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MLS is Back: Bedoya’s game-winner, Blake’s wonder saves help Union top NYCFC

New York City FC is still searching for its first win while the Philadelphia Union seized control of Group A in the MLS is Back Tournament with a morning victory.

Alejandro Bedoya’s winner and Andre Blake’s highlight-reel saves helped pave the way for a 1-0 Union victory over NYCFC on Thursday in a clash of Group A favorites.

After a scoreless first half, Bedoya broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute. The Englewood, New Jersey native attempted a low cross into 19-year old Brendan Aaronsen. Defensive interceptions denied the attempt, but the ball found its way back to Bedoya’s feet. He took matters into his own hands by driving a shot to the back post for the game’s only goal.

Despite NYCFC enjoying the majority of clear-cut chances, the Union weathered the storm in the 2nd half to come away with the tournament’s first clean sheet.

Philadelphia’s next game is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday at 8 p.m. against Nashville SC, though the expansion side is still awaiting a decision that will determine whether they remain in the competition. NYCFC will face Orlando SC later that night at 10:30 p.m.

Man of the Match

Andre Blake: The Jamaican international deserves huge credit for shutting out NYCFC on Thursday after recording seven saves. His best saves came in the last 10 minutes when he stopped both Heber and Gary Mackay-Steven from point-blank range.

Moment of the Match

96th minute save: In the last big chance of the game, Blake made a 1v1 save to stop substitute Mackay-Stevens from equalizing. Heber played a through ball to Mackay-Stevens to put him in on goal, but Blake came off his line to keep the Union’s advantage.

Match to Forget

Ronny Deila. The NYCFC coach is still searching for his first MLS point, and his second-half substitutions failed to turn the tide once the Union took the lead.


  1. I was impressed with Aaronsen. He played attacking central midfielder, his quick feet let him maintain possession and he made multiple little dribbles that unsettled the defense.
    On the down side, he is very young and slight, so he still looks like a boy among among men and when he was in a physical battle, he mostly lost those. Still when he matures, I imagine he will do better in that regard.
    He does need to improve his ability to orchestrate the attack; his quickness and excellent ball control will provide the tools needed to do that successfully.

    • He brought a lot of energy in the first half, and may have run himself out. I was only casually watching this morning but I didn’t think his off ball movement was as good as it was in March.
      For the people that have only seen McKenzie at the U20 WC today was a good performance for him. A little on the short side for a CB but was solid today.
      Sands was steady today, he’s not going to wow you but that’s not a bad quality for a CB.
      It was nice to see Gedion Zelalem get some time, wasn’t fabulous wasn’t bad.


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