Score round one to Columbus.
The goal, one of the few scoring chances for either side on the night, came in the 65th minute when Meram’s attempt deflected off Philly center back Joshua Yaro and into the back of the net.
The Union, missing several key players due to the Gold Cup, injury or suspension, will look for revenge when they host Crew SC in just four days.
- 65' — CLB — Justin Meram WATCH
- OWN GOAL OR NAH? It certainly looked as if the Union would be tagged with an own goal since Meram’s attempt may not have even been on frame and Yaro’s redirection completely fooled goalkeeper John McCarthy. But Meram probably won’t complain about being credited with his ninth goal of the season — a single-season record for the Iraq international. It may even add more fuel to the fire about his All-Star snub, too.
- THE PHILLY KIDS: The Union’s attack looked unlike anything Philly fans had seen this season as Jay Simpson got a rare start up top with rookies Adam Najem and Marcus Epps making their first career starts behind them. That’s because the Union were without Chris Pontius (Gold Cup), Roland Alberg (suspension), C.J. Sapong (ankle), Fafa Picault (hamstring) and Fabian Herbers (sports hernia surgery), on top of the absence of star goalkeeper Andre Blake (Gold Cup). And while McCarthy made a couple of big saves in Blake’s place, the attack hardly got anything going with the team finishing with zero shots on target.
- LET'S DO IT ALL AGAIN: The Union will hope to get some players back into the lineup for Wednesday’s rematch against Columbus. So will Crew SC, who were without star playmaker Federico Higuain, who missed his second straight contest with a right knee spain. But there will definitely be more urgency facing the Union, who can’t really afford what would essentially be a 12-point swing to a Crew side they’re chasing in the Eastern Conference.