Player ratings

Analysis and player ratings: Union 1-2 Red Bulls

Photo: Michael Long

It’s official, the Union have a midfield problem.

Not that this comes as news to anyone who has watched the team over the first 360 minutes of the 2013 season.

But with Keon Daniel unavailable for selection in the starting XI following international duty for Trinidad & Tobago and Gabe Farfan on the shelf through injury, John Hackworth was short on options.

Selection woes

That he was short on options this early in the season is an issue in itself, considering that while Daniel has showed spurts of quality at left midfield, he has done little to suggest that he should be an automatic selection. Only a month ago, Hackworth’s other option, Gabe Farfan, wasn’t even considered for midfield duty, having been penciled in as the Union’s starting left back.

With neither player available, should Hackworth have wanted to continue with his recently preferred 4-4-2, it seemed likely that Michael Farfan would again play out of position on the left flank to accommodate Danny Cruz on the right, leaving the center of the pitch to Michael Lahoud and Brian Carroll. For all Hackworth has spoken of his side’s ability to change formations based on a given opponent or situation, Saturday afternoon could have been the time to try something new.

But when Lahoud lined up opposite Cruz to compromise the Union’s wide options, it was apparent that the Union would again struggle in the battle for possession, territory and ultimately scoring chances.

Lack of flank chemistry

Throughout their brief history, the Union have been a side that puts little stock in width. Whether it was Peter Novak at the controls or more recently Hackworth, midfield selections have shown a preference for central midfield types. In years past, both managers were able to survive with a narrow attack because of support from aggressive, overlapping fullback play.

Four matches into 2013, those days seem a long time ago.

Despite being moved outside to the wing, Lahoud failed to change his style of play, sitting deep almost alongside Ray Gaddis. When the Union won possession in the center of the pitch with the ball on Carroll or Farfan’s foot, it quickly became apparent that there would be no left-sided option, a fact that was not lost on the Red Bulls. Eric Alexander rarely felt any reason to retreat in defense while Kosuke Kimura held a high line, considering he was never challenged, even after he crossed the midfield stripe. With Lahoud sitting so perilously deep, Gaddis was pinned behind him and found it difficult to move forward and go marauding up the wing, looking for attacking opportunities.

On the opposite flank, the combative duo of Heath Pearce and Johnny Steele easily saw through Cruz’s “bull in a china shop” approach to wing play, cutting off any supply line to the winger by simply staying goal side. It is the most basic form of defense, yet until Cruz proves that he can beat his man on the dribble or make a quality forward pass in the final third, no fullback will show him much respect. On the rare occasions where Cruz found himself in space, his driving runs were too easily cut out.

Not only does this have obvious ramifications when it comes to service into the box, it also appears to be affecting Sheanon Williams’ ability to join the attack. Cruz’s high line play doesn’t allow for Williams to stay close enough to link with his midfielder, and there often is not enough time for Williams to make up the gap left between them.

Le Toux as creator

With Sebastien Le Toux and Jack McInerney rising to the top as Hackworth’s preferred pair of strikers, the veteran of the duo has had to change his game. No longer the lone target up front whose sole purpose was to scamper in behind, Le Toux has more often than not dropped in behind McInerney, looking for touches on the other side of the defense. In theory, having a withdrawn striker to hold up play and help take some of the playmaking responsibilities off of the Union’s flagging midfield makes sense. And while Le Toux’s hold-up play is much improved from years past, his first touch and passing remain a glaring weakness in his game.

In 2011, it would have been extremely surprising to see Le Toux taken out of any game, yet he has already failed to go the full 90 in two of the Union’s four matches in 2013. While his substitution in Colorado was injury-related, his removal at Red Bull Arena was based on form. Not only was Le Toux on a different page from Farfan and McInerney, he was struggling with the most simple passes, completing only 8 of 16 on the day, while failing to carve out space for himself throughout the match.

For the Union to have success with this pairing down the road, either McInerney will have to continue his development by sharing more of the midfield workload, or Le Toux will have to raise his game and improve his touch, making him a more valuable asset in the team’s build-up play. Otherwise, a much anticipated Casey/McInerney duo may not be far off on the horizon.

