Minnesota United FC 1, Philadelphia Union 1 | 2017 MLS Match Recap

The first-ever game between the Philadelphia Union and Minnesota United FC did not yield a winner.

Ethan Finlay’s equalizer canceled out an early strike from CJ Sapong as the Loons and visiting Union battled to a 1-1 draw Saturday night at TCF Bank Stadium.

In a matchup between two teams near the bottom of their respective conferences, Sapong scored his 13th goal of the season after pouncing on a fifth-minute cross from Fafa Picault.

Finlay, playing in his third game for Minnesota since being traded from Columbus, found the 40th-minute equalizer following a marvelous move from Francisco Calvo in the box.

The Union, who are winless in their last five, were very fortunate when a 67th-minute penalty on Oguchi Onyewu was overturned by Video Review. Onyewu, who was initially called for a handball in the box, would have been ejected with his second yellow card had the call stood.


  • 5' — PHI — CJ Sapong WATCH
  • 40' — MIN — Ethan Finlay WATCH

Three Things

  1. PHILLY LIKES VAR: Last month, in a 3-1 win over FC Dallas, Union head coach Jim Curtin proclaimed that “Philadelphia likes VAR” after the league’s first official Video Review went his team’s way. The Union must like it even more after Minnesota’s PK was overturned due to a prior foul committed by Minnesota defender Michael Boxall on Onyewu. While that decision certainly helped Union escape with a point, it was a tough blow for the Loons, who would have likely been up a goal and a man and cruising toward their second straight win.

  2. THE FINLAY EFFECT: How good has the Finlay trade been for Minnesota so far? After scoring just 21 minutes into his Minnesota debut — against the defending champs, no less — he delivered his second goal in three games Saturday. And that came after a two-assist performance in a huge 2-1 road win over Chicago last week. Considering he only had one goal and one assist in the 19 previous games this season for Columbus, it looks like a change of scenery has done him wonders. And Minnesota’s plan to have him be a foundational player looks quite good at the moment, too.

  3. SAPONG KEEPS SCORING: Earlier in the season, much of the talk in Philly centered around whether Sapong would crack the double-digit goal mark for the first time in his MLS career. He’s done that and then some with his 13 goals tied with Jozy Altidore for the most among American-born MLS players. Still, he’ll likely rue some of the missed opportunities he had, including one first-half play in which he didn’t get his foot on a ball played in from Chris Pontius right in front of the net.

Next Up

  • MIN: Wednesday, Sept. 13 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10 pm ET | TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE in US)
  • PHI: Sunday, Sept. 17 at New York Red Bulls (1 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
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