The Union’s Alejandro Bedoya has just four regular-season goals in the last two MLS seasons.
Two of them have come against New York City FC. The second one, which was the game-winning goal in 1-0 victory on Wednesday night at Subaru Park, might spur a run of good form that his last strike against the Pigeons did last July.
Bedoya let out a roar of relief after he headed home Kai Wagner’s cross in the 67th minute for his first goal of the 2021 campaign.
The goal came after a 66-minute stretch in which neither the Union or their visitors from the Bronx created many significant chances.
For the rest of the match, the Union’s defense absorbed any advances forward from the second-place team in the East and gave Andre Blake a relatively easy night in the net.
The Union’s back line held on to their second consecutive clean sheet at home. They are now tied with NYCFC for the fewest concessions in the conference with 19.
Wednesday’s victory came at the start of a stretch in which the Union do not have to leave the Northeast until Oct. 9, They have five league home games and away trips to D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls.
Bedoya’s goal and the victory itself could be the spark plug for the Union to gain some separation between themselves and the rest of the contenders for the No. 2 spot in the East,.
When Bedoya netted the lone goal against NYCFC on July 9, 2020, the Union went on a five-game unbeaten streak at the MLS Is Back tournament. Three of those victories counted toward the regular-season point total and the race for the Supporters’ Shield.
Wednesday also marked a potentially important part in the season with Jamiro Monteiro back in the fold.
The Cape Verde international was away from the team due to transfer talks. Monteiro appeared in his first match since July 25 as a substitute. Union sporting director Ernst Tanner released a statement on that matter before the match.
“The transfer market is fluid and while interest remains for Jamiro, no offers in the transfer window came to fruition,” Tanner said. “It was best for both sides to have him reintegrate with the team for training and matches at this time while options are still being explored.”
The Union moved into a tie with NYCFC on 31 points in the East and are back home on Saturday against CF Montreal.