Player Ratings

Zac MacMath – 5

Showed eagerness and aggression coming off his line, while remaining clean in the air. There was nothing he could have done on either goal.

Sheanon Williams – 4

Struggled to contain the less than world-beating Johnny Steele and never got forward into the attack. While the lack of chemistry between Lahoud and Gaddis can be understood given the circumstances, the complete lack of cohesion between Williams and Cruz cannot be explained away so easily.

Amobi Okugo – 5

Was on pace for a higher rating until he lost Henry for the match-winner. Still put in a strong defensive shift, clearing the ball from danger on numerous occasions. In the attacking third, his improved aerial presence could become an important option for the Union, as he got his head to two corner kicks.

Jeff Parke – 5

Positionally solid, Parke’s veteran presence offers a big lift to the Union backline, as he always seeks out the tough assignments. Done for pace on two or three occasions when Cahill and Luyindula looked to cut in behind.

Ray Gaddis – 3

Drastically hindered by Lahoud’s lack of comfort out wide, Gaddis struggled to impose himself on the match. While four games is still a small sample size, Gaddis has not shown enough improvement on the left.

Danny Cruz – 2

For all his running, Cruz can claim little effect on either side of the ball. This is typified on New York’s first goal when Cruz over-pursued into the corner, leaving his man, Steele, wide open with time and space on the return pass to play in the dangerous ball for McCarty. With a heavy touch that let him down with regularity, Cruz could have been sacrificed sooner.

Michael Farfan – 4

With precious few options available to him in the midfield, Farfan was forced to try and curl the final ball over the top. He nearly pulled it off with a few sensational attempts to both McInerney and Hoppenot. But as has been the case with Farfan previously this season, the glimpses of excellence were outweighed by the moments of frustration and poor judgement.

Brian Carroll – 4

The Union captain is suffering through a rough opening to the 2013 campaign. After all, it is his unit, the midfield, that has been the glaring weak spot for the Union thus far. Carroll must not only perform better personally, but he must come out of his shell and become a vocal, dominant leader for his side—such is the weight of responsibility that comes with donning the armband.

Michael Lahoud – 3

One quality shot late in the match does not forgive the fact that Lahoud spent the first 61 minutes playing as a second full back next to Gaddis. Not that he should have ever been put in the position, but he offered nothing going forward.

Sebastien Le Toux – 3

Was let down by his touch all over the field. His corners may be improving, but if his work in open play does not join his set piece delivery, the decision to replace him as a starter will become much easier.

Jack McInerney – 5

Chances were few and far between, yet McInerney continued to move well and show hunger on set pieces. Manages to get his head on far more crosses than most would expect from a player of his stature. At 20 years of age, McInerney must keep up that desire and not let the inevitable frustration fight its way to the surface.

Substitutions

Conor Casey – 6

Opened his Union account on what amounts to an inbound play, before throwing his body around with Olave. His body blow to Robles in stoppage time will add spice to the next meeting between these sides.

Antoine Hoppenot – 5

Showed his regular effort, but with the Red Bulls defense hardly pressed into action in the first hour, his effect was minimized. Could have grabbed a second goal for his side moments after Casey’s opener but delayed too long after holding off Holgersson, allowing Robles to cut off his angle.

Keon Daniel – 4

Brought in to help see out the draw, Daniel failed in his task to keep the ball, though he was not at fault in any part of Henry’s winner.

Geiger Counter

Silviu Petrescu – 4

New York must LOVE all that home cooking.

Preferred lineup for Saturday’s trip to Columbus

4-3-3

MacMath; Williams, Okugo, Parke, G. Farfan; Carroll, Daniel, M. Farfan; Hoppenot, Casey, McInerney

95 Comments

  1. JediLos117 says:

    Pretty fair if not kind…we showed our inexperience and inability to close out a game.
    .
    An quality composed side would have preserved the tie.

  2. You mean Le toux has a terrible touch, is incapable of finding (or delivering) a pass, and is struggling when asked to do something more than chase down longballs!?
    WHO WOULDA GUESSED!
    Such a shame, Jack can do all Le Toux can and more. Too bad we created a problem at striker when we didn’t need to (unless LT can be a good trooper and sit on the bench happily while Jack/Casey take over the starting jobs as they should).

