Union match reports

Recap: Sporting Kansas City 1–1 Philadelphia Union

In a rollicking, end-to-end game that could have seen more goals but for the excellent play of both goalkeepers, the Union left Kansas City with a point Friday after a 1-1 draw.

U.S. international Graham Zusi would get the opener for Kansas City early in the second half after a scoreless but exciting first 45 minutes. Philadelphia’s Brian Brown would score his first MLS goal just two minutes after making his national television debut in his second appearance for the Union.

“I am extremely happy for Brian,” said interim head coach Jim Curtin. “He’s a really quiet, humble kid, and for him to give us a goal like that in a big spot was huge. He’s a kid that in training shows every day that he just needs one chance, and we always joke that he really only needs one look and tonight he proved us right.”

First half

The game’s pattern was evident immediately and was no surprise: the Union ceded possession to Kansas City and looked for opportunities on the counter. It was what everyone on both sides expected, but considering the Union had won their last two games in Sporting Park using just that strategy, it made perfect sense.

The strategy worked excellently. At times in the half, Kansas City had monopolized as much as 78% of the possession, but the Union looked consistently as dangerous, if not more so. In the early going, Kansas City couldn’t find a way into the Union box, but the Union regularly had the ball in the Kansas City third of the field off turnovers, without ever really threatening.

That said, KC nearly scored the opener in the 12th minute after Maurice Edu, who was strong in defense throughout, gave up a corner. On the ensuing kick, Dom Dwyer beat Ray Gaddis in the air. Zac MacMath challenged Dwyer but missed, and it was only captain Brian Carroll heading off the line that kept things scoreless.

After 20 minutes, Kansas City found another gear and strung a few good chances together. Graham Zusi wrong-footed MacMath with a grass-cutter from outside the box, but the shot drifted just wide. Dwyer was making himself a menace, nearly getting on the end of several balls. Zusi finally found a ball on the ground into the Union box, but the ensuing cross from the endline was cleared.

The game became progressively more stretched, with both teams getting good chances. In the 31st, Benny Feilhaber had a chance at a header inside the Union box but mishit it.

The Union carried the ball straight up the other end. Conor Casey forced an error from Aurelien Collin but couldn’t track the ball down before Gruenebaum came out of his box and cleared. Only a minute later, another Union counter saw Sebastien Le Toux hit a left-footed volley just over the bar.

The half would end with a series of exciting chances. In the 40th, an odd sequence of events gave the Union their best chance of the night so far. Danny Cruz juked past Collin on yet another counter. Collin clipped Cruz before he could reach the KC box, and the defense stopped playing. Le Toux was there, though, and nearly put the ball into the KC net, but could only hit the side netting with his weaker left foot. The foul on Cruz was then called, and Vincent Nogueira hit a luscious free kick that was only kept out of the upper 90 by an equally good Gruenebaum save.

On 45 minutes, the teams traded the best chances of the half. First, Zusi played in Mikey Lopez, who beat the offside trap, but MacMath came up big, racing out to meet the KC man and stoning his shot one-on-one. The ball rebounded out, and the Union took it away. Cruz did well again to dribble to the top of the KC box and played in Sheanon Williams for an open shot, but Gruenebaum came up equally big and made the save.

The Union would feel good to go into the locker room level, knowing that cutting down their own turnovers would give them a good chance to take something from the game.

Second half

The Union nearly found the opening goal early in the second half. Cruz again did well with the ball at his feet, beating two KC defenders on the halfway line when the ball came out from a KC corner, and he fed Carroll on the breakaway. Carroll might have tried to find Le Toux at the back post, but he instead hit a low and hard shot toward the back post that Gruenebam did very well to save at full stretch.

But it would be Kansas City who would finally find the net in the 54th. A bad header from Ray Gaddis on a crossfield ball laid the ball at the feet of Toni Dovale, who played Zusi in unchallenged. Zusi made no mistake, putting the ball into the far corner past MacMath.

Zusi would nearly make it two only moments later, as the Union reeled after giving up a goal in such poor circumstances. A one-two with Dwyer put Zusi in the box with only the keeper to beat, but his shot went wide of the far post by millimeters.

The Union, however, quickly settled, and rather than struggling to break down a Kansas City defense trying to protect a lead, continued to look confident and dangerous. By the 65th minute, the Union were maintaining possession around the Kansas City box, putting in a series of crosses, the final one causing Gruenebaum and Collin to collide, but Gruenebaum fell on the ball before a Union player could pounce.

