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Brotherly Game Archive

Rate the U: Slow start, defensive miscues, and comeback denied by a face

Weigh in on the performances against Orlando City



After a second weather delay in two games, the Philadelphia Union came out a slow again, conceding a goal in the 11th minute from Benji Michel, who slipped through the Union defense and slotted the ball beyond Matt Freese in his return from suspension. Mauricio Pereyra almost doubled the lead minutes later when he found space inside the box after a quick combination, but his shot pulled wide despite beating Freese.

On the flips side, the Union were ineffective going forward in the first half and never found the frame, missing all six shots with Daniel Gazdag, Jose Martinez, and Sergio Santos going high and a number of clipped balls into the box missing their intended targets.

The second half saw much of the same with a sequence of missed opportunities from Gazdag and another case of unmarked striker as Andres Perea was left alone to head home Nani’s cross to push the game to 2-0.

Kacper Przybylko arrived in the 68 th minute to close the gap to one, striking home Olivier Mbaizo’s cross, and the introduction of Quinn Sullivan, who had two good chances to score, one from distance that was hit well but too far out and the second on the doorstep that went straight at Pedro Gallese. The Union applied more pressure in the final ten minutes as Orlando dropped back into a defensive formation with fresh subs.

The potential equalizer came late in stoppage time with Jack Elliot channeling his inner Messi to dribble two defenders and force a sprawling save by Gallese. Jack McGlynn, minutes into the game, slipped the ball across the goalmouth where Sullivan smashed it toward the goal, only to be denied by Kyle Smith’s face.

The Union have two losses in the last four, needing a result on the road at Inter Miami.

Now it’s time to fill out our Community Ratings Poll and share your opinion.

Greg Oldfield is a teacher, coach, and writer from the Philadelphia area. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in Barrelhouse, Maudlin House, Carve, and the Under Review, among others. He also writes for the Florida Cup and Florida Citrus Sports. In 2023, he received an award for Best Column from the United Soccer Coaches for his story "A Philadelphia Soccer Hollywood Story." His work can also be found at

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