    • The Black Hand says:

      Casey needs to be in the starting XI. I would interchange LeToux and Mac, as a compliment to Casey. With our midfield being worthless, we need a big,bruising body up top. Casey is a force on set plays, which may be our only threat to score.

    • This is so spot on. It’s compounded by the fact that the other team drops deep and knows the Union aren’t going to be able to create anything in front of them.

  3. is it possible that this team is less exciting than last year?

    • PhillyHotSpur says:

      lol

      I really thought it would be impossible to duplicate last year’s snoozefest

      But the team is basically the same

      Adu out / Letoux In

  4. I don’t disagree with any of these except that maybe LeToux’s (his worst match in a Union shirt ever) and Petrescu’s both could have even been lower.

    Regarding Petrescu, I loved when Robles recovered from Casey’s big hit in the 6 and then took the free kick at the top of the box, effectively stealing 12 yds. Then a few minutes later, Petrescu made MacMath retake a freekick because he stole an extra few yards. Very consistent officating.

    • I thought the refs were fairly inconsistent for both sides and for Hackworth to cry in his press conference about not getting a foul on Henry’s goal while at the same time pressing the “Philly tough” narrative for our style of play is pretty lame.

    • FYI – any free kick in your defensive box, whether it is a foul or offside can be taken anywhere inside the box – so he is allowed to steal that yardage.

      • Don’t remember seeing that in Law 13. Any idea on where I can find that provision?

      • Not other than just hearsay and experience sorry.

      • Richie The Limey says:

        Law 13 – FIFA Laws of the Game

        – a free kick awarded in the goal area may be taken from any point inside that area

        You owe Barry a pint.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        That’s the goal area, not the penalty box.

      • So who owes who a drink?

      • Andy is correct, that law pertains to the goal area or commonly known as the 6 yd box. The foul on Robles occurred in that generally vicinity, but Robles took the free kick from just outside the penalty area.

      • Interesting if it is a law being commonly misapplied then – i haven’t looked at the rules but always thought that it was any FK in the penalty box can be taken anywhere in it (unless it is a penalty).

      • Josh for da U says:

        goal kick can be took any where in the goal area but not an indirect free kick cant be moved

  5. For all the purging Hackworth has done of anything and everything associated with Nowak, one thing he hasn’t gotten rid of is “favoritism”… Cruz and Lahoud are not starters

    • Neither are Carroll and Gaddis.

      • Richie The Limey says:

        Erm… Just what are you expecting from Carroll? Do you in fact understand the role a holding midfielder has? I think not.

      • Wait? Carrol is supposed to turn the ball over?

      • Carrol has been useless as a holding midfielder. He doesn’t link-up with the wings, he doesn’t really hold the ball…he contributes nothing to the offense and he’s just adequate on D. This was his best game this season and he still gets a (deserved) 4.

      • JediLos117 says:

        Good luck with that around here…Carroll (and his role) is misunderstood and targeted with venom on this site.
        .
        He did have 45 successful passes (most on team) this past weekend (9 unsuccessful) and more than half of them were out wide and went either laterally of forward.
        .
        He was also not responsible for either of the goals.

    • I would argue that Lahoud should be starting in place of Cruz if need be, but I agree that neither should start. I don’t even consider Cruz to be in the top 14 of the team. Casey, Daniel (even a tired Daniel), Torres, Soumare (with Okugo up to mid) would all be better options. Cruz brings nothing, and Saturday it was painfully obvious how little he actually contributes to the game. I blame him 100% for the first goal, regardless of what else anyone could have done to help. Lahoud was good off the bench as an outside mid (he took over for Cruz in that game) but that doesn’t mean he can play it. If he got that job because of his good form why is Aaron Wheeler not in the 18 after his performance against Pumas? Fernandes was not as good in that game and he suited up Saturday.

  6. I think for what it was worth this was one of Zac’s better games in goal this year. There was nothing he could have done about either goal and I haven’t seen him do anything terribly wrong. I think he 5 wasn’t a Zac Macmath 5 but a fuck you Union for stealing 2 hours of my life 5.

