Game time temperature was a brutal 93f, but the Union withstood a somewhat frenetic attack from the Chicago Fire. “We definitely kept our composure tonight,” said Fafa Picault in the locker room after the game. The 2-0 win was an exercise in composure and a “professional win” per Jim Curtain.
The crowd of 17,000 was lively, and the Sons of Ben were in full force with songs, drum beats, and classic East End energy. Fafa Picault even put a ball in the river.
Fafa Picault just kicked a cross so hard that it ricocheted out of the stadium. Flew off the defenders shin and cleared the @SonsofBen on its way into the Delaware River. #doop @PhilaUnion @ChicagoFire— J Blevins (@JBlevinsNBA) July 21, 2019
The Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union earned three points with the win. They now hold a four point lead on second place D.C United. Marco Fabian scored his third goal of the season to open the scoring on a well constructed play 11 minutes into the game. The goal came from a free kick in the left corner area and was assisted by Kai Wagner and Haris Medunjanin. The extra pass led to an excellent shot.
Grace Under Fire
The @ChicagoFire are getting the ball deep but they aren't quite connecting on good shots on goal. @PhilaUnion are playing under control but being pressured.— J Blevins (@JBlevinsNBA) July 21, 2019
Anthony Fontana scored a sealer for his first goal of the season in the 65th minute. Kai Wagner was not credited with an assist on the play but made a fantastic individual play to retain the ball and work through three defenders to hit a wide open Fontana for his second career goal.
“When you score a goal and you see the whole crowd rise up, it brings me back to that little kid age 6 who fell in love with this game” – Anthony Fontana
Andre Blake logged his 30th career MLS clean sheet. “It’s been a while since we had a clean sheet, we needed one,” said Head Coach Jim Curtain after the game.
The Union have a strong fan base in Chester, PA. Prior to the game, Kevin Kinkead of Crossing Broad held a live podcast at Larimer Brewing and had a good crowd and lively discussion. Kevin is the godfather of Philly soccer coverage.
Jim Curtain spoke after the game about the “professional win.”
Player Piano: Soccer Analytics with Nadia Haven