The Philadelphia Union beat New York City FC in Group A battle on Thursday morning. Here are three things we learned from the 1-0 win.
The first-ever 9 AM game in Major League Soccer history went the way of the Philadelphia Union, who beat New York City FC courtesy of captain Alejandro Bedoya. Both Eastern Conference sides opened their MLS is Back on Thursday morning, and the break had an impact on the flow of the game. It was a little disrupted and uncertain at times, neither team clicking into gear, especially offensively. Bedoya slammed home the lone goal in the second half, Sean Johnson unable to palm the shot around the post, while Andre Blake made several excellent saves late on to secure the victory.
Here are three things we learned from New York City FC disappointing defeat to the Philadelphia Union.
3. Union are Group A favorites
While the Philadelphia Union were already the favorites to top Group A, the win over New York City FC, the other of the two powerhouses in the group, confirms just that. It may have been by just one goal, but the same scoreline was enough for Columbus and Toronto to beat NYCFC in March, putting the Union top of the group and on their way to the knockout stages.
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Nashville SC’s withdrawal from the tournament means we now have six even groups of four, making the three points Philadelphia earned even more valuable. They take on Inter Miami next, who share similar problems that are troubling NYCFC. Miami was limited in their opportunities against Orlando City and were inconsistent when eventually earning quality ones.
The Union close out the group stage with a very winnable game after against Orlando, where another three points would carry them with great momentum into the knockout rounds. Winning on Thursday raises the Union’s stock even more, answering any questions of their ability to compete at the sharp end of the Eastern Conference. If they don’t stumble in their Florida club double feature, Jim Curtin’s men would surely be a side you want to avoid.