Philadelphia vs Charlotte: Another Home Loss for the Boys in Blue

The Philadelphia Union (4-7-8, 20 points) played to another home loss this season. This time, defensive-minded Charlotte FC (9-6-5, 32 points) came into Subaru Park with little to no fear ahead of their matchup against the Boys in Blue. Philadelphia was shut out for the third time this season, losing 0-2. Two of those shutouts came at the hands of Charlotte FC.

The newest homegrown player, teenager Andrew Rick, got his first start in goal for Philly. Another teenager, midfielder CJ Olney, made his debut for the senior squad in the second half. Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin said the reasoning behind starting Rick was “trying to give the team a spark”. Unfortunately for the Union, the defense couldn’t help him get a win in his debut and provide that “spark” needed.

Charlotte’s Offensive Embarrasses Philly’s Defensive

The first half played to a 0-0 result, just like in the club’s first meeting a few weeks ago. The second half would be much different. Forward Patrick Agyemang put Charlotte FC ahead in the 56th minute, scoring off a header that was sent in from Jere Uronen into the box. Then, just seven minutes later, Agyemang followed up with his team-leading fifth goal of the MLS season.

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The forward took the ball outside the box and made a nice move with the defender and Union captain, Jakob Glesnes, looking lost for the match. The forward then drilled home a big left-footed shot that ignited loud echoing chants of “BOOs” and “SELL THE TEAM” from throughout Subaru Park. Agyemang’s first two-goal performance in MLS led to one of Charlotte FC’s best offensive performances of the season. Charlotte’s 18 total shots and seven shots on target were both season highs for the club. Fittingly, that happened at the expense of this lackluster Union defense.

Home Sweet Home No More

Philadelphia is winless (0-3-3) in its last six matches. After posting one of the league’s most dominant home records over the span of the last four seasons, the Boys in Blue are only 1-6-3 at home this 2024 season. In the last two matches, Union attacker Tai Baribo has shown that he has the ability and the will to keep fighting for this club. He tried for an encore performance from Cincinnati FC and almost scored on this stout defense. In the first half, he was one of the few players who pressed the defenders, continued to fight for loose balls, and tried to keep possession.

In the second half, Baribo wasn’t getting anywhere near as much support as he got in the first half. Young special talent Jeremy Rafanello, alongside Baribo, was doing all he could to help create anything offensive for the Union. The offense needs to find cohesion. There have been too many great individual performances this season, and none of them seem to be able to mesh together to combine for a Union win lately. This defense is old and can’t be relied on like in prior seasons. Julian Carranza won’t be suiting up for the Union again. Week after week, there are more questions than answers adding up. Maybe a trip to Canada to take on CF Montreal (4-7-8, 19 points) will help the Boys in Blue find any answers or a “spark” to this challenging season.

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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