Player ratings

Analysis and Player Ratings: Union 2-2 Sounders

Photo: Michael Long

While there are plenty of positives and negatives from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Seattle, the match has the distinct feeling of a draw that feels like a loss. Not only because of the missed penalty call or the three posts struck by the Philadelphia Union players, but because it was a winnable match that slipped through their fingers.

To be successful in MLS, the Union must win games at home. Furthermore, when a team like Seattle limps into PPL Park sporting the worst record in the Western Conference and missing four starters, claiming all three points is critical. Yet, for the third consecutive week, the Union lacked the cutting edge to dispatch a lesser opponent.

With another weakened opponent in Chicago coming up this weekend, the Union need to get back to winning ways, though they will likely be forced to do it without two members of their back line.

So, about that centerback depth…

Option 1 – Kiss and make up

With Jeff Parke likely out at least a week and Sheanon Williams assured of the weekend off, it would be hard to argue that Baky Soumare is not the best available option to join Amobi Okugo at centerback in the short term. And playing him against his old club would likely be a win-win for the Union. Without minutes on the pitch to dispel concerns about his fitness and current playing ability, the Malian defender logically has fewer suitors than if he was able to get on the field and put himself in the shop window. So, it may not be a case of “kiss and make up” after all, but rather a case of, “get out there and earn yourself a transfer.”

Option 2 – Just crazy enough to work

On the Union’s roster there is both a captain whose best attribute is his defense and a former World Cup winning central midfielder sitting on the bench. For one game, and probably one game only, Brian Carroll drops into defense to partner with Okugo, with Kleberson moves into center midfield with Daniel. While it is true that Carroll has little to no experience playing at centerback, he has better chemistry with the rest of the back line purely because he has been playing with them all season. It would also allow John Hackworth to get an extended look at his new signing without having to replace either Carroll or Keon Daniel.

Option 3 – The probable option

Chris Albright. Considering that over his 15-year career Albright has played just about every other field position, it would be fitting that he end his career at centerback. Albright’s inclusion would certainly be a hard sell given both his lack of playing time in 2013 (3 minutes) and his inexperience at the position, but given Albright’s leadership in the locker room, it would not be surprising to see him get the nod.

Return of Garfan

When a team leader goes down, especially a defender, there are rarely silver linings. But Gabriel Farfan’s play at left back against Seattle should give his coaches confidence going into Chicago. Despite being the expected starter entering 2013, Farfan had yet to play a minute in defense until Parke’s injury forced a back line shuffle. That the Union had no direct centerback replacement on the bench is worrying in itself, as Williams move to partner Okugo forced three players into new positions, rather than a simple direct swap. Still it put both Farfan and Ray Gaddis back into their more comfortable spots—and both players responded. For Gaddis’ part, he got forward and clogged the passing lanes in a manner rarely seen when he is deployed on the left side of the pitch, while Farfan showed the merits of having a technically skilled, left-footed player playing left back.

With his brother tucking into the middle of the pitch to set the table for his forwards, Gabe had room to roam up the left touchline. Where the right-footed Gaddis tends toward balls played to the center of the pitch, Farfan’s strength in keeping his heels on the chalk and opening his body into the field made him a welcoming target for his teammates and forced DeAndre Yedlin to respect the Union’s width, rather than immediately collapsing to cover Michael. With Williams guaranteed to miss at minimum the Union’s trip to Chicago on the weekend, Farfan should have another chance to stake his claim to the left back slot. Again.

Defensive Breakdowns
Figure A

Figure A

 

Further adding frustration to the draw was the fact that outside of a couple simple defensive mistakes, the Union defense was rarely put on high alert by the Sounders. But despite this season’s goalscoring record, Seattle has players who can find the back of the net, with Eddie Johnson and Mauro Rosales capitalizing on the clear chances they were given on Saturday.

