Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-1 Toronto FC

After a woeful first half from both sides, Robert Earnshaw’s goal against the run of play set up a feverish finish from the Philadelphia Union that saw Jack McInerney nab the equalizer for his fourth goal of the season. It was a choppy, start-stop 1–1 affair that threatened to boil over on multiple occasions with referee Sorin Stoica handing out nine yellow cards, including two to Toronto fullback Ashtone Morgan.

First half

Following his side’s draw in Columbus, John Hackworth made only one change, with Sebastien Le Toux taking Gabriel Farfan’s place at left midfield. Against a Toronto team that has showed spirit and energy under new manager Ryan Nelsen, the Union knew that Toronto would be a different animal than the team that limped through 2012.

If they were prepared for the challenge facing them from a new look Toronto side, it was hard to tell. Brian Carroll and Keon Daniel began poorly with Carroll opening the match with an aimless punt forward, before Daniel sent an aimless square ball straight to an onrushing Toronto attacker.

With Le Toux and Danny Cruz manning the wide midfield positions, the Union had little by way of consistent possession in the early going, as the central midfield pairing failed to assert themselves with sloppy passing and too much time spent on the ball.

In the 15th minute, a Carroll mistake nearly spelled disaster for the Union when Silva picked the Union captain’s pocket and Robert Earnshaw buried his shot past MacMath, only for the goal to be brought back for offsides.

Physical play ruled the day as both sides struggled to maintain possession. Full-blooded challenges turned into clutching and grabbing with neither side showing the quality to win the midfield battle through legal measures.

In the 27th minute, Conor Casey tried to grab the match by the scruff of the neck when he cut in from the left, firing a powerful low drive which Joe Bendik could only parry into the path of Cruz. But with the keeper stranded, Cruz took two touches to settle the ball, allowing Bendik to recover in time to block the winger’s shot.

Moments later Casey delivered a cross for McInerney, who sent his header sailing high after climbing the ladder over former Union player Ryan Richter, who was making his MLS debut after replacing the injured Darel Russell only minutes into the match.

After having won a yellow card off of Morgan in a previous challenge, Cruz threw himself heavily into an aerial challenge in the 36th minute, and was lucky to escape with only a yellow card.

As the half wore towards its close, both sides had chances to break the deadlock. First, the Union were forced to defend a free kick after Amobi Okugo pulled back Reggie Lambe outside the box. Union players remonstrated vehemently that Okugo had been fouled first, but to no avail. With Luis Silva over the ball, Darren O’Dea rose highest, but his powerful header was wide. At the other end, Daniel spotted McInerney’s back post run, but his driven cross eluded the forward.

Second half

With no subs at the halftime interval, the Union opened the second half much as they began the match, with Carroll and Daniel combining to turn the ball over in midfield. Fortunately for the pair, Parke and Okugo, as they had been all afternoon, were quick to react.

After the physicality of the first half, tensions were further frayed when Gale Agbossoumonde crashed through the back of Le Toux, yet somehow escaped the referee’s notebook.

On the ensuing free kick, Daniel’s service picked out McInerney at the back post and his header forced the best out of Bendik, who did just enough to push the ball over the bar.

Toronto nearly grabbed the lead in the 52nd minute when a long throw led to bedlam in the Union box, but Jeff Parke eventually managed to scramble the ball clear. With Toronto stretched, Casey launched the Union counterattack, spraying a long ball to Cruz. Foregoing the space in front of him to slow play down, Cruz’s poorly weighted pass forced Carroll into an attempted switch of fields which was deflected into touch, summing up the Union’s midfield fortunes for most of the afternoon.

Daniel decided to try his luck from distance only a minute later, but despite the power with which he struck the ball, Bendik got down well to block the chance. Fed by a driving run from Le Toux, Casey was the next Union player to have a lash, but again Bendik proved too quick.

