Union secured nine points in nine days in 2-1 win over Revs

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The Philadelphia Union is on fire! They have three wins in the last nine days solidifying them as the first place team in the eastern conference. Their latest win, a 2-1 victory over New England Revolution was one that took grit and determination to see out.

UnionCHESTER, PA – JULY 16: Philadelphia Union Forward Mikael Uhre (7) is congratulated by teammates for scoring a goal during the second half of the Major League Soccer Match between the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union on July 16, 2022, at Subaru Park in Chester, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Union 2 – 1 Revolution

On a hot and humid night on the banks of the Delaware River Philadelphia welcomed New England with the chance to get nine points in nine days. From the opening whistle, the hosts looked to take advantage of a rarely used 4-2-3-1 formation to down the Revs. Philly utilized the versatility of Leon Flach and Paxten Aaronson to play like wingers in this formation to draw New England’s condensed defense out of position. While this was happening Jack McGlynn came into the midfield to give a more creative side to Philadelphia’s build-up play. It was working; Philly dominated the game but was not able to get a goal in the first half.

New England’s game plan looked to be to allow Philly to go forward and then hit them where it hurt with balls over the top to Gustavo Bou. Unfortunately for New England, the Union’s high defensive line made Bou offside on almost every attempt. A lone effort from Rev’s winger Dylan Borrero hit the crossbar in the first half, but that was the most dangerous New England as the game went scoreless into the second.

Philly started the second half the way they did the first. They put pressure on New England from the wide areas and looked to get crosses into the box to exploit the open spaces vacated. The Revolution was bending but not breaking, and as the match hit the hour mark New England was able to piece together beautiful soccer against the run of play. The Revs worked the ball from left to right into the Union’s box. A disguised run from Bou made him open and a perfect one-touch finish gave the visitors the lead. This forced the Union’s hand, as they subbed on usual starters Mikael Uhre and Alejandro Bedoya to try to get them back into things.

It was almost an instant impact. Philly went back to their preferred 4-4-2 diamond shape and kept pushing for their goal. In the 75th minute, they found the equalizer. Kai Wagner notched his 10th assist of the season off a perfectly placed corner that found the head of Mikael Uhre, who now has six goals in his last nine matches. Just four minutes later the Union would find the winning goal. Great work from Ale Bedoya found Gazdag open in the box, the Hungarian took a touch to get around his marker, Union fan “favorite” Henry Kessler. Kessler pushed Gazdag with two extended arms gifting Philly a penalty.

Gazdag stepped up and belted his pen off the crossbar and in. It was 2-1 Union with only 10 minutes left. Philly was able to see the game out with good substitutions, Oliver Mbaizo, Cory Burke, and Matt Real came in to see the game out. It was a huge win for Philly who now have some distance at the top of the standings between themselves and the rest of the eastern conference.

Three takeaways; nine Points in nine days

The Union is on a three-game win streak in the last nine days. This match was the cherry on top of that, and there are some major takeaways from this win.

1. A change of formation

The Union tried something new in this one, starting players out of position in a 4-2-3-1. I think this is something the team can do more often, from the start or late in games to spice things up. Players like Paxten Aaronson and Quinn Sullivan can be perfect wide hell-raisers for the Union in this setup.

The question will be if/when Jim Curtin will utilize this type of change again. Being able to switch things up makes it much harder for opponents to adapt while the game is going, hopefully, we’ll see more creativity from the Union like this moving forward.

2. The stars keep scoring; the team keeps winning

The Union is undefeated at home this season with a record of 6-0-5! The team has made the stadium a fortress, and the star players are stepping up to turn the draws into wins. The Union’s front three has 22 goals on the season; Daniel Gazdag (9), Julian Carranza (7), and Mikael Uhre (6) are making the attack click.

They’re slowly cementing themselves as one of the best attacks in Union history. With 13 games left, Philly has a chance to do something special right now with these three. Could the front three be the catalyst that pushes Philly to a playoff run, and maybe a double in 2022?

3. Findlay’s swan song

Stuart Findlay played his final game in the blue and gold last night. The Scottish centerback will be joining Oxford United FC in England’s League One imminently. He has been a quality player for Philly for the past two seasons but hasn’t seen the field too much as he was third in line behind Jack Elliot and Jakob Glesnes.

Will Elliot spraining his knee last Friday, Findlay agreed to stay for two more matches to help the club out in their time of need. He played two (almost) flawless matches against Miami and New England and now leaves the team on a high note. Philly is averaging 0.7 goals per match in 2022, now they’ll have to rely on homegrown standout Brandan Craig as the third center back for the rest of the season.

Relive the action

As always, the Doop by the River Twitter account has you covered on gameday with live tweets including the vibes in the stadium and the action that goes down on the pitch! Relive the action of this great win, and be sure to check out the podcast’s Twitter during home matches for the sights and sounds around Subaru Park!

Be sure to come back to Philly Sports Network for more Philadelphia Union and other soccer content!

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Tim Lovenguth | Justin Friedberg | El Parcero Philly
Zach LoBasso | Steve Beavon | Liam Jenkins

Doop on Union fans!

Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire

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