Union match reports

Match Report: Columbus Crew 2-1 Philadelphia Union

Leo Fernandes scored his first MLS goal, but the Philadelphia Union could not overcome Bernardo Anor’s brace and fell 2-1 on the road to Columbus.

The misfiring Union, who outshot their hosts 19-9, managed only four shots on target.

“We battled our way back into a difficult situation,” Union manger John Hackworth said after the game. “We created plenty of chances, had counter after counter, and we just couldn’t pull a play off. We couldn’t execute — that’s our fault.”

Aaron Wheeler made his first start at center back with Austin Berry not fully recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered last week against New England. Brian Carroll, recovered from the illness that saw him as a late scratch from last week’s lineup, rejoined the starting XI at the expense of Leo Fernandes. Ray Gaddis continued at right back with Sheanon Williams still on the injury list.

First half

The Union started brightly and probably had the better of the play for the opening quarter of an hour. First, Jack McInerney got in behind the Crew defense and had a shot blocked in the 11th minute. Then, Vincent Nogueira had an even better chance slicing into the box on 13 minutes only to shoot straight at Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark.

Columbus grew into the game as Fredrico Higuain and Jairo Arietta found more time and space on the ball. But the opening goal was the Union’s own undoing. On Columbus’ first corner kick of the game, Higuain lofted the ball to the Union’s back post. Bernardo Anor, who had drifted away from Sebastien Le Toux’ mark, met Higuain’s delivery and directed a low header into the bottom corner of the Union’s net. Christian Maidana was on the back post but couldn’t get a foot to the well placed header.

In the minutes after the goal, Columbus seemed to have the Union on their heels. A series of half chances followed three consecutive corner kicks but the Union was able to sort out their set piece woes and emerged unscathed.

Philadelphia would fight back though through McInerney and Nogueira. McInerney was able to get in behind the Columbus back line twice, but each time support was slow to follow and the young striker could not create anything on his own.

Nogueira had another great chance at his first MLS goal in the 41st minute when Sebastien Le Toux forced a turnover after a Crew throw in on the left side, 20 yards from goal. A quick pass into the Columbus box to fellow Frenchman Nogueira gave the midfielder time to shoot, but his curling effort was inches wide of Clark’s goal.

Anor would make the Union pay for their missed chances in the 47th minute. After easily taking the ball of Maidana near the center circle, the Venezuelan unleashed a knuckling effort from 35 yards that found its way past Zac MacMath and into the lower lefthand corner of the net.

“To give up a goal in extra time in first half was really, really frustrating,” Hackworth said.

Second half

The opening minutes of the second half found the Union struggling to get a grip on the game, forcing John Hackworth to go to his bench early and bring on Leo Fernandes for the ineffective Maidana on 55 minutes.

Fernandes quickly made his presence felt, shooting just wide after a good pass from Maurice Edu in the 60th minute. Two minutes after that, Fernandes would net his first MLS goal.

With the Union pressuring, and Columbus retreating back into their own box, Ray Gaddis whipped in a well placed cross from the right that was only half cleared. Sebastien Le Toux was able to pick up the loose ball 6 yards from the endline and slide a pass across to the arriving Fernandes to tap home.

Philadelphia would almost find the equalizer a minute later. Again it was Fernandes creating havoc in the Columbus box, when his low cross found Jack McInerney near the penalty spot. But the striker’s shot was too close to Clark, who pushed the ball behind for a corner kick.

McInerney would come close again in the 69th minute, and once more it was Fernandes providing the service. This time the striker was unable to hook home a cross at the back post with a fully outstretched effort that drifted just wide.

Fernandes would get two more chances in quick succession in the 70th minute. After Maurice Edu had his shot blocked from 20 yards, the ball fell to Fernandes, only for his snap shot to be pushed away by Clark. Fernandes was quickest to react but his follow-up was blocked away for a corner kick.

Antoine Hoppenot replaced McInerney in the 70th minute, and Danny Cruz took Sebastien Le Toux’s place in the 80th. Hackworth would also push Aaron Wheeler into a center forward position in search of an equalizer.

Hoppenot would create the Union’s best chance late on. Beating two defenders on the left side, he broke into the Columbus box, but his cross couldn’t find the onrushing Wheeler.

