The Philadelphia Union faced both the New York Red Bulls and the Columbus Crew in games last week, to great success.
The first of the two games took place in Harrison, New Jersey on Saturday against the Red Bulls.
The Union started this game strong with a goal by Sergio Santos in the 17th minute. During the 37th minute, the Red Bulls responded with Omir Fernandez striking the ball into the net.
Penalties and frustration occurred for both teams, with the first card being drawn on the Union’s Jose Martinez in the 45th minute.
By halftime, both teams were tied at 1-1 and the game could have swayed either way.
More yellow cards were played in the second half on the Red Bulls’ Kyle Duncan and Andres Reyes.
In the 74th minute, Union Head Coach Jim Curtin took Alejandro Bedoya out of the match to rest. Andre Blake became the captain as a result.
As the game came to a close and remained tied, the frustration from both teams came out.
Within three minutes, the Union received three back-to-back yellow cards on Kai Wanger, Andre Blake, and finally on Jack Elliot.
With minute 90 looming, extra time was no question, but how long would it be?
Originally, there were to be five extra minutes. At minute 93, Jakob Glesnes, a defender, took a headshot and received a black eye. He stayed on the field and got checked out by medical, which took about two minutes. The game ended with a 1-1 draw at the 97th minute. Both teams received one point for their records.
Entering the game against the Crew, the Union was in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Crew recently won the Campeones Cup and were ranked ninth.
The Union was 1-0-1 against the Crew after their last game on June 23.
Last season, the Union lost to the Crew in the second round of the Major League Soccer playoffs, while the Crew went on to win the cup.
Sunday’s game took place at Subaru Park in Chester, Pa. The Crew came in hot off their 2-0 win over Cruz Azul, as the Union came in mad and wanting redemption.
The Union drew first blood with a goal from Jack Elliot in the 25th minute.
After halftime, Alejandro Bedoya scored again for the Union, but the team then played with ten men from minute 64 and on after Kai Wagner received a red card and was ejected from the game.
Despite this, the Union dominated the Crew all game long, as their defense did not give up any goals and kept their goalie Andre Blake safe.
The final blow to the Crew came at minute 89 when Leon Flach scored the final Union goal of the night. The Union won 3-0 over the Crew, gaining 3 points towards their record.
Their next game will be on Saturday, Oct. 9, in Cincinnati against FC Cincinnati. Currently, the Union is third in the Eastern Conference and FC Cincinnati is last.
The Union is currently dead even in matches against FC Cincinnati, 1-1-1.
Just like any sport, rankings do not matter. The Union needs to ignore FC Cincinnati’s rank and keep plowing the competition to make it to the playoffs.
The Union is competitive, but also emotional. They cannot allow emotions to get the best of them. If they can manage this, the Union is more than likely to win against FC Cincinnati.
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