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Match report: Union 1-0 Everton

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union

Everton FC traveled all the way from Liverpool to sleepwalk through a friendly against the Philadelphia Union Wednesday night. Union academy player Christian Hernandez lashed home a loose ball in the box in the 88th minute to give Philadelphia a deserved victory over Everton on a muggy night at PPL Park.

Everton’s American goalkeeper, Tim Howard, did not dress for the match. He could have manned the pipes in his suit for all the action the netminders saw in a dreary match.

Everton could only muster three first half shots – none on net – and looked as dangerous as the New England team Philadelphia dispatched with ease on Sunday.

Danny Mwanga had the first opportunity of the first half when he headed directly at Everotn goalie Jan Mucha from the edge of the six.

As chants of “Where’s Tim Howard” echoed through PPL Park, the Union continued to push. Justin Mapp’s shot deflected off Danny Mwanga and fell to Amobi Okugo, who hit Roger Torres. The young playmaker beat two men and fired high over the net.

Torres and Okugo were impressive running the center of the midfield, but it was three other young players who put together a world class combination play in the 21st minute. Sheanon Williams collected on the right of midfield and played to Mwanga at the bottom of the center circle. Mwanga laid off for Jack McInerney who deftly touched it into space for a marauding Williams to run onto. Williams took a touch and hit Mac and he tried to thread in a weaving Mwanga, only to see the pass deflected. Truly, it was impressive stuff.

Zac MacMath exited the Union net at the half without making a single save.

The second half saw more of the same. The Union added Zach Pfeffer to the mix early in the latter frame; he was quickly followed by academy members Christian Hernandez and Jimmy McLaughlin.

Pfeffer had three chances to get on the board, but it was Hernandez who blasted home a pinball to send Everton to the defeat they so roundly deserved.

More to come, but Union fans should be proud of their team’s effort against an English Premier League side that seemed determined to waste everybody’s time.

17 Comments

  1. Sleepwalked through the game was dead accurate. Everton should have stayed in Liverpool if they want to walk around the pitch. They sat back in a shell like it was a Champions League game against Barcelona. Overall, it was good to see the young Union players come through, but it was just a poor game all around.

  2. How bad was Leighton Baines? Even the Everton supporters we were sitting with were getting angry at how easily he was beaten on 4 or 5 occasions.

    • He can’t defend he is in there for attacking… One of the younger Union players made him fall at the end…Do you think Everton really played? It looked like the gave up.

  3. With his new desire to get forward, should we start calling Valdes “Der Kaiser”?

  4. I don’t see these friendlies as an opportunity to run out against an “upper echelon” team from Europe – as a litmus test for how the Union compares – but rather as a way to showcase the younger guns on the team for all those who may not have the chance to see them play live. Yeah, Everton could’ve put in a bit more effort, but I was there to see the kids play and was thoroughly impressed with the likes of Hernandez (looking through goal-colored glasses), Pfeffer, McLaughlin, and Richter. The future of the club is so bright, I gotta wear shades.

  5. Definitely not a fan of these friendlies…disappointed to see the Union in our away jerseys at home against the toffees. I know we wore them at home before but that was to debut the new look. Its our home we should be wearing our home jerseys not cater to a second rate EPL team. Glad no starter got hurt…

  6. Andrew Desiderio says:

    Academy players were on point last night. Coming from someone who isn’t the biggest fan of Torres, he put in quite the performance. I think it can be attributed to the role he was allowed to play and the freedom he was granted to roam wherever he wanted on the pitch. Torres can be a real asset on the team when someone else is able to pick up his defensive responsbilities (although he even made a few tackles last night)

    • Andrew Desiderio says:

      On a side note: I’m sure we all know idiotic Red Bull fans who still try and claim that they are better than the Union…but after the Rapids quite frankly embarrassed them last night I’m not sure there is much else left to argue. Tim Ream (All-star, I support him when on the USMNT) looked terrible last night while anyone at the game last night could vouch the Valdes was dominating the Everton forwards while his partner Sheanon was marauding down the flank and shutting down one of the top-rated LBs in the EPL. DC also just lost to NE somehow with Charlie Davis doing his best impression of Carli Lloyd from the spot. It’s a good time to be a Union fan.

    • When you say, “the role he was allowed to play,” I think it’s important to note that, more than anything the Union did, it was Everton that allowed Torres and everyone else who wandered onto the pitch to play in acres of space.

      • Everton didn’t start out the game allowing “arces of space.” They pulled back their pressure after the early part of the game. You can attribute that to “sleepwalking” if you want, but I think our strong play forced them to back off.

  7. PhillyHotspur says:

    Truly shocking to see the club control possession and dictate the tempo of the game vs Everton and most of their starting 11.

    I truly think that Nowak finally has the optimal formation on the flanks that really enable the club to leverage their speed and work some lovely passing via that diamond formation.

    Williams………………FarFan
    ……Mapp……………KeonW

    Lovely Flank that we should continue to see flourish…….GS

  8. Everton did not appear to be in a playing mood last night. Their fitness was obviously not there yet. However, they sure got agitated during the game. I think more than anything they came out thinking that they could beat the Union with one leg behind their back. They were wrong.

    The Union put on a great performance even though a lot of the starters were not playing. Their possession was excellent. But possession without more is not enough. The Union should have created more opportunities and converted them into goals.

    Mawanga, I don’t know if this kid is thinking too much or not thinking at all, but he is taking too much time on the ball. Mapp had a great opportunity but also took too many touches and the opportunity quickly vanished. And that’s the difference between EPL and MLS: Too many touches, too much time on the ball. EPL is faster, and the players are more technically gifted.

    Overall, I had a great time watching. Especially, since other MLS teams, NE and Seattle, are simply being destroyed by Man U. I hope the Union can walk away with its head high on Saturday against Real Madrid. I don’t expect a win, but a score sheet of 0-7 is ridiculous. GO SOUNDERS!!!!

  9. I think too many people are going on about how we can compete with top EPL teams based on this performance. Not to be too negative as it was a great performance but Everton looked completely uninterested, it was like a training session for them. I think in a competitive game were both sides are fit we would then see the difference in class. However as someone else has already said the youngsters look fantastic. Hope we can keep them from going to the likes of Everton who have a had a chance to see them play

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