On a hot and steamy July night at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, the Philadelphia Union welcomed the most celebrated team in all of professional sports, Manchester United, to the City of Brotherly Love.
Manchester United, who play in the English Premier League but have fans all over the globe, were without stars Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick but that didn’t stop the Man U faithful from flocking to South Philadelphia to cheer on their team.
There were clearly more fans decked out in red colored Man U gear than there were Philadelphia Union fans, a sign that international soccer is still head and shoulders above MLS.
With interest in soccer in this country perhaps at an all-time high after the recent World Cup, Independent Philly was not about to miss this chance to see our home town team try to upset the Yankees of soccer.
Surprisingly the Union held their own in the first half and despite their record of 4-8-2, the game remained 0-0 after 45 minutes of play.
31 minutes into the second half, Manchester United’s Gabriel Obertan took a pass from teammate Danny Welbeck and scored on Union goalkeeper Brian Perk. Roars erupted from the English faithful but there were definitely a fair share of “booo”s from the Union fans (as is to be expected in Philly).
That goal would prove to be the game winner as Man U defeated the Union 1-0.
The game, which appeared on the ESPN network, spotlighted the Union to fans in the U.S. as well as those watching across the pond. It also allowed those in the U.S. to see some of the excitement of English Premier League which captivates the UK and the rest of Europe.
Manchester United’s beloved star Ryan Giggs graced the field in Philadelphia and U.S. star Landon Donovan is rumored to be heading to the English Premier League this fall to play for Manchester City.
Manchester United next heads to Kansas City and then wraps up their U.S. tour in Houston where they will play the MLS all-stars.