Union match reports

Match Report: Philadelphia Union 1-2 Montreal Impact

Despite controlling the match for the first hour, the Union capitulated their first half lead and ultimately all three points to the Montreal Impact, losing 2-1 at Stade Saputo.

With Montreal struggling for goals and the Union needing a victory to keep any realistic playoff hopes alive, John Hackworth would have been relieved to see his side go 1-0 ahead when Kleberson threaded the needle, sending Fabinho in behind to lash home past Troy Perkins.

When Montreal manager Marco Schallibaum changed his team’s tactics though, the Union had no response.

Just after the hour mark, Marco DiVaio found the equalizer as he spun in the box and fired beyond Zac MacMath. After a series of a close calls for the Union, Karl Ouimette bagged the winner in the 84th minute, powering home a free header to put the Union’s playoff hopes on life support.

“Giving up two goals like that is unlucky for us –- we have to do better,” Zac MacMath said after the game. “We should’ve tried to get a better control of the game in the second half, because I thought we played a very solid first half. It should have been us dictating the game ourselves and not [Montreal] dictating that last 45 minutes.”

First Half

Following a pair of one-game suspensions, John Hackworth immediately restored Sheanon Williams and Fabinho to their places in the starting lineup, replacing the injured duo of Sebastien Le Toux and Keon Daniel. Jack McInerney stepped into the side for the suspended Michael Farfan, with Kleberson pulling the midfield strings.

But it was the hosts who got out to the early start.

After Amobi Okugo recovered for Williams when Davy Arnaud got in behind, DiVaio nearly opened the scoring in the 6th minute. Upon claiming the ball in his area, MacMath looked to play out quickly, but threw the ball directly to Justin Mapp. After exchanging passes with Hassoun Camara, Mapp cut the ball back from the endline but DiVaio could not keep his shot on target, sliding it inches past the post.

With the Union looking to slow down the match, it became a midfield fight until the 15th minute. Taking the ball along the endline, Conor Casey nimbly eluded Karl Ouimette before shoving him to the ground. His cutback found the arriving Kleberson, but the Brazilian was unlucky to see his shot blocked over the bar.

While the Montreal looked punchless in all phases of play, the Union struggled to create chances of their own.

That is, until the 30th minute, when Kleberson picked off an errant pass and sent Fabinho in clean on Perkins. Minutes earlier, McInerney had played Fabinho in as well, only to see the wide midfielder make a mess of his final touch. This time he made no mistake, crushing the ball high and inside of Perkins’ near post before the keeper could react.

It was a well crafted goal, with the Impact paying dearly for the broken connections between their back line and midfield.

But the hosts were resilient and Patrice Bernier had a look at MacMath’s goal minutes later. It was Arnaud again who provided the cross, but Bernier lacked the craft to keep his volley on frame.

As the half wore down, Union captain Brian Carroll became the first player into referee Silviu Petrescu’s notebook for an unnecessary tackle from behind on Mapp. Moments later, Casey joined him with a yellow card for dissent after he voiced his frustration over one of Petrescu’s calls.

Playing angry, Casey nearly set up the Union with a two-goal lead before the break. Driving through two would-be defenders, he laid off softly for Danny Cruz at the top of the box, but the winger mishit the open look, slicing the ball well wide.

Second Half

One goal to the good against a team that has lately struggled mightily in front of goal had the Union in good spirits entering the second half. But minor mistakes crept into their game, allowing the Impact the let off they needed.

At the back though, Jeff Parke remained resolute in shutting down DiVaio, doing so again when he got in the way of a shot in the 52nd minute.

Acknowledging the need for a change, Schallibaum hauled off Bernier in the 53rd minute for Lancaster, Pa. product Andrew Wenger. With an extra body in the attack, Montreal began to cause the Union problems as they dropped deeper into their defensive third.

Wenger nearly made an instant impact when he reached the endline before flicking the ball off of Parke’s arm at the near post. But despite vehement protests from the Montreal players, Petrescu rightly waved away the loud cries for handball.

MacMath raced bravely off his line soon after to punch away before DiVaio could latch on to a cross. He received a heavy clattering for his effort, and DiVaio received a yellow card.

