Union match reports

Match Report: FC Dallas 2-1 Philadelphia Union

A strange second half own goal in which a Fabinho clearance bounced off Sheanon Williams was the difference as FC Dallas held on to beat Philadelphia Union 2-1 in Frisco, Texas.

Tesho Akindele gave FC Dallas a deserved 1-0 lead with a goal in the 26th minute. Philadelphia responded just before the half when Amobi Okugo turned in a nice cross from Cristian Maidana. But a Williams own goal in the 49th minute would be enough for Dallas to take all three points.

Maurice Edu was shown a straight red card in the 89th minute and will be suspended for the Union’s next league match.

“Home crowd, Fourth of July, so they had a lot behind them,” interim head coach Jim Curtin said after the game. “I still think we’re creating a lot of chances on the road, but I think we can improve the final ball. We got in wide spots a lot this game and our final pass on the cross was off and let us down a little. We created enough to get a result on the road and I thought we deserved at least a draw out of the game, but this is the way our league is, anybody can beat anybody. It was a good, hard-fought game.”

First Half

Interim head coach Jim Curtin named an unchanged side from the group that defeated New England last week. Edu and Williams remained the starting center back pair, with Okugo and Michael Lahoud at defensive midfield.

Dallas certainly started the brighter of the two teams — the Union’s flight to Dallas was cancelled after three hours on the runway on Thursday night and the team arrived by charter flight on Friday morning — with rookie forward Tesho Akindele the danger man early on. In just the fifth minute, Akindele broke the Philadelphia offside trap and was one-on-one with Zac MacMath. The striker’s shot was straight at the Union goalkeeper though, and MacMath was down to make the save.

Dallas continued to put pressure on the Union’s backline, with Akindele shooting high after a corner kick was only half cleared. Dallas seemed to be targeting the Union’s left side of Fabinho and Danny Cruz. Zach Loyd, Andres Escobar, and Akindele all got in behind the Union’s backline on the left inside the first 20 minutes.

Akindele would finally find the breakthrough for the hosts, splitting the Union defense to finish with a nice volley from 16 yards in the 26th minute. Blas Perez chipped a well lofted pass into the path of Akindele, who finished coolly to the right of MacMath.

The Union would go on the attack after the goal. A series of corner kicks produced a few half chances before Sheanon Williams flicked Cristian Maidana’s ball just wide of the Dallas goal on the Union’s third corner.

Philadelphia would break through just before the half time whistle when quick throw in on the right side found Conor Casey in space. Casey played a good ball for Cruz to chase into the corner. Cruz was able to find Maidana on the edge of the area, and the Union No. 10 hit a smart left footed cross low through the 6-yard box for Okugo to tap home.

Second Half

Dallas again would start the half the brighter team and were rewarded inside the opening five minutes when Akindele and Perez attempted a give-and-go on the edge of the Union’s box. With Perez playing the ball through for Akindele to run onto, Fabinho chased back and attempted to clear the pass, only for his clearance to hit off of Williams past a stranded Zac MacMath.

“Made some adjustments at halftime and we’re settled in for the first four minutes. And the next thing you know, that fluky goal happens and we’re adjusting on the fly. It was tough.” said Curtin, who would go to his bench shortly after the goal, bringing on Andrew Wenger for Danny Cruz in the 62nd minute.

The game soon entered a chippy period with Casey and Sebastien Le Toux both earning yellow cards for Philadelphia. For Le Toux, it was the first yellow card of his MLS career.

Dallas had a scary moment in the 70th minute when goalkeeper Chris Seitz went down clutching his knee after taking a goalkick. The former Union man had to be carried off the field and was replaced by Raul Fernandez.

Aaron Wheeler and Fred were brought on for Casey and Okugo, respectively, with the clock approaching the 80 minute mark and Philadelphia looking for the equalizer. Wheeler would have the best chance to tie the game in the 85th minute, but his shot from a bad angle was saved by Fernandez.

The match would go from bad to worse for Philadelphia in the 87th minute when Maurice Edu was shown a straight red card for a hard tackle on Blas Perez. It was a crunching tackle from the Union captain, and Perez certainly made the most of it, but the straight red card seemed harsh. Edu will now miss next week’s match against Colorado. With Okugo already off the field, Sheanon Williams wore the captain’s armband for the first time in the reamaining minutes of the match.

