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U in Review — Matchday 4: San Jose vs. Philadelphia Union

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Philadelphia Union drew visiting San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday night.  

Saturday night saw the Philadelphia Union outshoot, out-possess, and out-foul the visiting San Jose Earthquakes. But the 14,795 Union fans who “paid” to watch their team on the night witnessed a game that ended on level terms.

San Jose struck first courtesy of Swedish midfielder Magnus Eriksson, who scored his first goal for his new club in the 37th minute. Philadelphia would find the equalizer in the 64th minute from the head of captain Alejandro Bedoya.

But, despite outshooting the Quakes 22-8, and controlling 62 percent of the possession at the final whistle, the Union were unable to find a game-winner, on a night in which Bedoya said the team dropped two points.

It’s the Union’s second-straight draw at Talen Energy Stadium, after drawing Columbus Crew SC last time out at home. Saturday’s match saw the Union score their first even-strength goal of the 2018 MLS campaign, after failing to do so in last weekend’s 3-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids.

However, although the match ended even-strength, San Jose’s Harold Cummings was issued a red card in the 90′ + 6′ after Video Assistant Review determined that Cummings intentionally elbowed Union center back Auston Trusty in the groin.

Union keeper Andre Blake kept the match scoreless in the 30th minute, when the visitors threatened with their first real opportunity of the game.

Blake stopped San Jose’s Vako Qazaishvili who was in on goal following a splitting pass by teammate Danny Hoesen. Hoesen took advantage of the space between Union defenders Keegan Rosenberry and Jack Elliott.

However, the Jamaican would only keep the game level until the 37th minute, when San Jose would finally exploit the Union backline and Rosenberry, in particular, who played a considerably high-line and press from the first whistle.

Hoesen, again, split the Union defense near the end of the first half, in the 37th minute, playing in Eriksson who slotted home his shot past the outstretched arms of Blake.

It was the Swede’s first MLS and club goal since joining ranks with San Jose this season from Swedish outfit Djurgårdens IF. 

But the rest of the second half in Chester would bode better for the home side and the Union fanbase.

Making his second straight appearance for the Union this season, and arguably shifting the momentum of the match, was Brazilian midfielder Ilsinho who came on for Designated Player David Accam at the right midfield position in the 63rd minute.

Ilsinho nearly made an instant impact for head coach Jim Curtin, weaving through San Jose defenders to the byline before making a centering pass that was nearly tucked home by a player in a blue kit.

Curtin’s side would pepper the San Jose backline throughout the second-half, eventually finding a goal a minute later. Philadelphia fittingly found an equalizer courtesy of their club captain, in the 64th minute.

Bedoya’s header tucked under and past Quakes’ keeper Andrew Tarbell and was served from the feet of winger Fabrice-Jean Picault who, like Ilsinho, was influential in turning the tide of the match in the Union’s favor.

Curtin specifically mentioned the performance and impact of Picault, who slotted into the lineup at right midfield for the struggling Fabian Herbers.

As seen in the video above, the Union’s newest signing, Borek Dockal, split the San Jose defense with a ball over the top, which found the feet of Picault. Picault did the rest, feinting and stepping over the ball before serving a perfectly weighted ball to the head of Bedoya.

But, despite several promising counters from both sides, the match would end in a 1-1 stalemate, which was reacted by boos from the fans who stayed until the final whistle at Talen Energy Stadium.

Match Notes — 

Fabrice-Jean Picault returned to the Union Starting XI after serving a three-match suspension issued by Major League Soccer. Picault was suspended for using “foul language” during a closed-door friendly against Orlando City SC during preseason.

For the second straight game, Union Homegrown defender and Drexel Hill, PA native, Matt Real earned his place in head coach Jim Curtin’s Starting XI.

Ilsinho made his second straight appearance this season as a second-half substitute, coming on for David Accam in the 63rd minuteat the right-midfield position.

Harold Cummings was issued a red card after the final whistle, when VAR determined the San Jose man intentionally elbowed Union Homegrown defender Auston Trusty in the groin.

Scoresheet —

San Jose Earthquakes —

Magnus Eriksson (37′, assisted by Danny Hoesen)

Philadelphia Union —

Alejandro Bedoya (64′, assisted by Fabrice-Jean Picault)

Possession —

Philadelphia Union — 62%

San Jose Earthquakes — 38%

Shots —

Philadelphia Union — 22 Total, 8 On Target

San Jose Earthquakes — 9 Total, 5 On Target

Bookings —

Philadelphia Union —

David Accam (PHI: 23′)

San Jose Earthquakes — 

Yeferson Quintana (SJ: 56′)

Starting XI  —

Philadelphia Union  (4-2-3-1) —

Andre Blake; Matt Real (Ray Gaddis, 78′), Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott, Keegan Rosenberry; Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin; David Accam, Borek Dockal (Cory Burke, 86′), Fabrice-Jean Picault; C.J. Sapong

San Jose Earthquakes (4-4-2) —

Andrew Tarbell; Joel Qwiberg (Shea Salinas, 58′), Harold Cummings, Yeferson Quintana, Nick Lima; Vako (Quincy Amerikwa, 88′), Florian Jungwirth, Anibal Godoy, Magnus Eriksson (Fatai Alashe, 78′); Danny Hoesen, Chris Wondolowski

PFD’s Player of the Game — 

New to Philly Football Daily’s coverage of Philadelphia Union games this season is our Player of the Game award. Tonight that award has been given to the Union’s goalscorer, Alejandro Bedoya.

Bedoya went the full 90 minutes, after suffering from illness throughout the day.

Next Match —

Philadelphia Union return to play on April 13, when they welcome Orlando City SC to Talen Energy Stadium. Kickoff for that match is slated for 8:00 PM EST and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

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