  7. Southside Johnny says:

    I think you covered all the bases except subbing Daniel for Mac “to hold the tie”. How does this make any sense? Lousy defender for a late goal scorer?

    • The Black Hand says:

      Keon does a decent job of maintaining possession and slowing down play, allowing time for something to develop…usually. Unfortunately, neither of which happened on Saturday. I can’t fault Hackworth for that sub.

      • As I said before given the current state of the midfield I would have Keon start. He is the only one (assuming Torres doesn’t exist) who has the ability to thread a ball to the forwards.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Only trouble with Keon starting is; if he has a ‘no defense’ Keon game, there is far to much pressure on Righty Ray Gaddis.

      • well somebody has to try and get the ball to the forwards. can’t rely on throw ins and set pieces all the time

      • The Black Hand says:

        Very true

  8. The Black Hand says:

    Accurate ratings. Maybe a point high, across the board. Ugly match, for both teams. Something needs to happen…

  9. Our ideal midfield lineup is probably Kleberson-Marfan/Garfan-Okugo. Still would need a left back, and desperately need CB depth if we are pushing Okugo forward, but this could work.

    So, who gets the armband? New Kid Parke? Old Kid Le Toux? Underperforming Sheanomenon?

    • The Black Hand says:

      I don’t see Garfan in the starting XI and rightfully so. He, routinely, blows his opportunity to shine.

      Parke would be my skipper.

      • +1 agreed. the Garfan love really needs to end. He is just flatly mediocre and I think Gaddis is a better LB and athlete.

        Parke should have the armband. He’s vocal and experienced. Benching Carrol might improve the MF.

      • no way gaddis is a better lb than garfan.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Both aren’t very good LB’s. However, I think Gaddis is a better player than Garfan and, in time, will adjust to be a much better LB than Farfan was. Gable Farfan lacks discipline, in every aspect of his game. He was playable, at best, at LB.

      • While Garfan was a natural Left back he was very serviceable back there. I mean for all of our problems last year can you remember all of this energy being expended talking about Garfans Left Back play? No. Unless we get an actual real Left Back Garfan should start back there.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I didn’t see much difference in Gabe and Gaddis at LB. Gabe was more physical, though incurred reckless fouls. Gaddis has made some nice things happen in the transition game. Right now, I see them as a wash, with Gaddis having more upside. I see Garfan as a sub, for LM. Little more. He has underwhelmed terribly.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Black Hand. I often agree with you, but I think you’re way off base on this one. Garfan is a superior LB to Gaddis. For one, he can kick the ball with his left foot, sounds like a joke, but as you know its incredibly important. Garfan was also strong in the possession sense of the game where Gaddis has been a turnover machine. And for every searing run Gaddis makes per game (about 1-2), garfan always made a similar amount (about 1-2) of the OOH AAH technical moves to beat defenders.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I admit, Gaddis is having difficulties with his left side (UNDERSTATEMENT). It is an awful trait for a guy playing LB. That said, I think that he has better positioning than Garfan. He plays his angles well, often cutting off opponents passing lane. Gaddis’ size is a disadvantage. I liked the physical nature of Garfan, when he was at LB, but I did not care for Gabe’s lack of discipline. Tough call between the two, but I would probably stick with Gaddis at LB because, I think he is simply a better player than Farfan and his game will only improve. Whereas, to me, Gabriel Farfan’s progress has begun to plateau.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        I still don’t see how you can say that he is a better player. Garfan is far superior when it comes to both passing and dribbling the ball, two areas in which the the Union are lacking big time. Teams did isolate Garfan the way they do Ray. It’s interesting that you point out his angles. I think he takes terrible angles when playing left back. He is beaten constantly and it is only down to shear foot speed that he is able to recover.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        meant to say, did NOT isolate

      • JediLos117 says:

        I’m with you on this one Eli…I would feel much better with G. Farfan back there and hope he returns to LB soon.
        .
        I would much rather my LB be best at defending than recovering.