Tempers boiled over in the 61st minute when the teams came together in the center of the pitch, resulting in little more than shoving and the exchanging of words.

With his team out of ideas, Cruz was sacrificed for Michael Farfan as the Union looked to take control of the match. In the 69th minute, Farfan did well to control a cross on his chest, cutting the ball back for McInerney. Chipping the ball into the danger zone, he found Le Toux, who blazed his volleyed attempt well over the bar from close range.

Moments later McInerney was set free down the left flank. Cutting back onto his right foot he served Casey who was unable to keep his shot on target.

Suddenly, with the Union looking more likely to score, Toronto grabbed the opener. After a MacMath punt into the Toronto half, Morgan came up with the ball and lofted a hopeful punt of his own downfield. Knowing he was offsides, Justin Braun calmly walked away from the play. Expecting the flag, the Union switched off and Earnshaw proved the opportunist, sprinting past Parke to grab the ball and curl his finish past MacMath to stun the PPL Park crowd.

Antoine Hoppenot replaced the ineffective Le Toux as the Union looked to hit back immediately. Unwilling to allow the Union to find their flow, Toronto continued their unsavory tactics of slowing down play. Hogan Ephraim was the third Toronto player in the referee’s notebook for grabbing at Sheanon Williams after the ball had gone out of play in the 74th minute. Seconds later O’Dea joined him with a clumsy shirt tug on Hoppenot. O’Dea was quick to redeem himself, heading away Daniel’s dangerous free kick.

With the Union looking to throw everything forward, Kleberson entered the match with ten minutes to play, replacing Ray Gaddis. Bendik became the fifth player on his team with a yellow card as Toronto took to every stalling tactic they could think of to kill of the final minutes of the match. Reggie Lambe should have followed his keeper into the book, but after having kicked the ball away when the Union attempted a restart, he flopped to the ground, conning the referee into awarding the card instead to the Union’s Daniel.

Undaunted, the Union pressed forward, again with Farfan and McInerney proving the catalysts. This time the final ball was aimed at Casey who showed his athleticism with a bicycle kick that, although on target, failed to trouble Bendik.

If that save was mundane, Bendik’s next feat was superb. After Hoppenot beat his man to the endline and cut back the ball, Kleberson had a volley chance on net. Though his shot lacked venom, McInerney applied the necessary touch to redirect the ball into the far corner, but the Toronto goalkeeper was again up to the challenge and palmed the ball behind.

With two minutes remaining in regulation, Toronto were reduced to ten men when Morgan received his second yellow card for a clumsy elbow aimed at Williams when the two leapt to challenge for a long ball from MacMath.

The numeric advantage almost paid off quickly when Daniel whipped in the resulting free kick. Under pressure from Okugo, Bendik spilled the ball into the path of McInerney, who did enough to bundle it over the goal line. The goal would not stand as the referee seemed to blow for an infringement on McInerney as he crashed the net.

But McInerney would not be denied on his next attempt in stoppage time. When Toronto failed to deal convincingly with a long throw-in from Williams, the ball fell to Carroll. Though he mishit his intended volley, the ball found its way to Casey who spun his body to roll the ball through to the back post where McInerney was waiting to pounce, touching home the equalizer.

Not satisfied with the draw, the Union continued to probe and nearly stole the victory in the dying moments of the match. Following another unconvincing headed clearance from Toronto, Kleberson drove a pass through the center of the defense, finding a wide open Hoppenot. Alone with Bendik, Hoppenot looked to shoot quickly and the Toronto keeper made the vital save to preserve both a road point for his side and man of the match honors for himself.

With the draw, the Union have now scored more than one goal only once, their road victory in Colorado. They will look to do better against their rivals, DC United, who enter next Saturday’s match reeling at the foot of the Eastern Conference table.

