The Union started their busy month of May with an impressive showing in Nashville. A huge road point in a game that had peak Andre Blake, Mikael Uhre’s first Union goal, and the complete El Brujo experience.
In the first game at GEODIS Park, the largest soccer-specific stadium in the US, the Union went in eyeing to ruin the homecoming party. While they almost stole the show with all 3 points, the U would walk away with a commendable road point for their efforts.
While the point does feel like a disappointment given the Union held a late lead, 1 point in that atmosphere is a win.
The main story of the game was Andre Blake. Blake made key saves in the first half to make keep Nashville off the scoresheet. Including this absolutely ludicrous save.
— Union Nation (@PHLUnionNation) May 2, 2022
Blake’s 5 saves would be integral to the Union’s road point and would end up landing him as the starting Goalkeeper on the MLS Team of the week!
It is clear Andre Blake is still the best GK in MLS. He is making a run at his 3rd MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award.
Mikael Uhre Finally Nets His First
The Union’s big-money signing finally found his name on the scoresheet. Not just his first Union goal, but the first goal ever in GEODIS Park. Uhre got behind Nashville’s defense and beat US Men’s National Walker Zimmerman to get his first. Uhre has been making great runs like the one on his goal all year, but Gazdag finally picked him out with one of the most beautiful passes you’ll see this year.
Mikael Uhre silences the Nashville crowd!
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 1, 2022
The hardest goal to come by is always the first. Now that Uhre has opened his account, expect his goal count to keep rising. His vision to beat defenses is amazing and if his teammates can keep getting him the ball, goals will keep going in.
The Jose Martinez Experience
Jose “El Brujo” Martinez is one of, if not the, best number 6 in all of MLS. The fact he hasn’t been transferred overseas yet is fairly astonishing. Sometimes his play is beautiful, physical, or frustrating. This week we got to see all 3 for the full experience.
Ever since his first cap in a Union uniform, we all knew the Venezuelan was going to fit perfectly in Philly. With that physicality comes a lot of yellow cards. Per Jonathan Tannenwald, Martinez has played 59 Union games and has been shown 26 yellow cards. His next yellow card this year will give him a 1 game suspension.
His physicality is great, but his recklessness really hinders it. He can also get pretty hotheaded on the pitch. While most of it is sticking up for his teammates, some of it is also arguing with the officials. While everyone knows the reputation of PRO Referees in MLS, Brujo argues some pretty dumb things.
His yellow card against Nashville was more than warranted on a late tackle that caught the opponent’s foot studs up. His aggressive argument with the ref almost got him red-carded.
El Brujo is amongst the best in MLS and the top of his game is beautiful to watch. However, he needs to be better at choosing when to be aggressive and physical without being yellow carded for it.
A Good Start to a Tough Stretch
As it has been well established, May is going to be a big test for the Union. Starting it out with a point on the road in one of the toughest environments they will see all year is big.
They now travel to LAFC for a 1st VS 2nd Matchup. LAFC sits top of MLS, but the Union can get within a point with a win on the road.