Union match reports

Match report: FC Dallas 2-0 Philadelphia Union

Editor’s note: As full disclosure, Adam will be departing PSP to take a job with Philadelphia Union later this spring. 

Photo: Adam Cann

Philadelphia Union fell 2-0 to FC Dallas on a rainy evening in front of 13,326 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas Saturday evening.

Ray Gaddis replaced Matt Real in the lineup and Mark McKenzie stepped in for the injured Jack Elliott, but otherwise Jim Curtin’s lineup was the same as the one that fell to Orlando City last Friday.

The Union had two early chances to put a ball behind the Dallas backline, but could not play cleanly behind the hosts’ defense.

In the sixth minute, Dallas’ first strong attacking move went up the right behind Gaddis, forcing Alejandro Bedoya to track back and clear the ball for a corner kick.

Next, the first in a long series of failed clearances allowed Cristian Colman to put a header on Andre Blake’s net.

Borek Dockal struggled to make an impact creatively, but he laced a shot from outside the box that skimmed above Jimmy Mauer’s far post.

Dallas began taking control of the match during the latter half-hour of the first half.

In the 16th minute, Trusty played a poor ball through the center that was intercepted and Michael Barrios broke through behind the defense but couldn’t finish the play.

That began a series of breakaways for the home side. Over and over, Dallas found time on the ball and easily beat the Union’s high line.

The Union could not close down the ball early, and the home side simply dinked balls over Philly’s back line and let their aggressive 4-2-4 take care of the rest. The Union were often forced to match up in a man-to-man fashion in back, and once Santiago Mosquera began dropping off to create, Philly was unable to control Dallas’ attack.

Both Mosquera and Lamah could have dealt the Union an early blow, but were either unable to hit the target or unable to beat the outstanding Blake.

The home side was in the ascendancy, and in the 35th minute Mosquera collected a poor clearing ball from Rosenberry and found space to lash a shot at Blake’s far post that the Union goalie pushed away.

Four minutes later, Colman had time to set up under a header in the box, but his shot slapped against Trusty and Blake gobbled it up. Another four minutes went by before a poor pass through center by Bedoya led to another Dallas attack that required a lightning-quick reaction save from Blake to push the ball over the goal frame.

In the second half, Dallas nearly broke through early by playing Barrios in behind. The pacey winger’s cross skipped through the entire box without a touch.

Finally, in the 56th minute, Philly began to threaten. Picault broke up the left and popped a cross into Sapong’s path, but the snakebit striker lifted his header over goal.

Two minutes later, Docka’s cross from the right was lashed on frame by Accam, but Maurer pushed it aside. The Dallas netminder came up big again as he lifted a paw to knock Sapong’s follow-up chance wide of the goal.

Mauro Diaz entered the match for Mosquera in the 61st minute and soon he was on the board. Auston Trusty was adjudged to have hauled down his marker in the box on a corner kick, and Diaz strode to the spot to send Blake the wrong way in the 64th minute.

Jim Curtin replaced Picault with Ilsinho as the Union sought to quickly respond.

They did not.

Max Urruti, who replaced Cristian Colman in the 69th minute, became the second substitute to score when he ran onto a throughball down the left channel, rounded Blake, and slid the ball into the empty goal.

Cory Burke entered the match for David Accam, who once again failed to provide the attacking threat Philadelphia desperately needed.

A third nearly arrived for the home side moments later as Lamah played a beautiful ball across the box for Barrios. But Andre Blake moved like a hockey goalie, pushing off hard and sliding to his right to smother the powerful shot from Dallas’ winger.

Dallas continued pouring it on, and in the 83rd minute Diaz drove through the heart of the Union defense — with Bedoya nipping at his heels — and laid a stellar pass wide to Lamah, who had drifted just offside.

The match wound down with a crushing inevitability as Philly fell to yet another scoreless defeat.

The Union are back in action next Saturday at 3:30 in Talen Energy Stadium against DC United.

