Featured / Local / MLS

Sunday morning manager: Union at San Jose

When PSP runs our live commentary during away matches, we get lots of interesting comments and questions from readers. We take those comments and try to put together a list of questions that get to the heart of what Union fans want to know about the team.

And while the team played well and earned an important road point, there are plenty of questions to consider.

The much-maligned Stefani Miglioranzi received CSN’s Defensive Player of the Game Award and, y’know what, he was pretty good. It helps when the entire second half takes place in the opponent’s half, but in an unfamiliar position Migs did well.

The Question: Is Stefani Miglioranzi a long-term solution as a center back spot starter? And does this mean we can read a eulogy for his midfield career?

For all the time we spend harping about strikers, the Union perform about the same no matter who is on top. Basic stats from the San Jose match mirror the DC match.

The Question: Were the Union more dangerous with Le Toux and Mwanga up top, or was the last man to score for the Union sorely missed?

More lineup questions for the Union with Kyle Nakazawa putting in a solid performance. He didn’t look for the perfect pass as much as Paunovic, but when Le Toux got out of his way he hit two dangerous free kicks and was part of an improved defensive display from the midfield. Meanwhile, Gabe Farfan looked solid in back.

The Question: Flush with allocation money, should the Union be concentrating on a left back search or is a creative midfielder still the most team’s most glaring weakness?

Jon Busch wore a silly hat for the first half of the match. Faryd Mondragon did not emulate the San Jose goalie when it was his turn to face west. Making a suggestion for Mondragon’s second half headgear, commenter WolfmanDan said: “Mondragon will wear the actual severed head of a dragon to block out the sun, not some lame trucker hat.”

The Question: If Mondragon doesn’t have a suitable hat, should we get him one? What should it say on it?

Set pieces. The Union might as well let Sheanon Williams take a throw-in from the corner flag if Le Toux’s service doesn’t improve. Nakazawa scraped paint with a deflected shot in the second half. But even when the Union aren’t shooting on goal off of free kicks, they aren’t winning balls in the box.

The Question: What are the Union doing wrong on their set pieces? How do they fix it?

The Union earned their first point on the road and imposed their game on San Jose in the second half. But it still wasn’t pretty. As Other_Cann put it: “Guess we can say its a good game to have no defenders. since SJ has no interest in attacking.”

The Question: Was this game a step in the right direction or just treading water until reinforcements arrive in the transfer window?

Justin Mapp had a solid, if unspectacular performance. Actually, I’m not sure how do describe Mapp. He seems dangerous whenever he’s on the ball, but then he just goes on a mazy run until a third defender dispossesses him.

The Question: What adjective best describes Justin Mapp’s performance against San Jose?

The pre-game show featured a tour of Roger Torres’ apartment. As commenter Other_Cann noted: “He literally has nothing on the walls. Is that not weird?”

The Question: Is it weird that Roger Torres has bare walls? And what should PSP donate to fill some of Roger’s empty space?

Photo: Paul Rudderow


  1. Migz didn’t look terrible because of what Califf was doing. He keep falling back as a sweeper to make up for Migz. Williams on multiple occasions looked like he was trying to play both positions at once because Migz wasn’t positioning himself well.

    And as we all know, Migz on the ball hurts no matter what he is doing.

  2. I hate Migz. So much. But he was good at defense yesterday. He has always been terrible at passing but that isn’t his main role as a CB. Would have liked to see marfan start instead of mapp but a nice game for the team overall last night. We missed ruiz he would have scored.

  3. It sure seems like we still need a creative midfielder type, but honestly I feel like we have enough young pieces that we shouldn’t have gone out and gotten Ruiz and Paunvonic. Nakazawa, Daniel, Torres, both Farfans have a lot of skill to grow into.

    So getting these old pieces AND mixing and matching the lineups every week has hurt us more than helped us.

    Now we have a logjam everywhere on offense with no one really stepping up. And the worst part is, I feel like if someone DID start to step up, Nowak would just throw out a whole new midfield the next game anyway.

    • John Shields says:

      I agree about the young pieces. Whatever happens this year is gravy. But with all the players under 25 on this roster, we need to look at the next 3 years to establish a young core. Henry won’t carry NYRB for more than another year. And there is no other real threat in the East. The young talent on this team, as long as it stays in MLS, can carry the Union to a string of Division titles.

  4. Why is Migs starting at CB instead of Gonzalez?

    • Because Gonzalez only had one good game all of last season, and he clearly isn’t impressing in the reserve league. Why we’re paying him $100,000+ is an entirely different problem, but his salary doesn’t warrant a start

  5. It’s pretty clear which team won the coin toss and determined the goal they’d be attacking first. Too bad we couldn’t capitalize on Mr. Sun being in Busch’s eyes for the greater part of the first half. And, FWIW, he took it off with 10+ minutes (give or take) left before halftime. That said, I think the sun set quicker than usual in an attempt to not have Mondi in its eyes and possibly go blind.

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