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Game Thread: Union 0 Sporting Kansas City 2 final

Ilie’s penalty make and Melia’s penalty save the difference after the first 45

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Sporting Kansas City Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Final. Philadelphia Union fall to 0-2-0 on the season. Losing on the road to SKC was always a possibility, but this one was demoralizing. Once the own goal went in it feels like the team just mailed in the final 10 minutes. What’s worse is they lose Fabián and have to travel to Atlanta.

80’ Elliott OWN goal makes it 2-0 SKC. Unfortunate for Jack, who has had a solid outing, but he reached out to stop a cross from Gerso and tipped it past Blake and into the net.

79’ Ilsinho checks in for Burke. With all three subs now used, 18-year-old Brenden Aaronson will have to wait another week to make his MLS debut.

78’ Derrick Jones checks in for Warren Creavalle to make his 2019 debut.

77’ Auston Trusty does well to cut down a chance for Busio with a last-ditch tackle that keeps the game within reach at 1-0.

73’ New father Sergio Santos enters in the 73rd minute. Time to score a goal for your baby girl, Sergio!

69’ Great ball whipped in by Haris on a free kick from the left flank but Burke’s header goes right at Melia, who easily makes his fourth save of the day.

61’ Union really lucky to still be in this one after Graham Zusi’s free kick hits woodwork.

59’ Fabián sent off by VAR. Union now have to play the final half hour with 10 men and may not have their star in Atlanta next week. You have to believe the team will appeal that call. Fabián was sent into the air to avoid a sliding challenge from Russell after winning the ball and while he did step on him it’s hard to see that and think it was intentional on Marco’s end. He was on a yellow but a straight red was shown after the review.

58’ Wagner with a huge block in the box. The 21-year-old German left back has put in a solid shift today.

56’ Blake with a finger tip save on a blast from Gutierrez inside the 18. It goes down as Blake’s first save of the day.

46’ No changes for either side to start the second half.

Halftime - A relatively even half with a made penalty by SKC after a soft push from Trusty and a Melia save on a Fabián penalty after VAR called a handball on a ball headed by Picault off Seth Sinovic’s arm. The Union looked less vulnerable defensively than they did against Toronto, but have failed to create clear chances off a number of turnovers deep in Kansas City territory.

45’+ Union defense stands firm on a dangerous corner kick with three blocks near the six. Another corner leads to an open header for Ilie that he hits well wide of the mark.

41’ Tim Melia guesses right and stops Fabián’s penalty attempt. Still 1-0 SKC. There’s a reason he was the 2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.

39’ Penalty appeal from the Union after Picault header off a corner kick glances the arm of Seth Sinovic. Referee reviews it and awards a PENALTY!!!

35’ Jack Elliott with another key intervention after a break going the other way from the SKC attack.

31’ Fabián joins Graham Zusi in the book for “unsporting behavior”

26’ Scary moment for Wagner there as he is completely upended by a clean challenge. Wagner has been really involved on Kansas City’s side forcing turnovers the last few minutes.

23’ Nice little combination play for the Union after Wagner forces a turnover leads to a foul just outside the box that was ever so close to being a penalty. The free kick doesn’t produce a goal though. Just before that Picault had a chance to flash his speed in a positive transition play that lacked what the team has lacked through their first two games so far — a final ball.

15’ Elliott got free on a corner kick and got power on the header but his shot went wide of the target.

11’ Blake guessed the right way but Ilie’s penalty had enough power to elude his outstretched arms. Trusty was whistled for the foul for a push in the box on Busio and it stood the test of the review because it technically was a push even though it was a really soft penalty to call.

10’ The referees strike again! Penalty just whistled against the Union after Sporting Kansas City had an attempt in the box cleared away by Ray Gaddis.

1’ Game is underway

Today’s game is the 124th straight sellout at Children’s Mercy Park. Not bad for a stadium that isn’t even in the same state as Kansas City, Missouri much less is located downtown.

Starting Lineups

Jim Curtin only made one change to his lineup from last week, slotting in Warren Creavalle for Ilsinho on the left side of the diamond. Derrick Jones is in the 18 for the first time this season and Mark McKenzie will miss his second game in a row after not dressing in this one. He’s on the injury report as being out with a concussion.

Brenden Aaronson, who Curtin said he was ready to sub in last week before Michael Bradley scored his second, is on the bench again and in line to possibly make his MLS debut. Aurelien Collin is on the bench for the first time. So too is Sergio Santos after becoming a father for the first time with the birth of his daughter earlier this week.

Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake; Kai Wagner, Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott, Ray Gaddis; Haris Medunjanin; Warren Creavalle, Alejandro Bedoya; Marco Fabián; Fafa Picault, Cory Burke

Bench: Carlos Miguel Coronel, Aurelien Collin, Olivier Mbaizo, Derrick Jones, Ilsinho, Brenden Aaronson, Sergio Santos

Delran, N.J. native Peter Vermes made eight changes to his lineup from their Champions League loss Wednesday night. Only Matt Besler, Botond Barath and Ilie Sanchez are back in the lineup.

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Botond Barath, Graham Zusi; Felipe Gutierrez, Ilie Sanchez, Gianluca Busio; Gerso, Krisztian Nemeth, Johnny Russell

Bench: Adrián Zendejas, Abdul Rwatubyaye, Yohan Croizet, Kelyn Rowe, Erik Hurtado, Dániel Sallói, Rodney Wallace

How to watch

Where: Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, KS

When: 3 p.m. ET, Saturday, March 9, 2019


Streaming: ESPN+