Streampunk Logo Image

Your source for live stream reaction & commentary
on the biggest events in sports and pop culture.


Philadelphia Union Starts 2023 Season With A Bang, Down Columbus 4-1

Share with a friend, neighbor or the world!

The Philadelphia Union began the 2023 MLS season picking up right where they left off in 2022 with a dominating win at Subaru Park. The boys in blue took down the Columbus Crew 4-1 in the 2023 season opener Saturday evening in Chester. Julian Carranza and Daniel Gazdag each scored two goals to bring the team’s unbeaten streak at home into a third season. 

Columbus took control early with the Union barely even touching the ball for the first 15 minutes of the match. Lucas Zelaryan had two free kicks for the Crew but neither developed much of a chance. In the 26th minute the Union showed their first signs of life when Carranza had a breakaway and faked Crew goalie Patrick Schulte to dive to the right side, opening up the entire left side of the net. Carranza took the shot and just missed wide left. Shortly afterwards in the 28th minute, Cucho Hernandez took a shot from the right side of the box which deflected off Jakob Glesnes right in front of the net, changing the trajectory of the ball to slip past goalie Andre Blake and put the Crew up 1-0. Cucho was originally credited with the goal but the scoring was later changed to an Own Goal on Glesnes. The Union adjusted and after this point you could see the offseason rust starting to fall off and the team returning to their 2022 form. In the 43rd minute Will Sands committed a foul to give Union set piece specialist Kai Wagner a free kick. Wagner’s kick found Alejandro Bedoya in the scrum to get a shot off which was blocked by Schulte. Leon Flach got another shot off on Schulte, but during the scrum the ball deflected off Mohammad Farsi’s hand, leading to a hand ball call against the Crew and giving Daniel Gazdag his first penalty shot of the season. Gazdag easily sent the kick past Schulte to tie the game at 1-1 right before halftime. 

In the second half with the rust completely off, the Union went into full Subaru Park beast mode. In the 52nd minute, Bedoya attacked from the right side and sent a cross to Carranza in front of the net, sending a right footer into the bottom right of the net while stumbling off balance to the ground to give the Union the go-ahead goal. In the 67th minute Wagner took a long range shot from outside the box which sailed over the crossbar. The officials didn’t like the deflection through the pack of Crew and decided to review the play on VAR. Upon review, a hand ball was called on Milos Degenek setting up Gazdag’s second penalty kick of the night in the 72nd minute. Gazdag easily found the bottom right corner of the net to go up 3-1. In the 80th minute barely 30 seconds after Joaquín Torres had entered the game for the Union, he did a crazy double spin move to posterize Philip Quinton and Darlington Nagbe and fire a pass up to Carranza streaking through the right side of the box to send a laser into the bottom left of the net to put the Union up 4-1.

In the postgame press conference Union coach Jim Curtin was very complementary to their opponent’s toughness to start the game:

“This Columbus team is very very good. If you look at the first 15 minutes of the game tonight, we didn’t touch the soccer ball. You can see the ideas that (Columbus coach) Wilifried Nancy is going to have with them, just how good they’re going to be, how dangerous they’re going to be (of) a team in the Eastern Conference this season.”

Curtin was asked about the quote by an anonymous MLS executive who said the Union were “not even that…good” in an article in The Athletic earlier this week. “Anonymous quotes are for cowards, and people are very brave when they make anonymous quotes.” He confirmed it was ready-made bulletin board material, “We did use it in the film session yesterday…it always motivates the guys.”

News and notes:

  • In a league that sometimes seems like a revolving door of player movement, The Union’s starting XI in this game were all returning starters from last season. 
  • This was the debut match for new Columbus Crew coach Wilifried Nancy, who coached CF Montreal for the past two seasons. 
  • The Union’s next match will be on the road against Inter Miami on Saturday March 4 at 7:30. All MLS games are streamed on Apple TV. 
  • Columbus plays DC United at home at 7:30 on March 4.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x