Player ratings

Analysis & player ratings: Union 1-0 Fire

All hail Jack McInerney.

Without his league-leading seven goals, Philadelphia Union might be in a whole heap of trouble.

Of the Union’s first 10 matches in 2013, only 3 have come against teams above the bottom half of the Eastern Conference. The Union have 1 win from those 3 contests, and it was McInerney who grabbed the winner in Colorado, much as he did Saturday afternoon in Chicago.

A complete striker

While the goals keep flying in for the hottest striker in MLS, it is McInerney’s play in other facets of the game that offer the most insight into his maturity as a striker. In years past, as time grew late in a match, McInerney’s frustration could be seen, etched on his face when the ball failed to make its way forward with adequate frequency. As recently as the end of last year, the case could have been argued that McInerney was one-dimensional, a poacher who only ran in behind to finish from close range.

The 2013 version however, has no such problems. McInerney’s off-the-ball movement has always been lauded, but this season he has added to his arsenal by sliding onto either wing to find space as well as dropping into the midfield to work with his back at goal. No longer can opposing defenders sit back, knowing that the Union’s most potent attacker can only beat them if he manages to get in behind. Much of the credit for McInerney’s newly found freedom to roam can be attributed to Conor Casey, who occupies at least one defender at all times, but for the most part, the Union’s young striker is simply developing and flourishing with time and experience.

Problems through the middle
Figure A

Figure A

And it’s a good thing he is doing so, because the Union midfield isn’t doing much to help him. With a disjointed shape made up of four players who have done very little to support each other, opponents are finding it very simple to set up camp in the Union’s half.

Consider the heat maps from Saturday for Logan Pause and Daniel Paladini (Figure A). There are few old school defensive midfielders left in MLS on par with Brian Carroll. In fact, Logan Pause may be the only one remaining. Yet against the Union, Pause not only held his own half, he felt comfortable enough  to spend a considerable amount of time on the attacking side of the center line. So did Daniel Paladini, a player whose task of deep-lying playmaker was made all the easier when he was freed up to spend a majority of the match directing traffic from only 40 yards away from the Union goal.

While there is plenty of fault to be shared for the ease with which Chicago dominated the midfield, the majority must fall on the shoulders of Keon Daniel. It has been nearly a month since Daniel last turned in a shift that showed even a modicum of attacking intent, and over that period, his positioning has dropped deeper by the week (Figure B). That Brian Carroll now consistently finds himself ahead of his central midfield partner should be deemed unacceptable by the Union coaching staff.

Figure B - Daniel vs. Chicago

Figure B – Daniel vs. Chicago

With Kleberson and his team-leading salary riding the pine, the Union have a ready-made replacement. Not only should his defensive chops more than satisfy the conservative John Hackworth, Kleberson deserves the opportunity to show that he can move the ball with the quickness and accuracy that is lacking from the current iteration of the midfield.

All that said, Michael Farfan, Danny Cruz and Brian Carroll must also raise their hands with the regards to the team’s struggles in the middle third of the park. Against Chicago, Farfan not only drifted centrally; he set up shop there. If he was finding success, his positioning would not have been an issue. But with Chicago running the show, Farfan was unable to support his brother defensively down the wing, allowing Dilly Duka the space to bomb down the flank with reckless abandon.

As for Cruz, the right midfielder continued in the fashion to which Union fans have grown accustomed. He plays high, looks to stretch the defense, and infrequently takes the time to combine on a string of passes. His wing play is ill-suited to a 4-4-2. For the Union to control his flank, Cruz must show patience in defense and possession before racing off up field. After his two-goal breakthrough against Seattle, teams will have taken notice and wised up to his direct routine. Unless he can show diversity in his play, Cruz will be labeled a one-trick pony and neutralized by a deep-seated fullback, similar to how Gonzalo Segares took him out of the game Saturday.