Lineups

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry, Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty, Ray Gaddis, Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Borek Dockal, Fafa Picualt (Ilsinho 65′), David Accam (Cory Burke 74′), C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Anthony Fontana, Warren Creavalle, Matt Real, Josh Yaro

FC Dallas

Jimmy Maurer, Reggie Cannon, Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Anton Nedyalkov, Michael Barrios (Tesho Akindele 79′), Victor Ulloa, Jacori Hayes, Santiago Mosquera (Mauro Díaz 61′), Cristian Colmán (Maximiliano Urruti 69′), Roland Lamah
Unused Subs: Kyle Zobeck, Kristoffer Reaves,Ryan Hollingshead, Carlos Gruezo

Scoring summary

FCD: Mauro Diaz — 64′ (PK)
FCD: Maximiliano Urruti — 74′ (Roland Lamah)

Disciplinary summary

FCD: Jacori Hayes — 17′ (unsporting behavior)
PHI: Haris Medunjanin — 90+2′  (unsporting behavior)

Philadelphia Union FC Dallas
 9 Shots 17
 2 Shots on Target 10
 7 Shots off Target 3
 0 Blocked Shots 4
 2 Corner Kicks 11
 13 Crosses 18
1 Offsides 4
 14 Fouls 5
 1 Yellow Cards 1
 0 Red Cards  0
 543 Total Passes 461
83% Passing Accuracy 81%
 54% Possession  46%
 41 Duels Won 64
39.1% Duels Won % 60.9%
 6 Tackles Won 16
 8 Saves 3
 16 Clearances 13

68 Comments

  1. watching dockal is a misery

    • Why not take Dockal out? What message is Jim trying to send, no pressure on the Dallas defenders, I really want to believe it’s going to turn around, it’s not, until they commit to playing all the youth. Replace the ‘regulars’ with the younger counterparts. Harris out for Jones, Dockal out for Fontana, CJ out for Burke, and get Epps some playing time.
      I can stomach losing with youth, versus losing with these no effort vets!

      • Joel Pterasaur says:

        Seriously…Accam is awful as a winger. Sapong is missing sitters. Our “playmaking” #10 can’t play a one yard pass accurately. We have a young backline, let Jones sit in front of them and destroy.

  2. Sapong would have been a Star in MLS 1.0. The poor guy.

  3. WeAreSteel2K18 says:

    I know this will be said a million times by tomorrow, but seriously, how much is enough? It’s not working.

  4. Pretty disgraceful showing. The midfield trio is not working at all. Dockal is not fitting, and Haris is being misused and taken out of the game by the opponent. Then Bedoya tries to do too much and ends up hardly being anywhere. It’s a mess.
    .
    Tonight was the first night where it looked like, maybe gave up is too strong, but they realized that what they were trying to do was not working nor was it ever going to work anytime soon. This should spell the end for Curtin, but most likely won’t. Stewart needs to fire him now before this season is totally lost.

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      If this team isn’t actually TRYING to get Curtin fired, they couldn’t be doing a better job of it.

  5. IF I HAVE TO SEE CJ FUCKING SAPONG GET ANOTHER 90 MINUTES FOR DOING NOTHING AIM AMF OGKDSOGKASDOGSKAGOASKD SO

    • Who do we have to replace him!!! Simpson ??? He’s not the major problem, but yes, he had a shitty game last night. Can’t argue that.

      • Burke

      • Burke.

        Legend has it if you say his name three times in a row he will appear in the starting lineup.

      • Do we know Burke can take on defenders game in game out? I agree. I don’t mind trying him at Striker. Wait … why not try Burke and CJ up top working off each other. Oh yea bc Curtin thinks that would be the worse idea on the face of the planet. Curtin, resign as coach now.

      • Jim can’t wrap his head around putting to forwards up top. He has no clue how to make it work. Even the few times we’ve put two up top late in the game it’s been a hot steaming mess.
        .
        Meanwhile, Parejo owned us with two up top.

