Union match reports

Match report: Portland Timbers 1–1 Philadelphia Union

On a rain-soaked night in the Pacific Northwest, Philadelphia Union controlled most of the game but gifted the Portland Timbers a last-second equalizer to leave Providence Park with only one point.

Gaston Fernandez’s goal off a corner kick on the match’s last play stunned the Union, who had to that point outplayed one of this year’s favorites for the MLS Cup.

“It was a good performance,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “But at the end of the day you’re a little disappointed. You can hear our locker room — we’re standing right outside of it — it feels more like a loss than it does a win. I guess that’s a good thing ’cause the players know we gave away two points there. But, you know, we did enough there to get three. We have to clean up some game management issues and handle how to close out a little bit, but a good overall performance.”

First half

The Union starting lineup was as expected, with Zac MacMath in goal, Fabinho, Austin Berry, Amobi Okugo, and Ray Gaddis in defense, Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu, and Vincent Noguiera in midfield, and Chaco Maidana and Sebastien Le Toux flanking Jack McInerney.

Both teams spent the opening minutes getting comfortable with the speed of the field, which was quite slow due to the rain. Portland, with more experience playing on wet turf, found it sooner and forced an early 3rd-minute corner. Gaddis lost his man, who flicked the ball to the back post, where a stooping Pa Modou Kah headed the ball against the post.

After that early wake-up call, Philadelphia quickly grew into the game. In the 5th, Maidana made a great run through midfield, then played the ball to McInerney inside the box. McInerney’s first touch bounced, slowing his shot, which was blocked. A minute later, it was Nogueira’s turn, feeding Le Toux in the box for a shot.

It quickly became clear that the new additions to the Union midfield were confident and unimpressed by the vaunted Timber Army. Edu, Noguiera, and Maidana were playing one-touch passes through the center of the park and quickly snapping up any loose Portland passes. Defensively, Okugo and Berry were on the same page, with Okugo making an important sliding block in the 10th minute and Berry imposing himself from the center to the sideline.

By the 20th minute, the Union were not only comfortable but taking the game to Portland. They created the chance of the half. Edu bullied his way into the box, then pulled the ball back from the endline. The ball deflected to Maidana at the top of the box. With his back to goal, he turned sharply, pulling the ball onto his stronger left foot and away from the defense, and lashed a shot at the far corner. Donovan Ricketts did very well to get down and make a save, but the ball pinged out to Le Toux. Unfortunately, Le Toux couldn’t keep his shot down, and the ball sailed high.

The Union kept the pressure on, and only a minute later, Fabinho did very well to turn the corner and get into the box. His pullback found Nogueira, but Nogueira’s shot was blocked. In the 25th, Edu nearly found McInerney in the box. Then, after a run by Nogueira was unfairly halted, Le Toux’s well-flighted free kick came within inches of finding Okugo’s boot at the back post. A minute later, Maidana found McInerney on the left side of the box. McInerney audaciously chipped Ricketts, but the ball was cleared off the line.

Portland began to generate chances late in the half, with MacMath flapping at a second ball following a corner in the 42nd, and Diego Valeri lining up a shot in the 43rd after Gaddis lost the ball upfield.

The Union again threatened in the 45th. Carroll stole the ball in midfield, played it to Edu, who moved the ball on to Le Toux. Le Toux found Nogueira in the box, but the ball was slightly behind the Union’s new Frenchman. Instead of taking a touch, he attempted a first-time shot, which went wide.

Second half

The second half began just as the first had ended, with the Union consistently dangerous and never allowing Portland to settle and build offense. In the 52nd, a Nogueira through ball found Maidana on the right endline. Unwilling to cross with his right foot, Maidana cut the ball back onto his left, but the delay made sure his cross slid behind everyone and past the goal.

Portland, perhaps after hearing it from Caleb Porter at halftime, tried to up their tempo but repeatedly failed to make the most of their chances. In the 57th, a poor Union clearance gave Valeri a free shot in the box, but his kick struck only air. In the 63rd, Portland had a three-on-two advantage but failed to find the open man, and the Union cleared the danger.