The Union would launch a few long balls into the box as the clock wound down, but Dallas dealt with everything that was thrown at them to hold on to win, 2-1.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Williams after the game. “I thought we had a good game, especially defensively; we gave up two chances and they score two goals. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just sometimes the way it goes. We’ve got to take the positives and move forward, nothing we can do about it now… Get recovered and get ready for the next game.”

The Union host Colorado in league play on Saturday, July 12 with a 7 pm kickoff. Before that, they host New England Revolution on Tuesday, July 8  in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup. Kickoff at PPL Park for that game is at 7 pm.

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath, Fabinho, Maurice Edu, Sheanon Williams, Ray Gaddis, Amobi Okugo (Fred 81′), Michael Lahoud, Danny Cruz (Andrew Wenger 62′), Sebastien Le Toux, Conor Casey (Aaron Wheeler 78′)
Unused substitutes: Andre Blake, Austin Berry, Brian Carroll, Leo Fernandes

FC Dallas
Chris Seitz (Raul Fernandez 72′), Matt Hedges, Moises Hernandez, Stephen Keel, Zach Loyd, Adam Moffat (Hendry Thomas 68′), Andres Escobar (Mauro Diaz 78′), Je-Vaughn Watson, Vicor Ulloa, Blas Perez, Tesho Akindele.
Unused substitutes: Andrew Jacobson, Peter Luccin, David Texeira, Michel

Scoring Summary
26 – DAL: Akindele (Perez)
43 – PHI: Okugo (Maidana)
49 – DAL: Williams (OG)

Disciplinary Summary
65 – PHI: Casey (foul)
68 – PHI: Le Toux (dissent)
89 – PHI: Edu (serious foul)

Philadelphia Union FC Dallas
11 Attempts on Goal 210
4 Shots on Target 2
6 Shots off Target 6
1 Blocked Shots 2
4 Corner Kicks 6
15 Fouls 5
26 Open Play Crosses 14
1 Offsides 1
2 First Yellow Cards 0
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
1 Red Cards 0
38 Duels Won 50
43% Duels Won % 57%
352 Total Pass 492
77% Passing Accuracy % 83%
42.6% Possession 57.4%

30 Comments

  1. George H says:

    This is a disappointing loss, but was expected a bit given the travel problems they had getting out of Philly. This has happened a few times in the past, I have to ask the question why the team doesn’t fly out in the morning rather than the afternoon/early evening? There’s less chance of thunderstorms and delays then.

    BTW – There’s a typo in the stats, FCD didn’t have 210 shots.

  2. Wenger adds nothing. If the McInerney trade was Sack’s idea he should be fired now. Regardless, the approach of this FO is silly. To trade a guy who you expect to ask for more money, when that money is well-deserved is dumb. If Montreal doesn’t want to or can’t pay Jack then they’ll sell him for a lot more than we could sell Wenger ($1).

    The Lahoud experiment is getting tired. He had like 10 giveaways. I expect him to make way for Nogueira soon. I hope.

    The Curtain honeymoon may be over. Union players just not very good.

    • I don’t think Wenger was in the right place once during his whole time on the field. He’s probably on the wrong plane right now.
      .
      Lahoud is just in there to mark time until the Union can move Edu up to d-mid with Okugo. Or Nogueira gets back.

  3. philpill says:

    Best clue of backline play is MacMath’s post-goal histrionics. Under siege to start game & Fabinho tries to clear to center leading to own goal. Worse than cancelled fireworks.

  4. Chicken & Ribs says:

    Dang. That was a rough loss. We sure did whine a lot. I’m not sure how bad or good the refs were, and it’s no sin to lose on the road but we should probably try to shut our yaps more or wind up like Casey….or worse Edu.

    Speaking of Edu. Pretty dumb late, late tackle. Kills any chance for a comeback. For what? Maybe it’s best he sits for a game.

  5. Was it me or was Maidana the best player out there on the field by a wide margin?

    Also who is our calming influence on the field out there? It’s supposed to be veterans like Casey and Edu but they were some of the worst hotheads out there.

    • Southside Johnny says:

      Casey was ridiculous even with some bad calls. Edu is obviously not a happy camper overall. Yes. This organization is utterly devoid of effective leadership top to bottom on and off the field.

  6. Southside Johnny says:

    Just as I feared. Revs game was no indication of what we have against better sides or even equals in good form.