  6. Games like tonight is why it would have been nice to get the youngs kids some MLS experience during the last two meaningless months of last season, instead of continuing to trot out alberg, pontius, etc. On the brightside, i guess they have lots of time to cut their teeth in all the meaningless games we’re gonna have THIS year.

    • Alberg would have been fine if they implemented him as a forward working with Sapong but no why would Curtin try that ???? He was the best scorer on the team haha. So dumb.

  7. Season is lost every day Curtin is manager. Now to watch real MLS 3.0 soccer with ATL and Zlatan

  8. el Pachyderm says:

    I rail because it helps the angst.
    .
    its the only way for me to put down the creosote railroad tie across the back, the albatross around the neck, “the thorn in my pride.”
    .
    the level and absence of fecundity. of technical and tactical dishevelment. the absence of style. there is zero success this team can ever garner that will speak to my worldview as it stands.
    .
    Just.Play.Well.
    .
    This has NEVER been about table standings. Its about expression. Its more art exhibit then results for me. Simply the game is a way of relating to the world, its a way of informing the world, this is how I or we as a group, relate.
    .
    I do not relate with this team. I do not, as it becomes more and more clear relate at any level — with any of this.
    .
    As it becomes more and more clear as we zoom further away, Vincent Noguiera and Tranquillo Barnetta operated above the coach. They were good enough with nous, deep enough intellectually and worldview strong enough to inform the play. It had ZERO to do with Jim Curtin.
    .
    This is a tough pill to swallow as I’ve realized its complete truth— so I’ve let it melt under the tongue for many years- its bitter ascerbic-ity.
    .
    One / 8th or so of a season under way and I sit, precariously, rocking back and forth right where I sit precariously rocking back and forth at every station of the cross we bare following this team at the same time every year it seems… Hoping to God it all implodes long enough a change is the only possible outcome.
    .
    If this manager is not under duress. If he is not under intense scrutiny from administration. If I hear about luck and run of happenings that are unfortunate. If I read about anything other than total failure to attain any aesthetic, let alone result, WE as a fanbase are adrift, with no star, no light, no compass to guide us.
    .
    Total mercy. Total surrender. Only I’m not surrendering. Only my tongue is not given to Mercy.

    • There seems to be no thought involved. Just banging of heads against walls. Rinse and repeat. Try, try, try again.

    • Fact of the matter is this team was more fun to watch with Nogs, Chaco and Le Toux and Conner Casey. This squad has no guts. No identity. Curtin has to go. This team is going nowhere til he’s gone.

    • I defended Curtin for years, not because I thought he was great, but because we had such obvious personnel problems that I didn’t see the point in blaming the coach.

      At this point, however, there is no arguing with El P. Barnetta and Nogueira were indeed playing beyond the coach. There is no defending Curtin. He simply has to go. That’s not all that has to happen, but that’s a necessary condition.

  9. Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

    Can’t talk about expected goals or shots in this game; the Union didn’t have many.
    The Union didn’t do much at home and against the easier part of their schedule. It only gets tougher from here.

  10. Wow, it’s almost as if Dallas had seen the Union play before and matched up a game plan against them. I didn’t think that was allowed.
    .
    Curtin makes his preset Picault sub just as he’s starting to play well. Dockal, and Rosenberry (who had a good game) for that matter, look like different, more dangerous players when Ilsinho comes in. Maybe give him a start.
    .
    Along those same lines, get CJ out for a game. I know I know, no one can fathom the things he does that are so invaluable, except scoring that is, or offensive threatening runs. In all fairness, I don’t blame him, he was never setup to succeed with how the Union play. I just can’t take another game of him posting up, falling over, complaining, then being a step slow and not moving up front.
    .
    Speaking of movement, the Union have zero. Picault and Accam either sprint forward or crowd Dockal and CJ posts up and waits for a pass.
    .
    The midfield isn’t working. I know it’s popular to blame the new guy, but Medunjanin has done nothing at all so far either. I don’t think it’s any of their faults. These are 3 guys with international pedigree and legitimate histories of success. They are not being played in the right setup for them. Maybe we shouldn’t just blindly high press and ping long balls.
    .
    Bottom line, there can be no more argument, Curtin must go. Not at the all star break. Now. The players know they can’t win in the current setup, get him out.

