Union Looking for Answers After Another Home Loss

The Philadelphia Union dropped their fourth home loss in a row Wednesday night. Struggling early on defensively, they gave up, once again, an early goal to visitors NYCFC. The visitors got things going early with a goal by Alonso Martínez in just the second minute. It was a beautiful assist by Santiago Rodríguez following a fast break. Recently, something that has been killing the Union’s defense has found them down early and struggling to recover. The Philadelphia Union is looking for answers after another home loss.

Sloppy Play

In yet another match, the boys in blue found themselves having to play from behind early. This was due to sloppy, unforced errors. The only thing that seemed to slow NYCFC down in the first half was a raccoon that found their way onto the pitch. It actually gave the fans something to cheer about during the first 45 minutes of play. Just before the half ended, after a Kai Wagner yellow card, Hannes Wolf sent a free kick in that got past Semmle to give NYCFC the 2-0 lead. Wolf’s stunning free-kick had the NYCFC fans chanting, “WE CAN’T HEAR YOU,” towards the Union fans in The River End. 

Missed Opportunities

Unlike in the first half, Philadelphia Union attacker Julian Carranza made his presence felt early in the second half. After an NYCFC foul, Carranza sent one past former teammate and now NYCFC goalkeeper Matt Freese on a gorgeous free kick to the top right corner of the goal in the 47th minute.

Philadelphia would have several chances throughout the half to try and level things up. The best chance was on an attempt missed by Nathan Harriel on a header from the left side of the six-yard box in the 74th minute. Captain Alejandro Bedoya would sub in for Sullivan to try and give the Union the spark he’s given in previous matches this season. Unfortunately, this time, there would be no spark. Philadelphia had a chance late, but Elliott’s goal was called back due to a Gazdag offside call. NYCFC would hand the Union its 4th straight home loss. This would leave the fans with even more questions than they had entering the match.

Where Does Philly Go From Here?

This makes it four in a row that Philadelphia has lost in front of the home crowd. Where do they go from here? The unforced errors, the sloppy first-half play, the lack of urgency on the defensive end, and why were two defensive substitutions used late in the second half when offensive help should have been the focus? This match-up was perfect for Tai Baribo to make an impact, and he continues to sit on the bench. 

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In a match where the Union led in shots attempted, shots on goal, corners, and time of possession yet again, the result remains the same with another home loss. After the game, Carranza said, “Teams used to be scared to play in this building, and now that isn’t the situation anymore.” With little time to find the answers to these questions, Philadelphia now heads on the road. They visit the last place, New England Revolution, for a must-win match for the boys in blue this Saturday. 

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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