In the center of the park, Carroll is the most directly affected by Daniel’s dip in form. But the captain must be held accountable for failing to lead from his spot deep in the center of midfield. Rather than directing traffic and pushing Daniel forward, Carroll seems to have too readily accepted the formation shift, putting himself off his game. Chasing into the attacking half is not Carroll’s strong suit. Nor is trying to run the offense. In lieu of taking on responsibilities for which he knows that he is ill-suited, Carroll, as both a smart veteran and the Union’s captain, must lead his team out of their midfield rut. If that means getting in Daniel’s ear and demanding more from him, so be it. That is exactly the type of responsibility that comes with the armband.

This is Zac MacMath, right?

Fortunately, while the Union midfield was giving Chicago carte blanche to accelerate into the attacking third, Zac MacMath picked a good day to have his best match of the season, perhaps of his career. Ever since MacMath was selected with the fifth pick in the 2011 MLS Superdraft, Union fans have waited patiently (some more than others) to see the young shot stopper turn in a performance like Saturday’s. Past performances have seen MacMath on his heels, frequently rooted to the spot as shots flew past him.

Against Chicago, MacMath bucked that trend to not only make 6 saves but also show impressive quickness off his line and both strength and powerful hands in the air. With Bakary Soumare playing his first match of the season, having an aggressive keeper to sweep up anything that got behind was essential, especially with Patrick Nyarko proving a constant menace, and on Saturday MacMath was that guy. Just as strikers ebb and flow with confidence, so too do goalkeepers, young ones in particular. The pressure of knowing that, at 21 years of age he is the first and only option in goal is undoubtedly a considerable burden for a player so young. However, if MacMath can turn this showing into a good run of form, a Union defense that has been decidedly leaky in matches leading up to Chicago might again become one of the best in MLS.

Player Ratings

Zac MacMath – 8

Kept the Union in the match and won it for them in the end. Strong in the air. Quick off his line. Made a number of smart, athletic stops to keep Chicago off the board. This is the keeper the Union thought they had when they used a first round draft pick on him. Hopefully he can keep it up.

Ray Gaddis – 6

The pick of the Union back line, Gaddis’ man marking on Lindpere and Rolfe showed his quality. His recovery against Nyarko on the quick counter showed the young fullback’s poise and maturity, in addition to his electric pace. Could have easily felled the Fire attacker and gotten himself in hot water, but kept his head and made a strong play.

Amobi Okugo – 5

Unusually quiet on the ball, Okugo did just enough to help his team keep a clean sheet on Saturday. Lacking in chemistry with Soumare, Okugo only aimed two passes at his colleague, preferring to play it more directly up his own flank. Was fortunate to not learn too painful a lesson about how much space to show Nyarko on defense.

Baky Soumare – 5

Outside of the instances where players (i.e. Nyarko) were allowed to run at head with a full head of steam, Soumare acquitted himself nicely considering the long layoff since his last competitive match. Showed his composure with a handful of well timed tackles. If Jeff Parke is not available by Wednesday, Soumare should get another run out, unless the league has something to say about his reaction to Quincy Amarikwa’s apparent simulation late in the match.

Gabe Farfan – 5

Farfan’s return to starting lineup was a mixed bag. His passing, positioning and attacking ambition were all steps in the right direction, but Farfan was too frequently beaten on his flank. Regardless, he remains the best left back on the team for the width and drive he adds to the left side of the Union’s formation.

Danny Cruz – 3

Unable to build on the success of a week ago, Cruz was an infrequent participant in midfield. Spurned his two best chances when he got in behind, both times through heavy touches.

Keon Daniel – 1

At the heart of all that was wrong with the Union midfield, Daniel’s uninspired play nullified his unit’s chance to positively effect the match. Again sat far too deep and forced Carroll into the lion’s share of the central midfield defending while also being guilty of a string of poor turnovers inside of his own half. When he did cross the center stripe, his vision let him down as he passed on a series of runs from his forwards in favor of slow, safe, lateral passes.

Brian Carroll – 3

While Carroll took on more of Daniel’s responsibilities than he would have liked, he struggled with the pace of the game, especially when it came to Nyarko. Fell off tackles and let too many streaking runners pass him by on their way into the Union’s box at full flight. Like his central midfield partner, Carroll left too many passes short of their intended targets resulting in dangerous turnovers.