Then in the 64th, the Union found the goal they had been threatening all game. Maidana, playing on the right, cut in on his left foot and sent a shot at goal. The ball deflected, and Ricketts put it out for a corner. Maidana’s service into the box found Edu, whose goal-bound header was redirected in by McInerney.

Portland nearly equalized immediately. From the kickoff, the Timbers raced at  Philadelphia and finally managed to work into the Union box and get a shot off from close range. MacMath then came up big to block the chance.

Portland grew into the game then, spurred by going a goal down, but the Union continued to hold them out, with Berry and Okugo always alert to danger. By the 80th minute, Portland seemed almost at a loss, playing the ball out of bounds under no pressure.

The Union made subs, bringing on Danny Cruz and Antoine Hoppenot for Le Toux and Maidana, and both used their speed to further frustrate the Timbers, running to the corners to waste time and earn cheap free kicks. In the 84th, the Union nearly found an insurance goal. Edu released pressure, collecting the ball outside the Union box and playing it to Noguiera on the halfway line. Nogueira looked up and played a 40-yard crossfield ball over the defense to McInerney. McInerney’s touch was good, but Ricketts was out of his goal quickly and rushed McInerney’s chip, which went wide.

As the clock ticked into extra time, the Union continued to play smart, safe soccer, holding the ball in Portland’s half.

With less than a minute left though, they were undone. Brian Carroll cleared the ball long instead of making a simpler short pass. Portland collected the ball and ran straight up the Union’s gut. The ball was played wide left, then centered, and Steve Zakuani’s shot deflected out for a Portland corner. Portland took the corner very quickly, before the Union defense had set. Played into the near post, the ball deflected off a Union foot and fell to Gaston Fernandez at the back post, unmarked, to head in.

Portland got their equalizer with only their second shot on target and what amounted to the last kick (head) of the game.

“To give one up in injury time is a tough way to lose a couple of points,” Hackworth said after the game. “But Portland’s a really good team, and so you gotta think there’s a lot to build on.”

The Union will look to build on Saturday night’s draw when they host New England Revolution at PPL Park in the home opener on Saturday, March 15 (4 pm, CSN, MLS Live). Click here to purchase tickets to the game.

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath, Fabinho, Austin Berry, Amobi Okugo, Ray Gaddis, Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana (Antoine Hoppenot, 80′ ), Sebastien Le Toux (Danny Cruz, 70′), Jack McInerney (Aaron Wheeler, 87′)
Unused substitutes: Andre Blake, Corben Bone, Leo Fernandes, Michael Lahoud

Portland Timbers
Donovan Ricketts, Jack Jewsbury (Steve Zakuani, 85′),, Norberto Paparatto, Michael Harrington, Pa Modou Kah (Mamadou Danso, 34′), Diego Chara, Diego Valeri, Will Johnson, Darlington Nagbe, Gastón Fernández, Maximiliano Urruti (Kalif Alhassan, 73′)
Unused substitutes: Michael Nanchoff, Andrew Weber, Frédéric Piquionne, Ben Zemanski

Scoring summary
PHI: 64′ Jack McInerney (Maurice Edu, Cristián Maidana)
POR: 90′ + 4 Gastón Fernández

Disciplinary summary
PHI 15′ Fabinho (Off the ball foul)
PHI 59′ Jack McInerney (Foul)
PHI 75 ‘ Ray Gaddis (Foul)
POT 88’ Diego Chara (Foul)

Portland Timbers Philadelphia Union
15 Attempts on Goal 10
2 Shots on Target 6
5 Shots off Target 1
8 Blocked Shots 3
7 Corner Kicks 6
18 Fouls 16
22 Open Play Crosses 13
2 Offsides 4
1 First Yellow Cards 3
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
50 Duels Won 49
50% Duels Won % 49%
440 Total Pass 296
77% Passing Accuracy % 75%
59.8% Possession 40.2%

96 Comments

  1. Again, Carroll proves himself more of a liability than an asset. The captain and veteran was the only one on the team to not play smart possession-ball near the end. What’s the point of having Carroll on the pitch if he can’t play as smart as the guys a decade younger than him?