Shortly after, Andrew Wenger replaced Cruz, and in the 69th minute, Brian Brown made his MLS debut, replacing Casey. The brand new Union man would be on the field for scarcely a minute before scoring. Edu carried the ball strongly out of defense and passed to Brown, who redirected the ball up the left side to the advancing Gaddis. Cutting back onto his right foot, the defender sent in a dangerous cross. Brown met it just outside the six-yard box, stooping to power a snap header into the goal, giving Gruenebaum no chance.

Brown would continue to be a danger for the rest of the game, cutting into the box on multiple occasions but never getting the penalty call, even when dragged down by Igor Juliao in the 85th.

The last best chance for Kansas City came before that, however, with Dwyer putting a ball from Julião over MacMath’s goal from inside six yards. The pass was hard and fast, but the Englishman will want that one back.

The Union finished the game strongly, with Edu heading a Le Toux corner on goal in the 90th minute, only to have it blocked. Williams was there, but his follow-up was saved by Gruenebaum even as he began to celebrate a goal that never came. Okugo had one final shot in the 93rd, after great work from Wenger to beat his man and cut the ball back, but it, too, was blocked, and the game ended with both teams getting good value for their point.

On another night, against a less inspired goalkeeper, the Union might have taken all three points from this one, but Kansas City will rue some missed chances as well. This was one of the better played and more exciting games of the Union season, and an important point on the team’s resurgent push for the playoffs.

“We are confident that we can get results,” said Curtin. “We are coming down the stretch now and the majority of our games are at home. We have the tough part of the season behind us now and we’re a team that’s going to be in the hunt for a playoff spot. Now we go back to PPL [Park] our home and look for the home field advantage.”

The hunt continues on Saturday, Aug. 9, when the Union host Montreal at PPL Park. Kickoff is at 7 pm.

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath, Ray Gaddis, Maurice Edu, Ethan White, Sheanon Williams, Brian Carroll, Amobi Okugo, Vincent Nogueira (Fred, 87′), Danny Cruz (Andrew Wenger, 67′), Sebastien Le Toux, Conor Casey (Brian Brown, 69′)
Unused substitutes: Andre Blake, Fabinho, Aaron Wheeler, Pedro Ribeiro

Sporting Kansas City
Andy Gruenebaum, Jacob Peterson, Kevin Ellis, Aurélien Collin, Igor Julião, Benny Feilhaber, Mikey Lopez (Soony Saad, 68′), Jorge Claros, Graham Zusi, Toni (C.J. Sapong, 69′), Dominic Dwyer (Martin Steuble, 89′),
Unused substitutes: Jon Kempin, Erik Palmer-Brown, Sal Zizzo, Claudio Bieler

Scoring Summary
KC: Graham Zusi (Toni) — 54′
PHI: Brian Brown (Ray Gaddis) — 71′

Disciplinary Summary
None

Philadelphia Union Sporting Kansas City
12 Attempts on Goal 14
7 Shots on Target 6
3 Shots off Target 5
2 Blocked Shots 3
5 Corner Kicks 4
18 Crosses 17
2 Offsides 2
15 Fouls 11
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
259 Total Passes 615
67% Passing Accuracy 87%
30.4% Possession 69.6%
46 Duels Won 47
49.5% Duels Won % 50.5%
22 Tackles Won 12
4 Saves 6
23 Clearances 26

83 Comments

  1. we looked good imo. it is hard to give any absolute or definitive criticisms. we really could have won the game but i don’t feel disappointed as much as i feel encouraged by the fact that if we had won we would have earned it

  2. Probably the most fun I had watching a game since the world cup.
    /
    A deserved tie. Both teams had chances to win it. But they didn’t. so here we are.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    Would have liked to have seen the Union get their 3rd straight win at Sporting KC, but still there’s nothing wrong with 4 points on the road from one of the strongest teams in the league.
    .
    Also would have liked to have seen more backup for Gaddis on the bad header. The goal was definitely “on” Ray, but there could have been better coverage too.

