Union match reports

Match Report: Philadelphia Union 0-1 San Jose Earthquakes

Philadelphia Union fell 1-0 on the road Sunday to the San Jose Earthquakes, squandering an opportunity to steal a share of the points after Rafael Baca was sent off in the 57th minute.

The hosts had dominated the first half at a canter, with Shea Salinas opening the scoring early to put the Earthquakes up a goal. San Jose provided all the menace coming out in the second half, but a late, dangerous tackle from Baca saw the visitors gifted a man advantage for the final half hour.

Though they twice struck the post, the Union could not find a way past Jon Busch and were unable to add separation in the standings between themselves and Houston, New England or Chicago, all of whom also lost this weekend.

First half

Despite drawing a blank against Montreal Impact, Hackworth chose to make no changes to the Union starting lineup. From the opening whistle, Philadelphia was on the back foot as San Jose controlled the game moving forward.

Finding the Union dropping into a defensive shell from the start of play, Cordell Cato raced up the line in the 7th minute and cut a driving cross into the box to Salinas. He knocked it through into his own path and would have opened the scoring were it not for a wild, scissoring clearance from Zac MacMath.

Minutes later, Justin Morrow almost opened the scoring when he nodded down a corner from Salinas, but Danny Cruz did just enough to flick the ball over the bar.

Jack McInerney nearly made San Jose pay at the other end, but after Conor Casey found his streaking run, McInerney could not guide his shot inside the far post.

With the Union rotating players up front, San Jose found ample space on their breakouts. When Cordell Cato had time to race up the wing, he laid off for Sam Cronin. Hooking the ball into the box for Salinas, it appeared the winger’s first touch had taken him too far wide. He was quick to react to his heavy touch, however, and the former Union man tapped his second touch across his body, beating MacMath for the opener.

The Union could have equalized quickly when Cruz teed up Sebastien Le Toux for an open look, but the shot was scuffed badly wide of the target.

While the Union tried to feed on scraps, San Jose continued to dominate the majority of the play. Chris Wondolowski found happy hunting grounds in the 25th minute when he easily shook past Brian Carrol before winning a corner. Carroll nearly gifted the Earthquakes their second on that set piece when he accidentally touched the cross directly into the path of Cato, but the Union managed to scramble clear.

Another mistake could have proved vital in the 30th when Jeff Parke slipped to ground as he tried to clear. In a comedy of errors, Parke’s scuffed clearance fell for a mishit volley from Wondolowski. MacMath failed to get much on his save, but it was just enough to elude a tap in from the crashing Alan Gordon.

Mistakes continued to plague the Union, with Baca the next to profit. When Fabinho mishit his 38th minute clearance, Baca had an open look at MacMath’s goal, but snatched badly at his volleyed effort.

The Union were clinging to the match as they looked to survive until the halftime whistle. Wondolowski should have doubled San Jose’s advantage just before the break when he ran free of Carroll, but he made a mess of his header, bouncing it off his shoulder and over the bar.

Second half

Despite being nearly overrun, the Union came out in the second half much as they had in the first, with Salinas running at them with pace from the opening whistle.

But it was Philadelphia who would have the first chance of the second half when a partial clearance fell at the feet of Keon Daniel. Missing badly on his first swing at the ball, Daniel regrouped to send a low drive careening off the outside of Busch’s near post.

San Jose was quick to react in the 50th minute. Cronin got open with the ball in front of net before ultimately hitting the ball tamely into McInerney’s body, as the forward was back defending a prior set piece.

Gordon was next to be denied at point blank range when he ghosted in at the back post following another melee in the Union box. MacMath was off his line quickly and beat away the shot with his feet.

Just as the Union looked to again be overrun, Rafael Baca launched himself into a late, clumsy tackle in midfield. Casey had already won the ball when Baca brought the full weight of his studs down on Casey’s ankle, and Baca did not protest when referee Fotis Bazakos sent him from the pitch.