Montreal’s pressure continued to pin the Union too deep, and MacMath had to react smartly in the 63rd minute, smothering at his near post after Mapp had beaten Ray Gaddis to the end line. In his urgency to support Gaddis, Fabinho nearly deflected the former Union midfielder’s cross into his own net.

A minute later, Montreal’s equalizer arrived.

Beating Kleberson to a ball at the top of the box, Felipe sent Arnaud behind a paralyzed Union defense. With Williams scrambling to cover, Arnaud cut back for DiVaio, who spun away from the marking of Okugo before slamming the ball off Gaddis and into the net.

Hackworth quickly hooked McInerney in favor of the more direct Antoine Hoppenot. But Montreal was on the front foot, and DiVaio could easily have doubled his tally in the 70th minute. With Arnaud hooking his cross into the Italian’s path, DiVaio could only to drive the ball into the turf and over the empty goal.

Minutes later, DiVaio again left a chance for the go-ahead goal on the table. Taking the ball down at full speed, DiVaio found enough space past Williams to angle his shot towards the back post, but his connection wasn’t true and the ball flew wide of the mark.

In the 76th minute, DiVaio was back at it, running one-on-one against Okugo. The Union defender did just enough to push DiVaio to the endline where, with the angle cut down, MacMath could push away the dangerous shot.

The Impact were now flooding the Union box in waves, with Mapp flicking Felipe’s lay-off just wide of the post before Camara rose highest to head a delivery from Mapp just wide of goal.

Hoppenot offered the Union a brief respite in the 82nd minute when, after knocking Alessandro Nesta to the turf, he tracked down the ball and spotted fellow substitute Leo Fernandes racing into the box. Hoppenot found him with his cross, but the rookie could only direct a soft header into Perkins’ waiting arms.

Montreal hit straight back, but Okugo did enough to stand up DiVaio before blocking his shot.

With Montreal looking to exploit the wings, Camara challenged with Gaddis in the 83rd minute before going to deck softly. When Petrescu awarded the free kick, Mapp stepped up to hook his left footed service into the Union box. It was there that Karl Ouimette, Montreal’s first homegrown player, was left alone to bury his free header into the Union goal.

With the loss, Philadelphia returns home knowing that even a victory in their final regular season game against Sporting Kansas City next Saturday might not be enough to insure a place in the postseason. If both Chicago and Houston win this weekend, the Union’s 2013 season will end next Saturday at PPL Park.

“Our expectations were that we were going to come in and get a victory,” Hackworth said after the game. “The players understand what’s on the line. We’ve all talked about it. And if we are still mathematically alive heading into next weekend, then you can trust we’ll be putting everything we can into it.”

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Amobi Okugo, Jeff Parke, Ray Gaddis (Roger Torres ’88); Danny Cruz (Leo Fernandes ’77), Kleberson, Brian Carroll, Fabinho; Conor Casey, Jack McInerney (Antoine Hoppenot ’67)
Unused substitutes: Oka Nikolov, Matt Kassel, Gilberto, Aaron Wheeler

Montreal Impact
Troy Perkins; Karl Ouimette, Alessandro Nesta (Wandrille Lefevre ’89), Matteo Ferrari, Hassoun Camara; Patrice Bernier (Andrew Wenger ’53), Hernan Bernardello; Davy Arnaud (Andrea Pisanu ’71), Felipe Martins, Justin Mapp; Marco Di Vaio
Unused substitutes: Evan Bush, Maxim Tissot, Collen Warner, Andrew Romero

Scoring Summary
30 – PHI: Fabinho (Kleberson)
64 – MTL: DiVaio (Arnaud)
84 – MTL: Ouimette (Mapp)

Discipline Summary
39 – PHI: Carroll (caution)
41 – PHI: Casey (caution)
56 – MTL: DiVaio (caution)
76 – MTL: Ferrari (caution)
89 – MTL: Camara (caution)
89 – PHI: Okugo (caution)
92 – MTL: Pisanu (caution)

Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Attendance: 18993

Montreal Impact Philadelphia Union
18 Attempts on Goal 12
3 Shots on Target 4
9 Shots off Target 6
6 Blocked Shots 2
7 Corner Kicks 3
18 Fouls 21
24 Open Play Crosses 16
3 Offsides 2
4 First Yellow Cards 3
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
51 Duels Won 48
51% Duels Won % 48%
455 Total Pass 299
81% Passing Accuracy % 76%
59.9% Possession 40.1%

48 Comments

  1. It was really disappointing to watch the team completely fall apart in the last thirty minutes after paying well most of the game. I was getting flashbacks to that horrible loss against NE when Montreal was running roughshod over our midfield

  2. Looking at the lineup I was excited. Watching the first half I was very happy, and then the wheels came undone. From the 75 minute on it looked like they had an extra attacker. Not worthy of a playoff spot frankly.

  3. Did Jack Mac play in the game? Hard to tell. Maybe if he tore his shirt off again (like after his goal last week) I’d have noticed him. Come on Dude.

    I liked the starting line-up but damn Hack’s counter punching strategy, in the end, wasn’t good enough even to make the playoffs in a very weak Eastern Conference. FACT!

    Is this what we can look forward to ext year? Minus Kleberson (because we won’t pay him?) Oh boy!

    • Southside Johnny says:

      Easy on JackMac. The Hack obviously had him on a leash playing defensively as attacking mid behind Casey which seems to me ass backwards. He did pretty well in that role though.

  4. Sadly, this team just wasn’t good enough. Since Aug. 1, Union have played every one of the teams they were fighting for a playoff spot (MTL,CHI,HOU & NE) and went 0-1-4.

    I will be very curious to see the direction the club goes in the offseason. Assuming Kleberson, Torres & Valdes (have to believe stays in Colombia w/ the WC upcoming)will be off the roster, that frees up approximately $1MM in salary. I don’t need a ‘name’ DP, but a Diego Valeri or Gabriel Torres type signing — salary/quality level, not necessarily position — has to occur, or 2014 will be another wasted year.

    • It’s not just since Aug 1. The entire season, the Union were 3-1-7 against those 4 teams. All 3 wins were before the end of May and 2 of the 3 were against pre Magee Chicago (with a loss to Magee’s Galaxy in the middle).

    • Agree about not needing a “name” DP. What the team really needs is someone who can provide goals from the midfield. Whether it’s a winger or a box to box midfielder, we need someone in the midfield who can take the pressure off of our forwards. The current crop aren’t much of a threat at all.

  5. Chicago and New England won tonight so unless Houston loses at home to New York and at DC next week and New England loses to Columbus next week, the Union are out.

    Personally, I thought the Union played about even for the first 60 minutes. Even though they managed to get the goal I didn’t think they ever looked comfortable.

    But I have to say that the absolute worst thing about that game was the TV coverage. How many times were they showing a replay or a close up (either on the field or on the sideline) and miss a significant piece of the action. For example, shortly after Montreal tied the game, the Union had a free kick about 35 yards from goal and I still have no idea what the foul was, who committed it, and who was fouled because the TV coverage wasn’t showing the action.

    I’m also curious why the league lets teams get away with having their fans throw streamers on the field? Imagine if Zak slipped on one while trying to make a save. Isn’t there a rule against throwing things on the field?

    • Regarding the TV coverage, I enjoyed Moreno this year as lead analyst. I hope he does not move on to bigger & better things with the World Wide Leader.

      • I agree. I was referring to the camera feed which is controlled by the home. If Moreno leaves, it will have me more convinced then ever that JP must be really hard to work with since he’s been there for 4 years and none of the color commentators have lasted more than a year 🙂

      • I agree with the TV camera stuff, was very annoying. As for Moreno though – he will be at a bigger job next year. I don’t think that is anything against JP though – 3 of the 4 people that left were going to a better job, and the other was Rigby.

      • I think we are kind of spoiled for TV coverage in Philadelphia.
        I think our proximity to Comcast prime has made our home broadcasts almost professional. Where other cities feeds are adequate to horrible. Vancouver and Montreal come to mind when I think of really bad broadcast feeds. At the bare minimum you should keep the ball in frame.