  4. Disappointing goal to give up. Rookie mistake by White to not shift over to Zusi. We were fortunate not to give up a second when Edu rushed over to help White, leaving a wide open gap that Zusi ran into–fortunately, he missed wide.
    .
    Hopefully, some experience at the very back can help this back line get organized. MacMath performed well in this game, but he’s not very vocal in getting his teammates in position. And clearly, every once in a while, our defenders get completely lost out there.
    .
    This team needs wins, but it’s hard to expect one against the top team in the East at home. Still, they were ripe for the taking, and the Union weren’t quite good enough.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    Some thoughts from me:
    .
    Fun game to watch that’s for sure. I thought the U deserved at least the point they got.
    .
    Brown finally showed me something and that bodes well going forward.
    .
    Zac was good too, so enjoy the bench? But seriously I only really saw 2 mistakes: the early Dwyer head ball he didn’t get to, and the Edu play toward the end when he had to poke it away instead of picking it up. Overall he was pretty good.
    .
    Noguiera’s free kick was phenomenal. A damn shame it was stopped.
    .
    Liked Curtain’s substitutions. Good job managing the game.
    .
    I didn’t hate Cruz tonight, overall. But he had (by my count) three chances to play balls through to LeToux and/or Casey and either didn’t see it or couldn’t make the pass. Frustrating.
    .
    Carroll was ok but he is frustrating to watch. Thought Edu and White were solid at the CB spot for most of the night.

    • Brown finally showed you something? dude has only 30 minutes of MLS playing time.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        30 minutes? More like 25 including stoppage time…And it took less than 2 minutes to get his goal. Let me repeat.
        .
        AT ONE POINT, BRIAN BROWN WAS SCORING AT A RATE OF BETTER THAN ONE GOAL EVERY 2 MINUTES OVER HIS ENTIRE MLS CAREER!

      • Andy Muenz says:

        OK, I’m an idiot. I forgot he had a cameo against Chicago. Still, when he scored, it was one goal every 11 minutes for his career. Not too shabby…

    • I agree regarding Cruz. Head down steaming down the field- quite unaware. One time okay but there were 3 instances where a one or two touch through ball leads to breaks on goal. If you want an inverted winger then they need to use opposite foot. I font understand why Cruz is playing an inverted roll- he stretches field but only really straight so what the purpose of having him on weak foot. Then the one lovely ball he played to Williams was all thumbs by him. Otherwise. Good stuff by all.

      • Start Wenger ; sub Cruz. More possession & better passing. Danny can blow by the tired legs in the last 20 minutes.

      • I like it.

      • No.
        There is a trade off, Without Cruz doing his ADD run in a straight line thing we wouldn’t have had as many counter attacks to begin with. Sure he missed a few opportunities but without him breaking out like he did we wouldn’t have had any of those opportunities at all.

      • Why can’t you counter with passing? As fast as DC runs, the ball always runs faster, right? Wenger controls the ball better. Hit Seba (soon Brown) on the break, the FB overlap, etc. DC is – like many of our tactics – too predictable. I’d like to see Curtin develop a more disciplined attack to compliment our more organized defense. It probably requires more training and more familiarity with players’ tendencies.

      • kingkowboys says:

        I agree with this. Cruz’ speed is why he should start this game; however, if the game plan is less defensive Wenger starts and Cruz subs.

      • Cruz did have that one excellent play- I believe it was the one to spring Carroll for that nice low shot early in 2nd half. Some very nifty footwork in close quarters. Cruz fooled me I think by changing the color of his cleats at halftime. I saw the guy in yellow cleats do that and just assumed it was Nogueira. When the announcers said it was Cruz I thought, “holy sh-t, Danny Cruz just did that?!?”

  6. A good result. Nice job, team! WELCOME TO MLS BRIAN BROWN!!!

  7. That was a great equalizer by Brian Brown. The only negative that I saw in his game (which I didn’t expect) was that he went down way too easily whenever there was contact. I’m going to chalk that up to very few experiences with MLS referees. If he ditches that habit, I think he could be a top MLS striker some day.
    .
    Also, was there really not a card given that entire game? It’s rare to see a game that chippy not have any cards shown.

    • Atomic spartan says:

      Worst officiating EVER. This one nearly broke the Geiger Counter.

    • Horrible after game interview in Kansas City by reporters….who thought to interview Philly Union’s Brian Brown live after the game in front on the Kansas City FAN section while they chanted? This was horrible coverage by media, uggg! Take it to the locker roms. Get it together media clowns!

      • Andy Muenz says:

        The announcers were terrible the entire game.
        .
        Someone needed to let them know that the Union don’t have a player named Shannon Williams.
        .
        It took them the entire pregame show plus the first 12 minutes to mention the M’Bohli, and even then, they didn’t even bring up the question as to whether Zac’s forthcoming demotion might affect his performance (and fortunately it didn’t).
        .
        At one point they mentioned how White came over in the trade for Jeff Parke and how it’s a good thing he’s been performing well in light of Matt Bessler’s suspension. Huh?
        .
        I think NBC has too many soccer games this weekend for the number of announcers on their payroll and the Union game got the short end of the stick.