On the first goal, a simple pick play undid the Union. In Figure A, the matchups have been set before Rosales’ 8th minute corner kick. Parke has Johnson while Okugo is lined up next to Djimi Traore. When the ball is served into the area however, Parke runs into Traore as Johnson scrapes by his teammate. In the end, Okugo can only look on helplessly as Johnson pounds his free header off of Zac MacMath and across the goal-line. Considering the pair shared a locker room in 2012, Parke should have known to expect Johnson’s storming near post run and put more pressure on him before the kick to alter his angle, but once he gave the US international striker the space to attack the front post, it was over.
Figure B

Figure B

On the second goal, a simple case of ball watching opened the door for Seattle’s equalizer. Seemingly out of nothing, the Union were carved open down their right flank, setting the table for Rosales to bundle home. In Figure B, Okugo contains Johnson, while Gaddis stares down recent substitute Mario Martinez, and Danny Cruz stands next to fullback Leo Gonzalez. Despite defending a one-goal lead, Cruz gambled on his teammates winning the ball and started up field leaving the streaking Gonzalez unchecked. Suddenly Seattle had both the ball and an extra man in the attack (Figure C), leaving Gaddis stranded as Gonzalez raced to the endline and cut the ball into the box for Rosales’ finish.

Figure C

Figure C

Player Ratings

Zac MacMath – 3

Why MacMath was positioned inside the net for both of Johnson’s headers is anybody’s guess, but needless to say it can’t happen again.

Sheanon Williams – 3

Neagle had been yapping all day, and Williams fell for the bait. Around Jorge Gonzalez, players must be more careful, because given the opportunity to brandish his red card, he will. With Parke already lost through injury, Williams exhibited poor decision-making.

Amobi Okugo – 5

Forced to take over as the leader of the backline when Parke went down, Okugo couldn’t help his teammates close the door on this occasion. Looks a threat to pick out the most dangerous pass whenever he sets off downfield, while remaining incredibly difficult to dispossess. His header of the bottom of the far post was inches from being a first half equalizer.

Jeff Parke – 3

Let his nerves get the better of him against his former team. Easily picked off for Seattle’s opener and nearly allowed Yedlin in to double the advantage moments later. Looked a step off before departing early through injury.

Ray Gaddis – 5

Looks a different player at right back. His attacking ambition, smart defending and confidence all returned when he switched fields. Hung out to dry on Seattle’s equalizer.

Danny Cruz – 7

Despite the litany of first half misses and dozing defensively on Seattle’s equalizer, two goals are two goals. And both were very well taken, especially the second which included both a deft chest trap and crisply struck half volley. Cruz has been getting more than his fair share of chances, and if he can gather some confidence from Saturday’s brace, he could go on a tear.

Keon Daniel – 3

Though the basic possession numbers look good at face value, Daniel’s continued lack of offensive production is a major problem for the Union. Despite the Union getting forward to create a raft of chances in both halves, Daniel rarely featured in the final third. When he did get his chance either from open play or set pieces, his efforts were off target and his inability to spot the runs of his forwards is a growing concern.

Brian Carroll – 5

With Daniel’s confusingly defensive play over the past three months, Carroll has done well to raise his game, especially with regards to offering himself as a target out of the back and trying to push the tempo for his central midfield colleague. That said, it simply is not in the Union’s best interest to have him in that role, given his propensity for taking extra touches on the ball and launching overly ambitious punts up field.

Michael Farfan – 6

Far and away the Union’s most dangerous player with ball at feet, Farfan’s close control and clever passing set the table for many of the Union’s best chances. He has shown his quality over the past two matches, but he still needs to improve his finishing and bag a goal of his own to help the Union’s cause.

Conor Casey – 6

A willing warrior, the juxtaposition in Casey’s game—throwing himself headlong at defenders before attempting the subtlest of flicks to his strike partner—is an impressive sight. Showed his bullish side to rise highest and head McInerney’s cross off the bar before displaying delicate technique to turn on the ball, firing in the final shot, that should have resulted in a Union penalty. The coaching staff must keep an eye on the Casey-McInerney partnership, because while they are going all guns at the moment, Casey is still finding full match fitness after injury, and McInerney has never played an entire MLS season. Choosing the right moments to rest each player and rotate the squad may determine the clubs long term success in 2013.