      • I think people are quick to forget the turnovers and fouls Garfan coughed up. He is such a hazard in the final 3rd.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Gabe conceded less than 1.5 fouls per match in 2012. He received a yellow card once every 4.6 matches. You make it out like he’s a serial killer. Yes he’s physical, but I do not believe that he is a liability at fullback. Right now, Gaddis is.

      • and for comparative purposes, Gaddis? what were Garfan’s turnovers like?

      • I’d also like to see successful passing and dribbling %’s between the two. Just for arguments sake. I honestly think that the only advantages Garfan has is size and the left-foot [not to downplay that trait btw]. Gaddis just seems like a much better overall athlete, so I’d love to see the numbers.

      • and if you really want to get technical, the values should be factored for every 90 minutes of play. Not necessarily on a per game/appearance.

        i.e. ((Successful Passes/Passes Attempted)/Total Minutes Played) X 90

      • in the above post, passing % isn;t a really good example. A factoring for minutes played really only works for discrete values. Like you can’t have .3456 of a foul conceded, etc.

        so really a better example would be something more like (Crosses Conceded/Total Minutes Played) X 90 minutes

      • Eli, I think you’re quick to forget that AWFUL foul he committed in Houston last year that lost us the point that Keon had almost stolen. Gabe is a foul machine, and although Ray may get beat, he at least has the speed to recover easily (unlike Garfan). Ray offers way more in terms of athleticism, and it is only a matter of time before his left foot ability increases putting him above Gabe in every aspect of play. So on that note, I agree with Black Hand and pete.

        Ever since Harvey left(sidenote: that trade has yet to have any ROI whatsoever) there has been a gaping hole at left back. Gabe was a part time solution, and a bad one at that. Really what the union should have done is pick up a REAL left back, many of which options were available. Since we are stuck without a real Left back, I would much rather have the better of the two all around players on the field. And anyone who tries to argue chemistry between the Farfans should go back and check the tapes, because there is a big fat goose egg there.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        C-Dawg. Gabe is NOT a foul machine, as the numbers i’ve quoted indicate. he just isn’t. That was a very bad, stupid foul. One very bad, stupid foul. In my opinion he is a far more complete soccer player than Gaddis. Gaddis lack of natural left-footedness and positioning at left back forces his teammates to adjust to him, i.e. Parke having to play closer to the touchline and Keon or Michael farfan knowing there isn’t going to be an overlapping run coming.

      • I think the entire team temperment is such that how many players do the Union field who aren’t 1 bad decision away from taking a stupid red card. To single out Garfan for that while overlooking his better quality at
        left Back is kind of odd.

      • 2012 stats: Fouls per 90 minutes of play [in order of total fouls committed]

        Marfan 2.37
        Carroll 1.14
        Valdes 1.108
        Gomez 2.053
        Garfan 1.56
        Williams 0.94

        Gaddis 0.549

        Same Stat for 2013
        Okugo 2.00
        Daniel 2.54
        Mcinereny 1.94
        Carroll/Gaddis 1.25

        Garfan 2.81

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        So Garfan was around 1.5 last year. That’s fine for a fullback, in my opinion. the 2.81 from this year is based on his one appearance as a midfielder, correct?

      • Well, Gabe played two games. SKC at home, and came into Colorado on the road, so I’m guessing the stat is for 2 appearances.

      • JediLos117 says:

        2 appearances…he was subbed on for Daniel against Colorado.
        .
        2.81 fouls per game for a midfielder is fine by me.
        .
        I’m sticking with G. farfan as our current best option at LB…better touch, one on one, defending, left foot, more composed, tougher…

      • two appearances 96 mintues played. All stats have been factored to adjust for differences in time on the pitch.

        Here;s the formula:
        (Total Fouls/Total Minutes) * 90 minutes.

        This equation therefore adjusts for substitutions and injuries, etc. Creating a level playing field when comparing the value.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Garfan struggled in the early stages at LB, just as Gaddis is now. Time was given, for him to adjust. Garfan developed into a serviceable LB, not a good LB. Gaddis is a more composed and smarter player than Farfan. I think he will develop as well, into a serviceable LB. Mind you, neither should be our starting LB.

