Loons Drop First Of The Season In Philly


Loons fans came into Saturday’s matinee in Philly knowing the Black and Blue would have to account for being a down a man in their usual starting XI, when, after testing his injured hamstring during Friday’s training session, defender Micky Tapias was officially listed out for this weekend’s matchup. Even with the Loons’ hot start to the season, the boys were well aware they would be in for a battle against an elite opponent like Philadelphia. And without Reynoso’s prolific attack and Tapias’ steady defending, facing Philly would prove to be a bit tougher than originally anticipated. The Loons would show some flashes and some fight throughout the day, but Philadelphia would ultimately prove just too tough of a task for the boys, as Minnesota United would fall to Union 2-0.

It would be Devin Padelford getting the start in Tapias’ absence, moving over from his usual spot on the outside. Though the homegrown defender would hold his own against the Philadelphia attack throughout the match, Padelford and the rest of the Loons defense found themselves tested early and often right from the initial kick off. In the 15th minute of play, Philly capitalized on a corner kick, with the ball making its way through the mob in front of the goal and finding midfielder Dániel Gazdag in the perfect spot to put the close-range shot in the net. 1-0, not us.

Philly would continue to see its share of opportunities on goal in the first half, while the MNUFC attacking third would find a bit more fluidity as the half wore on after struggling to get much going early. In the 41st minute, Teemu Pukki had a promising short-range look that was turned away by Andre Blake. That attempt would be the closest the squad would come to finding the equalizer before heading into the locker room.

Philly returned from the half looking just as dangerous on the attack as they had earlier in the match, much to the chagrin of the Black and Blue. For their part, the Loons would try to spark something in the second forty-five, subbing Bongi Hlongwane on in the 60th minute to give the attack some fresh legs. However, it would be Philly’s persistence that would pay off before the boys could bring the match level, with the dagger coming in the 84th minute when Julián Carranza would catch the Loons defense out of position and find the net to put the clamps on any daydreams for a comeback by the good guys.

It was a hard-fought showing by the squad on Saturday afternoon, but Philadelphia Union would be the side to take the three points in the standings and hand the Loons their first negative result of the season. Should it deter all the good vibes of their hot start? Nope. But, it should serve as a mini-wake-up call for the new-look Loons and as a reminder of the high level of competition they will see throughout the season.

Next Match:

Minnesota United FC vs. Real Salt Lake

Allianz Field | Saint Paul, Minnesota

04.06.2024 | MLS Matchday No. 8

Gates: 6:00 p.m. CT | Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT