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Union run away from Orlando City Lions 5-1

Another home match for the Union, another beatdown. This time it was the Orlando City SC Lions taking the beating despite currently sitting in playoff position in 5th in the Eastern Conference. The newly crowned U.S. Open Cup champions from their win over Sacramento on Wednesday were no match for the boys in blue and their raucous crowd of 19,079 at Subaru Park in Chester Saturday evening. 

1495 Sports is proud to bring the following Philadelphia Union Post Match Press Conference Video featuring thoughts from Head Coach Jim Curtin

The Union began attacking early and often with Julian Carranza getting a breakaway shot in the first minute of the game which was just barely saved by Orlando goalie Mason Stajduhar. In the 15th minute, Kai Wagner fired a long pass from his own end about 40 yards which Carranza picked up for what appeared to be an easy breakaway goal, but the goal was quickly waved off since Carranza was offside. The crowd got even more upset after a dust up between Jose Martinez and Orlando’s Andrés Perea which resulted in no cards being issued to either player, but it was evident they were warned by officials to knock off the nonsense.

Union fans can also check out the following Post-Match Press Conference Video featuring thoughts from Jack Elliot and Dániel Gazdag

The boys in blue broke through before halftime in the 39th minute when Gazdag made a pass from the center of the box to Olivier Mbaizo on the far right side. Mbaizo took a shot from outside the box which was deflected by Orlando defender Joao Moutinho sending the ball on a high arc toward the goal and just over Stajduhar’s head into the net. A few minutes later, Gazdag put another beautiful through ball to Mikael Uhre in the left center of the box on a fast break which Uhre planted in the net for his 3rd goal in 3 games to go into the half up 2-0.

The pressure continued in the second half and then Uhre drew a foul in the penalty area in the 53rd from Stajduhar coming out of the net and interfering with him. Video review confirmed the foul on Stajduhar setting up a Gazdag penalty kick in the 55th minute which he easily converted to put the Union up 3-0. In the 63rd minute, Wagner put a through ball from the top left corner of the box to the front of the net where Alejandro Bedoya dove to head the ball into the net hitting the ground hard to go up 4-0. Bedoya was injured on the play and pulled from the game for Jack McGlynn

Orlando took away Andre Blake’s clean sheet in the 75th minute when Perea nailed a right footer from the center of the box to bring the score to 4-1. In the 87th minute, Wagner dropped a corner kick right in front of the net which Jack Elliott headed from close range into the bottom left corner of the net to bring the final tally to 5-1. 

After the match, Elliott cited the team’s chemistry as key to staying on a roll:

“As a team we’re all together, we all get along with each other. Everyone talks to everyone, that’s very important to what we’re doing right now. Everyone has each other’s back, if there’s a bad pass, someone is going to be there to come and help you, and that’s a great thing to have.” 

Coach Curtin appreciated the consistency of the officiating, and knows his team can handle a chippy match:

“Our group can win in a lot of different ways, and if they want to make it a street fight, we can do that. Jose (Martinez) would be first in line to embrace a street fight.”

News and notes:

  • Jim Curtin said after the game that Alejandro Bedoya jumped awkwardly when he made the dive to score the goal and felt something in his groin, but didn’t think it wasn’t a pull and that Bedoya said  “it just felt weird”. Curtin pulled Bedoya as a precautionary measure and he will be evaluated this week. 
  • This match extended the Union win streak to five, and simultaneously snapped Orlando’s five match win streak (four wins in MLS play) Dániel Gazdag’s PK goal made him the first Union player ever to score a goal in five straight matches, while Mikael Uhre has now scored in three straight matches.
  • The Union’s next match is Saturday September 17 on the road against Atlanta United at 3:30pm. The game will be broadcast locally on UniMas Channel 28 and streaming outside the local market on ESPN+. Local market streaming is always available at PhiladelphiaUnion.com.
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