Michael Farfan – 3

Farfan’s midfield leading 28 successful passes is certainly a case of damning with faint praise. Lacked the sharpness he has shown in the prior two matches and failed to cover himself defensively, leaving his brother with far too much work. If he is to continue at left midfield, Farfan must learn to fight his urge to collapse towards the center. Lost his one-on-one battle with Wells Thompson, who succeeded in getting Farfan too interested in physical confrontations.

Conor Casey – 6

With little support in midfield, Casey dropped in to help spread the ball around and even set off on mazy runs of his own. Incredibly hard-working with his back to goal, what little service he received was always controlled and held up for his teammates.

Jack McInerney – 7

Turned in the type of complete 90-minute performance that will begin to separate McInerney as an elite striker. Checked into the midfield, played defense and moved off the ball with veteran savvy before grabbing the victory for his side. The quality in McInerney’s combined trap and finish was a sight to behold.


Sebastien Le Toux – 6

It doesn’t matter if a substitute contributes only one piece of positive play (which was true for Le Toux on Saturday) when that piece of play involves as magnificent an assist as Le Toux delivered for McInerney’s winner.

Antoine Hoppenot – 5

All the hard work to improve his technique seemed to leave him when he clanked his first touch with a chance to grab an insurance goal. Still pesky as ever, Hoppenot won the foul that led to the Union’s goal.


Armando Villarreal – 5

On one hand, Villarreal gets credit for letting play flow and keeping his whistle in his pocket. On the other, failing to call some fairly blatant infringements could easily have led to a similar situation to the one the Union encountered with Jorge Gonzalez and Seattle.

Expected Starting XI for Wednesday night’s matchup against LA Galaxy


MacMath; Williams, Okugo, Parke, Gaddis; Cruz, Daniel, Carroll, M. Farfan; Casey, McInerney

Preferred Starting XI for Wednesday night’s matchup against LA Galaxy


MacMath; Williams, Okugo, Soumare, Gaddis; Carroll, Kleberson; G. Farfan, M. Farfan, Cruz; McInerney

Against the league champion Galaxy, give Casey the night off and let Parke continue to recover so both can be ready for Chicago come Saturday.


  1. Yeah, it is just me or is Jack showing so much more as a striker? He is playing like more than a simple poacher. Now that Casey can stay up top and be the target, we see Jack dropping back to play one-twos, sending in dangerous crosses, and being smart and effective with the ball OUTSIDE the box as well.
    10 million to Europe in 2 years, book it.

    • We were talking about that. I could see him going to the Dutch leagues in a couple of years, going the Jozy rout… I wonder if he will develop fast enough into a national team contender.

    • Southside Johnny says:

      +1 Totally agree.

    • Richie The Limey says:

      He was always more than a poacher – folk just couldn’t see it because they didn’t know what to look for. Now he is getting all this attention his overall forward play is being highlighted too.

    • I Don't See It says:

      The problem Jack has is that he isn’t big enough or fast enough to shine for a major European club. And while he shows some great skills, he ain’t Lionel Messi.

      The great thing about Jack is he could spend his entire career in MLS and with the Union. Think Wondowloski.

      I’m really, really ok with that.

      • -nickt.- says:

        there are a whole lot more clubs than the “major clubs” with much deeper pockets than any mls clubs which would be happy with someone on his current form

      • Southside Johnny says:

        1. He is big, fast and good enough.
        2. He doesn’t need to “shine”,play for a “major club” or be Messi to continue to improve and make a lot more money across the pond.
        3. He needs the experience to reach his goal of success on USMNT.
        4. He will be back.
        See it.

  2. Watching Gaddis play on his proper side made me remember what I liked about him. As of right now I think Williams is the better player on the right side but Ray has a future on this team just not on the left side of it.

  3. Even my non-union-sports-in-general-fan son who happened to be in the room for a bit commented, “Who is the guy with the dreds, every time he touches the ball he gives it away?”

  4. The Black Hand says:

    Good ratings, Eli. Troubling numbers, coming out of our middle third.