John Hackworth pulled off the ineffective Cruz in favor of Michael Farfan as he looked to put Le Toux back to his preferred right flank.

It did little to stem the tide though, and the Earthquakes continued to be a  constant threat on the counter attack. In the 64th minute, Bazakos waved away a penalty shout when the ball appeared to strike Carroll’s arm, but only after he blocked off the initial cross with his chest.

As the match grew later, San Jose began to wilt and the Union began to push numbers forward. In the 73rd minute, a ball into the box came back to Daniel. Foregoing the open shot, Daniel chose instead to play softly to Farfan, who was easily stopped by the advancing San Jose defense.

Parke kept the Union in the game moments later when Wondolowski played Cato in up the right wing. With Lenhart crashing to the near post, Parke held his position and blocked off Cato’s cut back before the San Jose substitute could pounce.

With just over 10 minutes to play in regulation, the Union again found a gilt-edged chance to tie the game when substitute Antoine Hoppenot burst up the left flank to center for Casey. With all eyes on the big Union forward, Daniel stole into the box to have a rip at a deflected clearance, but he ballooned his shot well over the frame.

In sacrificing Ray Gaddis for Aaron Wheeler, Hackworth resorted to an attack built purely on crosses, with Williams and Fabinho curling balls into the box at every opportunity. It was one such cross that was deflected behind for a corner that set the Union up for their best chance of the match. Rising in the center of the box, Williams managed to flick Farfan’s delivery out of a crowd of defenders, but he could only look on in frustration as the ball ricocheted off the bar and away.

The Union continued to press their luck, but Busch did very well to punch away a drive from Carroll that Casey managed to put a deft flick onto. Moments later, Williams sent a teasing ball that beat the back line only to elude Casey by inches.

With their last attacking chance, Farfan nearly pounded home a near post volley after Jordan Stewart failed to clear his lines. But Busch was again alert to the danger, beating the ball away at the near post, before looking on gratefully when Farfan rifled his header wide on the ensuing corner.

Having failed in their chance to add valuable breathing room between themselves and the teams chasing them, the Union must regroup before a critical, home showdown with Houston Dynamo this Saturday at 7:30 pm.

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath; Ray Gaddis (Aaron Wheeler ’78), Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Fabinho; Sebastien Le Toux, Brian Carroll, Keon Daniel, Danny Cruz (Michael Farfan ’60); Jack McInerney (Antoine Hoppenot ’70), Conor Casey
Unused substitutes: Oka Nikolov, Matt Kassel, Leo Fernandes, Kleberson

San Jose Earthquakes
Jon Busch; Stephen Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Jordan Stewart; Cordell Cato (Adam Jahn ’86), Rafael Baca, Sam Cronin, Shea Salinas; Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon (Steven Lenhart ’71)
Unused substitutes: David Bingham, Dan Gargan, Ramiro Corrales, Walter Martinez, Jaime Alas

Scoring Summary
15 – SJE: Salinas (Cronin)

Discipline Summary
18 – PHI: Cruz (caution)
20 – PHI: McInerney (caution)
36 – PHI: Daniel (caution)
45 – SJE: Baca (caution)
57 – SJE: Baca (ejection)
63 – SJE: Gordon (caution)
91 – SJE: Lenhart (caution)

Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Attendance: 10034

San Jose Earthquakes Philadelphia Union
16 Attempts on Goal 15
5 Shots on Target 4
5 Shots off Target 10
6 Blocked Shots 1
16 Corner Kicks 2
14 Fouls 13
21 Open Play Crosses 27
2 Offsides 5
2 First Yellow Cards 3
1 Second Yellow Cards 0
1 Red Cards 0
41 Duels Won 46
47% Duels Won % 52%
333 Total Pass 337
80% Passing Accuracy % 83%
49.7% Possession 50.3%


  1. We suck so much.

  2. U go up a man in the 57th. He keeps both Carroll and Keon in and chooses to make 3 other subs. Keon and Carroll are redundant and cannot unlock a packed defense. Another example of Hackworths ineptitude. Doesn’t matter if they hit you on the counter and you lose by two because goals scored is a tie breaker before goal differential.