The Union’s 19 shots are an impressive haul on the road in just their third game of the new season, but the fact that only 4 were on target will have John Hackworth thinking what might have been.

“Credit to our guys in our locker room,” the Union manager said after the game. “I thought we battled back in the second half and put them under pressure — kept the ball, moved it, created chances, got one back. And I thought we had plenty of chances to get the second one too and it just didn’t fall for us.”

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath, Fabinho, Amobi Okugo, Aaron Wheeler, Ray Gaddis, Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana (Leo Fernandes 55’), Jack McInerney (Antoine Hoppenot 72’), Sebastien Le Toux (Danny Cruz 80’).

Columbus Crew
Steve Clark, Josh Williams, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Michael Parkhurst, Waylon Francis, Hector Jimenez, Will Trapp, Tony Tchani, Bernardo Anor (Justin Meram 80’), Federico Higuain (Chad Barson 92’), Jairo Arrieta (Dominic Oduro 66’).

Scoring summary
CLB: Anor 24’ (Higuain)
CLB: Anor 45+2’ (Trapp)
PHI: Fernandes 62’ (Le Toux)

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: Fabinho 74’ (yellow)
CLB: Higuain 81’ (yellow)

Columbus Crew Philadelphia Union
9 Attempts on Goal 19
2 Shots on Target 4
4 Shots off Target 10
3 Blocked Shots 5
7 Corner Kicks 3
10 Fouls 7
12 Open Play Crosses 26
3 Offsides 1
1 First Yellow Cards 1
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
52 Duels Won 66
44% Duels Won % 55%
473 Total Pass 417
80% Passing Accuracy % 78%
52.8% Possession 47.2%


  1. Sean Doyle says:

    Mike, it was a cheap giveaway by Maidana near the center circle that led to Anor’s second goal. LeToux was out wide when that faux pas happened.

    • Mike Servedio says:

      Thanks, Sean. It’s been corrected. My notes got disorganized at the end of the first half when Tweetdeck crashed on me. Just watched the replay, terrible giveaway.

  2. Didn’t see the game, but from the write up and highlights, it seems Fernandes is pushing hard for some regular PT. But who’s going to sit? I know who I think the odd man out of the MF should be, but what about Hack?

  3. The Black Hand says:

    We need Casey, up top with Jack. Fernandez has outplayed Carroll. He should be the 10, interwoven with Chaco and Mog. Edi would be just fine, driving the midfield from the back seat. No need for Carroll, who was continuously led out of position. This match was a bit of a letdown!!!

    • The Black Hand says:

      I phones are terrible for typing anything more than a few words

    • Hey remember Hack spoke to Carroll about the fact that we have a midfield now and he may have to sit, you know like if he’s sick or injured or having a baby.

  4. I was disappointed by this game and some moments of slack play in the first half, but I don’t feel like there are fundamental problems with the team which leaves me feeling ok overall

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    Given the number of chances the Union had, I can’t understand why Hackworth to Jack off or why he didn’t bring Connor in. They need to have finishers on the pitch, not just guys who can run a track meet.

    • Cuz he’s still an idiot and still making the same exact subs as last year. It’s all he knows. Hop sucks and we all know what Cruz is.Leo should gave been on for Carroll of letoux..not like for like w/ maidens. Man, he’s an idiot.

      • BH- androids aren’t much better…

      • Andy Muenz says:

        Actually, keeping Carroll on made some sense. It allowed the Union to drop him back and move Wheeler forward for the last 10 minute.

      • And that worked? Mo HSS played DM and CB and is pretty good at it…

      • I don’t mind Carroll in the back doing his Carroll thing. But why was he so far up the field? Why was he in a position to take shots? WHY?!?!?!??!?

      • It’s because Mo is just better at playing Carroll’s deep MF role. Mo covers much more ground and is more confident on the ball. Carroll steps into the space in front of Mo on the transition and ends up in an AM position.

      • Mo is just a better player but that doesn’t mean Carroll doesn’t have value if he just hangs back like in Portland. He should never even enter the offensive half unless it is a set piece.

      • Well…I’d usually be a proponent of the Carroll removal but Maidana was having a rough outing and looked tired already or disinterested. BUT second and third subs are boring and frustrating. I’ll take Hop in the last 10 fine. Cruz I just can’t become a supporter of, he just got in and took an embarrassing flop on the sideline. Agree that Leo should start with Mo, Chaco, and Nog for another game. See what happens.

