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Talkin’ ’bout stuff…a dour Union

Holy crap. That was bad. Really bad. Toronto FC bad. Robbie Findley bad.

But all is not lost.

Six points from three games is still an impressive haul and, with Pink Cows up next, the Union will quickly have another test of their mettle.  Given the truly awful nature of the Union’s performance in LA, the coverage and commentary on the match has been extremely thorough. I would only like to re-emphasize a few points, so as to not be absurdly redundant.


Last week I wrote that Miglioranzi looked more done than a T-bone steak after 45 minutes on the grill. If that was how he looked then, I’m out of carnivorous similes to describe his performance over the weekend.

Something is truly wrong in the back room of the Union compound if Migs gets another start anytime soon as he simply did everything he could to gift possession, goals and ultimately the victory to the Galaxy. When players continue to put in the kind of dreadful performances that Migs has done, the responsibility falls on the manager to remedy the situation. At a certain point, it stops being on the player—if he’s just not good enough he needs to be sat down. Even up a man on Saturday, Nowak failed to recognize a clear problem and so let it fester, ultimately costing his team a chance at claiming at least one valuable point on the road.


El Pescadito. His laziness. And his selfishness.

All of which takes away from Danny Mwanga’s development.

Ruiz needs a week off. Maybe longer, but please, let’s start with this week.

Danny’s not a winger. He shouldn’t have to learn to play wing, because he is already a good striker with all the makings of a great one. While we’re at it, does anyone need to be reminded that Le Toux was a failure as a winger with Seattle? Sebastien Le Toux, the winger, was left unprotected in the expansion draft. Sebastien Le Toux, the striker, should have won the MLS MVP in 2010.

In signing Carlos Ruiz and insisting on inserting him between the team’s dynamic duo from 2010, the Union have turned a strength into a weakness, effectively nullifying their two greatest attacking assets. Relegated to the wings, both players are struggling to make a consistent impact and, for now, the Ruiz experiment is one that must be abandoned.

Besides, he’s not even fit. How about 15-30 minute cameos late in a game, when the Union are pressing but need a breakthrough? Ruiz can park his Jazzy Power Chair in the six-yard box and poke rebounds into the back of the net.  That said, I’d still rather see McInerney logging those minutes. Which brings me to point number three.


Sadly, due to a absolutely ridiculous refereeing decision, Jack McInerney will not be available to clash with the Cows.

Let’s take a minute on that one. Here’s the sequence of events I saw, correct me if I’m wrong.

Galaxy striker Chad Barrett launches himself into a studs up, Matthieu Flamini Special tackle, ensuring that he gouges the young Union attacker. Were it not for the springy athleticism of the young McInerney, he easily could have suffered a SERIOUS injury. Even so, he is flipped ass over tea kettle, landing awkwardly on his face and shoulder.

It was a red card challenge, no question about it.  If a yellow card had been awarded, we would have been upset, but tolerated it. But no foul? Nothing?

Had that the end of it, it would have been a disastrous refereeing decision. But that wasn’t the end of it. To compound his sins, Barrett went after McInerney once the striker miraculously regained his feet.

When the red card was shown, it seemed that Barrett had gotten his just desserts for a truly cynical and violent act. When the ref turned the card to the Union No. 19, I could have torn out enough hair to play for the Galaxy (take that Golden Balls and Landypants).

Short of spitting on Barrett or striking him in the face, there is NOTHING McInerney could have done in that melee that deserved an ejection. And let me take this opportunity to join the multitudes in saying “Thank You” to cameraman and people in the production booth for missing the entire exchange. Combine the sending off of the Union man, with Barrett walking away free and clear, and you have the single most backward refereeing decision I can EVER remember seeing.

I feel like I’m taking crazy pills

The simple removal of Ruiz from the formula brings Le Toux and Mwanga backs together and allows the Union to add another weapon in the midfield to provide width and control in the possession game. Assuming Justin Mapp is healthy to return to the left wing against the Pink Cows, why not give Michael Farfan the opportunity to stretch his legs on the opposite touchline? Removing Migs and sliding Nakazawa into the middle of the formation allows him to play a more comfortable position. Given Nakazawa’s defensive strengths, the Union would still have two strong ball-winners in the middle of pitch and Nakazawa would have more room to show off his ability to distribute.


Is it just me or are others becoming concerned that Nowak is as secretive with his players as he is with the media and fans of the club? I watched the game in a loud and crowded bar and still felt as if I knew what was going on better than the Union’s midfield and forwards, combined. Whatever changes are made, they’re meaningless if the players don’t know their roles through and through.

Every week, the PSP staff gets me riled up to spout off about this and that and we’ve decided to make my ramblings something of a feature on the Philly Soccer Page  so that a chronicle will exist of the events leading up to my inevitable meltdown.  Since I try to be constructive in my criticism and analysis (insofar as the relative level of my sanity will allow), I’m going with the working title, “Talkin’ ’bout stuff…” for these entries. Any input on a better title would be much appreciated in the comment area or via email to epstorch@phillysoccerpage.com


  1. Wait, Michael or Gabriel? The Farfan with 0 minutes or 27? I’m also curious to hear someone’s thoughts on Keon Daniel – other than his hair. I thought he looked sharp on Saturday.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      I liked Daniel. I wonder if left mid is his natural position or if he can play on the right as well. With lots of international experience (and 8 goals in 46 appearances) he makes more sense to me as a smoother, ready-to-go-now fit at outside mid than some of the younger guys.

  2. Why do you gotta bring Matthieu Flamini into this? lol I’m just kidding his tackles are atrocious as well , But in all seriousness something needs to be done to Chad Barrett by the MLS, a fine, a suspension, something!! And Jack’s red card needs to be removed, I do not care if thats impossible, make it possible because Barrett is so damn lucky Jack was able to get up and walk away from that challenge. Something needs to be done whether its by the fans, ex. sending the video to the MLS even though you can barely see it because the crappy camera work, or the Union need to say something. Chad Barrett got away with murder with that slide tackle it was horrifyingly dangerous. Once again Eli you are spot on, why fix something that works? (Mwanga and Le Toux as strikers) If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!!!

  3. Eli, get out of my head man!! It’s like you’ve channeled my every thought except you’ve made my screams of WTF into articulate and coherent arguments.

    Thank you.

  4. I agree with everything but your third point. Sure the ref was garbage all game long and Barrett absolutely deserved to get a card BUT Jack Mack got what he deserved for retaliation…I watched the game through the direct kick broadcast and if you pay attention to the replay you will see that Jack went after him and put his hands on Barrett…I would not blame the ref for tossing him but rather put the blame on a young player who should have known better

    • Yeah. As I said, it was nearly impossible to tell on the Comcast broadcast how the two came together. It’s tough luck on Jack, but if he lashed out and put his hands on Barrett, then that’s an ejection. He needs to be in better control of himself.
      Still cannot understand how Barrett makes the tackle, then initiates the confrontation and emerges scot free.

  5. I like your lineup for the Bulls game. Any word yet on Mapp’s injury? If he is a no go, how about subbing Daniels for Mapp…

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