Red Devils 1 - 0 Union
Keith Hickey is a Philadelphia Union correspondent for Goal.com, and a writer for Match Fit USA. || Photo Courtesy: Paul Rudderow via Flickr
They may be the newest top-division club in the world, but the Philadelphia Union held their own against the grand old master of English soccer, Manchester United FC, Wednesday night. Blessed with stars who make more in a week than many Union players earn in an entire year, the "visitors", a team of such stature that they can command a home crowd in any corner of the globe, came out to entertain the forty-four thousand fans who came to see them at Lincoln Financial Field.
Man United began the game at a high tempo, with many of the inexperienced Union players struggling to find their feet in the early minutes. Danny Welbeck and Federico Macheda both went close in the opening, and Welbeck would trouble the Union all night.
Eventually, Philadelphia managed to claw their way back into the game and before too long, were looking just as lethal as as their vaunted opposition. The combination of Danny Mwanga and Sebastien Le Toux, so effective in MLS this season, came close several times. Mwanga especially, impressed, showing a confidence and silky first touch beyond his tender years.
But it was the visitors who took the game, with the effervescent Welbeck using his astonishing pace to latch onto a long pass, dart inside, and put the ball onto the feet of an onrushing Gabriel Obertan in the 76th minute. Obertan slotted coolly past rookie keeper Brian Perk to give Man U the win.
Despite the result, the Union played well enough to earn the plaudits of legendary Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, a lift they can take into next Saturday's game against the New England Revolution.