Jack McInerney – 6

Though he did not score, McInerney was instrumental in the creation of both goals. His willingness to run wide put him in the right spot to cross in to Casey in the lead up to the opener, before his curling run to the left allowed him to pick out his own shot which began the play resulting in the Union’s second. His glancing header off the bar was just one of many dangerous knifing runs from McInerney, though it was also one of precious few that were picked out by his teammates.

Substitutes

Gabriel Farfan – 6

Playing with a chip on his shoulder, Farfan played like he was intent on winning the left back job for himself, a task he has already succeeded in accomplishing twice. Composed and accurate with his passing out of the back, Gabe brought a chemistry and fluency to the Union’s wide attack that has been missing between any other combination of wide players. Should get the start at left back in Chicago this weekend, after which point it may be hard to sit him.

Antoine Hoppenot – 5

Direct and aggressive as ever, Hoppenot proved again to be a spark off the bench. As his goalless streak continues to grow however, Hoppenot must be careful not to allow frustration and desperation to work its way into his game.

Sebastien Le Toux – N/A

Given only a brief cameo, Le Toux barely had time to get himself into the match, let alone affect its outcome.

Geiger Counter

Jorge Gonzalez – 1

Though the fireworks didn’t really kick off until the final minutes of the match, Gonzalez had long since missed his opportunity to gain control of the match. Somehow, despite verbally warning Lamar Neagle on three different occasions (one for diving and two for dissent), Gonzalez failed to produce a yellow for the overly aggressive attacker. That one card could have prevented the entire end-of-game fracas and allowed the referee to keep his red card in his pocket. But no. With Neagle staying out of the book, Eddie Johnson picked up the violent play, careening into MacMath after already having received a talking to himself. Still no card.

With the precedent set, the players felt they could be increasingly brash with their tackles and confrontations and in the end, Gonzalez was forced to deal with multiple difficult situations of his own creation. And given the second chance to calm things down, the referee furthered exacerbated the issue when he lazily sauntered over to Williams and Neagle, allowing a simple confrontation to boil over. Then came Yedlin’s red card followed by Johnson’s assault on Hoppenot which likely warranted an ejection on its own.

That alone would have been enough, but Gonzalez’s inability to spot the most blatant of handballs in the dying moments turned a bad day at the office into legend, as this rating will be known as the Gonz-a-meter for the rest of May to commemorate Jorge Gonzalez’s performance on Saturday.

Preferred lineup for Saturday’s visit to Chicago

4-4-2

Konopka; Gaddis, Okugo, Soumare, G. Farfan; Cruz, Kleberson, Carroll, M. Farfan; Casey, McInerney

Expected lineup for Saturday’s visit to Chicago

4-4-2

MacMath; Gaddis, Okugo, Albright, G. Farfan; Cruz, Daniel, Carroll, M. Farfan; Casey, McInerney

67 Comments

  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Have to disagree with rating Cruz higher than McInerney. Jack did a LOT of the work on both goals and didn’t have the up close view that Danny had watching Seattle’s passing to setup the equalizer. I would probably give 6’s to both.

    • The Black Hand says:

      No Cruz and we lose. His finishes were both high quality. Give the guy his one week!

      • George H says:

        +1 TBH.

        Only in Philly would people want to give a player who scored a brace a 6. Makes no sense, Andy.

      • True his brace was memorable, but again, if we’re weighing goals heavily, then he has to lose a point for Seattle’s second goal. Completely let his man run free to put Gaddis in a 2v1. If he stays with his man, we get 3 points.

      • Jack missed a sitter when Casey crossed the ball beautifully…

      • Figures it’s the match I miss. Props to Cruz.

        Also, perfection on both the preferred and expected lineups. Hack is quite predictable. Unfortunately, so is Keon Daniel.