      • Maidana really didn’t look very good, or even very active this game. I’m okay with the Leo sub there. I agree with others who would have liked to see Casey come on for a good 20 minutes or so to add another finisher up front.

  6. Is there any question that this is a better team when Brian Carroll is on the bench? Carroll is invisible on the field unless he is making mistakes, kicking the ball away or dramatically out of position.

    The team made very good moves in the offseason, but unless Hackworth is willing to do what is right and put Carroll on the bench, maybe he needs to be the next change.

    • Not maybe. It’s obvious that Carroll literally serves no point. He actually gets in Edu’s way.
      And then this all forces Nog to be our late runner in the box. He’s not a CAM or goal scorer! (Note: Edu and Maidana had TERRIBLE games and Nog wasn’t much better in the box.)

      • I have to disagree with you D on Nog. being the attacking CM. He has been doing fine in that position. Remember He came from playing in the league 1 in France, It’s child’s play in the MLS for him. He has done very well being our attacking mid. and I think he will be even better when the season gets rolling. My big and obvious concern is Carroll. He’s just in the way and a body and is not smart with his decisions. I’ve been saying this for two years now and as long as he is in the starting line up more and more ppl will see. Carroll needs to be gone but I hope Hack has the balls to make the right decision here.

    • It’s actually good for Carroll to be invisible. It means that we are mainly on offense and he doesn’t have to be part of the play, or we are on defense and he isn’t making mistakes AND we aren’t gett scored on.

  7. That ball did not knuckle. Be honest. It was a fine shot, but MacMath never left the ground, as Usual. So many people had off days, but MacMath lost this game for us. Blake makes that save.
    Hack, MacMath, and Carroll will hold this team back all year.
    …but still you can see it was an off day for the big 3. That will be a rarity so it will get better.
    I think Leo has earned his spot over Carroll here. If not, put him in for LeToux and at least have 3 creative interchanging fwds up top…
    Moreover, we need to get healthy!

    • MacMath lost this game for us? That’s the most absurd thing I’ve heard all day, and I talked to a 25 year old man who said One Direction are a good band..

      Blake doesn’t hold a candle to MacMath, get real, please.

      What lost this game is a few stats that are easily found..

      19 shots, 4 on target. No finishing on this team, at all.
      7 corners against. Something we all know we struggle with.
      2 shots on target against, 2 goals. Both goals came from our outfield players completely fucking up. A horrible turnover for the second, and letting a late man in the box by poor marking.

      MacMath did nothing wrong today. Our defense is still trash. Fabinho is a joke, Gaddis is sadly one of our better looking defenders this year. Carroll might have a 0% pass completion rate.

      • Haha. Seriously? Have you ever played at a high level or coached at a high level? MacMath let in a routine 40 yard save. Yeah, he hit it fine and the turn over shouldn’t have happened. But GKs are supposed to, ya know, save the ball occasionally. He saves that shot, we keep our momentum going in at half.
        Clearly, you don’t know what tge role of GK is at the higher levels…see Adams comments below.

      • D I totally agree! MacMath saw the whole play infront him! It wasn’t a bad rip at all from the offender but he should of at least been able to deflect it away. MacMath isn’t a horrible keeper but his decision making is still college level. I really wanna see what Blake can do!

      • Played high school level, yes, as a goalie and played goalie for 14 years of my life before knee injuries. Also coached high school girls for 8 years. Oh btw, that goal wasn’t 40 yards out. 30-35 at best. Just about 32/33 by my judgement from the field lines.

        MacMath is high and above Blake at this point. I’ve seen him at college level, watch some of his tapes on youtube, most of them are him catching crosses and spilling easy shots. His handling is horrible.

        The team is to blame for that loss, don’t put it on the goalie. The ball had to get past 10 other people to get past him. Both goals were the outfield players faults. Terrible marking on both plays, and a terrible turnover on the second.

        And 2 goals on 2 shots that he could do nothing about.. The only way he saves the second goal is if he is out of position, cheating to the right side, I’ve seen much better keepers let in that same shot or worse.