    So James, I will politely disagree and argue that Hack sucks. 😉

  3. Sending out the same players, getting the same results.

  4. murphthesurf says:

    Why No Kleberson ?

    Hack is a Hack,

    Looking more and more like Nowak.

    Play your favorites every week…and continue to FAIL.

    We need a new coach.

    Carroll has become too old.
    Daniel can go back to his national team, thanks.
    Give Cruz a rest.

    • I don’t see Hack as a Nowak clone but the opposite. Unlike Nowak changing line-ups every game Hackworth is wetted to the same monotonous line-up … seemingly feeling that if the line-up didn’t work, just try harder. Midfield has been a boring uncreative mess all year. Any team that believes Cruz is a MLS capable player is hard to support. Don’t get me wrong – as a person Cruz seems like an amazingly great guy but his skills seem more like a Div II college player

  5. This team…

  6. Were the ESPN commentators on site? I mean, I would assume that unlike the Union’s broadcasts that ESPN sends their crew to the actual stadium. But there were so many times that the announcer seemed befuddled about cards and subs.
    Once the red was shown, Hackworth made one good move, getting Cruz out for a more creative player. But he also should have removed Daniel for Kleberson (or even Fernandes) at that point as well. As was mentioned above, no need for two holding mids at that point.
    That said, I don’t think Daniel played all that badly. Maybe I have low standards for him at this point, though.

    • Also, I can’t believe I stayed up until 1am to watch that dreck. Blech!

      • Hey PSP, do we know who’s fault that was? Did MLS choose the 11pm start or did ESPN force them to make it that late so they could cover football? It’s pretty insulting to the fans to make them stay up until 1am to on a work night to watch their team.

      • My assumption would be ESPN set that time slot.

      • ESPN2 has been doing a late late Sunday MLS game pretty regularly this season. They’ve just mostly been two Western teams against each other, so we in Philly didn’t have to stay up to watch.

      • I suspect ratings are better on the West Coast so they tend to show prime time games. So they get Prime Time games. But an 8 oclock start is murder for the Easr coast.

  7. Does Hack think that the best way for Jack to get out of his slump is to play him 60 minutes and then sit him for 30 while letting Keon “offense is a dirty word” Daniel go the full minutes.

    The most telling thing about that game was how often Jack and Casey played the ball in their own half of the field (forgetting about the 16(!) corner kicks plus a few other set pieces). There was one time Casey was right next to his own penalty box picking up a pass (not after a set piece). How can the Union hope to score when their forwards have to come back like that.

    Then, once they go up a man, every possession has to be deliberate. Like they can’t go forward without giving San Jose a chance to go back and get setup on defense.

    • I thought Jack was getting into a groove at the beginning of the game and was sure this was going to be the game where he breaks the slump.
      He should have stayed in the entire game IMO he probably would have pulled one out in those scrums in the final minutes.

    • Keon had two shots last night, although I am giving him credit for the attempt that would up in the stands. I haven’t looked at the stats, but I would love to see the last game where both Keon and Brian Carroll had shots on goal, even if Keon’s found wood. I keep praying that we will see Kleberson come onto the field. He showed more offensive instinct in his last short appearance than Keon has shown all year. Up a man, down a goal, why not bring Kleb on? Treat the situation like a power play, and keep that pressure on. I just don’t understand how the changes are always avoiding success. If your team cannot score, Coach, why only go with a half of an offensive change in the midfield? I am sure that you are concerned about giving up a counterattack goal, but if you do have an unlikely breakout from a short sided team, you lose by two instead of losing by one. Take the chance and play to win.