    • Actually the Revs game proved 2 things. My Saer Sene fanboyism is justified and the Revolution defense is a Poison comeback record level of sad.

  7. I actually thought we were the better side, but the sloppy play in the final third is a hallmark of this team. This has plagued us all season despite our recent scroring forray by Casey, Le2, etc. The quality was just not there in the box.

    • I totally agree Rick, This team has been very poor with keeping the ball in the final third and in the 18 yard box. They have a lot of trouble keeping the ball in tight spaces in the final third and playing small ball. One thing is for sure, we need Nogueira back immediately.

  8. Poor teams don’t change just cause a coach is hacked. Same old same old. Keystone Cops.

  9. Great One says:

    Rough game to watch, especially after all those great World Cup games. The ref was horrible, and Dallas flops disgracefully all the time. We still need to keep our heads though, otherwise they just do it more to fire us up. Danny had a rough game, and the ending bucket just isn’t working. Fabinho was awful. Chaco was great and hopefully Nogeuira helps us out. My one fear is that the three off-season signings all lose interest within a month and is a long and of the season

    • Have to disagree a little with Fabinho being awful. We could easily put the blame on him for Dallas’s 2nd goal as he should have played the ball out wide instead of playing the ball back into the middle. That is a fundamental mistake that cant happen at this level. But, for the rest of the match he was playing well with his possession of the ball being fantastic and progressing nicely up the field and creating plays. So overall, he wasn’t perfect but he did contribute and he wasn’t the worst player on the field.

  10. The Chopper says:

    Wenger and Wheeler provided zero. Once Casey came off, the only potential threat the team has is a 25 yard shot or a prayer that a cross will actually hit someone in the head. I know Casey can’t go 90 minutes, but once he left the field, we were done.

    I appreciate Cruz more than most, but a player with a suspect right foot and no left foot doesn’t help you enough on the left side (even if he did assist on the lone goal). Better off to put Fred out there until Nogs is back

    • I appreciate everything Danny Cruz does when he is on the field because he is a bright spot,(lately) but what does it tell you about the state of this team and the state of the MLS that Danny is a first team player? You mean there is no better option? No better player to stretch the field and bring technique or ideas? Nothing? Better? Really? It is increasingly concerning to me.

      • The Chopper says:

        I think one thing this World Cup has shown is that we are not as far along in developing rounded, talented, foot skilled players as we thought we were. We are still a country developing athletes,who play soccer and not enough soccer players who are also great athletes.

        I think Cruz becomes a sub when Nogueira is healthy, but we shall see.

      • Spot on.

  11. Looks like they are back to playing the American style of soccer: punt the ball up the field and hope for a lucky break. Also, the team didn’t have any shape for large stretches of the game.

    With that said Gaddis was pretty good and Maidana stood out. Lets see how they do next.

    • Man from your fingers to God’s ears: shape and plan and overloading zones and having a point of your play. I can’t stand the blind kicking of the ball like this- this, this is our identity… aimless.

      • The Chopper says:

        Very interested to see what this team could look like should Valdez return. More composure and organization in the back and some interesting possibilities on how to shape the midfield. Obviously, Okugo, Nogs and Edu all can’t be holding midfielders, but along with Chaco that’s a fairly talented bunch.

  12. Not for nothing but is the search still on for a skilled striker? Other teams are going about roster upgrades and Orlando City and NYCFC have introduced star quality players for next year. While I admire the hustle of Danny Cruz, I can’t believe there is no one with skill to start in that position. If he is the only option that Curtin can come up with he is not the manager for this team moving forward. We’ll know when Noguiera returns. I realize that he is in a tough spot and is working with a handicap team skill wise, but I am still hopeful that a real manager is brought in. I think in the long run it would be best for the franchise. It also would be nice to at least have an idea of what things are in the works to make this team easier to support. I hope Valdez returns soon.

    • i know this is tangential to the point of your post but i don’t think even curtin has the hubris to assume that he is the manager this team is looking for. he understands his position and situation and is just trying to maybe get lucky and do something good for the city this season. i think he meant it when he said he doesn’t care if he is number one two or three in charge as long as the team is winning.

  13. Cruz should not be a starter above NASL. We have Pfeffer, McLaughlin and Hernandez. They all should be getting time instead of Danny. What is the point of not letting them see some MLS playing time.

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