        The troubling stat in the game isn’t 2 goals against on 2 shots.. It’s 19 shots, 4 on target, and 1 goal. No finishing from this team. McInerney could have easily had at least 1, Maidana another. The teams terrible finishing is to blame.

      • I’m sorry but Macmath is definitely to blame. He is a serviceable backup goalkeeper in the MLS at best. I don’t care if it was 40 yards or 30 yards that is a shot that a professional goalkeeper needs to make or at least make a solid attempt attempt. Macmath has the WORST positioning of any professional goalkeeper I have ever seen. Whether it is him 2 feet in his own net on corners, attacking the ball from the wrong side or being so indecisive that he stumbles and falls trying recover (like he did on Saturday and should have been the Crews third goal) He plays scared and he can’t make up his mind what he wants to do which gives him no command of his box. I have no confidence at all in him and it is time for him to go if this team wants to go anywhere. Blake is light years better then Macmath and he has international experience something that Macmath with never have he deserves the chance to start and put Macmath on the bench where he belongs.

      • And dude you said it. Mac math had 2 GA on 2 shots. Yeah. He did nothing wrong.

      • First goal was a header into the bottom corner that Maidana should have stopped. That’s his job when he is covering the back post, not MacMath’s. Second was a good strike, plain and simple. Make sure you know the background of a statistic before you use it in an argument. Otherwise, people can make you look ignorant.

      • First goal was a LeToux lapse. He did not pick up the runner. Maidana on the post does not automatically mean he should or could have saved that header. As a long time defender who has done plenty of time on the post on CK, I know first hand how hard it can be when the box is crowded. Anor should have been picked up on his way in by Seb.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Gaddis is one of our better defensive players…yes. Sadly??? Hell no!!! The kid is good. He took a lot of heat for having to adjust to the opposite side of the field (really, really difficult for a back) but he did a good job. As a Right Back, he has been outstanding. Give Ray the credit he deserves. He’s one of the few that actually earns it.

        As for MacMath…terrible game. He has shown improvement, on the whole, but none of that showed against Columbus. His game was shit! We have not seen anything out of Blake, as a professional, so it is tough to compare him to MacMath. The club let Zac down yesterday but he didn’t help. He was beat from 40 yds…40!

        Everything else, I agree with.

      • Gaddis is a player that has heart and hustle.. He’s a better, defensive version of Cruz. Okugo has steadily worsen as a defender, and having to use a striker convert to a centerback purely based on his height, over a young, quick centerback (White) is foolish. Wheeler actually did decent, but it’s still very troubling to see.

      • Personally, I’d rather have Wheeler play over White. Neither White nor Okugo are all that strong in the air and against an experienced attack like that, flank attacks and crosses probably would have been the game plan.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Gaddis deserves a little more than a ‘better version of Cruz’. he is actually very good.
        Okugo…I never liked him as a CB and think that he could be SO much more. He is getting the job done because he is a gifted footballer, but there are many holes in his CB game. Sadly, he is our top CB and there is no need debating his placement on the pitch. He’ll get better and then he will leave the club.
        Wheeler…meh. His size is an advantage. I just hope that Berry gets healthy quickly.
        Hackworth’s management has shown a reason for concern. My fingers are crossed…

  8. I was watching the game with a soccer coach, and he couldn’t believe how bad Mac was. Same Mac as always. Doesn’t put himself in good positions, and when he does, fails to take advantage of opportunities. Absolutely brutal game. Also, Maidana clearly does not like playing on the right side. Get him back on the left where he belongs. Fernandes should be starting over Carroll, that’s pretty obvious. I’d also like to see Blake, MacMath is still uninspiring.

    Like many here, I have serious doubts about Hackworth’s management.

    • There are plenty of YouTube clips of Chaco playing on the right side as an “outside-in” winger on the right side. He is fine on the right and really just had an off game.

