Philadelphia Union, Chicago Fire beat Liga MX’s Pachuca, Leon in friendlies
With the September international break ongoing, three MLS teams played Liga MX opponents on Saturday night at home.
The Philadelphia Union had the most reason to celebrate after beating Pachuca 1-0, while Chicago Fire FC got past Club Leon on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw. Meanwhile, FC Dallas fell 3-0 to Tigres UANL.
Philadelphia Union 1, Pachuca 0
A towering header from homegrown right back Nathan Harriel powered the Philadelphia Union past Pachuca, 1-0, on Saturday evening at Subaru Park.
The Eastern Conference leaders went ahead in the 49th minute when left back Kai Wagner’s free kick picked out Harriel, who finished confidently and provided enough cushion for goalkeeper’s Joe Bendik shutout.
The Union had just three substitutes available, yet still overcame Liga MX’s third-place team from the ongoing Apertura campaign.
Philadelphia starting XI: Joe Bendik; Kai Wagner, Matthew Real, Jakob Glesnes, Nathan Harriel; Richard Odada, Leon Flach, Jesús Bueno, Jeremy Raffaello; Nelson Pierre, Julian Carranza
Chicago Fire FC 1 (3), Club Leon 1 (1)
Playing at SeatGeek Stadium, Chicago downed Club Leon 3-1 in a penalty kick shootout Saturday night after some heroics from goalkeeper Spencer Richey and the game-winning spot kick from right back Boris Sekulic.
Before reaching PKs, the Liga MX visitors went ahead 1-0 just before halftime through forward Alfonso Alvarado, but Fire homegrown midfielder Javier Casas Jr.. equalized in the 47th minute.
Chicago, out of Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs contention, brought on several first-team regulars during the second half. Club Leon are currently ninth in the Liga MX Apertura campaign.
Chicago starting XI: Spencer Richey; Charlie Ostrem, Rafael Czichos, Jhon Espinoza, Kendall Burks; Federico Navarro, Javier Casas Jr., Alex Monis, Chris Mueller, Missael Rodríguez; Victor Bezerra
FC Dallas 0, Tigres UANL 3
Tigres UANL, Concacaf Champions League winners in 2020, pulled away for a 3-0 victory over FC Dallas Saturday evening at Toyota Stadium.
The Liga MX side, currently in fifth place, got goals from Jesús Garza, Juan Pablo Vigón and Florian Thauvin across a 25-minute span. FCD’s best look arguably came through forward Franco Jara in the 51st minute, after the former Pachuca standout forced a strong save at the near post.
Head coach Nico Estevez’s team, which guaranteed a playoff spot this fall, were without US international forwards Jesus Ferreira and Paul Arriola as that duo features in World Cup preparation friendlies overseas.
Dallas starting XI: Maarten Paes; Eddie Munjoma, Matt Hedges, Nkosi Tafari, Nanu; Facundo Quignón, Sebastian Lletget, Brandon Servania; Kalil ElMedkhar, Franco Jara, Beni Redžić