The Union-Everton FC friendly last night at steamy PPL Park was important for a variety of reasons.
Obviously, the final score didn’t matter because it was simply an exhibition. Don’t tell that to the sellout crowd of 18,582 who packed the stadium to watch the Union win 1-0 on Christian Hernandez’s goal in the 88th minute.
For the Union, these types of matches will ultimately pay huge dividends for the younger players.
Zac MacMath, a former standout at the University of Maryland, was the starting goalkeeper for MLS All-Star Faryd Mondragon. Unlike the MLS regular season when clubs are allowed only three substitutes per match, this was different.
The Union made wholesale subs and the fans were treated by seeing a pair of local players – former La Salle star Ryan Richter and Upper Dublin High School’s Zach Pfeffer, who is only 16 years old.
Getting game experience will be incredibly beneficial down the road for the younger players.
With temperatures soaring into the ‘90s yesterday, the action was slow for stretches. It did pick up late in the second half as the benches emptied.
In the end, having the chance to play an English Premier League side such as Everton FC will be memorable.
The Union will have another chance on Saturday when Real Madrid visits Lincoln Financial Field.