Union / Union match reports

Philadelphia 1 – 1 Kansas City

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Once again, a major gaffe by Chris Seitz kept the Union from a clean sheet and a much needed victory as they drew 1-1 with Kansas City. After dominating the game for 70 minutes and after a great goal from Sebastien Le Toux, Seitz failed to set up his wall properly and then allowed Danny Arnaud’s free kick to swing over his head into the goal. The goal seemed to deflate the Union and they failed to create many more chances after the game was tied. It is another disappointing result when the Union really deserved all three points.

Philadelphia started brightly and were on the front foot early. A deflected Stefani Miglioranzi shot rang off the post in the 26th minute before Le Toux put the Union ahead with his 10th goal of the season on 33 minutes. Jordan Harvey started the play with a great tackle near the midfield line, where the ball fell to Justin Mapp. Mapp played the ball through in the left channel to the onrushing Danny Mwanga. Mwanga drove the ball forward into the box and flicked a beautiful pass with the outside of his right foot into the path of Le Toux, who finished first time. It was a terrific goal and fully deserved from the home side. The rest of the half played out fairly evenly with no major chances to either side.

Roger Torres’ introduction after half time seemed to spark the Union, and they were once again in full attack mode. Justin Mapp had a great chance in the 53rd minute after some great work by Mwanga. But his left footed drive from a difficult angle was saved well by man of the match Jimmy Nielsen. Just one minute later, it was Nielsen to the rescue again as Mwanga came in on goal and forced another great save from the Kansas City keeper. But once again, the Union failed to keep a clean sheet when Danny Arnaud’s free kick from the corner of the 18 yard box swung over Seitz’ head and into the upper corner. The goal sucked the life out of the Union, and a 2nd goal seemed out of reach even after the introductions of Jack McInerny and Alejandro Moreno.

How long do we have to suffer with Chris Seitz?
Untested almost all game, Seitz failed terribly when he was called upon. The Union fans have been waiting for this guy to make one game-saving stop all season, and it repeatedly doesn’t happen. He seemed distracted with the way the wall was set up (which is his responsibilty as well) and took a step forward before realizing Arnaud’s cross was swerving over his head. After Brad Knighton’s terrific performance on Wednesday, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the start in Chicago this week. In their first season, mistakes were to be expected from the Union. But you have to believe at this point, Seitz has thrown away probably close to 10 points by himself. If Seitz is to be a great goalkeeper in the future, the Union should bring in someone with experience to nurture the youngster next season.
How many holding midfielders can you start?
I was happy to see Amobi Okugo in the starting lineup, as his performances have gotten stronger all season. But with Migiloranzi and Jacobson on the field as well, the Union basically started three holding midfielders. Jacobson technically started out wide, but his game is suited toward playing in a holding role. Roger Torres was a positive substitution, as he is definitely more of an offense-minded midfielder. But I thought starting Migs, Okugo and Jacobson was overkill against a Kansas City team that has scored the 2nd fewest goals in the league. It would have made more sense to start Torres and bring in Jacobson after taking the lead.
We Need Width
Justin Mapp was really the only outside midfielder to start the game, and he is far from a traditional winger. Jacobson offered little in the way of width and the outside backs have proven all season they do not provide the runs or the service the team needs on the outside. Hopefully Shea Salinas makes his return sooner than later. Do you know who would have made a great choice in the expansion draft? Bobby Convey.

Player Ratings

GK Chris Seitz –  2

Once again, fails to make a big save when the team needs him to. Let’s cut our losses and ditch him.

CB Danny Califf –  7

Solid in the center of the park. Anchored the defense to probably one of their strongest efforts all season.

CB Juan Diego Gonzalez –  7

Solid outing for Gonzalez as well. Strong in the air and made some timely tackles. Golf ball sized welt on his head was extremely impressive.

LB Jordan Harvey –  7

Decent game for the much maligned left back. Had a nice tackle that led to the Union goal. Still provided little in the way of service though.

RB Michael Orozco Fiscal – 6

Had a great tackle on scoring chance by Ryan Smith. But seemed to have difficulty shutting Smith down the rest of the match, resorting to fouling him repeatedly.

RM Andrew Jacobson –  5

Largely ineffective starting on the wing. Subbed off at halftime.