        And yea Moreno is out of here when this season is over, he is too good.

      • Whoever directs the Montreal broadcast has absolutely no feel for soccer. A horrible mess. Given that the announcers have to call the game watching the same miserable feed we are seeing they can not even help us by filling in what we are missing.

        Moreno’s candor is refreshing and JP is solid, but a bit monotone and boring. Overall though Philly has a much better broadcast than most of MLS clubs. Too bad our field product doesn’t match the TV product.

      • Agree, Chopper. The Union really should send an intern or something along on the trips to serve as a “spotter” for the broadcaster – giving information such as who is subbed in and out, who a card is on, etc. Way too often JP says something like, “We’ll have to see who he came on for.” There’s no reason to not know that – somebody in the stadium can pass the info along to the producer, who can pass it along to the the broadcast crew, and all pretty seamlessly too.

      • I think all they really need is an intern manning the MLS golazo thingie on their websitw. Wouldn’t solve the problem but it would help.

      • You could argue that Dellacamera may be part of what helps these color guys flourish and move onto bigger roles. It likely is to the benefit of Martino, Twellman and Moreno that they got to call games with Dellacamera.

    • I was wondering about the streamers as well. Salt lake is the same way. Its amazing to me that a stadium gives fans garbage to throw on the field

  6. Horrible tv coverage. Great lineup choice, and sid play all around for the first 60 mins. Mac was the wrong sub though, Cruz had been all but invisible throughout, except some terrible touches.

    • The Jack sub was typical of the idea that Hackworth has no idea how to manage in game. It was almost like “wow, it’s the 60th minute, i need to make a sub – Hoppenot for Mcinerney it must be because Hoppenot has to come in and i want to make the change be as pointless as possible”.

      • The big problem to me – and it’s more a roster issue than a game issue – is that there wasn’t a single defensive-minded midfielder on the bench. At the 60 minute mark, we’re still up 1-0. If you want to take out McInerney at that point and put in another midfield to clog up the center and help defend the lead, I could go along with that. But Hackworth didn’t have *anybody* on his bench that could fill that sort of role. And shortly after that sub, Montreal tied the game.

      • Correction: Montreal scored right before the sub. The point still stands, though, that there wasn’t anybody to put in the midfield to play defensively.

      • I’m pretty sure that Gilberto is a defensive mid, but your point on poor roster management is spot on.

  7. In the 17 minutes Torres played in desperation time, with the Montreal defense was packed in, he showed more foot skill and creativity then the rest of the team. The Union could be in the playoffs if Roger had been given more time on the field this season. That’s why Hack has to go.

    • That, plus kleberson had a goal and 2 assists in 3 games but was riding the pine all year, he had no one to play defense beside the starting 4 who he worked to death, he was out coached by just about everyone, his midfield was the worst in the league yet he started the same people every game, some games the team looked like they had no idea what the plan was, and at one point half the team was playing different positions than they had in there entire career. I can write more but I don’t want to be redundant.

    • Did Roger get 17minutes on the field? Or were you talking about the whole season. It was still the wrong sub in that situation though. Why he didn’t come on early i don’t know, and the fact it took 5minutes after going behind is even worse.

  8. I said it yesterday as soon as Zach was hurt on the cross by di viao that he would not come out in traffic again in this game and sure enough on the winning goal the ball is headed from 5 yards out while Zach is standing inside the goal line..

    but we didn’t miss the playoff yesterday we missed it over the last 2 months

    putting Tores in for 2 minutes?? What a joke!!!!

  9. The team is not good enough for playoffs. The result was a fair one.
    /
    Casey and Kleberson were good. Jack was invisible and Cruz was as impotent as always. We have a lot of athletic players but no one with quality to change the game.
    /
    Much of this is the result of poor managment and lack of spending from the owners.
    /
    Should Hackworth be fired? Tough decision. He is not a bad guy and ultimately there is only so much he can do without more quality on the team. But too often he failed to play the quality player that he does have, Kleberson. Still unclear as to the rational. He did make some good acqusitions with Casey and Fabinho. Yet, the team needs real talent and skill on the field if they are to succeed. Hackworth has had poor decision making through out the season. His poor in game managment makes me think that he should be fired. The same problems that we had at the beginning of the season remain at the end. That’s no way to run a team.
    /
    For next year, Cruz’s position needs to be filled. A quality, DP, play maker is necessary to hold up the middfield. A DP striker is necessary as well. The team needs to open its wallet.

