- The River End
- ⚽️ Union Internationals Report
⚽️ Union Internationals Report
Seven Union Players Away
Photo by Carl Gulbish
LAST MATCH: Union 0 - Nashville SC 0
NEXT MATCH: vs. New England Revolution
Saturday, Oct. 21, 6 p.m. | Apple TV - MLS Season Pass
Good morning. The waiting begins for the next Philadelphia Union match as the international break takes center stage. World Cup qualifying continues for Jose Martinez and Venezuela, the Reggae Boyz continue Nations League and more.
In the email today:
1) 🌎 Seven Union Players Report to National Teams
Jose Martinez and Venezuela return to 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying with games on Thursday and Tuesday against Brazil and Chile. Jesus Bueno was part of the 29-player roster for the games but had to withdraw due to injury.
La Vinotinto is in fifth place after two games (of 18) while Brazil is first and Chile is eighth. The top six teams advance to the World Cup and the seventh place team enters an inter-confederation playoff.
Andre Blake and Damion Lowe rejoin the Reggae Boyz in Nations League play. They currently sit in position to advance to the quarterfinals out of their group but could secure their place with wins over Grenada and Haiti on Thursday and Sunday.
Brandan Craig, who is on loan with Austin FC, was added to the United States U-23 roster where he’ll rejoin Union teammates Jack McGlynn and Nathan Harriel along with former teammate Paxten Aaronson. Quinn Sullivan is not part of the team this go around as they prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Daniel Gazdag and Hungary have two big Euro 2024 qualifiers against Serbia on Saturday and Lithuania on Tuesday as they look to maintain their position at the top of their qualifying group.
Olivier Mbaizo and Cameroon have a pair of friendlies against Russia and Senegal on Thursday and Monday that will serve as their final preparations before FIFA World Cup qualifying begins against Mauritius on November 13.
2) 📈 How the Union Stack Up: Goals For/Against
With the international break underway and one league game left to play, it’s a good time to start looking at how the Union have stacked up against other teams in the league.
Today we’ll look at goals for and goals against. The Union led the league in both categories last year and while it hasn’t always felt like it they’ve been among the league leaders yet again in both categories.
The Union have scored 56 goals in league play, which is fourth in the league. Columbus Crew leads the league with 65. The Union led the league last season with 72 goals.
The Union have conceded 39 goals, which is a tie for sixth best across the league. Nashville (unsurprisingly) is the stingiest with only 29 goals conceded. That’s still three more than the incredible 26 goals the Union conceded all of last season.
The Union are fourth in the league in goal differential at +17. They were first last season with a whopping +46.
Our take: The Union are nowhere near as dominant of a team heading into the playoffs as they were last year but they also have a lot more games under their belt. The fact that they are where they are - among the leagues leaders in goals for, goals against and goal differential - is a good sign.
3) 🦺 Meme of the Day: Winning Games vs Draws
4) 💧 Water Cooler: Newcomer of the Year
Who Has Been Your Union Newcomer of the Year?
Have additional thoughts? Reply directly to this email to comment, and see if we include your response tomorrow.
Results from our last poll What’s Happening to Kai Wagner:
5) 🔗 Link Roundup:
🇯🇲 Damion Lowe made the MLS Team of the Week bench for his performance against Nashville. Lowe has been in great form.
🗿 There’s a really cool soccer ball sculpture outside of Subaru Park that was recently unveiled to celebrate the stadium’s status as a “zero landfill” stadium. The giant soccer ball is made of recycled materials.
🐍 Union Academy teams played their first games at the new WSFS Complex in Chester and rolled to victory.
🍽️ The Pittsburgh Riverhounds beat Tampa Bay on Saturday to wrap up the USL Championship Players’ Shield. Philly native Joe Farrell and Philadelphia Union Academy grad Jahmali Waite have been key contributors to their historic season.
👍🏽 There was some great news on the losing side for Tampa Bay as former Philadelphia Union attacker Leo Fernandes made his return to the field for his first appearance of the season.
The newsletter today was written by: Matt Ralph @MattRalph_
Thanks for reading! ⚽️