      • Even Julie Foudy made a comment about the lack of effort and service by Keon during the match. I said to my wife that Julie just said what the people on PSP have been saying about Keon all season. So a commentator who probably doesn’t watch many Union matches can see the midfield problem but the coach can’t (or won’t). As far as Carroll is concerned, I have to agree with murfthesurf’s comment that “he has become too old”. I think Hack is reluctant to sit him because he made him the captain and in his opinion it would be wrong to not play the captain. Finally, I have to say that Jack can pretty much forget about getting another USMNT call-up unless he starts putting pressure on the other team once the ball has turned over to them. It pisses me off to see him “trot” around out there while the other team’s defenders have the ball in their end. Klinsmann has said that he wants his players to put pressure on the other team when they have the ball and that includes his forwards. OK, I’m done ranting now.

      • Why don’t we try Keon as the DCM and Kleb as the ACM. Carrol needs to be replaced rather than Daniel in my opinion. Daniel might not be fast or extremely aggressive but he is a great distributer and can hold possession in the midfield. Carrol can’t do any of these things well enough to improve and succeed in the midfield. In my opinion, as of late, he’s just been a body out there half the time.

      • I agree that the problem basically arrived when Hackworth named Carroll as captain in the preseason. Once he did that, there was no chance of him not being on the field – barring injury, of course.
        The biggest issue with Keon Daniel is that everybody, inlcuding Foudy, wants to say he’s a CAM and then blast him for being sucktastic at it. But he’s not a CAM in Hackworth’s system. He’s a second holding mid. The Union are giving up the offensive middle of the field in order to gain the offensive flanks. That’s their system, and it’s not Keon Daniel’s fault that he’s assigned to play one position and everybody else thinks he’s playing another.

      • ACM – that plan is fine, except Caroll is never going to come out of the lineup unless he’s injured. And even if he were to come out, that’s not going to change the system; we’re still going to cede the middle to gain the flank, and we’re still going to go with two holding mids and no attacking mid.

  8. I don’t think Jack is in a slump. I think he benefited early in the season against poor competition and banged in some balls that fell to him. As we play better teams (adjusted for MLS “better”), the little bit of service into the box has been shut down. The opposition has taken the ball and gone home, leaving Jack to think he’s in a slump. How hard can it be to gameplan against a coach who never makes a lineup change?

    • And it’s not like the Union’s style is really all that difficult to defend against, either. Really, it’s all, “sit back, look for a counter chance, run down the wing, whip the ball into the box, pray.”

      • Correct, I didnt include our shoddy run in the USOC either. Yeah, a win against OC, but that was a very late winner (88′?) and then that disgusting loss to DCU of all teams.

        We play the same game and do not adjust. It’s surprising MTL was content to sit back and ignore us. That wasn’t a hard earned point, it was charity.

    • I think Jack’s slump is just a regression toward the mean. His conversion rate seemed really high in the early part of the season and, as you stated, the Union midfielders don’t create that many good chances (especially on the road).

      • Maybe, but his goals/90 Mins this season is 0.45.

        In 2012, 0.44.

      • Given those numbers, this is pretty much the definition of regressing to the mean.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        Goals per minute: Per today’s MLS season stats Casey and McInerney have played 1706 and 2003 minutes respectively. For players with 1700 or greater minutes, they rank 4th and 5th in the league at .47 and .45. For players with 2000 or greater minutes, McInerney is #3 behind Divaio and Magee. This seems pretty good to me considering they have done that playing in front of arguably the worst midfield guided by the worst game coach in the league.

    • He benefited against poor competition and banged in some balls which fell to him? What a crock of shit. You must not have watched the countless goals he scored by taking people on sometimes beating 2 defenders and scoring from distance. I won’t even waste my time finding the exact examples. With a solid midfield who can distribute the ball and provide ample service, jack is back to scoring.

      • Bob, you’re right, I threw out an unsubstantiated sentence that he banged in loose balls & against poor comp. So, let’s substantiate my crock (and that’s no indictment of Jack, the kid is a poacher’s poacher).