        I think there is a bit of overvaluing, when it comes to the Farfans. Gabriel is a terrible passer. He is always trying to force a low percentage play. He has moments of flash, when carrying, but mostly finds himself dispossessed. Too much credit is given to the 3 positive plays/game and not enough criticism for the 8 negative plays/game. (The Farfan’s PR is stellar, because I have never seen so much love for players so ordinary.)

        To me, Gaddis is smarter on the ball. He LOOKS to make positive movement with the ball. His turnover ratio is a bit high, as is Williams’, because the backs are forced to loft the ball away, due to the lack of outlets provided by the mids. As for his angles, watch as he herds players by cutting off their options. He does get beat by well played balls his corner, but his athleticism helps him recover…sometimes. He will get better.

        I think there is a lot of overlooking going on, when it comes to the positives of Gaddis’ game. He is a very good player. Unfortunately, he finds himself at the one position that highlights his weaknesses. Still, he hasn’t been as awful as the claims state.

        Again, neither Gaddis or Garfan should be the starting LB. Hackworth should have brought in a signing.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I’m not saying that Gaddis is a better LB than Farfan. I see them as close to the same. (Maybe, slight advantage Garfan.) I am saying that, I think, Gaddis is a better player than Garfan (to me it’s not even that close). I think that Gaddis needs to play in order to develop and, unfortunately, LB is where Hack sees fit. Given time, Gaddis will adjust. It didn’t help that, throughout preseason, Hackworth claimed Garfan as his LB. Gaddis could have gotten a little more work before he was fed to the wolves.

    • Chemsplitter says:

      WRONG !!!

      Torres

  10. The Black Hand says:

    Are we a better club than we were last year?

  11. PhillyHotSpur says:

    Overall, spot on w/ your Player Ratings and another very insightful article. keep this coming.

    Hack’s selection continues to be shocking.

    Cruz isn’t starting 11 material which is obvious to all. He means well, but lets be honest. he doesn’t belong on the pitch currently.

    Letoux is no CAM or a striker who is going to thrive in a role where he is dropped back and is asked to play a stronger link role. That isn’t in his locker.

    Lahoud on the wing, another comical selection. We all know he is no winger and will simply sit back over-lapping Carroll basically nullifying each other

    Gaddis might have some potential, but he is constantly caught out of position . his priority is defending and he needs to understand his role better out on the pitch. I know Okugo got all the blame for henry’s game winner, but in a 1-1 game that late when Union are clearly playing for point. Why couldn’t Gaddis be there covering for Okugo on the back-side w/ the world class henry on the pitch?

    I would really give the following starting 11 a run:

    ……….Casey…….JackMac(OrLetoux)..
    Marfan…..Torres……..Keon
    ………Carroll(OrLahoud)……….
    Gaddis…..Okugo…Parke…Williams.

    Casey can provide that strength up front and provide a better link then Letoux at this point.

    What about Keon on the right sight ? Let him drift in on the right side and you can leverage his very strong left foot and actually get some shot attempts. Williams can over-lap and provide the width. Marfan can at least drop some crosses and with two capable target men in Casey and Jackmac, let him pummel the box w/ crosses from the right side.

    Torres is far and away the most creative MFer. let him sink or swim. Really, at this point, what do we have to lose in the MF ?

    The whole left side needs to get re-worked, but looking at the Union team, there are no simple answers so simply plug away.

    Overall, the strength still is the CB pairing for this team , so the team needs to take more chances on the offensive front

    • The Black Hand says:

      Why is Michael Farfan on the left. I understand that is our weak side, but I’m not seeing Farfan making it any better. I don’t understand why he is not deployed in the one position that he is effective…on the right.

      • PhillyHotSpur says:

        To be honest, I’m sort of giving up on the left side.

        What Marfan showed me on Saturday –> he can drop some lovely crosses into the box.

        With Casey and Jack mac in that box, we can create scoring chances on the left via the long ball and work the right thru more of a possession-based attack .

    • If you switch Keon (who is left footed) to the left and Marfan (right footed) to the right and you have our best lineup (imo). It’s crazy how Hack thinks having players play on the left when they are right footed and on the right when they are left footed is a good idea. Don’t let that spread to you lol.

