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Game thread: Union 0 Atlanta United 2 final

The Union and the five stripes are both coming off tough road losses

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Atlanta United FC Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Epps for Ilsinho

Accam for Picault

Would be a great time for Accam to open his MLS account for the season.

2-0 Atlanta

Burke for Sapong

Cory Burke enters the game 63 minutes too late. Meanwhile, Andre Blake is keeping the Union in this game with his heroics in goal.


Not finishing your chances has consequences. For the Union tonight, that means instead of taking a 1-0 lead through Dockal after a brilliant play by Bedoya to tee one up turns into a 1-0 deficit when Almiron the other end of the field is taken out by Blake in the box on a breakaway and Martinez converts the penalty.

That’s four goals this season for Martinez, who leads the league with 18 goals, against the Union. One positive out of the play is that Blake only received a yellow and not a red for denial of a goal-scoring chance.


Blake was forced to make another save, this time on Martinez, just before the half ended. He did well to come off his line and used his groin to stop the shot from Martinez. His counterpart, Brad Guzan, made a save on the other end on a shot from Dockal and Keegan Rosenberry had a key sliding block on Barco after Barco had done well to initially beat McKenzie on the dribble.

Both McKenzie, who is on a yellow, and Auston Trusty looked shaky at times in the first half, but the Union have hung so far with the first place team in the Eastern Conference. While they could easily be down, it’s also a little disappointing they haven’t found the back of the net with some of the chances they have created.

Saves by Dre

First 15

Advantage Atlanta so far. Though the Union have created a couple chances, Atlanta has been more dangerous, nearly grabbing an early lead on a darting run from Almiron that Andre Blake had to fully extend himself to knock out of bounds.


One of the talking points after the Philadelphia Union lost 3-1 to Atlanta United on the road a few weeks ago was that they played well the first 18 minutes before Alejandro Bedoya was sent off for a second yellow and Haris Medunjanin lost his mind and made the game 9v11.

Playing well for 18 minutes isn’t really a rarity for the Union this season, but it means precious little when you’re still dropping three points. There’s no consolation prize for only losing by two with nine men even if Warren Creavalle played a great game.

Creavalle will be watching tonight’s game from the sidelines now that Medunjanin has finished serving the first red card suspension of his career. As well as Creavalle has played, getting Haris back (a few days after signing on for the 2019 season) is reason for a boost of confidence. Borek Dockal is also back to pull the strings after missing last week’s 4-1 loss in LA a few days after welcoming his second child into the world. Catching the five stripes a few nights after losing on the road in Frisco isn’t the worst timing either.

Still, the question of whether or not the Union are a good team lingers. Good teams win games like the one the Union are playing tonight, not just ones against teams below them in the standings (incredibly, half of Toronto FC’s wins have come against the Union). Atlanta still owns the league’s best record after losing to an FC Dallas team with the second best record), but has won only once in their last four matches.

The Union have a chance to prove not only that the first 18 minutes in Atlanta weren’t a fluke, but that they are capable of getting points in games they aren’t supposed to win. In other words, if the Union really are good, tonight is a chance to prove it.

Score Prediction

3-1 Atlanta United. Share your score predictions in the comments.

Starting Lineups

Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake, Ray Gaddis, Auston Trusty, Mark McKenzie, Keegan Rosenberry, Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, Fafa Picault, Borek Dockal, Ilsinho, CJ Sapong

Atlanta United: (via Dirty South Soccer) Brad Guzan, Mikey Ambrose, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Michael Parkhurst, Franco Escobar, Jeff Larentowicz, Julian Gressel, Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco, Héctor Villalba, Josef Martinez

How to Watch

Where: Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.

When: July 7, 2018, 7 p.m. EST

TV: 6abc

Streaming: ESPN+

Radio: Union Radio