  9. I thought this game was a bit of a trap game with our defense hurt and our inability to score goals. So here we are
    Union Game Stuff…
    Nogueira is a baller. I don’t know how long his contract is for but I suspect he is going to want to get PAID frst chance he gets. Between that and keeping Edu and giving Okugo a raise we may have looming financial crisis.
    Maidana was invisible. I think we see why he was bounced around from team to team. So we may have some money freeing up.
    I don’t know who this Leo Fernandes guy is or where he came from but he needs to start.
    Once again Jack was to high on the pitch and once again he was taken off just as he was about to find his groove.
    Once again you cannot have Cruz and Hoppenot on the field at the same time. They are the same player and only get in the way.
    All things being equal I pick Hoppenot.
    Dominic Oduro’s soccer hair is glorious
    I miss Sheanon.
    We still don’t have an attacking midfielder and we still need one. I had a fit today thinking about what if Roger Torres could do working between Edu and Nogueira.
    Carrol was to high on the pitch. I was expecting him to play in the back and mop up but he was higher up than than Edu. Carrol is too much of a professional to play that far out of position. If he is that high up it is where he was told to play.
    If you don’t like Jack Macs positioning blame Hack.If you don’t like Carrol’s positioning blame Hack.
    Defensively I can live with Fabinho on the left but seeing he was a non factor offensively today all things being equal I’d rather see Gaddis start.
    What happened to those nifty overlapping runs we saw in preseason?
    Okugo had a bad game.
    Columbus plays in one ugly ass stadium.

    • Philly Cheese says:

      Great summary. Did Carroll attempt any forward passes? His vision and touch is bad. Fernandes provides significant upgrade. Don’t know if I agree about Okugo. He protected Wheeler well and overall not as bad as you think.

    • Sieve, I agree will most of your comments. My thoughts on Jack Mac is he is not good enough. Don’t think he would have put one in the back of the net if he stayed on. I think we need a quality finisher with good dribbling skills that can make room for himself to get off a shot. Connor has better ball skills than Jack. That’s pathetic for Jack. Jack needs Connor up top to help him get those trash goals he’s used to scoring. I want Connor back on the field! We should go back to 4-4-2, put Connor in for Le2 and Leo in for Carrol. Only thing missing IMO is McMath is just not good enough to take us to the promised land. Hopefully Blake is a good as they think he is.

      • Actually he may have. I don’t have a crystal ball. but he had a better chance than Hoppenot and Cruz(who also didn’t score) I think jack has the goods but for all of our acquisitions he still does’t get a through ball snd the midfield barring Fernadez isn’t producing either.
        Casey is probably not in game shape and if it were up to me I would find a way to get the band back together and put Casey and Mac out there at the same time.

    • A few notes on your financial comments

      1) Both Edu and Nog are already DPs, so giving either a raise doesn’t effect the budget at all.
      2) With Okugo, my bigger concern is not the issue of a raise, but whether he wants out of of Philly to try his hand in Europe. He’s had interest in the Bundesliga before, and it could be he jumps at it.

      Also think maybe you’re being a bit too rash to judgement with Maidana? He had a bad game, sure, but all attackers have them every once in a while. He’s barely been with the team, that has to make it harder for him on days when things aren’t going his way. He looked very good in two out of three games so far, let’s cut him a break until we get a larger set of games.

  10. The Chopper says:

    If Connor Casey is dressed, he needs needs to play. If he can’t play, he should not be in the 18. I understand that Hoppenot and Cruz are getting regular minutes to try and establish potential trade value, but we just don’t need them both out there. One is enough. And there play isn’t creating value.

    All that being said, bottom line is the team generated more than enough chances to get a result and simply can not finish. One goal a game forces your defense and GK to be perfect to win and they won’t always be perfect, there will be mistakes and there were tonight, Tactically, a ton of good chances, I really can’t argue. A silly lapse on a corner and a distance shot that found its mark.

    Finish your chances and you should at least walk out with a point.

  11. I’m struck by how slow Maidana looks. Maybe not such a diamond in the rough after all.

    I thought MacMath had an ok game.

    Leo gets tired easily, if he starts he may have to subbed out at 60 min regularly.

    Where is Connor Casey?!?

    • I think (hope) Maidana gets better in s few games. He seems to fit into the “DPs take a bit to adjust” category.
      And he wasn’t playing. Neither was Mo. It showed.

      • Chaco has raw talent. The jury is still out on him though, but I agree and will give him a few more weeks to show us what he’s all about.