    That having been said, it’s still nice to come away from Portland with a point. Well done Union.

    • I couldn’t agree more about that Carroll ball. Spinning and hitting hopeless clearance on your weak foot when you have two open options in the switch to kill clock/maintain possession? Come on Captain. Be great if a healthy Ribiero could push Noguira back a spot and eat Carroll’s minutes.
      Overall, last night was fun to watch.

      • Nogueira is wasted as a holding midfielder.

        And let’s be honest, Carroll was doing fine until those last couple moments.

      • I agree with George (I’ve always wanted to type that).

      • Best option would be to put Casey up top with McInerney and play Edu and Noguiera in the center of the park. Casey attracts attention because of his aggressiveness and size, which allows Jack to get open much more easily than when he is alone up top.

    • Couldn’t agree more, I put almost the whole blame for the loss on that play … it wasn’t like there was stellar marking on Gaston. That ball was inexcusable.

      Something I hadn’t thought of before now but Daniels could turn from a liability to asset if he were eased into Caroll’s role. He obviously couldn’t get it done as a plate-setter but covers a good bit of ground and is decent with the ball.

  2. John Ling says:

    If you told me going in that we’d come out with a 1-1 draw, I would’ve accepted it. And yet, the way it happened… blech.
    .
    I liked the play of our new midfield. (Captain Obvious, I know.) It was fantastic seeing the ball on the ground so much.
    .
    Danny Cruz – not surprisingly – was effective in his sub role. Coming in at 70-ish really seems to be ideal for him. I thought he had a positive impact for his 20+ minutes on the field.
    .
    I’m not as ready to crucify Carroll as sf was. I thought Carroll played a decent game up until the end. But, it is troubling that he made a boneheaded play, given that he’s supposed to be the wily vet. If it was a one-time error, then fine. If he continues to be a liability late, though, I’ll be sliding onto the “why does he even play” bandwagon.
    .
    Overall, though, it was a positive performance. The mids and Mac seem to have some decent chemistry already, and that’s only going to get better as the days roll on.

    • Stan Pasukinis says:

      Please reserve your spot on the “why does he even play” bandwagon in advance, as seats are filling up fast. I don’t see why Edu can’t play the holding MF role alone, and we can bring another attacking player into the Starting XI. With what I saw out of the midfield yesterday, there could be goals aplenty, and I’m feeling confident about our CB’s.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. Edu can hold down the defensive midfield. Carroll’s play held Edu back, rather than allowing home to play more box-to-box. The Union midfield showed a quality that Carroll cannot keep up with. His tracking and “defending” was not on par with the rest of the club. Maybe it was the weather…probably not.

      • A game like this, away to one of the top clubs in MLS, is the kind of game where having Caroll and Edu playing back together makes a lot of sense. For the home opener, I would like to see some kind of change s.t. you have Carroll off for an AM of some kind (either someone comes in at LW and Nogueira slips to the center or a CAM comes in).

      • Remove Carroll and put Casey back up top with McInerney once Casey is fully healed?

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    I don’t even have a problem with Carroll clearing the ball long. The problem was that it was 50 yards sideways and 10 yards downfield rather than 50 yards downfield.

    It didn’t cost us this time, but Fabhino on defense scares me. It may cost some offense, but once Sheanon is back, I’d much rather see Ray move to the left.

    I see why Portland sells out all of their games. The TV coverage is so bad it was pretty much unwatchable. Not only did they miss the final goal, it seemed like the ball was offscreen about 50% of the time. I’ve seen 7th division FA cup games with more professional camera work.

    There are still 3 teams the Union have never beaten, Portland, Dallas, and RSL. Think about how the most recent game ended against each of those teams.