    • The only thing I disagree with was Rosenberry having a good game. He was awful. He repeatedly gave the ball away and was caught out of position. He did get better when Ilsinho came in, I agree. But overall on the night he was bad, though not alone.

    • Kip Leitner says:

      I’m reading you here. If the team needs a new coach, what in your mind is Curtin doing (or not doing) that a new coach would need to do in order to make a difference? The team is not scoring goals. Is that because of the players, Curtin’s coaching strategy or some combination of both?

      • I think the players are not without fault at all. The problem is that we’ve had issues for a while. The coach is the constant. The formation is the constant. The sub times (and names for the most part) are the constant. Same with the inability to adjust. The coach is most definitely a problem on this team.

      • Kip,
        1. The players aren’t moving off the ball enough. Curtin is never vocal giving guidance telling everyone to move more. I mean yell it to the players , show that you give a shit abd that you’re pissed off bc your team is sluggish and not moving enough. 2. Never changes formation. Ex. 2 forwards up top. Sapong needs help up top. He can’t do it alone. He’s not a lone striker. Curtin is too stubborn to change the formation.
        3. Certain players need to sit and certain players need to be tried on the field. Ex. Creavalle and / Jones. I’m sorry, Bedoya is not doing enough defensively or even offensively for that matter. We have no D mid in The field rn and it’s hurting us. Creavalle abd jones can defend and disrupt opposition in the middle of the pitch and can get forward and have more speed. I wouldn’t argue sitting Medijanin either quite frankly. This isn’t every solution in the book but it’s a damn start i think. I hope this clarifies somewhat why Curtin should be fired immediately.

      • Right now Curtin is letting players roam wherever they want. Our team shape is horrendous! Bedoya lives in a 15 yard strip up and down the right side, Medunjanin covers a small patch right under the center circle and never leaves, Accam is on an island because all the play is on the right and he has no LB to support him, and who knows what Dockal is doing, except for tripping over Bedoya.
        .
        All of this is the direct responsibility of Curtin. He is the voice that needs to set everyone straight and make them play positionally rather than whatever feels good at the moment.
        .
        I don’t know if anyone remembers this, but half way through preseason last year they announced that they had given up on a new formation because ‘the players just weren’t getting it’.
        .
        It is Curtin’s job to make sure the players get it.
        .
        Curtin can’t.
        .
        And we see it over and over again each week.
        .
        If you want to check out what I’m talking about go look at the FCDvPHL Boxscore tab on MLSSoccerSoccer dot com and open up the passing maps for Bedoya, Medunjanin & Dockal. Huge gaping holes. To hammer the point home even more, look at Blake’s distribution.

  11. The Chopper says:

    Watching the match tonight sparked a discussion at home as to whether we really want to return to Talen this season. Unless, I have a change of heart tomorrow, on Monday I will take the remainder of my tickets and give them to Big Brothers as a donation. Let those deserving youngsters have a day at the pitch. I just can’t see myself spending another dime on this club.

    • I’m in the same boat about my season tickets. I hadn’t thought of donating them. At least I’d feel good about something that came from the Sugarman Sh*t Show.

    • Kip Leitner says:

      Hey, If you decide to offload your tickets, can I have a couple pairs of them at reduced cost? I’m a big Union Supporter but I was laid off recently and low on money. I too, sat through a couple dull games last year, so I no what that’s about, but I don’t get out too much and like going to the stadium. kip.leitner@comcast.net

  12. Not only does Dockal look absolutely lost, but Medunjanin, so far as I can see, is just adding nothing to the team this season. The Haris of the past seems to have disappeared. Neither one of them can connect to a forward. No wonder we can’t score.

