Fresh off a 4-0 drubbing at Real Salt Lake last week, Philly rode goals from attacking midfielder Marco Fabian and his second-half replacement, Anthony Fontana, to solidify their hold on first place in the Eastern Conference.
Fabian’s goal — his second in three games — was a rocket from outside of the box that came off of a well-designed free kick in the 11th minute, as Haris Medunjanin played a ball on the ground to Kai Wagner, who then passed it back to Fabian.
Fontana, a 19-year-old Homegrown, scored his second MLS goal — and first since the 2018 opener — shortly after coming into the game, thanks to a tireless effort from Wagner to fight for the ball and cross it to him in the 65th minute.
Union goalkeeper Andre Blake stopped a couple of second-half headers from former teammate CJ Sapong, who was back in Philly for the first time after scoring 36 goals for the Union from 2015-18. Blake's shutout was preserved when Diego Campos blasted a late shot off the crossbar as the Fire dropped to 0-8-3 on the road this season.
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Fire own one win in their last 11 contests, haven’t won on the road since May of 2018, and on Saturday were without key midfielders Dax McCarty and Nico Gaitan. In other words, the Union really needed to take three points from this one. The fact that they did, without too much trouble, is a promising sign for a club that wants to be considered among the MLS elite.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: In large part due to injuries, Fabian hasn’t made as much of an impact in his first MLS season as Union fans would like. But the star Mexican international showed why he was the biggest signing in club history with a beauty of a goal that set the tone for the night.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Wagner was only credited for one assist but he set up both goals while helping to lock down the Fire’s attack. The German left back will be missed next week when he serves a suspension due to yellow card accumulation.
- PHI: Saturday, July 27 at Montreal Impact (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, TVAS in Canada)
- CHI: Tuesday, July 23 vs. Cruz Azul (MLS LIVE ON ESPN+, TUDN in US, TSN Go in Canada)