By Siobhan Nolan, Contributing Writer
The Union finally found their footing in MLS, collecting their first league win against the Chicago Fire. After a disappointing winless streak to start their 2021 season, this win is refreshing and much-needed. Let’s recap.
The Union started the match off strong, utilizing the right flank to get balls through for scoring chances. Cory Burke, Alejandro Bedoya, and debutante Jack McGlynn all had promising looks in front of the goal, but quality saves from Fire goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth ensured that both teams went into halftime scoreless.
The deadlock wouldn’t last long going into the second half, as Burke would finally get his goal in the 51st minute off of an assist from Jamiro Monteiro. The Fire’s Robert Beric nearly equalized quickly afterwards, but couldn’t put the necessary finishing touches on his scoring opportunity.
An insurance goal came when Jakob Glesnes scored off of a Kai Wagner free kick, and despite offensive substitutions in the form of Nnamdi Chinonso Offor and Alvaro Medran, an in-control defense and excellent saves from Andre Blake ensured that the Fire wouldn’t be able to find the back of the net for the rest of the game.
A bit different than his first career goal, but it counts all the same!— PhilaUnion🛡 (@PhilaUnion) May 8, 2021
Glesnes gives us the 2 - 0 lead in Chicago 🔥 pic.twitter.com/cOoIGozsg1
Man of the Match: Cory Burke. His goal made him the 9th Union player to score 15 league goals, and is the only active Union player to have multiple goals against the Fire. He’s not the flashiest striker, but he does his job, and he does it well. (Honorable mention to 17-year-old Jack McGlynn on his debut!)
The Main Takeaway: This was a much-needed win, and one that the Union definitely deserved. The offense looked so much more alive in this game, and showed the league that they are absolutely capable of producing quality goals. With an invigorated offense, a solid defense, and an all-around cohesive team performance is the tonic the Boys in Blue needed to get back to winning ways. It was simple, effective, and the Union made it look easy. This is the Union that fans know, love, and deserve.