  13. Outside of the Box says:

    I didn’t watch the game yet, should I bother???

      • Outside of the Box says:

        OK, I won’t! Thanks! Goodnight all!

      • I’ll give you a recap. If you watched the past three weeks it was just like that,except Gaddis started for Real and Mackenzie for Elliot(injury). Same problems as the previous weeks, just less chances and the team was even less likely to score a goal. Mix in a porous midfield led by our most experienced trio. Add on top, a questionable call on Trusty in the box leading to a Dallas PK goal. With the usual Curtin subs at the usual times, you have the s**t show that was this evenings iteration of Union deja vu.

  14. Same shit different weekend. Start training the ticket reps on selling the sizzle because there is no steak to sell anymore. Please sell the team to someone that is willing to commit the resources to fielding a winner. WE DESERVE BETTER!

  15. 1. Blake amazing first half. Wow! Worth admission. Felt sorry about Pk. Questionable call.
    2. Trusty and McKenzie just awful. Most breakaways past McKenzie and second goal clearly trusty made no effort to help Blake. Elliott was missed. Gaddis and rosenberry struggled but not like center backs.
    3. Sapong? sorry not seeing the criticism of him. He fought hard but no support. His face told everything at end when he placed a beautiful perfect cross that was a pure gift except every other union player had stopped running. Need two strikers.
    4. Fafa subbed out surprised me unless he asked to be subbed.
    5. Coach adjustments? Game screamed for two up top. And even commentators were asking why such a high line defense when clear Dallas had faster players for thru balls. Blake kept this from being total 8 goal humiliation it deserved to be. Players and coaches let Blake down.
    6. Didn’t expect win but very disappointed at poor play.
    7. 13,000 in stands or Tix sold? Yes raining but if there were even 7,000 they were doing great job hiding from TV cameras.
    8. 4.99 a month seems too much to watch union or mls in general. Glad this game was free or I would’ve canceled.
    9. Phillies won. Union better roll heads before midmay or they lose summer fans drifting to watch a young winning team. Then September and eagles. Wonder if that 10million to move team is reduced when attendance is under 50% capacity.
    Wait, academy and Usl team and Philly market they’ll never leave? If revenue falls where do they cut first? And it is 6th sport in Philly and it ain’t in Philly so market is deceiving.
    UnionGoal

  16. 10. Bimbo blended well on away jerseys and liked Blake’s so much maybe red would be better home jersey. Dallas had better blend of logo. If we have to have bimbo want it to blend. Yes with bad team this still bugs me. So many great sponsors in Philly available plus bimbo has other brands. Why continue to take revenue hit on merch sales and losing possible fans who will NEVER wear bimbo? Money could help team especially when team playing poorly.
    11. Once again union dominated possession and total passes and over 80% pass accuracy. Blake didn’t punt. So any other words of wisdom? Give me letoux and maidana crosses and thru balls, an occasional Blake punt and Conor Casey headers over this boring possession soccer any day. Is all possession soccer bad? No, of course not but Jim Curtin version is awful. And a good counterattack can be more exciting.
    UnionGoal

    • Anyone know when the Bimbo sponsorship deal expires?

      • I think in the next year or two.
        .
        With any luck the growth of the league as a whole will initiate a little bit of a bidding war to be the new kit sponsor and lead to an infusion of some money.

    • 80% possession doesn’t mean you’re using your possession wisely. Is everyone chanting for the team to leave the city ?? Or just new ownership?

      • Not cheering for new ownership or for them to leave Chester. But reality is this owner or new one facing crowds under 15,000 will move team.
        Winning brings crowds , losing doesn’t.
        They need turn season around.

