Philadelphia Union overcome goalkeeper injury to defeat FC Cincinnati

Philadelphia Union
CHESTER, PA — MAY 01: Union Forward Kacper Przybylko (23) celebrates after scoring a goal in the second half during the game between the Philadelphia Union and FC Cincinnati on May 1, 2019 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Chester, Pennsylvania (May 2, 2019) — The Philadelphia Union are not having the best luck with their goalkeeper pool this season. However, lucky enough for the Union, they added depth when needed. That came in handy last night, when backup goalkeeper Matt Freese was forced to leave the match.

Against FC Cincinnati, Freese went down after making a big-time diving save. However, he continued to play on. He eventually dropped down to one knee and came off in the 41st minute. Carlos, who is on loan to the Union from FC Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, entered the match.

Philadelphia Union overcome goalkeeper injury to defeat FC Cincinnati

Carlos is the third-string goalkeeper. Andre Blake, Philadelphia’s main starter, is out with a right adductor strain. There is currently not a timeline for Blake’s return. Also, by the time Blake should return, there’s a chance he’ll be gone again on international duty with the Jamaican Men’s National Team for the Gold Cup.

Freese has been decent in his spot. His diving save kept the match level last night at home. However, it was apparent that he could not go on. Union head coach Jim Curtin said that Freese was taken to the hospital for scans.

“That’s usually never a good sign,” Curtin said during his post-game press conference. “I don’t want to speculate, but he landed wrong on the hip pretty early in the game. To his credit he toughed it out as long as he could. It’s just something wasn’t feeling quite right in there. I hope everything is okay for Matthew, but obviously Carlos stepped in and did a great job, made some big saves all the way down to the 90th minute to keep us in the game.”

However, despite the goalkeeper injury, Philadelphia picked up three points at Talen Energy Stadium. Kacper Przybylko found the breakthrough goal in the 63rd minute, slotting it right past Spencer Richey. Meanwhile, seven minutes later, Fabrice-Jean Picault scored the game-winning goal.

Three Takeaways

  1. Despite the loss, Spencer Richey was on fire: Forget the two goals that went by him for one second. Richey was the best player on the pitch for FC Cincinnati last night. Richey was forced to make three difficult, athletic saves against Haris Medunjanin, Jamiro Monteiro, Picault and Przybylko. Battling right now for the starting goalkeeper position with Przemyslaw Tyton, it seems like Richey might have the edge.
  2. That’s a long time without a goal: How long? How about 400 minutes. FC Cincinnati has failed to find the back of the net in 400 minutes. That’s a problem for this team, that really built up their inaugural MLS season roster with tons of attacking players. Darren Mattocks and Nick Hagglund had good chances last night. However, finishing has become a problem that Alan Koch needs to attempt to fix.
  3. On top of the East: It’s way too early to talk about standings in MLS. It’s only May and the regular-season doesn’t end until the end of September. However, for Philadelphia, we can talk about progress. Last year, Philadelphia struggled to stay in the middle of the table. This year, there’s finding their way closer to the top. If Philadelphia can keep consistency, this could be a big year for the club.

What’s Next? 

For the Union, it’s a quick turnaround. Once again at home, the Union will host the New England Revolution on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Curtin will hope to have his goalkeeper situation figured out by then.

Meanwhile, FC Cincinnati also has a quick turnaround, but a major disadvantage. FC Cincinnati will hop on a plane across the country to face the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET.

 

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