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Amobi Okugo, Jeff Parke, Ray Gaddis (Kleberson ’79); Danny Cruz (Michael Farfan ’65), Keon Daniel, Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux (Antoine Hoppenot ’73); Conor Casey, Jack McInerney
Unused Substitutes: Chris Konopka, Gabriel Farfan, Roger Torres, Michael Lahoud

Toronto FC
Joe Bendik; Darel Russell (Ryan Richter ‘7), Gale Agbossoumonde, Darren O’Dea, Ashtone Morgan; Reggie Lambe, Jeremy Hall, Luis Silva (Jonathan Osorio ’73), Hogan Ephraim; Justin Braun, Robert Earnshaw (John Bostock ’85)
Unused Substitutes: Stefan Frei, Andrew Wiedeman, Kyle Bekker, Danny Califf

Scoring Summary
71 – TOR: Earnshaw (Morgan)
90 – PHI: McInerney (Casey)

Discipline Summary
21 – TOR: Morgan (caution)
36 – PHI: Cruz (caution)
68 – TOR: Agbossoumonde (caution)
74 – TOR: Ephraim (caution)
75 – TOR: O’Dea (caution)
81 – TOR: Bendik (caution)
83 – PHI: Daniel (caution)
89 – TOR: Morgan (caution + ejection)
90 – PHI: Casey (caution)

Referee
Sorin Stoica

Philadelphia Union Toronto FC
18 Attempts on Goal 6
10 Shots on Target 2
5 Shots off Target 4
3 Blocked Shots 0
8 Corner Kicks 0
17 Fouls 18
26 Open Play Crosses 10
2 Offsides 5
3 First Yellow Cards 4
0 Second Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 1
54 Duels Won 57
48% Duels Won % 51%
336 Total Pass 201
69% Passing Accuracy % 59%
63.4% Possession 36.6%

71 Comments

  1. I believe I compared watching this game to submitting yourself to Victorian era dentistry.

  2. with Carroll opening the match with an aimless punt forward
    I couldnt describe the anger that I felt when this happened.

  3. Hack showed his incompetence…again. Changes should have happened at half-time!

  4. The tactics were lacking, again, but the match statistics (shots, possession, passes) make it look like a better Union performance than it seemed to my eye. The whole was far, far less than the sum of its parts. I think Toronto and Philadelphia are still poor teams in 2013. Perhaps not as bad as they were in 2012, but still bad. The Sons of Ben need to turn “MLS Parity!” into a chant.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Make no mistake. We are a bottom of the table club. We’re sitting 1 point ahead of where we were last year. Good show Hack!

  5. Encouraged by the end of game formation. Would be interested to see that lineup start.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Agreed. Hopenot makes things happen. Not breakaway goals, but he does create chances. Loved Casey’s efforts throughout. He is a class above his counterparts.

      • I think he should have won more headballs (and converted that semi-bicycle kick); then he would be a class act.

      • The Black Hand says:

        It would have been supreme, had Casey converted on those. That said, he was THE source of our offense.

      • From where I was sitting TFC had an elbow in the back of Casey every time he went up for the ball, that’s what the dust up in the first half was about, so I will give him a little slack, just a little

  6. PhillyHotspur says:

    If Carroll is starting ahead of Kleb in the next game, I will begin booing Hack. Its clear as day Carroll does NOT belong in the Starting 11

    And loved seeing Letoux come back, but he clearly looks as the 3rd option behind JackMac and Casey. That is why we saw 3 strikers y’day and Letoux in a role where he is further back. A bad fit , but I’m sure Hack has pressure to start Letoux.

    Overall, a nice comeback, but a tie at Home vs TFC is simply unacceptable if this club is serious about success.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Begin booing. No way Carroll comes off the pitch. LeToux, I thought, was in the midfield. Didn’t perform terribly, either. If Marfan was in for Cruz, we might have had something. Cruz’ selection is becoming downright baffling.