    • Agree to a point however, clearing the ball long was not necessary. Carroll had plenty of time. You don’t put yourself in that situation. It’s about ball control. When you have it don’t just carelessly give it away. That is Carroll’s MO. Hopefully he maned up to his teammates. He had a good over all game but Hackworth has to grow a pair when it comes to Carroll. The team looked fantastic! After the Carroll mis-step though the team let themselves down by not marking correctly in the box. They’ll learn from this. They now know they should be a threat to beat anyone. This team is going to be exciting to watch. Considering the opponent they got a great result. Can’t wait until Casey gets healthy.

    • I was waiting for someone else to say something about the camera work. It really took away from the game.

  4. It really was a shame to not get all three points here especially when the team seemed to switch off in defending that corner. On an earlier one, Nogueira, who was marking near post, had to yell at Hoppenot to cover the back post. If Hoppenot would have done that this time, he possibly could have cleared that off the line. Not solely putting the blame on him as most of the team was caught out of position, but I would expect better from a 3rd year player.

    Aside from the ending, it was a very good result and performance. I like the way that the team moved the ball and built their attack. Looking forward to next Sat.

  5. Great One says:

    Lots of good things to take away and the midfield just makes me feel warm inside, but for all the people happy still, come on, this can only be said to be a huge disappointment. You can’t say you would be happy with this going in, in context it was incredibly bad. Let’s hope it doesn’t bite us, and really encouraging by several players.
    .
    Bench Carroll. Time to see if hack has any balls

  6. Carroll had a great game, tracking with Portland’s attackers, beating a few ppl on the dribble in midfield and supplying Edu and Nog with the ball.

    His clearance was bad, but the marking on the corner is the reason why the U dropped two.

    I’m so happy to see us look better than Portland in their house.

    • I think it may have been the turf or the rain. I am leaning towards the turf there were many oddly shanked balls last night.

      • That was my main takeaway from the match: soccer really does not belong on turf. Other than that, liked the result and a Union team that’s actually fun to watch. Probably a lot more fun playing on natural turf.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      The marking on the corner was poor but without Carroll gift wrapping the ball, the Union would never have been in the position of having to defend a corner.

      • I can forgive Carroll’s physical mistake on the corner. I cannot forgive the mental mistake of giving the ball away with 30 seconds left with 2 players who he could have passed to. Without that the corner never happens.

        The player who should sit is Hoppenot. Everyone was slow getting back, but Fernandez is right in front of him unmarked. Even if that may not be your spot to defend, mark the man until someone else gets there.

        A shame that 2 mental lapses in final minute cost 2 points, but for the first 92 minutes I was thrilled with what I saw. Looking forward to next Saturday.

      • agreed on hoppenot. his game was shit. not marking on defense and on the other end being too quick to go to ground, this after running straight at defenders. after watching those mids cut up portland with nice passes all game seeing that was a real disappointment.

      • Hoppe is supposed to cover the back post on corners. It looked like it was Gaddis who did not pick up Fernandez.

    • The Black Hand says:

      It was Carroll’s misplay on the corner, that gave Portland the point.

  7. Midfield was as I’ve never seen it in Union history. With the weather, and first game of the season, and Portland’s pedigree it is something to be excited about.

    That being said, I think we can all agree that Portland missed some sitters and it could have been 3-1 easily. This is true in any game but I agree with the assessment that at least today Fabinho was consistently being beat and having to grab guys.

    All three new mids looked awesome, Edu closes incredibly fast and is SOO much sharper in distribution than what we’ve seen. Noguiera consistently relieved pressure and put us in better chances to score. And Maidana is a stud. Beating people one on one and unleashing some rips; he is bound to score a few. I was impressed by some of the plays from Carroll today but he is noticeably the least skilled player in our midfield now save for his one on one defending.

    For once I felt great about all the substitutions. Would like to see a Leo or Ribeiro sub appearence next week though. And I fall into the see what it looks like with Carroll on the bench camp…should one of those two emerge.

