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10-men Union salvage a point against Red Bull with a late Santos strike

Matt Freese was sent off in the 57th minute, but Santos rescued a point in the 85th



It wasn’t the result they were looking for coming off a road loss to Nashville, but an 85th minute equalizer from Sergio Santos turned a disappointing loss into a draw for the Philadelphia Union after they went down a man in the 57th minute.

Goalkeeper Matt Freese was making his first start since helping secure the 2020 Supporters’ Shield at home in the season finale. And while Freese looked sharp and made a key save in the first half a poor back pass from Jakob Glesnes he tried to dribble away from Wiki Carmona ended up with him wrapping his arms around Carmona and getting shown a red card for impeding a sure goal.

Patryk Klimala converted the penalty against substitute Joe Bendik and things appeared to be headed to a second straight 1-0 road defeat for the Union when Sergio Santos headed in a Olivier Mbaizo cross in the 85th minute as Red Bull left back John Tolkin was down on the ground.

With Andre Blake, Cory Burke and Alvas Powell all away with Jamaica ahead of the Gold Cup, Santos was a surprise omission from the starting lineup with head coach Jim Curtin opting to push Dániel Gazdag forward instead. The Brazilian showed why he may be the X factor for the offense in Cory Burke’s absence when he buried his chance to level the score with just his second goal of the season.

Though the Santos goal saved what could have been a disastrous road trip, the Union are still looking at three-game stretch where they picked up just two points in three matches and they’ll head back home to host DC United on July 17 without Jamiro Monteiro, who picked up his fifth yellow of the season in second half stoppage time in one of several scuffles between the two sides.

Freese will also miss the next game serving a suspension for his red card.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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