  2. The Black Hand says:

    Decent ratings, Eli. Amobi was not much better than Parke, but I would say that Okugo’s 5 is about right. He was average.
    Garfan did give the club something that was lacking with Gaddis BUT he was responsible for the second goal. He drifted aimlessly away from his mark, who made him pay for it.
    Williams didn’t do anything to help his club. The make-out session was uncalled for. He should have more discipline, given that he is one of the leaders of this club.
    Gaddis looked comfy on the right. I believe he would be a better RB than Shaenon.
    Marfan is heating up a bit…FINALLY. We need his deft skill on a regular basis.
    Cruz, Cruz, Cruz. The most complained about player, on the Philadelphia Union, got the last laugh. Good for you Danny! I am starting to come around to our “wrecking ball”…I think…maybe.
    Our forwards didn’t have a ton of opportunities, yet they both factored. Casey provided the strength and Mac provided the slyness. McInerney put in, what I think, was one of his most complete games to date. I WAS WRONG ABOUT JACK!!
    As for MacMath; Why do we like Zac MacMath? (Serious question.)

    • See above. Agree that Garfan got sucked into the middle and missed his man, but the play wouldn’t have even happened if Cruz was not off taking a mindless walk away from Gonzales.

      • I think Garfan was also very lucky not to give away a PK (but haven’t seen a replay to confirm my suspicions). I’d also suggest that maybe Garfan not being LB isn’t as much on the management as it seems.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. The reality is; Garfan has never looked more than a fill-in, at LB. Fact that Cruz didn’t cover didn’t help matters but that has nothing to do with the fact that Gabe abandoned his mark, thus giving the Sounders an easy one.

  3. Southside Johnny says:

    I’m starting to think Daniel most lacks vision. JackMac was so open with space ahead a number of times when Keon had the ball at his feet. There is some kind of weird twin magic when both Farfans are on the field. Cruz really does look promising. Hopefully some confidence will settle him. Sometimes he reminds me of the kinda desparate way Jack played earlier last year always rushing and indecisive.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Daniel is just too conservative. Playing smart is one thing but he is taking zero risks. No threat coming from Keon. Couple that with Carroll and your left with a rather useless middle, offensively speaking. It would be nice if we had a Brazilian to man the center of the pitch. Someone like Kleber…nah, thats just ridiculous.

    • George H says:

      Yes, I think you’re right about Daniel.

      There was an instance in the 1st half where he could have played Jack in on goal, but opted for the cross field ball to Williams. I was sitting along the same sight line as Daniel and couldn’t believe that he didn’t play the through ball to Jack.

      • Jack had clear chennels straight up the pitch on at least 3 occasions that Keon either failed to see or elected not to pass….. Someone please tell our CMs that you are allowed to make turnovers in the final third, i’m all for possesion, but it has to be possesion with purpose….

      • I made this comment the last few weeks that possesion numbers are decieving when passes are routinely completed in a backward direction from our CAM. A player could connect on only three passes but if all three lead to goals they were much more effective than 20 completed passes to the center backs or goalie.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Hate to burst your bubble but out of Keon’s 50 attempted passes only 8 were backwards. And if you take the time to look at the chalkboard, there is not a single player that “routinely” plays the ball backwards.
        .
        That said he is not a threatening player in the final third.

      • no bubble burst. I should use my words and analogies more correctly. I should say passes that lead no where. ie don’t create effective positive movement of the ball. I am glad to hear only 8 passes were backward though. I guess I am especially hard on him as like cruz and marfan and a few others they show signs of significant skill but are inconsistent in their application of said ability. With keons size and strength he should be able to make more happen.

      • Passes that lead to nowhere? I agree Keon, or whoever is going to be playing at the CAM spot (crossing my fingers for Daniel-Kleb-Marfan), has to do a better job of being the one to make the final pass. However, his passes didn’t lead to nowhere. He did a good job of getting the ball to open players most of the game and a few dangerous chances started from his distribution. Case in point Jack’s header off(/just over) the bar.

