CHICAGO – After a dominant first half with nothing to show for it, the Union scored two unconventional second half goals to power past the Fire at Soldier Field, 2-0, on Saturday afternoon.
The Union picked up their first win of the 2021 regular season to consolidate a strong week that started with a Concacaf Champions League semfinal berth after a second leg draw with Atlanta.
Cory Burke scored his fifth goal in four career games against Chicago with a smashed volley in the 51st minute. The assist came on a sumptuous chip from Jamiro Monteiro that eliminated three defenders. The play started on an Olivier Mbaizo throw-in, and the right back had himself another great day.
Jakob Glesnes added another nine minutes later on his second career MLS goal. Kai Wagner latched onto a deflected corner kick at the top of the box and sent in a bouncing shot that Glesnes redirected with a simple touch past a helpless Bobby Shuttleworth.
A bit different than his first career goal, but it counts all the same!— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) May 8, 2021
Glesnes gives us the 2 - 0 lead in Chicago pic.twitter.com/cOoIGozsg1
Homegrown Jack McGlynn made his first start on the left side of the diamond at 17 years old and acquitted himself well on the road, winning the ball often on the press and taking enough care in possession.
Sergio Santos received a late yellow card for a dust up with Boris Sekulic, and could receive additional discipline after further review.
The Union have now won five of their last six against the Fire and two straight matchups. The Fire have now gone 10 straight MLS games without a win.
Philadelphia largely controlled the first half and came away with the best two chances after dominating the Fire’s left flank in the first 15 minutes.
Mbaizo found Cory Burke on a cross in the 14th minute and his solid header met a strong save from Bobby Shuttleworth.
Minutes later, Alejandro Bedoya fizzed a ball across goal and McGlynn eyed an empty net only to have his effort blocked by Sekulic. It was a dominant stretch but the Union lacked that final third quality that has evaded them at times to start the season outside of a half against Atlanta and a half against Saprissa.
In the second half, the Fire made subs to chase the game, but Glesnes’ goal coming so soon after the first effectively deflated the home side’s morale. The best chance did come minutes after Burke’s strike, when Frankowski played in Robert Beric behind Glesnes and JAck Elliott in the box. The striker went for a one time finish but angled it just wide.
Andre Blake made a fine save minutes into stoppage time at the near post, but ultimately came away with his clean sheet rather easily. The Union earned their second shutout of the year after the season-opening goalless draw with Columbus.
Philadelphia returns to action in the midweek for a Wednesday tilt with New England, in a rematch of last year’s playoff exit for the Union. The Revolution are coming off of a Saturday loss to Nashville but entered matchweek four on top of the Eastern Conference.