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Late goals give Union defeat at CF Montreal

Late goals give Union defeat at CF Montreal

Due to injuries and Copa America call-ups, Head Coach Jim Curtin opted for a 4-4-2 formation with Chris Donovan up top alongside Tai Baribo. The pair were a relatively inexperienced duo, with the night marking Donovan’s second start of the year and Baribo’s fourth. The midfield was manned by the young lads of Jack McGlynn, Leon Flach, Jesus Bueno and Quinn Sullivan, while the back four was business as usual, with Jack Elloitt and Jakob Glesnes forming the centre-back duo, with Kai Wagner and Nate Harriel lining up on the wings. For the second game in a row, 18-year-old Homegrown goalkeeper Andrew Rick started in net, once again taking over from Oliver Semmle as Andre Blake recovers from injury.

Daniel Gazdag made his return to the matchday squad for the first time since leaving for the UEFA European Championship, where he represented his native Hungary until they were officially eliminated on Wednesday. His last game for the Union happened to be against CF Montreal the day before, which marked the pair’s final match before the competition entered the international break. Joining Gazdag on the bench was 17-year-old CJ Olney of Union II, who earned his third of five allowed short-notice call-ups for the trip. Like Rick, Olney was making his debut against Charlotte, and came on for meaningful minutes on the pitch in the match. Even with the pair, it was a shallow bench with just six substitutes, also including Semmle, Olivier Mbaizo Olwethu Mahkanya and Jeremy Rafanello. Injuries to starters Andre Blake, Alejandro Bedoya, Mikael Uhre, but Philadelphia weren’t the only team short-handed. Montreal were also missing key players, as they played the match without Mathieu Choiniere, Ariel Lassiter, Samuel Piettte and Joel Waterman due to international commitments.

Saturday’s on-and-off rain stopped just in time for the first kickoff, despite heavy downpours on the pitch just minutes earlier. With the surface slick, the first 10 minutes were physical and unproductive for both sides, with bodies of both sides sliding across the grass and into each other. The first shot of the game came in the 10th minute, when Rick saved a Josef Martinez attempt. He took another in the 12th, throwing his body into the air for a bicycle kick that landed in Montreal’s half-full Supporters Section.

After twenty minutes, neither team had much attacking success, but Philadelphia Union remained determined: team captain Jakob Glesnes led the team vocally and wore the captain’s armband with pride.

Stade Saputo was silenced in the 29th minute when the Homegrown connection took beautiful shape for a Quinn Sullivan bank shot in the penalty area to give Philadelphia Union a 1-0 lead. It was McGlynn who took the ball up the middle first and saw Harriel shoot unmarked down the right sideline. When Harriel received the pass he saw Sullivan in the penalty area, who dealt with it with his left hand and then fired the ball into the bottom left of the net, hitting the post with force which sent it into the opposite corner.