  12. Lots of down days for guys today. Even Okugo looked a little off. Carroll looks slower by the game, Maidana Was nowhere. Could this be all to Hack making him switch to the right side? Fabinho had an off night, no going forward, possibly bc he was scared of their offense. Pitiful goal given up by Zach, he didn’t have an awful game overall but a real keeper just can’t let that in. His weak punch and failure to retreat early on almost cost them another goal.
    Jack had an almost game, almost found the right game, almost had the shot, almost had the teammate there. Overall though he’s looked solid this year.
    Leo was excellent, take off le toux and Carroll and bring him and Casey on, period.
    With all of this, and Hckworth still not being able to sub or manage, we still had a ton of shots and probably should’ve won. Very encouraging sign.

  13. Finish.

  14. Southside Johnny says:

    Once again, I was quite impressed with Wheeler in the back. His passing was a little rough early on, but he is remarkably good at reading and reacting to the attack for a converted forward. He is a beast in the air and somehow quickly deploys those long legs on step-ins and tackles. These guys were no joke on the attack and he and Fabinho held their own admirably. He has bumped Hack’s IQ by about 10 points for me.
    I am really disappointed in Le2 this year. His positioning seems so random on both sides of the ball and he and Carroll just don’t seem to be in synch with the new mids while lack of clean touch really stands out. Carroll is certainly trying harder to contribute to the attack, but doesn’t add much.
    The Crew looked pretty darn good at times.

    • Spot on southside Jon. yea le Toux’s touch isn’t up to par with and Carroll is just horrid in my opinion. Also the great Jack Mac better start looking for the corners of the onion bag because he should have scored at least 1 goal against the crew and Leo should of had a goal as well when he took the rip in front of goal right at the keeper instead of placing it in the near post. Our offense needs to do more than just getting the ball on target. They need to really start looking for the back of the net.

    • The Black Hand says:


  15. For all the lovely mid-field play we don’t have attack:

    Casey – Injured or Unused. I hope to see him more often going forward.
    Jack – Back being regular Jack after a fluky start in 2013. At least 4 opportunities wasted yesterday at his feet.
    Maidana – He’s not a goal scorer. We all knew that when he was signed.
    Nogueira – Same as Maidana.
    Edu – A goal here and there in his past, but not his main contribution.
    Hoppenot – Can’t shoot.
    Cruz – Same as Hoppenot, but with less skills.

    I wonder where Hack expecting the goals to come from in his system.

    • I realized I missed Le Toux. He could use a better touch, but he’s a reliable work horse. Still don’t think in his current form he can be relied on to consistently put it away.

  16. OneManWolfpack says:

    Too much negativity here. The team shot themselves in the foot on the first goal, and Zac blew it 100% on the second. But the Crew didn’t impress me. We should have won that game, and it shouldn’t have even been close. Just finish.
    Leo was fantastic for the 2nd straight week which is nice to see us have some depth. Casey should have been brought into that game. I agree that if he wasn’t healthy, he shouldn’t have dressed.
    What was Jack thinking when he took that ball in the box and waited until the defender was in his face to shoot? That was a blown chance.
    I am not the biggest Carroll fan, but I think with him being on the field, it frees up Edu to be more box to box. I didn’t think Edu was bad yesterday.
    Wheeler looked good on the back line. I was very nervous to start the game with him, but he proved me wrong.
    Chaco was disappointing yesterday, but I’m not ready to give up on him yet. He has some real skill, and I think he is still adjusting. His fitness is a little concerning though.
    All in all, this is a good team, and they are still putting it together. The midfield is still solid, and the back line wasn’t bad at all. Zac needs to step it up and the man marking must improve. But I think (hope) this is just early season stuff that can and will be corrected.
    I think we as fans are most pissed, at least I am, knowing that we could legitimately be 3-0-0 right now, but instead are 1-1-1. Which all things being said, isn’t too bad. But it is frustrating.

    • Well said and I agree but much more of this 1 goal or none BS and I won’t be able to hold back the Negadelphian in me.

  17. Leo should start over Brian-check

    We need a CAM-check

    We need a proven striker-check

    Hack makes poor personnel decisions-check

    A fire Hack conversation will eventually materialize at some point in the season-check?

    • Don’t know about the proven striker part yet. It’s becoming apparent that Jack isn’t comfortable as a lone striker but he was very impressive last year when paired with a big target forward in Casey. Taking Carroll off and replacing him with Casey up top might kill two birds with one stone.

