Union lose to Orlando City SC 2-0

The Philadelphia Union lost to a streaking Orlando City SC 2-0 on a frustrating night at Talen
Energy Stadium.

Orlando City Starting XI: Bendik; El-Munir, Tarek, Sane, Allen (Higuita 29’); Pinho (Meram 65’),
Yotun; Johnson, Kljestan, Mueller (Colman 89’); Dwyer

Union Starting XI: Blake; Real, Trusty, Elliott (McKenzie 52’), Rosenberry; Bedoya, Medunjanin;
Accam (Simpson), Dockal, Picault (Ilsinho 60’); Sapong

This was a match the Union needed to win. With four of their first five matches at home, they
needed to bank some points. But coming into this fifth match, they had only earned 5 out of
the possible 12 points. Orlando City came in riding high on a two-game winning streak. Still, the
Union were at home, and the weather was beautiful.

The match started out at a fast pace, and the Union got plenty of chances. David Accam finally
started looking like the player the Union thought they were getting. He had a clean shot on goal
in the 17 th minute, but City goalkeeper Joe Bendik made a nice save. In the 27 th minute he got
past the Lions’ defenders but his shot to the near post went awry.
Orlando City was forced to make an injury substitution when defender RJ Allen was replaced by
Cristian Higuita in the 29 th minute.

It was looking like it would only be a matter of time before the Union would score with all the
chances they were getting, but it was the Lions who would get the first goal when Dom Dwyer
scored in the 38 th minute. Dwyer got behind the Union’s back line and he poked the ball over an
oncoming Andre Blake.

Orlando City added insult to injury in the 45 th minute when Chris Mueller ran through the Union
defenders and with no one but Blake to beat, shot a well-placed ball for the two-goal lead.
The Union did not show the same pace of play in the second half. They struggled to get
chances, and they were lucky that the Lions did not add to their lead. To make matters worse,
centerback Jack Elliott went down with a groin injury in the 52 nd minute. When he was replaced
with Mark McKenzie, the Union officially had the youngest back line in MLS history.

Jim Curtin’s substitutions were head scratching. Fafa Picualt was a big reason the Union were
getting chances in the first half, but he replaced Picault with Ilsinho in the 60 th minute. Accam,
who looked dangerous all night, was subbed out for Jay Simpson in the 76 th . When Simpson
came in, C.J. Sapong shifted back to the left wing, but that lineup was ineffective. The Union
didn’t give the fans any reason to believe that they could catch up to the Lions.

Phinal thoughts:

  • Accam looked off last week, but this week he was back to his speedy self. When he was taken out for Simpson, I could just feel that the Union just weren’t setting themselves up to win. Curtin said after the game, “I didn’t get the job done.” I’m not a Curtin basher but this was not his finest moment.
  • Blake was not sharp. He can’t be blamed for the Mueller goal, but he was faked out by Dwyer on his goal. He had a bizarre sequence when he was racing Justin Meram for the ball all the way to the sideline.
  • Despite the two goals allowed, the Union once again played a solid first half. But they didn’t play well in the second. They need to figure out how to put in a full 90 minutes, or it’s going to be a long season.

The Union will have to stew over this loss until they travel to Texas to take on FC Dallas next on
April 21.

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