        1 – COL, top of the box. Point to you sirrah.
        1 – NE banged from 3yds, knotted at 1
        1 – CMB 6yds 2-1 me (they suck and it was a rebound, but Im only counting it once)
        1 – TFC from 2 yds, again double whammy 3-1 m3
        2 – DCU, I’ll split the diff since one was from top of the box,but its DC. 4-2
        1- CHI header from 6yds, 5-2
        1- CHI off SLT set, this was a beaut,brought it down and slotted. All yours. 5-3
        1- MTL only goal against team above us, nice ball from before the dot. 5-4
        1- TFC – its TFC 6-4.

        Let’s say its a draw and call it a half crock of shit.In re-watching all 10 of his league goals, didn’t see one where he beat two defenders. I’ll give you he scored a couple from distance, but 7 of his goals were against TFC, DCU, CMB and CHI(pre Soumare). That is the definition of poor competition.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        See above comment re: goals per minute. Scoring goals against better teams from anywhere but in front of the goal requires at least some semblance of a competent midfield and an occasional decent thru ball. Your crock runneth over…

    • Let’s put it this way…Jack will be next year what Farfan is this year.

  9. 3 yellows for SJ (Baca Gordon Lenhart) and Baca appeared to receive a straight red.

  10. Hackworth is a dreadful coach, and it seems that the league has caught on to his “only attack down the flanks” tactics.
    With the remaining schedule, it’s possible that the Union only win 2 of their last 6 (D.C. & Toronto). Other matchups are Houston, KC twice, and Montreal.

    • Not only possible but likely. I think we can steal a point or 2 from SKC, but more than 8 or 9 points is a stretch. I’m disappointed but not surprised. I thought at the beginning of the season we were 7th best in the East (only better than NE, Toronto and D.C. at the time), and I’ve been surprised at well they’ve stood in the table thus far. Though to be fair no one else seems to want to win the division either, so it’s more about the others underperforming than this team being good. They’re 10-9-9 now, which is fair, and I think 12-12-10 would be an accurate record, as this team is no more than average.

      • Actually, Houston just might be ripe for the picking. They are 0-3-1 in their last 4 and have been outscored 12-2 including a 1-4 home loss this past weekend. Of course, with the lineups that Hack has had out there, the Unions best hope might be another 0-0 tie.

      • Yea I just don’t have faith in the lineup selections anymore. I’ve seen the same lineup get beat 5-1, 0-0, 0-1 the past 3 weeks so nothing indicates to me I should be expecting a win on Saturday. This team is painfully easy to scout. Just sit back and let the Union control possession. We have NO ONE in the midfield who can take the ball forward and create offense, so just like Montreal if teams come into PPL Park and just sit and wait eventually the space will open up. If

  11. The Black Hand says:

    It is difficult to get worked up over results, such as this one, because (deep down) we knew what our team was. Since Hackworth’s first day, he has shown to be completely incompetent and his roster selection/game management has only driven that nail home. As for our players, we lack the talent of the majority of MLS clubs. The big question is: Will anything be done to change this?

    • Agreed. The real Union have finally stood up! Kind of a catch 22 at this point. Hack rolls out the same line up game after game because we were getting results. Now, he feels it’s too late in the season to try anything else. What a shame. Looking back, the biggest mismanagement of the season will be the Soumare debacle and not pushing up Amobi into midfield. Man, I miss Gabriel Gomez!

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. If we scrapped Carroll (last year) and shifted Amobi, we would have a different dynamic. We still need a true 10 (Torres) and a real striker. I am not sold on Jack. (I know, it’s everyone else’s fault for Jack’s poor form) He has his qualities, but needs much work on his game. Not to mention, he is an awful teammate. We need to spread our attack with capable wing-play (think Ribery and Robben type players). BUT, none of this matters as long as Hackworth is at the helm.

      • No plan B; just like in Costa Rica on Satrday night!

  12. St least Hack subbed before the 65th min?

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