      • Jim Presti says:

        I will agree that the midfield has a lot of talent, but until the become dangerous in the final third the Union will have a hard time making a serious playoff run.
        .
        Hopefully the brace from Cruz is a sign of things to come. Not just from him, but also Marfan, Daniel, Garfan, and Kleberson

    • Dainel lacks a lot of things, but everything grinds to a halt when he gets the ball. He certainly needs to play with more abandon. Unfortunately, Gabe Farfan can also seem tentative when going forward. So, I’m not sure what the right midfield mix is.

      Frankly, I feel that Cruz is so limited that I don’t believe his brace is a good thing for the Union going forward. I hope he proves me wrong again. I pretty much guarantee he’ll get a season’s worth of chances to do so.

  4. philsoc8 says:

    Can anyone point to 3 points earned by the Union because of great play by Zack MacMath?
    Or to put it another way, is Chris Konopka really that bad that he doesn’t deserve at least the occasional start to keep Zack on his toes?

    • Southside Johnny says:

      +1 and off his heels!

    • The Black Hand says:

      Can’t get my head around why you would defend against the best corner-taker in the MLS from a yard and a half inside your goal. I’m just not seeing the upside of Zac. How much more do we need to see, in order to determine that he just doesn’t have the chops?

  5. I am not sure anyone deserves a 7 in this game. cruz scored two great goals but left (again) his defense out to dry on seattles second. was it his fault no, not alone but his lack of defensive input costs us nearly every game. Its the balotteli effect (if a player scores two great goals but costs his team in every other way can he be seen truly as a great player).
    Also why was conor casey covering everyones posiion. He cleared several balls from the box, centered the ball to cruz of all people, took a turn at CAM, played a big strong forward. I applaud his versatility and effeort but can we really expect him to be successful and last a whole season at this pace.
    Lastlycruz has to improve his positioning or change his position. he can’t go sprinting upfield at every chance he gets hoping those behind him will make it happen.

    • The Black Hand says:

      In Mario’s defense, he was a huge reason for City’s title last year and his work in the Euro’s was simply heroic. He just did not fit in with English football (and he is a megalomaniac). Good player though.

      • I agree. I was just pointing out that these types of players require some accomodation by the rest of the team and in that way need to be really spectacular to make the effort worth it at times. Mario was great some days, awful others, a rallying point some and a huge distration others. Sports is littered with great talent that goes unappreciated because of massive flaws with mario being just one example.

  6. George H says:

    Cruz has been getting into dangerous spots over the last few matches so it was not a surprise that he scored. Just didn’t expect two.

    Jorge Gonzalez has to be the worst referee in MLS so a 1 is generous. In the past 2 plus years, he’s sent off Williams twice (the other was vs. Colorado in ’11) and Adu on last Mother’s Day vs. NYRB. He’s just an awful referee.

    • ebradlee10 says:

      Agree that Cruz has been getting into dangerous positions. In the 1st half on Sat he was within ten yeards of the box at least three times and couldn’t deliver a decent ball into the area.

      Of course I’m happy for the goals, but the lack of a final ball from Cruz and others drives me crazy

  7. I was seriously impressed with Conor Casey in this game, even though he didn’t score. Just kept doing the little things on offense, over and over again. His vision and deft touch are just so impressive, especially for a guy his size. And he and Jack Mac look like they’ve been playing together for years. I’m wondering why Colorado let this guy go.

    • Southside Johnny says:

      At one point in the match, I turned to my daughter and said that Casey could play CAM for this team. I would still love to see him in the middle of a 3 man front like maybe with Cruz actually assigned up there.

