An outstanding first half set the tone for Philadelphia Union II to weather a second-half storm and take three points in an Eastern Conference clash Sunday night at Montclair State University Soccer Park. Nelson Pierre's brace, with goals in the 20th and 39th minutes, allowed Union II to secure eight points from the previous four matches.
Pierre, Matchday 7's Player of the Matchday, is proving himself as a key piece to the Union II's attack, raising his total goal contributions in 2023 to three goals and two assists.
Pierre first put Union II in the lead in the 20th minute, collecting a pass from Jose Riasco and finishing into the bottom left corner despite Red Bulls II goalkeeper AJ Marcucci's best efforts to close down the angle.
Pierre doubled the lead 19 minutes later, with this side-footed effort on the end of an impressive run past a defender.
Pierre is in his second MLS NEXT Pro season, having come through the Philadelphia Union academy. He made 20 appearances, including seven starts, in the 2022 season, with five goals. He was invited to the United States Youth National Team Regional Identification Center Camp in 2022, offering him the opportunity to be scouted by the United States youth national teams.
Union II moves on to face Inter Miami II next week in a battle between even-handed mid-table Eastern Conference teams.