      • We need new investors, but Sugarman is sitting on his honey pot waiting until he can scrape up enough cash to develop the riverfront.
        .
        Ernie’s hands are tied $$-wise, but I’m not sure he nor Albright know how MLS works. There are deals out there to be had. We saw plenty of teams fill their squads with cheap talent that is paying off.
        .
        Jim Curtin – he is the one fans are screaming at to get out of town. You will notice he gets booed regularly now when they announce the head coach at the start of games.
        .
        Nobody wants the team to leave, but as you can see there are areas that need to be improved…

  17. Watching Strangers Play a Pick up Soccer Game………..This was one of the worst Union games ever and they have played a lot of duds. It was so painful to watch. The Union looked like they never played together as a team and met in the parking lot and formed tonights line up. …….Curtin is clueless…………

    Curtin should be fired tomorrow. Ernie needs to coach for the rest of the season and if he cant turn things around this season he should be fired. Its Ernies system and most of the current players were his draft picks and DPs and academy players. He was the “genius” that put this team together with Curtin. Dockal and Accam have been busts so far. That is on you Ernie. Fafa is looking more and more like a skinny version of Danny Cruz. Bedoya looks out of sorts and Harris seems frustrated with what is in front of him. In the words of our fearless leader SO SAD.

    • Fafa = Danny Cruz! Genius.

    • Kip Leitner says:

      Yeah, it looked to me like “pick us” soccer too. I’m trying to figure out how much of this is from our players not understanding how to play the game, how much is them not having the skill to play the game and how much is due to coaching staff not having game plan and strategy.

      One thing I saw during the game that seems to me like coaching strategy error is maybe 6 times during the game when the the Union take possession on the ball in midfield or successfully penetrate ball through the midfield. At this exact moment, Union generally have 3v4, 4v5 or 5v6. The Colorado defense is pressuring ball and falling back, trying force a bad pass.

      At this moment, in the cases I’m describing, the Union can choose to advance the ball forward in an attempt score, and risk losing the ball as they press the attack forward, — OR — they can lazily move the ball wide, or simply keep the ball, confident that they can complete a few passes in the attacking third because, for a few seconds, they have bypassed the attacking midfield of Colorado. In all these cases, the Union simply moves the ball at mediocre pace 50 yards from opponents goal, while the Colorado defense sprints back and now Union are looking at 5v8.

      Eventually, Union loses ball at throwin or on-field. Union gets satisfaction of passing ball backwards around the defense, but purpose of game is to score goals, not prove you can pass ball around defense.

      Beating the Union amounts to closing them down in midfield, because Union doesn’t have star power in scoring positions.
      Logically, the way to repair Union attack is to teach player how attacking midfield works. This is a skill that can be taught, and involves getting players out of their comfortable “back-pass” syndrome and into a more agile aggressive, visionary type of soccer needed to score goals where the passing game is fast, precise and changes direction a lot.

      I would split this 50/50 — Curtin is responsible for 50% of this but so are players. Players just not trained early enough in career on how to play fast ticky-tacky type of game, and no matter how you feel about tick-tacky as a strategy overall, you cannot score goals without this aspect of the game — fast passing, creative movement, feints off the ball, brief floods of attacking players who race back if the advantage does not develop.

      Coach is not everything here — everyone blamed Jurgen Klinsmann too for USMNT bad form — but you can see that bad form continued after new coach with USMNT because players are simply not talented enough to execute against ordinary opposition — they never learned the game properly from youth, they think too slowly on the field, dwell on ball far too much, don’t press the advantage, don’t move in support of one another. Alexi Lawless “rant” after USMNT loss to T&T pretty much applies across the board to US Soccer.

      So game — at least Union Style — is currently a more a collection of individuals and not operating like a team.

      Also, since there’s no relegation in the league, coaches and players don’t have so much incentive to be creative and experiment, try out new stuff, as a the penalty for not doing well is you’re the only game in town.

      Still fun to go watch soccer, but Union not so great now.