    • I do not agree with the sitters comment. Portland and Philadelphia both failed to convert some of their chances, none of them sitters. It could have ended 3-1, but it also could have ended 1-3. I think 0-1 would have been a more just result than 1-1.

    • I agree. If Portland had some finish it easily could have been 3-1. I am of the mind set that yea the Union defense got back and covered. It did’t look organized. A lot of the time defending looked like hockey scrums.

    • I do not agree that portland missed some sitters and that it could have been 3-1 easily.

  8. james Lockerbie says:

    I am sorry, but I have to say the flow of the game and the advantage seemed to shift to Portland the second le toux came off the field and Cruz came on. It got a little better when hoppenot came in and challenged the defense with his runs. Very disappointing conclusion to the game we were packing the three points into the suitcase and then two fell to the floor.

    • +1 Great observation, I thought the same thing

      • Correlation does not imply causation.

        Tactically this does not make any sense. Cruz, a hard-working wide midfielder, was put on the left side for Le Toux, also a hard-working wide midfielder, who was also probably tired at this point. This was a good sub from Hack.

        How would this explain why Portland surged near the end?

        Most likely, they started to become desperate and upped the tempo and energy to chase a goal.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        They also took out a fullback (Jewsbury) and replaced him with an attacking midfielder (Zakuani) in the 85th minute.

      • Dan’s point is a good one. George, you may have forgotten that Le Toux doesn’t get tired. He has the most incredible endurance in the league. That’s one of his greatest assets. Subbing him out, in my opinion, is almost a waste for that reason.

      • james lockerbie says:

        It is my opinion that the timbers targeted the right side of the field and seemed to have more success after the substitution occurred. When hoppenot came in the pressure subsided a little because hoppenot pushed up and challenged the defense

  9. Credit to Coach Hackworth for preparing his team so well. Still, Portland looked pretty bad for most of the match, and their comments afterward gave me the impression that they were completely unprepared to play football. It’s just too bad the Union switched off before the final whistle, but I hope they learned their lesson.

    I thought the substitute official was better than many of the regular MLS guys.

    • I completely disagree. The officiating was horrible. The clutching and grabbing at both sides. Dives getting called fouls. Fouls not getting called. Hell the announcers (shades of the NFL strike) we kind of talking around how bad the officiating was. It was truly bad.

      • What you didn’t see was any players questioning calls at all. Wonder if the MLS gave the players a directive to make the scabs look good.

      • I saw players yelling at the ref all night, especially near the end.
        .
        As far as the Production goes I think the MLS ordered the director to focus on whatever was least compelling at the moment and always have the ball on the very edge of the screen. So it is much easier to lose track of altogether.

      • Since the director had NO IDEA what he/she was doing, there was no way in hell they could’ve ordered anything, but I appreciate the humor.

      • horribly worse than usual?

      • yes. actually.

      • No way. Nobody’s happy with MLS officials but last night’s replacement ref was not worse than usual. You complain about the officiating frequently. In fact, you used the words “clutching” and “grabbing,” in the comments section of match reports from two of the the last three games from last year (SKC & DCU). Aaannnnd now I have hit a new low…

  10. Brian Carroll single-handedly gave Portland a point and cost the Union 2 points. I thought one of his strengths was supposed to be his calming veteran presence. He panicked, for no reason, at 92 minutes and 30 seconds, turning the ball over to Portland with two wide open Union players 15 yards from him. He then turns a bad Portland corner kick into a beautiful cross by flicking the corner kick across goal to an unmarked Portland player for an easy header. I thought my head was going to explode when it happened.
    Hackworth has to bench him. He has to. At least for one game. He has to.
    I know I should be happy coming away from Portland with a point. But not this way.
    The Union played too well to have it all given away in the last 30 seconds of the game.
    Brian has had a great career, and I appreciate all he has done for the Union, but if he can’t keep his head under pressure he needs to sit.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Singlehandedly? Please. You obviously didn’t notice Hoppenot’s marking on the corner kick. Sure, it was a bad play, but have some perspective here.