      • PhillyHotspur says:

        Letoux is a very poor passer. Thus, it makes no sense to play him in the MF

        HE is guy who makes runs and right place/right time attribute that he thrives on and will accomplish little of in the MF

        Carroll is garbage. ITs a fact. He is holding this club back right now. Another fact.

        Cruz shouldn’t be starting either

        Hack continues to look in over his head.

      • The Black Hand says:

        LeToux wasn’t awful but I agree, he shouldn’t be in our midfield.
        You do not have to convince me about Carroll. He is one of the biggest reasons for our struggles.
        Cruz…needs to cruise…on out of here and Hack needs to drive.

  7. The Black Hand says:

    Our lack of quality, at Goalkeeper and manager, are making it very difficult to compete. MacMath, in a word, is a terrible goalkeeper. Not up to the level of any of the US professional levels. The one thing that makes MacMath look better, is Hackworth’s putrid performance as manager. We are not getting what we paid for. The guillotine needs to be sharpened…

    • Ok after watching that game.. the takeaway is the goalkeeper is bad. I think we had worse problems out there than Zack

      • PhillyHotspur says:

        I would agree

        Yeah, Macmath isn’t great , but if I’m addressing the holes in the club. he definitely wouldn’t be near the top of the list and i would start elsewhere

      • The Black Hand says:

        MacMath is right at the top of the list, for me. He looks more like a doorman, than a keeper. Look at the goal that was called back (Toronto offside). Tell me that you see anything that appears to resemble a professional keeper. He makes his body small, by falling away and attempting a kick save, allowing savable balls to enter his goal. He needs to go! We need a keeper that can at least keep us in a match, let alone steal one for us.

      • PhillyHotspur says:

        BTW

        Sheanon’s throw ins are masterful

        The range he has is impressive and played a huge part in that goal

  8. This team needs a real manager not a wanna be! A real manager wouldn’t let Cruz or Hoppenot anywhere near the pitch until they “earned” it by demonstrating the most basic soccer skills. Point blank chances and they still muff them. Hackworth has no clue as to how to exploit the talent on this team. They out played teams all last year and still couldn’t win by relying on the likes of Hoppenot and Cruz. Le Toux needs to be in a better position. He also needs to step it up! McInerney won’t be getting easy tap-ins all season. Horrible back line on the Toronto goal. Put Soumare in and see what he can do with Parke. Move up Okugo and sit Carroll.

    • /snip

      Ok after watching that game.. the takeaway is the Hoppenot is bad. I think we had worse problems out there than Antoine.

    • Hoppenot makes things happen and needs to learn. Once he gets more playing time he’ll be better than Jack

      • The Black Hand says:

        I think that he is already better than Jack.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Wow. That is a very silly statement in my opinion. I rate Hoppenot as the most improved Union player thus far. He should have scored there, but other than that has done an excellent job for this team. Jack’s movement off the ball is fantastic, his checking back into the midfield has been much improved and the Union’s best 4 chances, including the goal were all his. Not sure how you can trash Jack.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Not so much trashing Jack, as I am praising Hoppenot. He should have scored on the break, but keeper did make a good save. Poor choice to go low.
        Masterful? I completely agree that Jack is getting better, but I still feel like he is far less involved than he should be, over the course of a full 90. He is our striker, yet many times he is nowhere near striking. I would like to see Jack much more involved in the creation of scoring chances. Runs are great and all, but if they rarely come to fruition, they don’t have much effect. He misplays a ton of balls. Getting better…absolutely. Masterful…not yet, in my (uber-opinionated) opinion. I’ve seen Jack miss his fair share of clear-cut scoring chances.
        Hoppenot is a smart player, who is finding his niche as a bit of a playmaker. Jack has three more years than Hop. I don’t think that the difference between the two is that great. In fact, I give Antoinne the edge over Jack in many facets of the game. Mac is a poacher, and becoming a fine one, at that. Hoppenot is a more complete player, in my view.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Casey was far more effective, as far as putting in a strikers effort.