    • I don’t think we need a DP striker, with no midfield to speak of both still got over 10 goals. Midfield is a definite need though.

      • I agree a DP striker while sexy in a shirt selling kind of way isn’t the answer. Since we lost Jordan Harvey (and probably before that) we have been hemorrhaging the steady solid dependable MLS starters (Harvey, Mapp, Califf ect.) that any successful team needs for a combination of allocation money, draft picks and magic beans. You add 3 or 4 good hands to the line up pushing some of our starters to the bench and we have suddenly a good team with some depth.

      • A DP striker is very very low on the list of things we need probably to the point where i would say we do not need one at all

    • He should be fired; time and time again he is out coached by others, who make tactical decision in the 2nd half. We need a coach who is smart like a fox; not a hack!

    • I like Hackworth. I’ve defended him this year, often. I think the Union need to give serious consideration to moving on from him, though. He made a really good transition from Nowak, but he’s proven time and time again that he can’t manage a game.
      .
      We don’t need a DP striker. We’re solid there. We need a CB so we can push Okugo up to midfield, we need to thank Brian Carroll for his 3 years and move him out to pasture. And we need a solid play-making mid. I wouldn’t mind Kleberson back, to be honest. But if not him, then somebody in that center mid role who can make plays on the ground and in the air. We need to play Farfan in place of Cruz on the right, and leave him there to work through struggles and find rhythm.
      .
      On top of that, we need some defensive depth, too. Particularly CB – the fact that the only real option to play CB behind Parke and Okugo is Williams is crazy!

    • Disagree we need a top striker that can finish. I’m not talking about a superstar. I’m talking about a proven, quality finisher. Doesn’t have to be a super known name, just a name that is known for finishing. Jack is inconsistent and Casey is getting up in age, slow, and injury prone. Depth at the top is absolutely necessary. A DP midfielder is also absolutely needed to pull the strings up top. Otherwise, next season will be like this season. We need both flank attack and central attack. Otherwise, the team is too easy to figure out and stop. We need professionals that know the game, feel the game, and can fishing. The Union needs to spend money.

  10. phillyhotspur says:

    This club needs a real manager.

    hack is a hack

  11. Soumare at CB, Okugo at DM and this team is in the playoffs. Besides hustle, BC brings nothing to the table. His inability to add anything offensively just kills this team.

    • If we had 3 better midfielders then BC isn’t a problem. It’s the 3 better midfielders that we are lacking. I still wonder how a midfield of Carroll; Marfan (R) Okugo (C) Torres (L) would have fared this year, with Gabe still at LB and Soumare in the middle.

      • I dunno, Garfan was by some reports pretty much not into doing left back at all anymore. So I think Gaddis was your man no matter what.

  12. The team lacks midfield quality. Plain and simple. It’s time for Carroll to retire. Too many turnovers, too and not physical enough anymore. Cruz has his merits, but simply does not have enough skill to start regularly in this league. Marian is inconsistent, Fabhino is a turnover machine, Keon must be playing stoned and Le Toux is simply not a midfielder.

    We saw yesterday that Kleberson is not a 90 minute man. But 60 good minutes from him is superior to what anyone else on that roster can deliver. It is inconceivable to me as to why he rode the pines this season. More playing time for him probably is good for at least one more win, which is all it would take make the post season. But still the team really would not be that good.

    Using the extra money to improve the midfield this team can really jump up next season. We will see if Hack is up to it, he is not going anywhere.

    • I think this is a fair point regarding Kleberson. I certainly would’ve preferred 60 of Kleberson followed by a sub depending on the game situation – Farfan (or Torres – Ha!) if we’re down, Daniel if we’re up. And too, if Kleberson plays more, maybe he gets to the point where he can go 90…

  13. Also did anyone catch Fabinho’s classic dive in the second half. I give him credit for the effort on that one.

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