The Union gets their 5th straight win after taking on the Columbus Crew on Saturday, April 9th at Subaru Park in Chester, PA. Alejandro Bedoya was able to regain his role in the starting lineup after being taken out before game time last week again Charlotte FC due to soreness. This was also the first game where new striker Mikael Uhre would start for the squad.
Union Strike Quick
The Union would continue the trend of scoring first and early in the game. By the 2nd minute, Jose Martinez would be the one scoring a goal for the Union. The play looked like it should’ve been a cross from the midfielder but was mishandled by Columbus keeper Eloy Room and would end up in the back of the net. This would be the first career MLS goal from the midfielder nicknamed El Brujo.
The Union would keep up either attack throughout the first half. Homegrown right-back Nathan Harriel would come close from a corner by Kai Wagner in the 13th minute. Daniel Gazdag would also come close to scoring his 5th goal in 5 games in the 22nd minute. This was when Bedoya would cross the ball to Julian Carranza who passed up to Gazdag who would then be saved by Eloy Room.
The Union’s defense would come up big ending the 1st half. But there was a scary moment for Union keeper Andre Blake before the half ended. Columbus would have a set piece in the 43rd minute, one of which Blake would save. But as he was coming down, Blake hit his shoulder on the goal post and would be slow to get back up. Thankfully for the Jamaican keeper, he was able to stay in for the rest of the game.
Ending the first half though, the Union would only end up with 36% of ball possession. Andre Blake would record only one save in the 1st half. While the Union was able to get 3 shots off but 1 on goal.
The Game Settled Down in the 2nd Half
The game would settle down in the 2nd half for the Union. But Andre Blake would have to make 2 crucial saves in the first 2 minutes. But the Union’s constant press caused Carranza and Uhre to have 2 chances of a goal that did not come to fruition. Uhre would get a second chance to score from a beautiful lifted ball from Bedoya but again he would come up short.
Jim Curtin would make his first sub by putting on Cory Burke for Carranza in the 62nd minute. The first yellow card of the match would come in the 65th minute when Wagner would collide with Crew player Steven Moreira thus giving Moreira the yellow. Jim Curtain would then use his 2nd sub in the 76th minute by bringing on Quinn Sullivan for Uhre in the 76th minute. Sullivan would then pick up a yellow card 3 minutes later in the 79th minute.
Gazdag was on a mission all night looking for his 5th goal of the season. His second chance would come in the 80th minute when Burke and he were on a counterattack. Unfortunately for Gazdag, the shot resulted in a save. Gazdag’s night would end in the 90th minute when Jim Curtin would take him off for Paxton Aaronson.
The Union would end up pulling away with the win and beating the Columbus Crew 1-0. Union would end the game with only 31% of ball possession. Andre Blake would record 3 saves and a clean sheet. This will be the 4th straight game the Union got a clean sheet. They would also get 10 shots off and 5 on goal. Overall there were 29 shots taken by both teams and only 9 on goal.
What Does This Win Mean?
The Union get their 5th straight win of the season. This win means that the Union is still undefeated and sitting at number 1 in the Eastern Conference. The Union is now also the only undefeated team left in the MLS as LAFC and Chicago Fire FC received losses too. With this win, the Union is still setting the franchise record for the best start to the regular season. The Union will have to travel up to Toronto next week to play Toronto FC at BMO Field on April 16th.
Eric Williamson is the host of the Union podcast Full Time Philly and also contrinutes to many of the Union coverage. He is a huge fan of all the 4 major Philly teams on top of music too.