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Friendly: Union Defeat Pumas UNAM 1-0
- Updated: March 24, 2013
Chester, PA – While still a rather brisk day, at least it wasn’t hailing down at PPL Park yesterday afternoon as the Union took on Mexican side Pumas UNAM. Despite the friendly tag on this match, fans who ventured down to Chester were treated to a match that played more like a battle than an exhibition. Just seven minutes in, referees were trying to break up arguments and prevent fisticuffs from flying.
Philadelphia, coming off two straight wins, went with a Starting XI made up primarily of the Union’s future. Players like Jimmy McLaughlin and Christian Hernandez, who currently see more of the reserve side of the game, not only got to suit up for this match, but got to start as well.
“It was great to get the start and have an awesome opportunity to play against one of the best teams in Mexico,” McLaughlin told PSL, “It is also always an honor to play in front of the fans in PPL Park. It was a great experience and I have definitely learned a lot from playing against such good opposition.”
Antoine Hoppenot, the Union’s usual super-sub, also got the starting nod at forward for the first 45+ minutes of the match. Although the first half ended scoreless, both Pumas and the young Union side on the field had opportunities to net a first half goal, but a mix of fouls and good defense left the second half up for the taking.
Union manager John Hackworth knew that his team needed to go on the attack and try to get a win in the second half. Just like last week, Hackworth made it very clear to his team before match time that PPL was to be the fortress it was back in 2011. That’s why Hackworth brought on the potent attacking force of Sebastien Le Toux, Michael Farfan, and Jack McInerney. The change would pay off just seven minutes later, when in the 68th minute, Farfan took a great pass from rookie Aaron “Thor” Wheeler and put it in the back of the Pumas net, securing the victory for the U.
It’s back to business that matters this Saturday, as the Union head to Harrison, NJ to take on the Red Bulls in an early, yet important match. With Montreal still undefeated, Philadelphia will look not just to get their first win at Red Bull Arena, but to also stay within the top four in the Eastern Conference. The match will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network, with kickoff set for 3:30 p.m. ET.
(Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Union)