Philadelphia Union vs Inter Miami: No Messi, No Problem

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The Philadelphia Union (4-8-5, 20 points) would end their match Saturday night against Inter Miami (11-5-3, 38 points) playing with a 2-man advantage. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez would both be missing from the Miami lineup as they prepare for Copa Ameríca. No Messi, no problem. Inter Miami and Leo Afonso would score an improbable goal late in the second half to extend the Union’s home winless streak to 7 matches.

A Remarkable Start for Philly

The Union would be without some key players this match due to international call ups. That wouldn’t stop the Boys in Blue from playing like they did in previous seasons during the first 45 minutes of play. Mikael Uhre beat his defender and found himself on the end of a great ball from Jakob Glesnes and fired it past Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender in just the 3rd minute of action. That goal would make it Uhre’s sixth goal of the season as the Union took an early 1-0 lead.

Philadelphia Union Trips

The Union dictated what happened most of the first half. Taking advantage of the Messi and Suarez absences. Philly was the aggressor attacking the box and getting multiple fast break attempts at goal. The second half would be a much different story.

No Messi, No Problem

It wouldn’t take long for Miami to level things up at 1 a piece. Julian Gressel blasted a goal past Union goalkeeper Oliver Semmle in the 47th minute for his sixth goal of the season to make it 1-1. 

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From this point on things would get chippy. In the 69th minute Miami midfielder David Ruiz was shown his second yellow of the match and sent off. Philly couldn’t capitalize on the 1-man advantage. Then, in the 84th minute, Miami defender Tomas Aviles was given his second yellow of the match and sent off. Even with a 2-man advantage, The Union couldn’t score a game winner. They did however find a way to let the first team playing down 2 men to come back and win in MLS play since 2016, when Leo Afonso scored in the 94th minute to seal the win for Inter Miami. Again, no Messi, no problem.

Devasting Loss for Philly

The boos were heard echoing from Chester to Philadelphia after one of the most improbable losses of the MLS season. The Union haven’t won a match at home since March 30th against Minnesota. They sit in 8th place with a record of 4-8-5 in the eastern conference. If things couldn’t get worse for this club, there was breaking news of a deal being completed that will send Julian Carranza to Dutch Club Feyenoord.

Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin was asked post-match about the news, and he had this to say to the media, “I don’t know what is official or not, but he will not be playing for us”. So, if the Union can’t win playing with a 2-man advantage and they are losing one of the franchise’s best players ever, what does this mean for the remainder of the season for this club? Is Jim Curtin on the hot seat? Will management be pressured by fans and players to add depth to the roster? Has the book closed on this team’s chances at an MLS Cup after only being 2 seasons removed from playing in the finals? It won’t get any easier as they travel to face off against juggernaut FC Cincinnati (11-3-3, 36 points) Wednesday night.

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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.

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