On Sunday, October 20, the Philadelphia Union won their first playoff game in franchise history in front of a sellout crowd. In the first playoff game at home since 2011, the club came back from a two-goal deficit twice in the game to beat Red Bulls 4-3 in overtime.
After two early goals from Red Bulls, Alejandro Bedoya opened up the scoring for the Union with a goal in the first half. It’s his second overall playoff goal, the first coming in 2016 vs. Toronto. The Union went down another goal right before halftime.
Jack Elliott scored his first career playoff goal, bringing the Union within one during the second half. Fafa Picault scored the equalizer in the game, for his first career MLS playoff goal as well as picking up his first career playoff assist. Marco Fabian scored the game-winning goal in overtime that ultimately sends the Union to face Atlanta. Haris Medunjanin and Sergio Santos both picked up helpers during the match. Andre Blake made his third Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in net.
The playoffs come to an end for the Union
Coach Curtin, on heading to Atlanta, “I’d rather be brave and go after it. At least you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and say ‘we went for it.'”
The Union returned to action for the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinal on Thursday, October 24 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. As they have all season, the team fought until the end, but they were unable to get a goal up on Atlanta. This was a hard loss and a big disappointment for the team. The only consolation, of course, being that New York went out before Philly. 🙂
We cannot concede an early goal
Postgame, Mark McKenzie provided player feedback, “To have it crumble down like this, it’s a gut punch. Now we reassess, look back, analyze the game, recover, and get back at it next year.” He was not going to use the travel to Atlanta as an excuse. Team captain Alejandro Bedoya disagreed, saying that by the second half “fatigue hit and you could see it in everybody. We put a lot in the Red Bull game, had one day less of recovery and then the travel…” What could have made a difference? Bedoya says they cannot concede a goal in the first ten minutes in a hostile environment. When asked about Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie, two of the team’s young players Bedoya said, they have “huge talent, huge potential; they are just going to get better.”
It’s evident that as the Philadelphia Union continue to recruit young talent and grow their team, they will be consistently improving. The loss is a tough one, but they’ll be back and ready to go next season.
Atlanta United continue their title defense at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium against Toronto FC on Wednesday, October 30th.
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