      • The Black Hand says:

        For some reason, I read “fantastic” as masterful.

  9. I was encouraged by the ten minutes we saw from Kleberson yesterday — couple of good passes and a good nose for the ball. I’d like to see what he could do early in a game to stabilize the midfield and key the attack. Of course, Hack will make him “earn” his spot on the field so he can keep sending a running back out on the pitch.

    • I am super cautiously optimistic about Kleberson he had a couple of nice nice balls when he made his brief cameo on the field. Hopefully he can settle the midfield and bring some order to the chaos out there.

  10. Top 3 problems yesterday:

    Cruz – How does he start? Seems like he belongs on a minor league team with his lack of confidence with the ball.

    Carroll – Time has caught up to him. The speed of the game is now too much for him. Makes poor passing decisions and too slow defensively.

    LeToux – Every team in MLS knows that if you sit deep and keep him from running onto long balls, there’s not much else in his arsenal. Can’t hold ball under pressure and poor passer.

    Next two problems:

    Daniel – Has no right foot at all and can’t retain ball under physical pressure. Good passer but needs to much space/time to make the play.

    MacMath – Completely at sea on set pieces. Was lucky O’Dea didn’t score in the first half when he was stranded. When was the last time he won a game for the Union with a huge save.

    Final set of problems:

    Williams and Gaddis have the athleticism to get forward but neither has the skill to do much damage once up there. Gaddis in particular is so one-footed that it’s easy for an opponent to bottle him up on the line.

    • PhillyHotspur says:

      All your points are spot-on

      The new Brazilian arrival better be in that starting 11 ahead of Carroll next week vs DC

    • The Black Hand says:

      Way harsh on Gaddis. He has his (left footed) struggles, but he is not as bad as he is portrayed. I think he would outperform Williams, if he were started at RB. He is a promising player…so Hack will most likely trade him.

  11. I have been pondering this question for a while and never quite new how to phrase it, but here we go.

    Is it me or are a good majority of our young players regressing out there? Williams, the Farfans, Adu(when he was here) Zack, Cruz(maybe it is impossible to tell what Cruz is doing or what he is supposed to be doing), Keon (I will even make the controversial statement and throw Okugo)are either stagnating or are going backwards. It seems that there are so many that the problems might be systemic.

    • Interesting question. Not sure I agree on every player (look at JackMac for example), but definitely worth pondering.

      Here’s a similar question: The Union under Hackworth are a happier team than they were under Nowak, but are they a better team?

    • The Black Hand says:

      I think that some has to do with our (lack of a) system. The rest has to do with overvaluing mediocre players. None of those players, aside from Freddy, has real talent. Michael Farfan is the biggest letdown of that bunch. Cruz and MacMath are just plain bad footballers. I am starting to think that Keon is bi-polar.

  12. I would love Hackworth to coach my youth team, but definitely not my first team. I just don’t understand what they work on in training? The midfield has zero movement off the ball, no one checks back to create space, no one checks into space to draw in defenders, which kills the outside back’s abilities to overlap. This is week in and week out, yet I hear the same statements about the midfield’s lack of possession. Cruz is just hysterical to watch. Daniels loves being dispossessed. Carroll can’t do anything right unless he miss hits the ball. What does a guy have to do to get sat on this team? Hack plays favorites and its (hopefully) going to cost him his job, but I doubt it.

  13. I had seats that brought the offensive set up for the second half directly in front of me and was amazed to see that EVERYBODY on the left was bringing the ball back to their right feet to play the ball in. Casey, Hop, even the mids that made their rare overlaps to join the offense…it was epidemic. I don’t understand how it is that a set of skills that should be second nature for professionals was so completely missing. They made TFC’s defenders look like world beaters, although Richter looked better than I expected anyhow. He did well back there.

