After an hour-long weather delay due to lightning and heavy rain. The Union took to the pitch to face Sporting Kansas City. In a match that saw Andre Blake and all the international players returning, the Union pulled a 0-0 draw with the winless Kansas City side. A match that Union coach Jim Curtin said was “not our best night again” and “very uncharacteristic,” the starting eleven did not feature Left back Kai Wagner, who is sidelined with a grade 1 hamstring strain. Filling in for Wagner was center-back Matt Real, who Curtin said “did a great job” in the position. In a match where a bounceback was needed going into Champions League play, Curtin said, “we know we have to be better.”
The Rain Moved On
With the delay over, it was time to get to it. In the first half, the Union moved the ball well with a majority of their usual starters back in the lineup. Blake wasn’t tested until the 11th minute when he made a fairly routine save off a KC corner. The push to get into the attack was there, but again the finish was lacking. Many pushes ended on passes that looked to be direct to KC defense and midfield members. This would be a recurring theme for the majority of the match. Philadelphia kept trying to impose their will throughout the full 90 minutes. The first half came to a close, still even at 0-0.
The second half began with Philadelphia making no changes to their players and formation. Philadelphia had most of their chances in the second half, but none found the back of the net. The attack was stymied consistently due to the lack of a solid finish in the final third. KC played strong in the middle of their back line to force the Union to have to rethink their formation. They attacked in the late minutes of the match. Pulling Martinez in the 85th minute left Philadelphia without their key facilitator in the midfield. This left the club scratching and clawing for answers that wouldn’t come as the final whistle sounded on a 0-0 draw. They left valuable points on the table going back into Champions League play on Tuesday.
Post-game, Mikael Uhre said, “right now, it feels like those good situations we have; it just misses that last little piece of magic we had most of last season.” Andre Blake said, “the group is going to have to realize that there is going to be another level that you have to get to if you want to continue to be good in this league.” There wasn’t much in terms of positives to take from this match, according to coach Curtin. The Union will look to get a win at home in the Champions League on Tuesday when they host Atlas.