  5. JediLos117 says:

    A point to kind to each defender…and Daniel

    • The Black Hand says:

      Tough to say. Carroll and Co. continually let them waltz right in, keeping our back line and keeper far too busy. I didn’t think the back four looked great, but they didn’t look terrible either. Our midfield, on the other hand, is awful.

      • Agreed. If the spaces in our midfield made Patrick Nyarko look like Landon Donovan, what are they going to make Landon Donovan look like?

    • I disagree. I like the ratings for the defenders, seeing as the midfield gave them no help at all. If the midfield played even somewhat decent, the defense doesn’t get put on it’s heel so much, and we don’t see the same mistakes.

  6. Ray is playing better ball than sheanon right now, maybe benching sheanon will serve as a wakeup call

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Williams doesn’t need a wake-up call beyond that red card. Not sure what you’re seeing, but I seem to recall him creating a few goals in a game not too long ago.

      • The Black Hamd says:

        Few and far between. That match was good. The other nine…mediocre, at best. Shaenon has underwhelmed, so far.

      • not as badly as michael farfan and keon daniel. Also don’t forget that sheanon has been playing 1.75 positions most of the year (his plus the 3/4 cruz leaves behind him)

    • It’s a tough call. Ray on the right may have a slight edge over Sheanon on the right, but only slight. I think they are both good quality MLS right backs. Then there are those throw-ins…

  7. Southside Johnny says:

    “Rest” Carroll. Move Williams to LB with Parke, Soumare, Gaddis. Garfan, Kleberson, Okugo, Marfan mids. Rest Casey. Mac and Le2 up front. What the hell, we know what the hack will do.

    • Kenso Josh says:

      Too Nowackian. Mixing it up too much.

      • At this point I say go Nowakian… The stagnant lineups haven’t been working

      • But they have…. They are playing ugly soccer right now, with no semblance of possesion or play that is pleasing to the eye but they are getting results, especially on the road. 10 points out of 15 is pretty darn good. Plus they are currently in playoff position. I have season tickets and I do not enjoy watching this team (except for Casey and Mac) one friggin bit, but in Hack’s mind he proabably thinks it’s working due to their position in the table. I’m not defending him, his style, or his player selection but the front office is proabably more then happy just to stay in the playoff picture and collecting that money…..

      • Sure they get results, but how long does that last? With a crappy midfield for every game, the union will start losing games that the forwards don’t bail them out of. Trying to find a better midfield combination will only help the union, right now the midfield can’t defend or attack.

      • Though one part to it is the stands have not been full and those empty seats that are part of paid attendance won’t be paid next year if we don’t enjoy watching how will the casual fan ever want to come.
        also when the team wins and no one shows they don’t win for long.

      • The team is winning ugly. Last game aside it can’t even be said the team is winning ugly, it is just that the other team is losing uglier.

        With every badly played ill conceived victory more and more bad habits are getting reinforced more and more questionable decisions are getting justified. This franchise has long had a “good enough” mentality that will eventually come back and haunt them. Replacing Mondragon at goal when Zac wasn’t ready yet, never finding a proper left back, Danny Cruz, all of these decisions where the team went ‘meh’ shrugged its shoulders and said good enough, while individually might not be bad are starting to add up and when they start playing good teams or teams who are game for a fight there will be a reckoning.

      • I agree with all of you, just putting it out there that as long as Hack has them in playoff contention he is not going to change. My guess is that the FO did not mandate him to win the cup

      • With the Unions good enough mentality any return to the playoffs will be hailed as a triumph to f2011 form (when our team was a borderline playoff team)when in fact with the dubious parity in the Eastern conference the 5th playoff spot may as well be won in a reality TV show for as good as these teams are.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        It’s early enough to figure out something that actually works. This team is underachieving in my opinion given the talent we have.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. Our record has more to do with lesser teams played, than it does quality play.

      • JediLos117 says:

        Your over evaluating our talent pool.
        There is no doubt in my mind that we as a complete team are overachieving.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        The Farfans can both play better. Williams can play better. Okugo can play better. Everyone front and back can play better with better midfield play. Who is overachieving?

      • JediLos117 says:

        We as a team.
        We are a 8th maybe 7th place eastern conference team.
        Also, I think Williams has played better than many are giving him credit for.