      • Jim Presti says:

        +1. A lot of crucifying going on around here.

      • No, just some seriously bad play from some one who is supposed to be a calming influence.

      • Okay. How about “almost singlehandedly”? It’s been over 15 hours since the end of the game and I’m starting to calm down.

      • Starting to calm down?
        _
        Mate.
        _
        Don’t be so reactionary. Carroll is not going to get benched for one bad mistake.

      • One bad mistake?

      • Thank you. IMHO, Hoppenot is to blame for that goal more than anyone. That goal probably would have been prevented if he had he hustled to put himself into position to either mark the wide-open opponent or cover the post. Learn the lesson and don’t let it happen again.

      • Com’on! Carroll freaked out at 92.50. Seriously! Don’t blame Hoppenot for this give away!

      • Put it this way: If Hackworth had taken Carroll out in the 90th minute without any delay in time and the Union had played a man down for the last 3 minutes – would the Union now have 3 points or 1 point? You know the answer.

      • I’m OUT! Looking forward to this season. Great things to come! Com’on the U!

  11. Notes on the game.
    .
    Whoever was in charge of the television production of the Portland game should be shot. And if there is any justice in the world he was.
    .
    I don’t think Peter Pappas is bad per se. But Damn I was spoiled by having Moreno in the booth. Come back….
    .
    I seriously thought there was something wrong with the turf last night. It seems like you were good so long as you were running in a straight line but If you had to adjust you were screwed.
    .
    The refereeing was horrible. Way moreso than a MLS match Phantom calls, getting suckered by dives, clutching and grabbing not getting called. (Macs yellow card is the exception that proves the rule by how blindingly obvious it was.) Dude sucked.
    .
    The Union Defense looked shaky a lot of the time while defenders were getting back but didn’t look organized at all.
    .
    That Valeri guy is pretty good.
    .
    I am officially a Nogueira fanboy.
    .
    You can’t have Cruz and Hoppenot both out there at the same time to close a game. They are too similar a player to have out there at the same time, their defense is somewhat suspect. But it seemed like there is still some unsavory wiff of old school Hacktics in the air.
    .
    MacMath was PISSED after the final goal. So Pissed I thought he Pokemon evolved into Mondragon Pissed.

    • Oh and you know you left Nogueira off the lineups at the bottom of the page.

    • I’m with you on Nogueira.
      Give the defense a little time to work together. Getting Williams back will also help a lot. Not so sure about Fabinho.
      I think it is going to be a good year, despite the give away of 2 points. Portland is a very good team.

    • +1, missed Moreno’s analysis! Bring him back!

    • Don’t blame the defenders.

      The Union defended in a 4-4-2, with Nogueira pushing up to help Jack with pressing, so both center backs had to mark Urutti and Valeri, and I’m impressed that they shut them out for the whole game.

  12. Well that was a fast crash back to reality.

  13. I can’t help feeling a little deja vu. 2013 games against Dallas, RSL, where the union had the win only to let it slip at the end… Then the loss in August against Chicago. Back then it was Hacticks that let us down. We shall see if that becomes a pattern this year.

    • i don’t know how it makes sense to blame hackworth for this. we played so well for the first 93 minutes and the mistake had nothing to do with poor tactics.