CM Stefani Miglioranzi –  6

Had a shot from distance that deflected off the post. Decent in the defensive midfield, but I’m not sure there is room for him when Okugo starts as well.

LM Justin Mapp –  6

Nice pass to Mwanga that set up Le Toux’s goal. Had some decent runs on the flanks and offered some width in the midfield.

CM Amobi Okugo –  6

Started strong and was solid in the first half, both in his tackling and distrubtion. Seemed to fade as the game went on.

F Danny Mwanga – 7

Solid outing for the rookie. Great play to set up Le Toux’s goal and was effective in possesion all day.

F Sebastien Le Toux – 7

Another goal for the hardoworking Frenchman. Was his usual, industrious self.  Really struggled with dead balls again, should probably give up the responsibility.

Subs

Roger Torres 6

Came on just after half time. Saw more of the ball than Jacobson but didn’t put his stamp on the game.

Jack McInerney 5

I think we were all expecting another goal after his terrific finishing the last two games. But failed to really find space with Le Toux and Mwanga both still on the field.

Alejandro Moreno N/A

Got on for the last 7 minutes and didn’t make an impact.

(Photo: Paul Rudderow. For more photos, see http://www.flickr.com/groups/phillysoccerpage/pool/with/4959074062.)

12 Comments

  1. I have supported Chris Seitz in many instances this year as the defense has been particularly sub par. I can not do that anymore. During a free kick in the first half I saw Le Toux setting up the wall instead of Seitz. The free kick that was really a lucky cross that Arnaud understandably claimed to be on purpose was horrendous. High school keepers could have stopped that as one of the earliest lessons for young keepers is to over compensate when backing up. The replay is actually quite funny because the ball is moving so slow and Seitz is just kind of staring at it with his mouth open instead of back pedaling faster to get the ball. Knighton should start against Chicago. Also I think we learned from today that Roger Torres is better suited to a wide position. He seemed to be playing in the middle more today and seemed a bit lost and his physical weakness showed. If I was not worried about Okugo losing his GA status I would say he starts ahead of Mig and Jacobson from now on. I just do not understand the 3 central holding midfielders who started today? Why did Torres not start? I was there early and saw Shea Salinas doing warm and laps around the field. He looked good and I hope to see him saturday.

  2. I agree, Mike- How long do we have to suffer with Chris Seitz? Seitz is bush-league amateur time! Orozco and Okugo were guilty of some minor mental lapses late on but as a whole we played fairly well….except Seitz! Nowak has to yank the turkey! GO UNION! Seitz – GO HOME!

  3. Seriously, how does any defense unit get high marks (3 7s and a 6) when there is a goal like that at the end. If the d-line was doing their job we wouldn’t have to worry so much about Seitz making the big plays.

    Look at Ricketts in LA, he plays great but when his line lets him down (see the last 4-5 games), he gets scored on. Its the way it works in soccer. You guys are way too down on Seitz for this, it wasn’t all his fault.

    • Mike Servedio says:

      I thought it was actually one of the Union’s best defensive efforts all season, from the defense all the way to the strikers. How many really good chances did KC really have? I thought the foul that led to the KC goal was cheap and unnecessary (was it Califf?) for sure, but in the end, that goal is on Seitz. He is wrong footed and judges the ball wrong and it goes straight over his head. And yes, every keeper is given a few of these in a season, but we’re well past a few.

  4. I would like to share a quote from goal.com of Chris Seitz after the game.
    “I feel like we let one go,” the former Real Salt Lake backup said. “I’ve gotta raise my hand and say it was my bad. Davy Arnaud whipped in a good ball, and it caught me off-guard.”
    His defense had one of its best showings of the year. I find it highly unlikely that Arnaud intended that to be a shot and far more likely it was a screwed up cross. In the replay Seitz has a ton of time to react quickly and short of being high I can not understand how he was caught off guard when he had that much time to back up. I am being hard on him here, but the tone I get from what he said after the game is not taking enough responsibility for his fuck up and seems to lack commitment or care for how much he screwed over his team. I have gone from a Seitz supporter to one step from calling for his head in the past week.

  5. This really maybe the tipping point as far as Seitz. For 70 minutes that was, without question, some of the best play from the backline as a unit (althought Harvey’s lack of pace is a bit disturbing).

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