The guy who accidentally coined the unofficial slogan of the Philadelphia Union’s 2020 season scored a “sexy” late game winner from distance to beat Inter Miami 2-1 in a preseason friendly in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday.
Matej Oravec meant to say successful season when he coined the phrase “Sexy Season” in his first interview after arriving to the club from Slovakia. He meant to score a goal off a Jack de Vries cross that was headed out of the box right to him with the score tied 1 all.
His shot beat Luis Robles and stunned the crowd at Al Lang Stadium that was witness to the MLS expansion team’s first open-to-the-public match.
Oravec was a late second half sub in the game after head coach Jim Curtin switched to a 4-2-3-1. He and Jose “El Brujo” Martinez played next to each other in the midfield in the final stretch of the game after rookie Cole Turner got the start as the No. 6 in a 4-4-2 formation.
Ray Gaddis was a surprise start at left back with Kai Wagner still injured while Matt Real came off the bench to finish the game. Olivier Mbaizo started at right back and Jakob Glesnes paired with Mark McKenzie to start and Jack Elliott in the second half.
Brenden Aaronson started as the 10 and did a lot of the work to create the opening goal of the game with a strong run into the box, finding Sergio Santos at the far post for an easy tap-in to give the Union the 1-0 lead in the 19th minute.
Miami leveled the score in the 33rd minute through Rodolfo Pizarro, who scored the equalizer two minutes after coming on to make his Inter Miami debut.
Andre Blake came up with three saves in succession before halftime to keep the score level at 1-1 and set up Oravec’s dramatic decisive goal late in the second half.
The Union improved to 3-2 in the preseason with the win. They lost their last time out 1-0 to FC Cincinnati after a 1-0 win over Montreal Impact, a 3-0 win over Chicago Fire and a 4-0 loss to Atlanta United.
Two preseason games remain with a noon game against FC Dallas on Wednesday in Clearwater followed by a 7 p.m. match against DC United next Saturday on the same ground. The boys in blue kick off the regular season against FC Dallas in Frisco, Texas on February 29.
Second Half (exact time of subs wasn’t provided)
Blake; Mbaizo, Glesnes, Elliott, Real; Brujo, Creavalle, de Vries, Fontana, Ilsinho; Ngalina
Oravec and Aurelien Collin subbed on late