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Union II suffer first loss in Kentucky



Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union II

Less than 24 hours after the first team lost their first match of the season, Marlon LeBlanc’s Union II has done the same. A hat trick from FC Cincinnati 2’s Gerardo Valenzuela gave Philadelphia their first regular season loss since early September.

Valenzuela opened the scoring after 20 minutes and added a second after 50.

Union II Captain Kyle Tucker scored his second direct free kick in three games to half the deficit, but a late exclamation point from Valenzuela sealed their fate. The match played at Northern Kentucky University also featured the Union II debut of Leandro Soria off the bench in the 62nd minute. The Queens-born 19-year-old was signed to a one-year contract with club options for 2025 and 2026 from Argentine club Godoy Cruz. 

Sunday’s loss marked the first time that LeBlanc’s side has conceded multiple goals in a game this season after a stellar start to the MLS Next Pro campaign. The loss drops Union II to third in the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia Union II is back in action next Sunday at Subaru Park as they host a winless Huntsville City FC side.

Philadelphia Union II: Andrew Rick; Francis Westfield, Olwethu Makhanya (Carlos Rojas 45’), Neil Pierre, Jamir Berdecio (Gavin Wetzel 61’), Sanders Ngabo, Christopher Olney, Giovanny Sequera (Kyle Tucker 62’), David Vazquez, Edward Davis (Leandro Soria 62’), Sal Olivas.

Substitutes not used: Mike Sheridan; Alex Perez, John Andrus.

FC Cincinnati 2: Hunter Morse; Isaiah Foster (Jesus Castellano 84’), Brian Schaefer, London Aghedo (Gael Gibert 61’), Moises Tablante (Benjamin Stitz 76’), Nicholás Benalcázar, Stiven Jimenez, Gerardo Valenzuela, Amir Daley, Peter Mangione, Stefan Chirila (Yeiner Valoyes 90’+7’).

Substitutes not used: Luke Laramore; Alejandro Guido, Juan Machado, Nicholas Samways, Connor Stout.

Evan Cohen is a Philadelphia native currently studying at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. A Philadelphia Union supporter since the club's start in 2010, Evan began contributing to Philadelphia Soccer Now in 2023.

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