  8. I see comments above about Gaddis on the right and cannot agree more; I have repeatedly noted that he will ALWAYS opt to pull the ball back to use his right foot. Why then play him on the left? Speed cannot be the only tool that he has in his pack to justify playing him there, and he seemed so much more comfortable on the right…
    In addition, I was surprised by the substitution pattern. Early in the year, I recall that Coach Hackworth was concerned about Casey’s ability to play a full 90. On Saturday, he looked a bit like he was laboring late in the game (which I will admit I was watching on TV and not from where I could get as good a story on it as from the field). Why not put Hop in for him, and leave Cruz in place when clearly Danny was playing out of his mind? (See Grant Wahl’s assessment of Cruz in today’s SI.com article. He raises good points about him that probably benefit Danny from being seen from a distance. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130506/alex-morgan-mia-hamm-mls-landon-donovan/?sct=sc_t2_a3

    Fun game to watch, until the ref plays too much of a role at the end.

  9. HACK PRESSER QUESTIONS (please ask):
    1) Will we see Soumare? If not, why?
    2) At what point would he consider putting Konopka in goal?
    3) Is the Union going shopping this summer?
    Thanks!

  10. Considering we have a back-to-back with Chicago with a home match against LA in the middle I say make big changes to the lineup for the road match. The best XI need to be on the field against LA, and even if we drop the game against Chicago we can still trot out a different line-up for the home game. Casey should sit for Seba, Daniel should sit for Kleberson and Soumare should fill in for Parke for the road game. If they come in and play great that’s perfect. Hackworth shouldn’t be worried about having too many choices.

    • great point: with 3 league matches in 8 days, it’s likely that we’ll see some different players soon, although it didn’t always play out that way last season…

  11. I think soumare has to play. As stated above the loonger he lingers out of the 18 the more of a bath we can take on him. He will likely play inspired as he has everything to gain and lose. I like albright as depth but I don’t think hes the right choice.
    I also agree with sitting a few players and letting them rest. Thats what good teams do and its time we start to emulate what works for successful teams and not relegation fodder.
    Lastly we have to play klebberson. between him, le toux and soumare there is probably 800,000- one million dollars in salary sitting. thats probably almost our starting 11 from last week

    • Agreed +1.
      .
      Sadly, I think Hack will probably end up playing Kassel or LeToux at the other CB spot because, you know, whatever :/…

  12. Gaddis showed why he needs to be on the field and not on the banch like some of you were calling for, when he moved to right back after williams lost his cool and got the red. Gaddis is a better RB than williams, flat out. find somewhere else to play williams and keep Gaddis at RB even after williams suspension is up. Guarantee it will result in better more stable defending and less goals against while kick starting the attack

    • Though it won’t ever happen what about williams next to klebberson in place of carroll and daniel. so when healthy and not suspended . pick your goalie then
      gaddis-okugo-parke-garfan
      williams-klebberson
      cruz-marfan
      casey-macinerny
      this provides cover for cruz and his fancy free running as well as keeps sheanon on the field and will allow klebberson to move forward.

    • Jaap Staam says:

      Totally agree. Williams has regressed. Gaddis could be a star at RB. Not very good on the left. He needs to be on the field though. Cruz and Gaddis on the right side would be HIGH OCTANE!

  13. Wonderful web site. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks in your sweat!

  14. What hack has done well this season:
    -getting casey
    -starting casey over le toux
    -getting kleberson
    -getting jeff parke
    -complain about jorge gonzales in a press conference

    What hack has done wrong this season:
    -not playing soumare in CB and okugo in midfield
    -playing keon
    -playing gaddis out left
    -not getting a left back in the draft
    -not starting garfan at LB now after he said he would
    -playing cruz (if cruz keeps playing well then this will turn into a positive)
    -not playing torres
    -not playing kleberson
    -not starting hoppenot instead of cruz
    -not getting a veteran goalie
    -not playing konopka
    -making old injury prone casey play a full 90 minutes

  15. MacMath has not been good, but can we not overlook the fact that besides him, the defense itself hasn’t been very good? This isn’t the first half of 2012 anymore. Eli goes over it in depth in this article as well.
    Instead o d whining that our GK isn’t standing on his head, it’s time to put the pressure on Hack (in addition to all the other pressure on him) for gambling with the defense and failing.
    Gaddis is not our best choice at LB.
    Playing Cruz at RB takes away Williams best qualities.
    Carrol/Daniel in the middle is a liability to our CBs, and he doesn’t want to admit the best thing for our defense is to move Okugo up and play Soumare.
    Our DEFENSE itself is now a problem. I’m tired of the patriot missiles targeting Zac while our defenders have breakdowns and lapses week after week.