  14. First off, They better learn how to play the full 90+ minutes in the game. That was inexcusable! Secondly, I am sick and tired of seeing Carroll on the field, his decision making is horrendous. I know its way too early but if Hackworth keeps him on the field he will be the most incompetent coach in the MLS. Lastly, Fabinho looked a little shakey out there and Gaddis has proven not to be a starter. Yes, he’s fast as hell but his skill and decision making need work. Overall, the team looks 100 times better than last year, especially with the new players,( Edu, Noguiera, Chaco, Berry.)It’s great to see this team finally develop keeping possession and keeping the ball comfortably. This will be extremely important going ahead

  15. Love our 3 new mids!….Noguiera and Maidana looked great! MO did well. Carroll played OK, but let us all down at the end.
    I wasn’t that impressed with Berry, but he didn’t have much time to gel in preseason and it was pouring rain.
    Thought Fabinho played pretty good, better then I expected on D. Gaddis was AVG.
    Mac & Mc played well.
    I think our two weak spots that need improvement are right mid/wing(Letoux/Cruz) and DM in Carroll.
    Maybe moving Carroll out and playing a 4-4-2 with Casey up top would be a better line-up. Don’t know if we have a better option for RM, but hopefully Ribeiro can play that side.
    Overall, team is MUCH improved over last year! I think we can play and beat any team this year.
    Let’s smoke the Revs next week!

  16. OneManWolfpack says:

    I don’t know, I’m not really on board with all the negativity there seems to be about the defense. I didn’t think they were terrible. Agreed they weren’t perfect and the end of the game was completely inexcusable, but under the circumstances (weather, opening game, new faces) I thought they were decent. Berry looked good. Fabinho was ok, but not a total liability.
    .
    I was blown away with how they built the attack and moved the all on the ground pretty much the whole game. It was so nice to see guys not kick the ball just to kick it (except Carroll of course). Chaco looked great and Noguiera (he needs a nickname – I hate spelling his name. Ha!) was a welcome calming presence.
    .
    All in all it should have been 3 points for sure, but I’m not mad about getting the point. Just mad about how it happened. Now if the U play a game like this in August, I’ll be furious. But for game 1 it wasn’t bad at all.
    .
    Let’s not all get pissy and act like we’re mad with a point from the defending Western Conference champions in their house, in the first game of the season, with 4 new players in the lineup.

    • The Black Hand says:

      I thought that Berry looked good, as well. Fabiano was exactly what we knew he would be…a factor on the wing. His defending has always been a little suspect.
      .
      All in all, I feel that our club showed well against Portland. It was a very tough season opener and the weather made it tougher. I’m happy with an away point, but soured by the fact that that match was won.

  17. Oh yeah, forgot to add that Hack should have the guys that were on the field at the end of the game run 20 laps and do 100 push-ups. Maybe you guys have a better idea for punishment. That terrible team defense on the goal is unacceptable!

  18. Southside Johnny says:

    So much positive in this match. I am really excited about the chemistry developing in the attack, the individual quality in the midfield on both sides of the ball and how well the backs held up and worked together. I liked the sub decisions. Negatives for me were LeToux’s postioning and the failure of the guy with the armband to get his team ready for a corner as well as his own misplay. I am really up for this season now and I get totally giddy thinking about adding Sheanan and Casey to the mix.

  19. Things that were absolutely horrible with last nights game: (1) Union color-commentator was awful!! It was like listening to Ben Stein from Farris Beuler. (2) The Camera work seemed to be done using a college intern with rickets.

    Items that made my jaw drop (in a great way):

    1. The Union have a #10 Finally!
    2. Vincent Noguiera is an absolute beast and his vision for the game is incredible
    3. Edu shut down holes, won balls, and surge forward at crucial moments to outlet overlaps…..BEAST!

    PLEASE Someone Let Me be the first to drive the nails into Carroll’s feet for the Crucifixion that is approaching. Carroll CANNOT keep up with Any of his MF players and definitely is and will be the Liability of this team, just as he was last year.

    Some have issue with Fabinho’s defense, yet Gaddis seemed to be exposed more so on his flank last night. I’ll still keep Fabinho over Gaddis period!

    McMath again showed why the Union picked a stud GK at #1 in the Draft. (1) He has no real composure when the pressure builds in the air. (2) He flaps spastically like a seizure victim. (3) looks like a “deer in headlights when there is overloads in the box. (4) he comes off his line too far when he shouldn’t, gets stuck in “no mans land,” or hold his line flat-footed and gets burned. He is lucky more so than most. Overall, Blake has shown he is more than up for the task at hand.