  14. Kleberson looked great to me. We need goals and he can help us get them. I ‘think’ Hack will start him next week…but…um…Coach makes some weird decisions as we all know far too well. Hack is soooo stubborn but he must see that starting Cruz over Marfan was dumb. And I cannot imagine Hackworth sitting BC. No way he takes away his captaincy. Forget about it.

    ……but Kleberson looks like the real deal. I can’t wait to see more!!!!! If he is not in he starting eleven I’m going to be pissed off big time!!!

    • Parke wore the armband pretty well in the Pumas game and we all know about the hole in the pine barrens where all the other Union captains have been rumored to end up. So changing captains isn’t unthinkable. It is more inevitable.

    • It’s my hope that the reason Marfan wasn’t starting is because he wasn’t 90 minute fit yet after that knock. If that’s not the case and Cruz is actually starting over him, then I think I will finally have to join the anti-Hack grumbling crowd. I’m not sure Farfan is ever going to be the number ten the coaches were pushing him to be, but he’s clearly much more of a creator on the right than Cruz. Cruz was where our offense went to die for the first half Saturday–very frustrating.

  15. I think people need to pump the brakes a bit here. Do I think Cruz should be a starter, no I think he needs to be on the bench, do I think Macmath is the best keeper in the world, no. But if you read through the posts you would think we have no players, every one is the worst footballer in the world, Hack is the worst coach ever, and we need to start over and the club should be able to turn back time, buy pele and the lot and we will rule the world. I think the club is flawed, but not so bad that a few tweaks couldn’t put us in contention for the east, and before any one says it, no I’m. Not delusional. I do think Hack needs pull his head out of his ass and stop starting Cruz. I think Cruz Hoppenot Lahoud Keon and Torres are all good options to have on the bench. I’m not as worried about Carroll as some( not saying I don’t think he’s been fantastic so far this year) I think with Kleberson next to him he will look a lot better. Macmath needs to forget about the concussion and stop looking like a frightened child at times, he needs a mentor, one who won’t threaten his place in the line up( because the U have decided he’s starting and that’s it) but they don’t grow on trees. I would have liked to see us get a LB in the off season, but we didn’t so how about we put Garfan at LM to help Gaddis while he learns the position, because again let’s be honest Left backs don’t grow on trees, just ask the national team. Like I said I think with a few tweaks we can contend, but I don’t think the sky is falling.

    • Yea I get that. But it just doesn’t seem to be coming together. We don’t seem like a team, just a collection of spare parts…just…running…around.

      Right now I am putting a lot of hope in Kleberson. Hopefully he will be able to spray the ball around enough that the other players can calm down, keep their games simple and have them focus on doing what they have to do.

      Also an actual Left Back would be nice.

      • I get the LB thing, but like I said, Hack is going to play Gaddis there( I can’t remember where but I read an interview that he said this is his back 4) so at least put Garfan over there to help him out, and I think Kleberson in the middle to help Carroll will make a difference, and Le2 or Marfan instead of Cruz. Like I said I think with a few tweaks we can be a solid playoff team. It’s a matter of Hack seeing it.

  16. When the midfield gets better the fullbacks will get forward and do their job but for now they mus stay back and defend….

  17. PhillyHotspur says:

    And Hops needs to round the keeper on that attempt and bury that. He has the speed to get by the keeper , why not use it ?

  18. The Black Hand says:

    It was nice to see a possession advantage. Over 300 passes as well, even though the accuracy wasn’t really great. It wasn’t all bad…

  19. The Black Hand says:

    Is it wrong that every time Cruz went to ground, I quietly wished for an injury?

  20. Frustrating result. Now we go to d c I hope we play to win there. I think Casey Jack are the only two players outside of our back four that have shown ninety minute performance ability this year. I think k l e b needs to start the next game. Seems obvious that he can split defenses with passing. And I’m not sure who else in our midfield that can be said about.

  21. And on the note of looking at TFC, it was obvious there game plan was to slow the game down and make it as choppy as possible, and they succeeded, the Union need to learn how to break that down instead of just getting frustrated and starting fights. It would have helped to have a capable ref who would have put a stop to it early and not let it get out of hand.

