Philadelphia Union Stays Undefeated on the Road at Charlotte

The Philadelphia Union traveled to the Queen City to take on defensive-minded Charlotte FC in an MLS matchup Saturday night. The defense would be the theme of the night, as the match would end in a 0-0 draw. The Union would get a much-needed point on the road. With the draw, Philadelphia Union stays undefeated on the road. Both teams had good chances to score, but Charlotte’s goalkeeper, Kristijan Kahlina, and Philadelphia’s goalkeeper, Oliver Semmle, would get the clean sheets for their clubs on the night.

Back-to-Back Clean Sheets

In his MLS rookie season, Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Oliver Semmle had some big shoes to fill when he had to play in place of 3-time MLS goalkeeper of the year Andre Blake. Semmle has been praised throughout the season by manager Jim Curtin for his play in goal, and last night’s match was another game he spoke highly of Semmle after getting a second consecutive clean sheet. 

Semmle ended with 4 saves in the match, with the most crucial one coming against Charlotte midfielder Scott Arfield in the final seconds of the match after a misplayed ball by Union’s Nate Harriel. Semmle has performed above expectations this season, recording 39 saves and 2 clean sheets across 9 MLS appearances. Andre Blake just inked a new extension with the club but while he recovers from an injury, the Union should feel more than comfortable with having Semmle in the net for the time being.

Elliott & Flach Step Up Big 

The Union has struggled on defense this season, but that wasn’t the case against Charlotte. Jack Elliott stepped up huge for the Union, leading the club in tackles and playing big in the defensive third. He played a key part in helping Semmle keep a clean sheet.

Leon Flach got his third start since returning from injury, and this was his best performance yet, leading the Union in blocks and interceptions. His passing still needs work while he still builds his chemistry with the rest of the normal starting lineup. It’s a good sign for the boys in blue because it’s been a struggle, to say the least, defensively for the Union to this point. 

Back at Home vs Toronto 

Philadelphia stayed undefeated on the road, but now The Union returns to Subaru Park to host Toronto FC after back-to-back road matches. While they remain undefeated on the road, the shocking struggles at home hopefully end Wednesday night. Toronto is coming off a loss at home vs East powerhouse FC Cincinnati, 4-3. Toronto conceited a goal late in the 93rd minute, so the Union should anticipate a motivated Toronto squad.  

These clubs split the season series last year, with both clubs winning at home. Philadelphia will need another strong defensive showing with guys like Frederico Bernardeschi and Prince Osei Owusu coming to town. 


Steve Fuentes
Steve Fuentes

Steve Fuentes is a United States Army Veteran, a father, and from Maryland. Steve is a Philly Sports fan especially the Union, Sixers and Phillies. Steve is a Philadelphia Union beat writer for Edge of Philly Sports and Co-Host of the Attacking Third.