  8. Andy Muenz says:

    Wondering what kind of performance it will take for Zac to get a 9 or 10? 🙂

    In addition to scoring, Jack should get credit for the beautiful pass to Cruz in the opening minutes that Cruz should have put home. For Cruz, the problem wasn’t that his first touch let him down so much as his first touch was completely wrong. The pass was ready made for a one time rather than trying to dribble. The only thing the touch that Cruz made could do was cut down on his angle to shoot. Even if the touch was softer, it would have made his job harder than a one timer.

    • Agree that Zac should have gotten an 9 or 10. Also think Hoppenot had 2 great crosses, one of which was almost converted had the Farfans not gotten in each others way. He makes things happen!

      • The Black Hamd says:

        A 10??? Really? He made some fine saves but lets not go overboard with the high praises.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        +1. Actually I think an 8 was generous enough. He did his job competently and had more action than he should have had, but no amazing saves and his distribution is still sketchy at best.

      • The Black Handjob says:

        Really, what did Zac do? He let Chicago get back to zero. Konopka would have held them to negative-2. I’m determined to bash Zac.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Good name. Mind if I call you Jerkoff, for short?
        I didn’t bash Zac. I completely agreed with the rating of 8, which is a huge rating for a keeper. I just didn’t think that his performance was that of a 10.
        Sorry to get you all fired up, lil’ buddy.

      • -nickt.- says:


    • A 10? it’ll take a lot.
      A 9? he’ll have to make all his saves on purpose.

      • true. big piece of luck on a few of his shots as well as leaving a terrible angle on a couple that Fire missed badly. Easily could have given up a couple.

      • Sure his one save was lucky, but you have to give him credit for getting his legs out while lying on the ground after a blocked shot.

      • The Black Hamd says:

        Credit…yes. A rating of 10…Hell no!

      • Nah an 8 is fine for him. He made the saves. He didn’t make any amazing stops, but he definitely made good saves.

    • Steve l. says:

      The comments about the 10 have been said, so I will agree with you, I was screaming at the tv for Cruz to hit that first time

  9. JediLos117 says:

    Eli, they should absolutely revert to a 4-2-3-1 for LA.

  10. eli

    whats is the real reason that kleberson is not playing????

  11. I don’t disagree with the ratings but they are very troubling. That being said to go into Chicago and play that poorly yet still come away with 3 points is a welcome change from the previous 2 months when we gave up soft goals AND points despite outplaying opponents. It’s a step in the right direction and definitely a result to build on, though the midfield needs to be better to keep improving.

  12. Macmath did well though I agree with an 8. Really a 9 or 10 should be saved for an effort by a goalie that will be remebered through the ages like tim howard 1-0 USMNT victory over brazil.
    Agree with all the ratings
    Keon was just about as bad as before. I just think we are all just getting sick of trying to accomodate for him.
    Garfan was no worse no better than ray as a LB though ray is a solid RB. moving sheanon to LB is not a terrible idea if thats what it takes for him to make the XI. He needs to stay on the field as he adds many dimensions we otherwise won’t have.
    there is almost no excuse at this point for not playing klebberson although I will not discuss this further till eds piece midweek.
    Marfan needs to sit a little IMO as he has not really produced much for all the faith he is given. why not let hoppenot have one go out right. I don’t love le toux there as a starter.
    Cruz is not good enough to start up top or anywhere right now. Hes the guy in pick up baseketball who gets on the breakaway everytime and misses the layup. almost deflating for a team. bring him on late when the D is tired and let him stretch the field for mac when casey tires.
    Jack has come leaps and bounds in the past 6 weeks and I am really proud of him.
    Casey needs a rest if we want him to make a season out of it and have anything left come (gasp) playoff push time.
    let le toux have a start up top with Jack.
    I now have a little hope if Hack stays out of it and lets the boys play with just a few tweaks we could round out by years end. here’s to hope and a good game against the galaxy.

  13. ebradlee10 says:

    Keon’s (too) deep play is well chronicled here, but the thing that really gets me is that he can’t see more than 15 feet to deliver a pass forward.

