The Philadelphia Union faced off against Atlanta United FC in Georgia on Sunday and walked away licking their wounds after a tough 2-0 loss. Philadelphia was without Andre Blake and Damion Lowe (international duty), as well as Kai Wagner (hamstring). The Union went with a different formation to try and contain Atlanta’s star forward, Thiago Almada. He became an immediate factor in this match. There were plenty of plays that Philadelphia would like to have back because this loss dropped them to fifth in the Eastern Conference standings. This match left the Union feeling hard done by Atlanta, for sure. The Philadelphia Union fall short in Atlanta.
To the Action
In the 5th minute, a penalty was called on Union defender Nate Harriel. After a second look via VAR, it was ruled not to be a penalty kick as the foul was committed outside of the penalty area. On the restart, Almada would make his presence felt. He would rip his initial attempt off the wall and corral his own blocked shot to lace one through a tight window in the Philadelphia defense to put Atlanta up 1-0. The pressure that was put on the Union in the first half left them with a lot of work to do to try and even the score as the halftime whistle blew.
Philadelphia came out trying to put more pressure on Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan. The transition game was key for the Union in getting some of the looks they had in the second half. Atlanta was able to answer the call to Philadelphia’s high press. They did this by drawing the Union offsides six times in the match. Atlanta responded in the 79th minute. They expanded on their lead via a goal by Brooks Lennon with an assist by the always-dangerous Thiago Almada. The final whistle blew with Philadelphia taking the 2-0 loss.
Union Fall Short in Atlanta
Union coach Jim Curtin, who received a contract extension through 2026 according to reports, said that the squad wasn’t “sharp enough” on the day. He gave immense credit to Almada. Curtain said, “When he gets on the ball, he’s a handful, and it’s not a one-person job to try and stop him and take him away.” Philadelphia will look to regroup as they continue their road trip by heading out to face the LA Galaxy.