With their 5-1 win over Washington, D.C. Sunday night, the Philadelphia Union are now back on top of their conference. The team also has the third best goal differential in Major League Soccer (MLS). Runner-up, but three points behind in the league, is the Atlanta United.

Fastest goal of the season

Captain Alejandro Bedoya
Alejandro Bedoya, Captain

One of the team’s new players, Andrew Wooten, dove right into the game with a quick assist off the wing, finding Marco Fabian at the top of the box. Fabian then was able to block for Alejandrio Bedoya so he could drive in the first goal of the night only a mere three minutes into the game. This lightning fast goal is Bedoya’s third of the season, tying his career MLS high in regular.

It comes as no surprise that Bedoya was then voted MLS Player of the Week, on a Sunday mind you. Followed by Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin being named MLS Coach of the Week for the 4th time this season.

Later in the match, Fabian went from assisting to scoring. He recorded his first career MLS brace, scoring his fifth and sixth goals of the season. Kacper Przybylko scored his 10th goal of the season, becoming the 11th player in club history to reach double digits in goals during the regular season. Fafa Picault, not wanting to miss an opening, was able to shoot a goal in the 90th minute of the game!

Despite the stellar performance, the team did hit some glitches along the way. There were four players who received cautionary warnings throughout the game. Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Marco Fabian, and Aurelien Collin all received flags within the first half of the match. Thankfully, none of the players were ejected and the second half of the game went more smoothly. Fabian even scored his second goal of the night at the 70-minute mark.

Off the field highlights

One of the most interesting parts of the match last night may have happened before the game even began. The Union’s captain, Alejandrio Bedoya, acknowledged the recent mass shootings that have taken place in the United States. Bedoya made a statement about recent gun violence into the on-field microphone. He then encouraged Congress to do something now, stating that “Words without actions are just worthless.”

In a post-game interview, Bedoya mentioned his wife who is Norwegian. He said she comes here and she is fearful of what happens here in the United States. He said he can’t sit idly and watch this keep happening, later mentioning his kids and worry for their safety. He continued during the interview stating that groups need to get together and give a “real bipartisan effort.” When a reporter asked if he was worried about being fined, he said, “Let them fine me, I have to speak up, I’m a human being before I’m an athlete.”

Next Union game

The Union will be back in action next Sunday, August 11 at 6:00 p.m. ET when they welcome Houston Dynamo to Talen Energy Stadium for Military Appreciation Night.

Possible MLS Strike

In other soccer related news, the Major League Soccer Players Association Executive Director Bob Foose says, “An extended work stoppage during the 2020 MLS season was a real possibility.” It sounds like, to me, that players want more transparency within the club and more say in decisions which involve “where they live and work, along with the ability to increase their earning potential through bonuses and have fewer restrictions on roster construction.” [ Source: ESPN ]

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