      • Fafa, dochal, haris, Simpson, Burke are all internationals.Bedoya formulative years abroad.
        Kinda hurts your argument about us players not learning tikitaki being problem.
        Union sucking has little to do with usmnt.
        As for pro/rel___soccer in us barely registers as a sport past high school for most Americans. Mls and USL are stronger than 5 years ago but light-years from stable enough for pro/rel. Sorry.
        And Union would have been relegated years ago and sold to different city as no one would keep them here is relegated.
        Just saying
        UnionGoal

      • i think fafa has played for the us national team, he was born in ny. i think his family is haitian

      • Kip Leitner says:

        @UnionGoal — Interesting, what you wrote — However having 5 internationals doesn’t make Union a team capable of offense, it just means that on average tikitaki breaks down after two passes and not one — and to say it again, you have to be able to pass the ball at speed quickly, changing the point of attack and direction quickly, in order to score goals. Union cannot do this. I’ve never seem them do this over the last several years.

        Let me be clear on this — I’m not favoring the tititaki style *as a whole* for the Union — just the quick ball movement aspect of it as an antidote to the Union’s generalized lethargy all over the field. Everything looks like it’s happening in slow motion. Soccer is a game of both deliberateness in defense and risk taking in offense. Hitting long balls through to CJ or to tightly marked mid-fielders isn’t getting it done. Union defenders need to get more into attack to support midfield. There’s an overall lack of demonstrated proficiency in offensive soccer — players dawdle on the ball, players don’t move early to get open, very little one-touch passing, lack of quickly taken free kicks, not enough winger-takes-ball-to-endline and slams a grasscutter back inside the penalty area (good stuff happens when you do this, too much “I can’t get the perfect cross in so I’ll back pass one more time around the defense” — and lose the ball), no no-look passes (because players don’t know where there teammates are).
        Honestly, I was playing better strategic soccer in High School than the Union is playing now. It helped that since my weigh has always been 140 pounds and I was not fast that I had to develop a serious skills-oriented, strategic game, which I continued on in College.
        I coached all the various levels up to men’s U-23 so I know what I am saying about player development. I also refereed almost 300 games up to men’s semi-pro when I was a little younger so I’ve seen the U.S. game under development for almost 40 years now, so some of these sweeping comments I’m making aren’t coming out of nowhere.

        The real kicker here though is that even with Union’s relatively low payroll, given the current roster of players, they could be playing much more skillfully than they are currently.

        If I had to reduce it to a single element, I’d say that native U.S. players’ “mind game” of how to play the sport needs an overhaul. The internationals all understand how to play the game — which is why even with their slow pace, the combination of high skill set and strategic knowledge of how to play the game makes them so much more effective on-field.
        Consider Zlatan’s first goal for L.A.. The announcers are going crazy like the goal is somehow miraculous. What did we actually see ? A power forward guesses that his partner will win a long ball forward and in the air and head it forward. He positions himself to receive the header. The ball bounces to him on a platform and he smashes it 50 yards into the goal. Most high school forwards could do the same thing half the time with no goalkeeper in the goal. What this goal shows you is not how great Zlatan is, but how poor the goalkeeper was. He was out of position because after he took the free kick he didn’t sprint back to his goal. This is basic, sandlot soccer error due to poor coaching — never learned the game properly. Of course, every 10 free kicks a keep takes, one of them will come zipping right back at you from defense header around mid-field. You’re not supposed to admire your long kick forward while its in the air, but get back in your goal. ONE THING. STAY IN FRONT OF THE GOAL.
        And Union “sucking” *is* related to USMNT style of play. Listen to Alexi Lalas after USMNT missed world cup — his main point is that the players are not *skilled* enough in the basics of the game. And that is the same problem with Union.
        To fix this, Union needs specialized player training in speeding up mental game and how players decide to move around on the field. Curtin and his training team don’t know how to do this or they would have done it by now, is my guess. The only people that know how to do this are expert coaches and tiny players like me who survived (and thrived) in the sport because getting off the bench meant learning how to play at a high level. I played center midfield for my college team. Can you believe that? A twig of a player right in the middle of the field running the show.