    My Starting XI:
    Blake, Williams, Berry, Okugo, Fabinho, Edu, Rebiero, Nogueira, Maidana, LeToux, Casey

    Bench/Subs: Hoppenot, Cruz, McInerney, Daniels, McMath, Gaddis

  20. Jim Presti says:

    There was a lot of positives to take away from the first game of the season, against a great team, in a tough atmosphere, in the rain. Looking forward to the season home opener!

    • Absolutely!

    • Agree, Jim. The ending was disappointing, of course. But that was – overall – a better showing than I expected. Looked to me like there was already some chemistry between the new mids, and that should only improve.

    • +1. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that, if someone asked you for this result before the game started, against one of the league’s top teams, playing in their fortress of a stadium, with 4 brand-new starters who have never played together or with this team in a game that counts, you’d’ve taken it in a heartbeat.

  21. carroll is awful. the people claiming he had a good game up until the last min are delusional. there is no excuse to have him in the line up. this will be 2 years in a row having carroll as the captain will cost this team wins. pathetic. its embarrassing.

  22. Also, for whatever it may be worth: I do believe this was the first time in Union history they had the same captain for the first game in back-to-back seasons. Califf, Mondragon, Valdes, Carroll x2 if I’m not mistaken.

  23. Agree that Carroll stunk it up. And cost Union 2 points. Since Hackworth delusional, is probably up to Okugo, Edu, Casey, and McInerney to approach the manager and tell him to sit Carroll. Okugo is awesome. Edu should wear the armband. Notice Berry was almost always in the correct spot, probably Okugo’s doing. Union limited Portland to one goal – for which only Carroll (and maybe Hoppenot) can be blamed. A team with Valeri, Nagbe, Will Johnson, Urruti! After that game, Hackworth should call Klinsmann and beg him to call up Edu and Okugo for next US friendly. Would solve a lot of the US problems at backup centerback and center midfielder that Ukraine exploited.

  24. While there were two outlet options for Carroll (Fabinho and Berry)to lay the ball off and control the ball while running off those final seconds, I could live with the clearance if it’s blasted down into Portland’s corner. Make the keeper come out and handle it, or make them throw the ball in deep in their end…instead, a quick counter put us on our heels.
    Overall though, I’m really excited with how the team looked, and expect to see some really attractive soccer at PPL this year. Can’t wait for Saturday!

  25. When Maidana came out the U lost ball distribution and smart decisions that could have contributed to dissipate the timbers pressure in the last minutes of the game.

    Nogueira lost his partner in possession and play creation in the midfield and unfortunately the effect was the opposite of what Hackworth intended as the Union looked to seat deeper as the team no longer could make the ball available to Cruz or Hop on the wings and were forced to take the pressure on centrally.

    The union conceded on a couple of mistakes, but I believe those mistakes could have been avoided by replacing Maidana with a guy that can provide some of the same service to the team in terms of ball handling and possession like perhaps Leo fernandez that was looking good in pre-season.

    Hop got the U a couple of free kicks in the final third but wasn’t the right tool to consistently relief the pressure the timers mounted at the end.

  26. Simmonds17 says:

    Heartbreaking to settle for a tie there, but in the long run, this can still be a good result. I know I went in expecting no points.
    Maybe Peter Pappas was bad on color but those of you who heard him were spared the homerific Timbers broadcast that I got on MLS Direct Kick. They spent so much pregame and early match time talking about how Portland is not just a good team, but considered by many to be the favorite to win the Cup.
    Really? I didn’t see remotely enough offense from that side to see a threat to SKC and the other top teams.
    Despite the disappointment, build on the good result of a road point in one of the league’s toughest venues. New England got rolled in its opener and I expect them to come out with something to prove on Saturday.

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  29. Regardless of England’s woeful World Cup, the track record of Aston Villa’s James Milner proceeds to expand and
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