Tracking the Philadelphia Union Through WCQ’s Part One

Three members of the Philadelphia Union were called up to take part in World Cup Qualifying matches Friday, we analyze them in their matches.

The Philadelphia Union will be without two members of their Starting XI for Saturday night’s match against the Chicago Fire. Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya and Goalkeeper Andre Blake. Bethlehem Steel will also be without Striker Cory Burke, as all three were called up for International duty, to represent their countries in an attempt to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

USA vs St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Alejandro Bedoya became the first active Philadelphia Union player to make the Starting XI for the United States Men’s Team. He started in Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s 4-4-2, in the number 10 role, as the team traveled to Kingstown, St. Vincent.

The 5’10” midfielder made his 54th appearance for the US and showed why he’s been a constant pick for Klinsmann.

The United States proved to be far too much for St. Vincent and the Grenadines to handle, as they thumped the home team, 6-0.

Bedoya was active in all facet’s of the game, playing box-to-box, he made many recovering runs help on defense. He showed what we’ve already seen this year, that he can defend and disrupt the play of the opposing team.

He attempted two shots, with both coming in the first half. The first blocked instantly just at the top of the 18-yard box, the second soared just above the crossbar.

Since joining the Philadelphia Union Bedoya has been the most accurate passer on the team, while also attempting the most passes of any Union player. Friday afternoon was no different. Bedoya completed a high percentage of his passes. He was able to facilitate from the back line up the field with ease. Bedoya played 66 strong minutes before being subbed out for fellow MLSer, Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls).

Jamaica vs Panama

The Reggae Boyz faced Panama late Friday evening. Goalkeeper Andre Blake manned the night Friday night. Corey Burke, who was selected for the 23 man roster, was not picked in the 18 for the match.

Jamaica started strong, pushing the tempo but Panama seemed to create on the counterattack with ease.

In the 28th minute, Panama would break on a counter, Gabriel Torres would take a nice through ball and fired one into the top left of the net. While Blake got a few fingers on the shot, there was far too much pace for him to really save it with the slight touch.

Late in the match Blake made a huge save, getting a foot out to block the shot. While he played the full time, his team seemed to give up, as Panama got a breakaway in the 92nd minute to seal the deal.

Although Blake gave up the two goals, he made saves  keeping Jamaica in the match, but The Reggae Boyz looked as if they ran out of offensive ideas early on. Blake’s efforts were not enough as Jamaica saw their chance to qualify for Russia in 2018 fade away.

Panama 2, Jamaica 0.

Next Games

The USMNT takes on Trinidad & Tobago Tuesday evening, at 8:15 p.m. ET. If the US win or draw they will win the group.

Jamaica will play Haiti, at 9:30 p.m. ET. Jamaica needs a win or draw to finish third.