  18. I can’t help but wonder if the lack of effort has to do with a lack of belief. There’s nothing wrong with youth struggling. There’s nothing wrong with putting in a good shift and not getting a result. But the past few matches really seem like the youth are being youth, but the vets have lost faith in their coach. In other words, it seems like Curtain has lost the part of the locker room that knows enough to know when a situation is lost.

    I feel bad for Bedoya and Blake. While the fans should be saying “we demand better” many players, but those two especially Deserve better.

    • Phil, completely agreed, especially about B&B.
      And someone mentioned Bedoya’s car stolen several weeks ago. Was that from Talen?
      He probably could find another team easily and can’t see union doing what new England did to Nguyen.
      Blake is locked in though with recent extension, right? So whole union organization from FO to SD to coaches to players, really owe it to him and his Superman performance else EVERY week they would look worse than than that Orlando team they played last game of 2017. You know, the game that flipped the union’s season long negative goal differential to positive.
      UnionGoal

    • Lack of effort because even when they suck on the field, Jim’s not going to change anyone. Starters have no pressure of being benched. In the 60th minute, Ilsino comes on, 72nd, Burke, and hey, a kid who has 33% of our goals this year, and can bring a little life to the game can watch from the bench and gain experience by watching these proven international players dominate the midfield. If Dockal is here for the year then gone, bring in Fontana to gain some experience, can it be worse, maybe, but I’d rather get the growing pains out this year. Jones has to be given a chance as well, Harris has not added anything this year, his contract is up at the end of the year. Prepare for the future.
      The defense is only going to get better, making mistakes were expected, that’s what happens with a young group.
      We must identify a striker for the future as well, enough of getting ‘international captains ‘, get present and future talent.

      • Phil in Wilmington says:

        Agreed. Play the kids, fire sale Simpson, Dockal (aka “oops I thought you were someone else”) and Harris and buy either Bobby Wood or Terrence Boyd to play either in platoon with Sapong or in a 2 striker system. Sapong carried offensive production last season and got some deserved call ups to MNT, but he can’t be expected to be an endless fountain. If he were he’d be making DP money or in another league. He’s good, but he’s not that guy.

  19. Sapong has been awful in EVERY game this year. 2 players that should be starting are with BSFC instead. Jones is going to waste and it’s a real shame. I dunno who is more stubborn and clueless Jim Curtin or Chip Kelly.

  20. Let us all again give thanks to the Feckless 4(Jay Sugarman, Earnie Stewart, Chris Albright, Jim Curtin) for their mark of excellence in giving us yet another season of absolutely nothing resembling professional soccer. Cheap and steady as she goes fellas. Well done.
    #WeDeserveBetter!

  21. A very dispassionate report, I think Adam will be his most creative trying to put lipstick on that pig going forward.
    .
    No one played well. I see in the comments some of the apologists out for whatever player they like, but no one played well. If Dallas could shoot it would’ve been 5-0. They were clinically and methodically dispatched.
    .
    Some of you are pro/rel proponents, this is a team that would go down. Preseason the hope is fight for sixth and about 47~ points, now they’re on a pace that makes 38-40 likely. The entire team should be let go, even that groundskeeper.

  22. OneManWolfpack says:

    It’s either the Union is a black hole that sucks the talent and skill from every player that steps on the field at Talon…. OR
    .
    maybe, I don’t know, perhaps… our manager can’t fucking manage. Sorry for the language but Curtin has got to go. This is enough. This roster isn’t a 1 win in 6 games type roster.
    .
    Make the change.

  23. Didn’t watch, neither surprised nor hurt by the result. Ready for next year.

    • Wasn’t surprised at result…disappointed in play, excepting Blake of course.
      Next year? It’s April. Time, plenty of time, to turn things around if they want to.
      Of course Adam just got hired so maybe you meant Adam needs a year to educate them before they turn around?
      UnionGoal

  24. REPLACE THE COACH NOW…

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