      • They were also talking at some point about how Edu was playing well considering this was his first game at CB. Those commentators and the studio had no clue what they were talking about for the majority of the game.

      • It was the classic NBC national broadcast formula. Create a narrative, hammer said narrative until it is dead or you are.
        They had the Zac Macmath Narrative but they didn’t really know what to do with it and kind of abandoned it at half time.
        It was annoying, But not as annoying as watching an NHL Penguins game and the announcers talking about Crosby all the time even if he is having a good or bad or just kind of invisible game.

      • Also preparation wise those announcers were really bad.

      • Man I wish the Penguins had hired Pierre Maguire as the GM!

      • I was snickering about the fact it took so long to mention M’Bohli the goalie. I was picturing Sakwiecz watching somewhere seething in anger, “Hello! We just signed a guy who played in a little tournament in Brazil! Just a little one. Jerks.”

        I think those guys were the NYRB local guys. I know Messing is and he’s usually pretty good. The anti-homer, he’s not afraid to criticize either team for bad play.

      • That’s what NBCSN does. They are always on-site instead of in a studio so the fans are a part of their pre & post match coverage. I think it’s the best way to cover a match.

      • Also fred is 24 and wenger is 28 😉

  8. The Chopper says:

    Curtin certainly appears to be a solid game manager. His formations and tactics adapt to the situations at hand and his substitutions pay off more often than not.

    Brian Brown sealed it tonight. Antoine Hoopenot will not see another meaningful MLS minute for this side. There are simply now too many better options.

    • kingkowboys says:

      I feel much more confident with Curtin than I ever did with Hack. I think there is something to be said about that. I hope that Hack’s performance as a promotion from within does not weigh down Curtin.

  9. MacMath kept us in the match – again. A fitting way for his last start – for a while – to go. M’Bohli must be ready to react to our all-to-frequent lapses or the switch may cost us points we can’t afford.

    Still too many unforced errors – clearances, outlet passes & even throw ins that lose possession & put too much pressure on the counter strategy. When was the last time the slow-down-so-Sheanon-makes-the-long – throw play yield a chance – let alone a result? Drop it already.
    Carroll goes down in a heap from a knee to the gut but no foul. Sums up officiating.
    Zusi should make it a 2-0 hole that we probably don’t get out of.
    Brown’s goal showed an athleticism at striker we lacked all year (LeToux just isn’t 21 yo) & the big questions to me are where do more minutes come from and how soon before he starts?

    • I’m hoping those unforced errors go away with a stronger organizing presence in goal.

      • Atomic spartan says:

        No, this is worrying. How quickly can even a good keeper knit together an unfamiliar back line that does not even communicate well within itself – a keeper also unfamiliar with MLS in-box thuggery without decent officiating to protect him? MacMath wasn’t just lucky last night. He had the experience and the advantage of playing several matches vs. KC with a familiar but still shaky backline. MB has only his vagabond history and WC experience behind him. Hope it’s enough.

      • He just did the world cup. He probably saw the best treachery that the soccer world can handle. THE BEST DIVERS, THE SNEAKIEST PUNCHES, THE SMARMIEST WORKING OF REFS!!!
        He’ll be fine.

    • Brown’s minutes come from Cruz

      • But Danny is a winger. Brown’s minutes more likely come from a starting striker (which may be OK until they both need a blow – unless Wheeler steps up). Brown, Maidana & Noguiera on the pitch together promises a beautiful game.

      • I think they could come from Casey- if he can produce like Casey on the offensive end. By no means do I think Casey had a bad game, but he didn’t seem to have much to offer when Union didn’t have possession; seemed to be conserving himself for offense. Some of that I’m sure was by design, as Union rarely ventured over midfield stripe without the ball. But if Brown can score it’s always better to have someone who can offer some pressure on the back line so they can’t leisurely knock it around and pick out 20-30 yard passes to open midfielders. Could offer Curtin the opportunity to better manage Casey’s workload.

      • Agreed. If Brown earns the XI, who sits? And what a welcome dilemma!

      • Well, Brown could start and Casey comes on late if in need of a goal. Or if Casey starts tell him to go all out because Brown coming on no later than 60th minute for him. Something like that. It would be nice to have a surplus of MLS talent over our usual deficit, wouldn’t it?

      • Section 114 says:

        Brown gets LeToux minutes. LeToux takes Cruz minutes. ANYONE takes Carroll’s minutes. We win.

