Union and Crystal Palace End Friendly in Scoreless Tie
For the first time since 2014, the Union played host to English Premier League, Crystal Palace FC, where they looked to seek revenge from their 1-0 loss two years ago. It was the seventh straight international friendly the Union have hosted at Talen Energy Stadium and prior to tonight’s draw, they were 1-5-0 all time at home in friendly match-ups, with their lone victory coming in 2011 against Everton.
There were a series of debut’s Wednesday night, as the Union signed both Derrick Jones and Ryan Richter on a short-term assignment from their Bethlehem Steel FC affiliate. Newly acquired James Tomkins, made his debut as well, on the Crystal Palace side.
Aside from a few quality scoring opportunities, neither team did much offensively in the 1st half, as they were trying to adapt, due to their unfamiliarity with each other. The Union came close from striking first on a couple of corner kicks, including a near miss from 2016 MLS All-Star, Keegan Rosenberry.
Wednesday night’s match was all about excellent goal tending and the Union saw quite the performance from both John McCarthey and Matt Jones. McCarthy made quality saves against Crystal Palace’s Freddie Ladapo and Sullay Kaikai. Matt Jones would come in as as sub at the start of the second half, along with nine others from the Union. The only starter to stay in at the start of the second half was Walter Restrepo, who would be relieved by Ryan Ritcher in the 77th minute. Matt Jones and the rest of the team’s subs would pick up where the starting nine left off, as the team produced multiple scoring chances and stayed in the game due to the hard work and phenomenal saves by Matt Jones. The second group may have gotten a bit of a jolt from head coach Jim Curtin, who gave them a pep talk prior to starting the second half. He told them that the first group played the game the right way, and that these games can sometimes be taken lightly, and to avoid embarrassment they had to step up and play a strong 45 minutes.
Due to the well executed 1 vs 1 efforts by both sides and as mentioned the phenomenal goal-tending, the match would end in a scoreless tie. The Union’s International Friendly record at home would improve to 1-6-0 and 5-6-1 all time.
The Union return to the pitch on Sunday July 17th, as they play host to rival New York Red Bulls. Kickoff is slated for 7pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
FINAL MATCH STATS
Shots on Target: 6-1 Crystal Palace
Fouls: 14-9 Crystal Palace
Corners: 11-5 Crystal Palace
CPFC – Hiram Boateng (Yellow) 36’
PHI – Anderson (Yellow) 86’
Post Game Interviews:
Union Head Coach Jim Curtin
Crystal Place FC Manager Alan Pardew
Newly Signed Crystal Palace Defender James Tomkins
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