CHESTER, Pa. - The Philadelphia Union fell to Stoke City FC, 2-0 in a friendly Tuesday night at PPL Park.
First-half goals from Michael Kightly and American midfielder Brek Shea – the hero in the U.S. national team capturing the Gold Cup just two days prior – fueled a win over a young Union side.
“This was a good opportunity for us to give guys a run out and make sure that they have the sensations and rhythm of starting in a game,” said manager John Hackworth in a statement by the team. “Everything from listening to the National Anthem, shaking hands (with the opposition) all those kinds of things are really important for players just so that they know how to prepare themselves.”
The Union had trouble dealing with a big, tall group of players from Stoke City.
“To be honest, I was quite shocked when I first saw their team,” said Aaron Wheeler, who started Tuesday’s match at center back alongside veteran Chris Albright. “I don’t think they had a player in the first half that stood less than six foot. They were just big physical specimens.”
The Union return to MLS action Saturday when they face the Chicago Fire in another match at PPL Park at 8 p.m. ET on Comcast SportsNet.
SCFC: Knightly (Muniesa) 4’
SCFC: Shea (Knightly) 19’
SCFC: Shawcross (caution) 26'
PHI: Kassel (caution) 27’
UNION STARTING 11
Nikolov (Konopka 45’), Fabinho (Gaddis 45’), Wheeler (Parke 45’), Albright (Okugo 45’), Kassel (Williams 45’), Lahoud (Carroll 45’), Kleberson (Farfan 45’), Torres (Daniel 45’), Fernandes (Le Toux 45’), Anding (Cruz 45’), Hoppenot (Casey 45’).
STOKE CITY STARTING 11
Sorensen (Butland 45’), Huth, Muniesa (Etherington 68’), Shawcross (Cameron 68’), Shotton (Walters 68’), Whelan (Adams 45’), Shea (Pieters 33’), N’Zonzi (Palacios 43’), Knightly (Crouch 45’), Wilson (Culever 89’), Jerome (Jones 45’).