Another weather-perfect evening for a soccer match at their home stadium in Philadelphia. Our Philly Union went up against the Open-Cup winning Atlanta Union with another sellout crowd at Talen Energy Stadium. The final score for last night’s soccer match was Philadelphia Union 3, Atlanta United 1.
This was the third consecutive sellout for the Union at home, and the club remains undefeated when playing in front of a home sellout (4-0-2). The team now has 54 goals on the season, the most the team has ever scored in a single season.
Proud coach reflections
Coach Curtin thanked all his players several times at the end of the game, sharing that homegrown players helped to carry the weight while their captain was not out on the field. Curtin states that this Atlanta match was really the first big test, but that his players are fearless and showed this to be the case by earning three points against such a great team. When asked post-game about Brenden Aaronson, a Philly signed Home Grown Player, Curtin said, “He’s a kid that has a great engine, even when he makes a mistake he gets on with the next play his ability to pick up balls and turns in tough spots.” It’s clear the coach was feeling proud of Aaronson and all of the players after this winning match.
Kacper Przybylko (#23) scored his team-leading 13th goal of the season as well as adding an assist. Brenden Aaronson (#22) scored his third career MLS goal; his first career MLS goal was against Atlanta on March 17. In a repeat of last week’s game, we again witnessed Przybylko and Aaronson run to the sidelines after each goal, showing their love to a supportive fan base. The crowd was on fire last night, surely giving the team an extra boost of Talen Energy.
Kai Wagner (#27) now leads all MLS defenders with eight assists, he is now tied with Sheanon Williams for the all-time club record for single-season assists by a defender. Sergio Santos (#17) scored his fourth goal of the season in his first game played since July 13, as well as picking up his first career Major League Soccer (MLS) assist in the last 15 minutes of the game, as he substituted for Brenden Aaronson after the 75th minute mark.
After the game, Santos shared that he felt very happy to be returning to the game after about six weeks off the field. He said this time in the season is very important, because of the playoffs, so the team keeps working hard. Santos, speaking in Spanish with a translator, added, “No puedo asegurar nada sigue trabajando un minuto y miente siempre con la cabeza firme y seguirá trabajando lo mejor que hay que hacer nuestro equipo de trabajar y si hacen lo mismo …” which means, that while “you never know what will happen from one day to the next, when I signed up to play with the Philadelphia Union I knew I would have to play hard with the team and that is what I want to do.”
Atlanta’s one goal was kicked in by Josef Martinez with an assist from Darlington Nagbe.
Some hindsight thoughts from yours truly
Looking back into the first half and seeing the number of goal attempts made that hit the post, but missed the goal, it’s crazy to think that our Union team had the potential to win this game with even more than three goals. There’s no doubt in my mind that the coaches and players knew this, too, because they came out looking fierce in the second half. The next three shots made on the goal after halftime were each successful.
The Union return to action next weekend in a friendly vs. Pumas (7:30 p.m. ET / Philadelphiaunion.com and back to their next regular season matchup on September 14 vs. LAFC (7:30 p.m. ET/ PHL17).
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