    • I agree that that was TFCs plan. I’m actually pretty happy with how the U responded though. I feel like its a known thing from last year that the Union is a bunch of kids and that you can take their heads out of the game by frustrating them and getting them angry.

      It seemed to me that they kept it together much better this year than they would have in the same circumstances last year.

      • I agree with you on that front, but what I mean is they need to learn how stop a team from doing it at all, but I think that will come with a little more maturity and play time.

  22. le toux wasn’t that bad for playing out of position. A few of his touches and passes early in the game were actually good but when the whole team is playing back so far a pass near midfield to jackmac or casey is not often going to end well. Also TFC slowed the game down absolutlely neutralizing sebas greatest quality, that of speed and endurance. Marfan has been terrible compared to his form last year and I wonder whether hack is trying to let him see the game and perhaps motivate him. Macmath is in a tough spot and I feel for him. he can’t let in any goals as we don’t score and therefore he is trying too hard. Hes young and needs patience though that goal was an awful display of goalkeeping. Cruz is depth enough said on that. hop is great but that lack of finish showed why he is a super sub not a starter. klebberson absolutely has to be on the field. forget about the world cup and his being brazilian he just has ball handling skills we don’t cultivate in america which makes him dangerous no matter what.in 15 minutes he showed three or four touches that we don’t have otherwise.
    lastly keon is not a starter. like the guy but he is way to inconsistent within the same game. I have defended hack in the past but his game management is becoming a major liability.
    we better have something different for DC or its gonna be ugly.

    • I’ve been a big Hack supporter in general, and I still think that he’s pretty decent tactically, but I am starting to believe he IS playing favorites too much. So many people in our starting 11 have some kind of personal connection with Hackworth, and it does seem like we have better options on the bench.

      I think Torres has been a bit overrated (not all of his preseason games were great, and he was barely present against Pumas), so I haven’t been calling for Hack’s head over not playing him.

      I was also supportive of Hack with the Soumare thing, because I wasn’t keen on how Soumare handled himself. But now after reading the MLS.com article where Hack specifically said the reason he did not want to try Okugo in the midfield was because that was Carroll’s spot, I feel differently. I feel like too many people assume Okugo would be better than Carroll there, and I’m not so sure until I see it, but to not even consider that is a problem.

      For me at least, Kleberson will be my final litmus test. His quality seemed pretty obvious last game. If he’s not on the field Saturday, something is definitely wrong.

  23. Sean Doyle says:

    A lot of Haterade here, but I’m seeing very few comments about how the backline absolutely fell asleep on the Earnshaw goal. That was shockingly bad and fan faves Okugo and Parke were absolutely at fault. No reason for that type of mental breakdown at this level.

    And just for the sake of piling on… Danny Cruz, I love ya, you’re a great guy and you work your ass off, but it’s time to learn how to break your man down in a 1v1 situation. Terrible, dreadful and reckless play on Saturday. Tough to watch.

    • Agree that no one was above reproach in this game and thats the most troubling part. Hustle is great and I am happy to say that I can’t blame anyone for lack of effort(thats refreshing for anyone who hasn’t blanked gomez and ruiz from their minds) but now we have to try and judge skill which is apparently lacking at many locations. Agree fully that the back line fell asleep and it wasn’t the only time just the only one we were made to pay for. I am not hating just left wanting for apparent answers to the obvious questions. This desperation for vision of the light at the end of the tunnel has devolved into disgust which is not good for a team so young.
      What I and probably most on this page want is for a manager who shows vision and players who follow, a player to unite under like faryd mondragon, a team to yell for not at, a bit of hope in between the apparent thunderstorm of errors and mistimed tackles.
      By the way has anyone witnessed a worse all around performance by a ref at PPL park. one does not pop to mind for me.

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