    • I totally agree. I was looking up some stats last night an the union have given up the second most goals in the league this year. That is not just a goalkeeping issue. The bigger problem is that they are giving up goals to bad teams. The coaching staff has to take some blame for running out the same back four who keep making mistakes and causing problems. Also we have to look at the last draft where hack decided to pass up on a left back. After watching cochrane play last night for the galaxy, that seems like a major mistake. There needs to be some accountability for these decisions.

    • The Black Hand says:

      True, but that doesn’t change the fact that MacMath is not up to the level. He is not only not making the big save but not making THE save. No excuse for Zac’s positioning on both goals (First especially). Too much bad and not enough good has been the story of MacMath. It was a mistake not getting a veteran for MacMath to study. To me, the question is not if MacMath has the stuff, it is when will management realize that he doesn’t have what it takes, at this point? He may become a decent goalie in a few years. Sadly, he is pretty bad right now and we won’t get far without a dependable keeper.

    • I agree. Okugo is great at center back but is he really better than Soumare? that’s his main position he’s 6’4” he was an all star. hackworth is wasting a valuable player. why not have two great players in their natural positions? Hack is making too many stupidly obviously horribly bad decisions. And gaddis. Great at RB but not at LB. why is hack so stubborn?? Put garfan back there. we need a new coach SACK HACK!

      • The Black Hand says:

        It’s frustrating to see all of the pieces for a, possible, cohesive unit and have a coach who refuses to look.

      • Jaap Staam says:

        Infuriating. That’s why I’ve given up any and all hope of seeing our DP Kleberson, Torres, or a real LB. now I just hope like Hell that Hack is a genius and Cruz, Keon, and Gaddis are just minutes way from blossoming for the long term. It might be true of Cruz?!?

    • also… look at this http://www.brotherlygame.com/2013/5/6/4305984/philadelphia-union-2013-player-salaries. why THE HELL are we benching players worth so much? soumare, kleberson. why in the world are we paying lahoud that much? There are too many things that make no sense about the way this team in managed.

  16. The Black Hand says:

    Hack’s Parke replacement? I’m saying Torres.

  17. Southside Johnny says:

    Btw Eli, another great analysis. You guys do terrific work week in and week out and I sometimes take it for granted. Thanks.

  18. What goes on behind the scenes with this team that a: no one wants to play here and b: the highest paid players don’t start. Football has a very simple formula (see Chelsea and Man City) that you pay the best players more money and you go farther. I understand the MLS cap restrictions and still don’t understand why Kleberson, Baky, & Lahoud are here and not playing or are not traded!!! If it’s them get rid of them, but deep down we ALL KNOW it’s the worthless coach we have!!!!!!!!!! Furthermore how can any organization be taken seriously when you have TWO mouthpieces telling different stories? Nick Sak, shut up!!!! Let your coach write his own obit.

  19. Actually a thought just hit me, any team that can’t pay Chester taxes (with a great fan base and full stadium nowhere near the city), but puts $700,000 on the bench (Kleberson and Latoux) doesn’t have a clue what it’s doing. I’m starting to think those two are the only smart ones in this whole mess. I guess I just wish the management had a plan and/or clue.

  20. “If Kleberson cutting into the playing time of a guy like Keon Daniel (seven starts, 590 minutes) is going to diminish the squad, he’s about as useful as Adu was to the Union.” Original article here–> http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/In_my_Small_opinion.html

  21. Pingback: Union vs Sounders quick reference

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