  12. We got beat by a better team.
    le toux is good at what he does and so is jack. jack cant take corners and is terrible at ball movement to create chances. le toux doesn’t have the best first touch but can take shots outside of 8 yards with some precision and is a stone cold killer on penalties.
    I still want to know what jack has done to get all the praise. I like him but the way everyone talks him up its like he’s a young clint dempsey, herculez gomez or jozy altidore. Look we have a lot of midfielders and when a team with a low salary cap has that many likely they are all mediocre. no one can win without a solid midfield. a less than stellar defense can be helped by a potent offense, midfield ball possesion and a good defensive mid and a less than quality offense can get some scoring from their midfield and sneak away with one. we have a strnded set of forwards and a pressured defense afriad to make mistakes with no outlet for possesion.
    maybe klebberson will make a difference but one thing is sure one player will not turn the apple cart right side up on their own.

    • PhillyHotSpur says:

      Game winning goals vs Colorado & Rev

      Jack mac delivered 4 crucual point so far.

      • le toux had the assist on the jack mack goal againts the rev and the assist on the okugo goal against colorado. I am not saying jack is not good, far from it I am just asking everyone to be realistic in evaluating his skill set in reference to others on the team. my point is if le toux doesnt have a goal and a helper then its a bad game if jack doesn’t score its everyone elses fault. lets have some consistency.

      • Other than taking the corners, and that first week goal – what has LeToux done that is any good? There may well be a reason that he was let go from 2 teams in the last year. I’d also pin the 2 corner goals on a) terrible defense and b) good positioning from Jack.

      • jack only scored one of the corner goals and by your thought every set piece goal is from poor defending. Most likely le toux was let go as are many mid level players are because they wanted to spend more on better players. If the red bulls didn’t have money to burn they would have kept le toux. My guess is if I had to choose between tim cahill,Henry, and juninho versus le toux my choice would be just as simple. Don’t forget the red bulls moved agudelo and cooper as well who are better players and de rosario played for 3 teams last year so the logic does not hold up that two teams in 1 year equals a bad player. Everyone likes to pose line-ups and has their favorites but we all need to use a little common sense and say almost no one except jeff parke is safe on this team with the way we have played.

      • For some reason it wasn’t allowing me to reply to that Matt – no not all set piece goals are from poor defending. However, both of ours were obviously poor defending. I also see that you ignored the question “what has LeToux done” in terms of overall play. Jack is easily having a far better season than LeToux so far.

      • The Black Hand says:

        What distinguishes Jack Mac’s campaign as far better than LeToux’s?

      • For me he always looks far more dangerous and likely to score a goal. he makes better runs (although rarely do our midfield give him the right pass). He has 2 goals, and could have scored 1 in game 1 (great save from the keeper) and if LeToux had been on his toes instead of on his heels he would have had a tap in in game 1 when Jack knocked the ball back. Again, if we are keeping LeToux in because he is improving his corner taking, we are doing it all wrong.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I think that his goals were the result of Mac being where a striker should. He should do that more, if you ask me. He makes decent runs but, for the most part, doesn’t have great effectiveness as a 90′ striker. His decisions, with the ball at his feet, are highly suspect but he is improving. I haven’t seen anything out of Mac that would put him ‘head and shoulders’ above LeToux, and I am not ga-ga for Seba. Jacks youth, to me, is what separates the two the most.

        I would focus more attention on getting Casey the ball, in the area. He would be my starting striker, if his conditioning allows. I would have Jack and Seba interchange in a pairing with Conor Casey.

    • Totally agree with you on Jack. Lots of potential for sure, but his best qualities all involve the ball OFF his foot (good runs, aerial ability, puts himself in good positions). To date, I still think LeToux has shown more quality in keeping an attack going (not this game) and creating a shot for himself (see world class first touch on his goal against SKC). Casey-LeToux would be my first choice pairing up front. Let Jack and Hop battle it out for sub roles.

