With the Philadelphia Union 2023 regular season gearing up to start in 5 days. Here is a quick recap of the 7-game preseason slate the Union have played over the last three weeks and what the results mean for Philadelphia going into this season. Lets break this down Philadelphia Union 2023 Preseason Recap and Outlook:
Game 1 vs. Austin FC
Head coach Jim Curtin went with two different lineups to start each half in the first preseason game. In a back-and-forth exchange, the Union had to come from behind twice from a 1-goal deficit with equalizing goals from captain Alejandro Bedoya off a free kick from none other than Kai Wagner. Jesus Bueno once again knotted it up in the 67th minute of the second half. In the 80th minute, the Union scored the go-ahead goal with a pass from Brandan Craig to Chris Donovan, giving Philadelphia the 3-2 victory.
Game 2 vs. St. Louis City SC
In this one, Kai Wagner buried a pass from Julian Carranza in the 9th minute of the game. It gave the Union an early 1-0 lead. Short-lived, the Union conceived a goal to St. Louis in the 41st minute giving STL a 1-1 tie at halftime. Once again, Curtin put out a new lineup to start the second half. In the 75th minute, the Union regained the lead with a goal from Gino Portella off a corner kick served in by Jesus Bueno. In the end, the Union once again allowed STL to tie it up in the 88th minute ending the game a 2-2 tie.
Game 3 vs. Minnesota United FC
With the Union looking to keep their unbeaten preseason intact, they got on the scoreboard right before the half. Julian Carranza scored a goal with a strong assist from Mikael Urhe. With 5 minutes remaining in the half, the Union conceived a goal and went into the half, all tied up at one. The Union once again took the lead in the 52nd minute with a Daniel Gazdag goal. 25 minutes later, the Union gave up the equalizing goal to the Loons in the 77th minute, ultimately finishing the game in a 1-1 draw.
Game 4 vs. New England
Game 4 of the preseason saw the Union take on an opponent they know very well, the NE revolution. To get the scoring started in the 35th minute, Carranza connected with Gazdag to his right with a solid pass to give the Union a 1-0 lead. Gazdag scored his 2nd goal of the preseason. In the 70th minute, Philly went up 2-0 with a strong shot from Uhre that the keeper couldn’t bring in, and Jesus Bueno was there to punch in the rebound and give the Union a 2-0 victory over the Revs and extending Philadelphia’s unbeaten streak to 4.
Game 5 vs. FC Cincinnati
An extra 30 minutes were played in this one to allow every player 60 minutes of playing time. The Union dominated in the initial 90 minutes of play. Joaquin Torres got Philly on the board first with a beautiful goal from the top of the box. This after a turnover on the clearance by the Knifey Lions to put the Union up 1-0 in the 10th minute of the game. In the 49th minute, the Union struck again off a cross from Mbaizo to Carranza. This gave the Union the 2-0 lead and Julian’s 2nd DOOP of the preseason. Both teams traded PKs in the 56th minute by FC and the 60th minute by Gazdag to give him his third of the preseason. The Union gets the 3-1 decision to keep the unbeaten streak going with five straight.
Game 6 vs. Nashville SC
Once again, an extra 30 minutes were played. It was the Union on the wrong end of things this time. In the initial 90 minutes played, goalkeeper Andre Blake was in mid-season form. He made seven saves ending regulation in a 0-0 tie. In the extra time, Nashville finally struck, taking the lead in the 112th minute. Once again, in the 114th minute ending the Unions preseason unbeaten streak at 5.
Game 7 vs. Colorado
In the final preseason game, the Union looked to put a stamp on a very good preseason by the boys in blue. With a scoreless first half, the Union looked to the second half to get on the board. It didn’t take long for that. In the 48th minute, Mikael Uhre picked out Daniel Gazdag on his run to make it 1-0 Philadelphia. Seventeen minutes later, the rapids looked to get on the board.
The wall was there Andre Blake made a diving save to keep the Union in the lead. At the end of 90 minutes, the Union took a 1-0 lead into the extra 30-minute period. In the extra 30, the Union poured it on with goals from Harriel in the 102nd. Torres from the penalty spot after Perea was taken down inside the box and Jack McGlynn with a beautiful pass to Chris Donovan, who put it away in the 125th minute to give the Union the 4-1 victory in the preseason finale.
Union 2023 Preseason Recap & Outlook
With a 4-1-2 preseason, it looks like they are picking up right where they left off from the 2022 season that saw the Union make it to the finals. The Union has 16 goals this preseason in 7 games. Four come from the magician himself.
Daniel Gazdag. 2 each from Julian Carranza, Jesus Bueno, and Chris Donovan off the bench. With a very strong performance these last seven games from the forwards, midfield, and depth this preseason to go along with the already stellar defending and goaltending. The Philadelphia Union looks ready to face the challenges the 2023 regular season will bring and make another run back to the big game! Get ready for the season with this Philadelphia Union 2023 Preseason recap and outlook.
My name is Diego Bianchi born and raised in Philadelphia. I’m a sports analyst, writer, and show host covering Philadelphia sports for Edge of Philly Sports. I also am a credentialed media member covering the Philadelphia Union for EOP. My passion for sports started since forever ago. At least, it feels like that. Thanks to my amazing family. I love doing this every day. You can catch me every Monday night on the Sully Squad at 6 PM on Edge of Philly Sports.