  10. In the first half I was wondering if Marrufo had left his cards in the locker room. By the end of the game I was wondering if he had placed a prop bet on the number of cautions in the game.

  11. Not Grumpy says:

    Great game. Gutsy effort to get the equalizer. The boys fought hard. So much fun to watch!
    -/-
    Did Okugo play last night? I swear I hardly noticed the guy. His move to midfield has been underwhelming based on all the hype about him being arguably our best player. I just don’t get the love affair?!?
    +/+
    Brian brown looked dangerous. He’s really going to come in handy down the stretch. FO did a great job scouting, wooing, and signing him!

    • Sporting stayed away from Okugo.

    • I agree about Okugo. He has been underwhelming so far at defensive mid (relative to the hype). I’m hoping that is a strategic move by Curtin to placate him so he’ll sign a contract extension. Also, I think it might serve the double-purpose of keeping european teams from noticing him. Okugo is no Besler. He’s not going to stay soley because of his love of the fans or the city. I just hope it isn’t a permanent move. Okugo looked like he could have a USMNT future when playing at CB.

      • Okugo is a defensive midfielder. The guy has great, not good potential, great potential. He always makes the right choice with the ball, he cycles the ball, switches fields slides in and out of position, opens for the ball…. DM is not a flashy position particularly the way Okugo plays it. It is a position of right place right decision move play terminate the opposition and he is excellent at it- even if slightly “underwhelming” since, returning to his most natural role.
        .
        Lord, the guy was playing center back on a team in total upheaval and is now in natural position and people are complaining that he is not having enough of an impact. I say Okugo generally neutralized Benny Feilhaber who is arguably the best 10 in the league.
        .
        People of Philadelphia Amobi Okugo is the best hope for this team going forward. Period.
        .
        You can be underwhelmed all you want and as I have said before, someday, we will watch him in group stage of UCL saying, ‘oh I remember when he played in philadelphia.’
        .
        The reality is I hope he goes to europe because it’s in the best interest of his career arc if he hopes to be the best possible player he can be. MLS is a nice league. MLS is not a world class petrie dish yet. That said, having Okugo at DM for The Philadelphia Union is the only and best option. The guy can flat ball.
        .
        I do not begrudge Beisler or Zusi for staying in the states as they can help grow the product here, but for players hoping to ply their skills against the best in the world— you got to take an airplane for that.

      • also to mention, there is a reason this team is playing better defensively and much more cohesive as a unit and it is not Maurice Edu- who has served the CB position well but has made significant mistakes- it is Amobi Okugo.

      • I agree that Okugo is the best hope for this team going forward, even at what you say is his best position. He’s better at both positions than anyone else we have, including Edu. But I think he’s close to maxed out his potential at CDM. His ball skills are average, and his intelligence is what’s keeping him going. It’s great that he’s intelligent on the ball, but sometimes he’s just going to need those skills that he doesn’t have. Those times are going to occur less at CB.
        .
        In short, playing center back relies more on what are Okugo’s strongest attributes than does CDM.

      • I respectfully disagree. Intelligence is what the position is all about. His ball skills and passing are definitely adequate.

      • +1

      • I really think this subject warrants a PSP roundtable article.

      • Totally agree, Joel. There was a reason why Feilhaber was so quiet last night after being on such a run of good form lately.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Let’s think about another defensive midfielder the Union have had, Brian Carroll. When are we happiest with BC? When we don’t notice him. So maybe it’s a good thing we’re not “noticing” Okugo at CDM.

      • Happiest when we notice BC on bench. He was OK last night. Happy for him to get that shot but he missed out on a sure assist.

    • Well with Okugo, he was our best player at one point and he still is one of our best players because he’s not one to make stupid mistakes that hurt us, aka (Gaddis and Carroll).

  12. Okugo does in one touch what nearly every other player does in 2 or 3 and I feel for those who are not able to see that genius to his game. He doesnt shirk responsibility of the ball. The ball comes to him and is gone in an instant- smooth, subtle unnoticed liquid like Redbeard in Madrid most always to the betterment of useable space. Simply put he plays the game in the future and sometimes that gets lost with the knuckleheads he has around him chasing the present tense. He has room to grow yes- which is why I’d rather him ply around Europe to find true ceiling. I just can’t say it enough.

  13. Andy Muenz says:

    Slightly off topic here, but apparently Edu’s been named to the all star team.
    .
    http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/news/2014/08/maurice-edu-added-att-mls-all-star-game-day-roster
    .
    Personally, I would rather have seen a Montreal player having to fly across the country midweek.