    • Matt – I agree with you. NYRB weren’t pretty but they played better than they have in their last few games (it looked like Henri actually cared about winning the game) and we played arguably our worst game of the season. When that happens you typically lose. I agree with most of the player scores, comments and the key points of the article but I also think they we didn’t bring our “A” game even with the players that were played.

    • Southside Johnny says:

      “I still want to know what jack has done to get all the praise.” Leading goal scorer and 3 assists in 2012 with maybe 2/3 of a season’s minutes and 2 game winners this year don’t do it for you? Just luck or poached balls from a relentless attacking team? C’mon. I still want to know what this 20 year-old kid has to do to get appreciated by some PU fans. Here’s an off the beat post today that may give you some perspective.

      http://beatsandrhymesfc.com/jack-mcinerney-interview-union-striker-mac-off-the-leash/

  13. **See my comment on the match preview Saturday. You almost could have predicted this entire game (Except Lahoud being a winger).
    .
    All the bad play and incontinent officiating aside, I don’t think anyone would argue that our Midfield has been overwhelmingly the worst part of the team this year.
    .
    As much as I dislike Keon’s play vs what this team needs, and don’t think he would start on a lot of teams, he is far and away better that Cruz. And Lahoud cannot start is Carroll is starting, plain and simple, or we will basically have the same results all the time.
    .
    The lineups we have trotted out, and the continuing results only emphasize the bad job Hackworth has done. The fact that our midfield is so incredibly bad makes it MADDENING that Soumare/Okugo were never even given a second thought. The fact that we went into this game with the players available, and the way the game worked out, makes it ABSOLUTELY ABSURD that Torres did not even see a minute of time.
    .
    The most worrisome part of this all is that I don’t see Hackworth changing. At least he made the Letoux sub. Everyone please pray to whatever Gods you have that Kleberson makes that big of a difference, and that Hackworth doesn’t mess up that situation like he has many others.
    .
    Preferred Lineup
    Macmath, Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis
    Marfan, Torres, Kleberson, Garfan
    Macinerney, Casey

    • Don’t hold your breath on Kleberson. I’m worried he is not going to like the physical play of MLS, and his form has not been great in recent years. We’ll see…

      • I hope I’m wrong, but I completely agree; I think he’s past it, and it’s going to be a bust of a signing.

        At least Nick appears to have learned from his time in Jersey, and took Kleberson on a loan instead of a two-year fully guaranteed contract (Galvan Rey).

    • Why Soumare was never given a chance is beyond me. While Okugo has done very well in the back, he would have been even better as a mid in front of Parke/Soumare. A real shame.

      • More of an outrage than a shame!

      • Agree, as much as carroll has done for in the league and for this team, it’s time for him to take a page out of albright’s book. Have a seat on the bench and provide the support and veterans presence from there. Hack needs to move Okugo up to CDM and show the fans why Soumare was brought in.

  14. The Lineup I put in to use the Union in Fifa:
    .
    Macmath
    Williams, Soumare, Parke, Garfan;
    Okugo;
    Marfan, Daniel;
    Kleberson;
    Casey, Le Toux;

    Three subs: Torres, Hoppenot, Jack Mac

  15. My best 11 and in my opinion the union best 11
    mcmath
    sheanon-okugo-parke-gaddis
    carroll-lehoud
    marfan-klebberson- le toux
    casey
    a 4-5-1 where marfan and le toux can come up and play in a 4-3-3. plan would be to sub le toux/lahoud/carroll or casey depending on game situations for hop/torres/keon/mack

  16. I would run this all year;

    MacMath
    Williams Soumare Parke(C) Gaddis
    Okugo
    Marfan Daniels
    Kleberson
    Casey
    McInerney
    SUBS: SLT, Torres, Garfan, Hopp, Albright, Lahoud, Konopka

  17. Put gaddis at RB and williams at LB and see if he does any better! Gaddis is a better RB than williams anyway

    • The Black Hand says:

      I’m close to agreeing with you on Gaddis v Williams. I think they should be swapped, for a trial. Williams is more physical and might be just as effective on the left as on the right…which isn’t very. Gaddis I think will be strong at the RB.

  18. Analysis and player ratings: Union 1-2 Red Bulls pig http://www.japan-guide.com/

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