    Would love to see a player chart showing number of passes forward vs back passes.

    The other weird thing is that Keon scores a ton of goals for me in FIFA13…

    • Jim Presti says:

      Daniel went 28/40 or 70% on passing. Of those completed passes, 7 were backward. Of the 12 failed passes three were backwards. Or, essentially 25% of his passes were backwards. Granted, some of those passes may have been his only option/outlet, however, having 25% of your attempted sent back towards you own goal is unacceptable for a CAM

  14. Is there any serious doubt that we’ll continue to see Cruz and Daniel every match despite their complete lack of creativity or ability to perpetuate offensive forays? Hack has bludgeoned me into submission. I think there could even be some Stockholm Syndrome — I’d miss them if they were gone. I’m off to buy a Daniel jersey.

    • Jaap Stam says:

      Priceless post DCD! Seriously, I feel the exact same way. But yours is the funniest post I’ve seen all year. Painfully, pathetically true!!!

  15. It’s funny. I have not been too happy with Carroll this year, but I actually thought yesterday was one of his better games. True that Nyarko ran rampant, but nobody could contain him yesterday and I think Daniel’s poor positioning hurt Carroll. On the plus side, I remember Carroll having at least 4 or 5 key breakups that could have been very dangerous. I was thinking he earned a 6, but I guess I’m the only one.
    As for Baky – I love his composure on the ball. He definitely seems to have lost some of his quickness and was beaten on the dribble where in the past he would have poked the ball away easily. Also was completely ball watching on a few of those attacks leaving a Fire player wide open on the 6 while he was ball-watching. Very surprising from a veteran. Hopefully would improve with some more match time.
    Key questions for tomorrow’s Hack Presser:
    1) Is Kleberson capable of going a full 90? If so, why hasn’t he seen more pitch time?
    2) What is our preferred style of play now? I thought it was supposed to be possession-oriented, but seems to be shifting to the counter (long ball over the top of the midfield).
    3) What specifically are we doing to improve the midfield situation?

    • Carroll definitely wasn’t helped out by playing with Daniel, but he did have a few turnovers in the game. One happened late in the game while trying to defend that lead to a decent chance for the fire. I wouldn’t say his rating is entirely unfair, I would give him a 4 maybe. I think a 5 or 6 is average, and he was definitely below average on the day.

    • -nickt.- says:

      “shifting to the counter”, was there ever a possession style the union have had. a talking point sure…

    • +1. I have been frustrated with Carroll at times this season, but I thought he actually did a very nice job in this game. All of his limitations remain, but, like you, I saw a host of key breakups and defensive plays. I think he deserves a considerably higher rating from Eli this week.

      • JediLos117 says:

        +1 to Spugger and Scottso.
        Its kinda funny that the back line gets average ratings yet Carroll well below average.
        It seems as though the Union offensive and defensive struggles all come back to Carroll.
        Everybody seems to maximize everything he does wrong while either dismissing or minimizing anything he does positively…dude never has a chance. He will never meet the irrationally lofty expectations placed on him.

  16. OneManWolfpack says:

    If I don’t see Kleberson in the midfield Wednesday, I’m not sure I can really believe in Hackworth as a manager anymore. It’s getting embarrassing with Daniel… and I like Daniel… just not as your CAM

    • Jim Presti says:

      Agreed. This is was Daniel’s weakest performance statistically speaking. The last three to four weeks he has, from what I’m seeing, regressed. I like Daniel, but I feel he is ill suited for the CM/CAM position he’ s assigned week in and week out.

  17. Kenso Josh says:

    I didn’t think the defense did well. I know they don’t know each other, but I don’t think that includes ratings.

    • I think the ratings are accounting for the lack of help the defense got from the midfield. Chicago had all day with the ball in the Union half, and the defense did what they could by themselves.