    • named to the all star team, as a defender

    • I like the guy and am happy to see a Philly player in, it would just be nice if the all-star roster reflected anything other than notoriety of players. But perhaps that’s not the purpose, so I guess I’ll settle for a season’s end best 11 for the real judgements.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I like Edu and I think he’s really helped shore up the back line. But I’d rather not see him fly across the country mid-week for a meaningless game that he may or may not actually play in and then half to fly back for the game against Montreal…All that with the prospects that he’ll be working with a new keeper behind him next game…

  14. I thought Cruz looked good, overall. He’s starting to develop a little bit of touch. If that continues, he becomes a very dangerous player.
    .
    I also thought Wenger looked very good.
    .
    The announcers were flat out horrible.
    .
    Congrats to Brian Brown on his 1st. Hopefully there are a lot more to come, all in a Union uniform.
    .
    I didn’t like the Fred-for-Noguiera sub at the end. I would’ve preferred to see Carroll come off and Pedro come on. Unless it was an issue with Nog still nursing his injury.

    • Cruz was fantastic last night. Once, he ran at 2 defenders in the middle of the field, split them with a back-forward dribble, and hit a ball with the outside of his foot to a streaking Brian Carroll. Carroll wasn’t quite quick enough to make it a 1-on-1 with the keeper, and his shot was parried away. But it was nearly a fantastic assist by Cruz.
      .
      He showed skill last night that he’s never shown before, and it’s clear his confidence is high.

      • Yes! I was stunned Cruz made that play. That was very nice.

      • I tread here carefully.
        .
        Yes Danny played well last night and yes the square ball he passed to Sheannon was stellar- too bad Sheannon’s first touch was terrible and away from goal– but I also feel Danny’s first instinct is to run unawares with the ball– and there were 2 clear moments last night that required the final pass to Le Toux then Casey (I believe) and not dribbling at 2 defenders that we laud him for taking on.
        .
        This goes back to my argument further up the table about why he is playing on the left wing. If he is that reticent to use weak foot then he shouldn’t be on the weak foot side of field. Managers use invited wingers to move play centrally and I just don’t see the need or occasion from Cruz to cut in on right- as he really only stretches the field lengthwise. He had a few chances to really shine with his vision and trust and missed them IMO- save the pass to Williams.
        .
        Again, nitpicking here, because Danny is getting better and improving and an important part of the team but the truth is he needed to feed those 2 one touch final balls for clear finishes. Viva Danny- “Getting better all the time,” as John Paul George and Ringo sang.

    • kingkowboys says:

      Cruz has improved, but there is more to develop in order to be a consistent player. His dribbling is better, now he needs to improve vision and decision making. I think he can improve both with his playing time. I would also like to see him cut back on to his right a bit more. Drive into the box, he engages contact, and this allows for him to shoot or make shorter passes. He could be a very dangerous player with some more technical abilities.

      • Hopefully his development continues. It’s been nice to see, frankly. I find Danny Cruz, as a person, very easy to root for.

  15. I agree Cruz didn’t look horrible. But let’s give credit where due. Gaddis is both our best (if inconsistent when played in the left) defender and our best player. All the work on that goal was his. On the other hand, Wenger is horrible and should be sent to Harrisburg. Bring Ribiero or McLaughlin up. Just please don’t put slow lazy Wenger out there anymore, I can’t bear to watch it. Would Montreal take him back for free? They’re worse than Harrisburg.

    • Gaddis is definitely doing great this year but lets not get carried away. His offensive play has become exceptional but his defensive play needs a lot of work. The KC goal was his fault as he was out of position trying to clear the ball….I think? Idk how a defender ends up heading the ball towards our own goal in that fashion. Personally I think he needs to be more calm in the back. Although he definitely deserves praise, hes far from being our best player. The best player reward has to go to Nogueira.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Ray Gaddis?

      • Yes Ray Gaddis. Cmon now, you think my statement is really out of line?

      • The Black Hand says:

        He might just be one of the best defenders in the MLS, when at RB. He is VERY good defending on the left, but his transition game suffers. (The poor header was a fluke and happens to everyone).

  16. A header like that doesn’t happen to everyone. He some how turned his body towards his own goal where he should have been facing away from his net obviously. Plays like this separate the men from the boys, the pros from the amateurs, plays like that don’t happen to everyone. Again, he’s been doing amazing for the union all year and we need him. Just saying he needs to work on his defending a bit.

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