Chester, PA – The Philadelphia Union beat another European club in a friendly that didn’t count in the standings but brought joy to the locker room. The Philadelphia Union behind a squad of young guns defeated a strong Schalke 04 team 2- 1 on a rainy night at PPL Park. The game winning goal was a well placed lower corner shot by first round draft pick Chandler Hoffman (UCLA) in the 88th min.
Schalke 04 brought a very solid team. They just wrapped up 3rd place in the Bunsdesliga (Germany) and locked up a spot the Champions League next season. The biggest name on display tonight was Spanish superstar Raul making his final appearance for The Royal Blues. Raul’s touch looked sharp early on has he played a set-up man role in the mid-field. Raul’s only scoring chance came the 24th min with a full volley that just sailed over the upper corner of the goal.
The scoring was opened up in 21st min with a set piece cross by cross by Keon Daniel from 35 yards out that connected a streaking Pajoy header. The Sons of Ben broke out into the chant of, “Do that Sunday” referring to the Union’s league match against heated rivals New York Red Bulls which they face at home Sunday.
A scary moment in the 35th min silenced the crowd and teams as Union goal keeper Chase Harrison leveled Schalke striker Klass-Jan Huntelaar to the ground while going up for a 50/50 ball. Huntelaar was sub-ed out of the match and taken a local hospital. Schalke was awarded a penalty kick.
Lewis Holtby took the PK and it hit the underside of the cross bar and was cleared out of play by the Union defenders. After that clear Schalke continued to bring a lot pressure on the young Union defenders. Sergio Escuero found himself wide open with the ball about 35 yards out , so he put his head down a cracked a low line drive shot that found the back of the net in the 42nd min leveling the teams at 1 – 1. This score line held until the half.
The 2nd half saw the Union players edging out the Schalke players on the pitch. Schalke did look tired has they had just arrived yesterday at 4:00 AM Jermaine Jones told us after the match, and they had just played a long season and went deep into the Europa League.
The Union made several attacking runs using Chandler Hoffman and 2nd half sub Jack McInerney. Finally a run set up by Raymon Gaddis to Hoffman found the back of the net in the 88th, which proved to be the game winner.
It was a really cool feeling to get that goal,” said Hoffman after the match, “Ray left me a great pass and I just sent it home. I thought we did a great job overall. It’s always a great thing to play against a side such as Schalke with all of their star players. I think it will help with the whole team’s confidence, sure. I’m thrilled personally and hopefully this will carry over into Sunday’s match against New York.”
Philadelphia Union v. FC Schalke 04 Highlights
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