  18. Great One says:

    The midfield issue is getting embarrassing to the team, to Hackworth, and quite frankly to me haha.
    When my gf asks me “why do you keep watching when all I hear is you screaming about those 3 guys every game?” (Daniel, Cruz, Carroll), something is wrong.
    Is it just me, or does anyone else see our lineup pre-game and start cursing before we even start?
    These next 2 games are the PERFECT opportunity for Kleberson, Cruz, and Soumare to get some decent time or god forbid, start a game. Personally I would keep Soumare in there wednesday and put Gaddis/Shaenon back, and keep Carroll in place. Then on Saturday give Carroll a rest and let Okugo have his chance at DM.
    Is there any chance/is it a good idea to have Shaenon play CB and move Okugo up?
    I don’t like the 4-2-3-1, if Carroll can’t take care of the DM position himself when its the ONLY thing he can do, then take him out of the game.
    Preferred Lineup for Galaxy Game: 4-4-2
    Williams, Okugo, Soumare, Gaddis
    Marfan, Kleberson(DM), Torres(CAM), Garfan
    Macinerney, LeToux

    • Great One says:

      *My god I meant Torres not Cruz, I think it’ll go jump off a cliff now.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Your new login name shall be Gretzky, as deemed by the High PSP Council. Please act accordingly. Thank you, and God bless.

      • Great One (Gretzky?) says:

        I can’t tell if this is a positive or negative reflection of my posts? Also, I don’t know if I should admit this, but Great One is from my childhood love of The Rock, not Gretzky.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        It’s just me being silly about your login name. That’s Gretzky’s nickname.

    • To be fair I have been cursing about the lineup since I saw it on the board since the home opener.

    • I usually don’t get angry with the same line-up just sad. its almost pavlovian for me now- learned helplessness. I do however get really excited when someone new gets to play. its like maybe hack gets it, or maybe we are turning the corner, then back to the same stuff the next game and its all dashed.
      I like your lineup but would rather see hoppenot instead of garfan. though its probably just dreaming. Can we get a ref to suspend cruz and daniel for 10 games each. may be our only shot right now of approximating our best XI

    • JediLos117 says:

      No but there is a chance that Williams plays CB with Okugo.
      Also I want to remind you that the only time that the Union made the playoffs was with Carroll playing along side Migs in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

      • remeber though that was a younger carroll and a less talented MLS

      • Great One (Gretzky?) says:

        I’m not saying we should take Carroll out forever, or even indefinitely. Just let him rest for ONE GAME. You can’t argue that the guy has looked increasingly tired and especially so at the end of the game on Saturday.
        As to 2011, Carroll was younger, and the team had a totally different makeup. The 4-2-3-1 you are looking for is to help provide some cover for the back line against a talented Galaxy team. You’re not wrong in that line of thinking, but this is a home game, against the Champs, and I hope the crowd and team would be fired up accordingly. I just really would rather see us on the offensive, and put the Galaxy on their heels, rather than starting off with a defensive mindset (that we always have on the road). Also, I think we all kjnow the 4-2-3-1 would Inevitably become an empty bucket.
        That being said, if it gets Kleberson a start I’m all for it. Just don’t be upset when you see Lahoud and Carroll out there instead….

      • Who would provide that offensive spark? There is 0 chance that any creative midfielder will get on the field.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        Creative? I’d settle for anything even slightly not totally reactive with a tiny bit of bit of vision. I am consumed by dread for the LA match ups in midfield.

      • The Black Hand says:

        We would be lost without that fire that our captain brings.

      • frankswild says:


      • JediLos117 says:

        I would actually like to see Lahoud and Carroll in a 4-2-3-1 with Kleberson ahead of them.
        But Lahoud is hurt, has an abdominal strain.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        I wouldn’t mind seeing Lahoud in this game…but with Kleberson and Okugo.

  19. The Right Lineup says:

    Le Toux – Jack
    Bench: Torres, Hoppenot, Casey, Soumare, Konopka, Lahoud, someone who should never play

  20. I think that a 4 – 2 – 3 – 1 with Carrol and Kleb would work, especially with Marfan in front of them. I can just dream of Kleb and Marfan pinging the ball around. Kleb back there would also free up the wingers a bit (Maybe Hoppy and Seba?).

  21. So why the hell did we just trade Gabe Farfan??? This is making as much sense as Nowak made…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *