cards were given, three for each team, the Union drew the first and only blood of the game with a Kacper Przybylko penalty kick goal.
By the time halftime came around, the Union was still up 1-0.
Nashville came out frustrated by being down, receiving one of their yellow cards less than ten minutes into the half when midfielder Aníbal Godoy got called for the penalty.
The Union got their third yellow while Nashville made the substitution of Abu Danladi for Aké Arnaud Loba.
When the extra time rolled around, Nashville was still down 1-0 and despite making a few more substitutions trying to make something work, when full-time hit, the board still read Union 1-0 and Philadelphia moved up into second in the conference.
The Union’s next game is on Wednesday against Toronto FC Toronto. While the Union sits in second place, Toronto is currently in no. 13.
If the Union continues to play strong like they did when they faced Cincinnati and Nashville, they should be able to win. Overall, the Union needs to continue its push for playoffs.
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