  18. I really did not like Maidana’s game yesterday. He reminded me of bad Keon–tentative, accomplishing nothing with alot of effort and lazy recovering. Agree on OneManWolfpack’s assessment.

    I wish Nogueria would have finishes his 1 v keeper.

  19. It’s hard for me not to be positive. The Union is an interesting team. They are generally pretty strong in defense and creative in the attack.

    They give up two goals in the first half of an away match and put in a great effort to claw their way back into the match. A Union equalizer seemed probable. It didn’t happen obviously, but they made it exciting.

    I’m a happy fan.

  20. 2 goals. 1 from not marking up on a corner kick. 1 because our number 10 can’t control a soft pass and our GK can’t stop a soft shot from distance (it wasn’t knuckling; it was practically floating). Beware, Zac: every player in the league saw that goal, and they’re going to be firing at you from almost midfield now.
    Still, the rest of the time they played okay.

    • oh 1 more thing, I totally heard the, um, sexy time sounds during the broadcast, glad to find out it wasn’t my imagination

      • My wife noticed the, uh, background noise and tried to point it out to me. But I was too focused on the game to hear it. God, I’m old.

      • Your wife was trying to tell you something else buddy. And just like your beloved Union, you failed to take advantage of your opportunity to score.

      • Wait…Everyone heard that? I assumed it was my weird pirated stream…

    • Every player already knows that from the Kellyn Rowe shot and another 40 yarder he gave up last year. I genuinelly like MacMath and pressure on the shooter should occur . . . but I don’t know how a 6+ foot goalkeeper doesn’t stop that. That’s NCAA DIV 3 soccer type stuff

  21. Old Soccer Coach says:

    In the first two games we neutralized the opposition’s playmaker, Nagbe and Fagundez, fairly well. Not nearly as successfully today against Higuain, in fairness he is a better player than either of the other two.

    Can someone tell me what Columbus did to render Maidana ineffective? They did it well.

    • Higuain is a classic second striker/play maker pulling the strings. Nagbe is a striker. Apples and oranges. Higuain is good yet he was pretty limited. The goals really were defensive mistakes (Seb was lazy on that CK) and Macmath falling asleep.

  22. I thought there was too much space between McInerney and the midfield. At least most of the time. I recall seeing McInerney with two, sometimes three, defenders and no other Union players in the picture. (Granted, part of that is that Fios does have Comcast Network in HD, so we didn’t see the whole screen.) The one that especially comes to mind was when he was off to the right of goal, down near the endline. But there were other moments.
    Looked like Nog was maybe trying to go near post on the shot that went “right” to the keeper. It was bending to the left post, and if their goalie is leaning the other way to anticpiate the far corner shot, it’s in. In hindsight, of course, he shoulda gone far post.
    It looks like Leo raised his game during the offseason. The difference to me seems to be he’s playing more direct. The stepovers he loved so much last year seem to be mostly gone this year. He’s more direct now, it seems to me, and it’s improved his play.
    I’d give Casey the start Saturday, with the plan of bringing Jack on around 55-60. I’d also start Leo over BC – and I’ve been a Brian Carroll supporter on this site. Lastly, I’d like to see Pfeifer instead of Cruz as the guy replacing Le Toux. I still believe the Union need to trade one of Hoppenot or Cruz; they’re too similar.
    Lastly, I’m a novice. But I can’t understand how that second goal goes in. Ever. Whether it was 30 yards or 40 yards doesn’t really matter much to me. There was no deflection, and from that far out a screen shouldn’t matter. In my mind, a professional keeper should make that save every time. But I’m willing to hear why I’m wrong.

    • To your points:

      Jack Mac is NOT a good option as the lone center striker. I think he was much more effective in a 4-4-2 with Casey as the target striker.

      I think Nog is right footed so that was a left footed shot. Yes, he should have gone to the far post, but not the easiest thing with your weaker foot and a defender pressing you. Still, was a good attempt.

      +1 on Leo and Casey start (or better yet, a 4-4-2 with Casey AND jack up top).

      I think Blake should get a shot after Macmath let that one in. Yes, it was a canon of a shot but at this level, a keeper needs to at least get a hand on that.

      • The Black Hand says:

        +1. There is no excuse for being caught flatfooted from 30+ yds. MacMath has earned himself a seat, for the next match. Let’s see what Blake can do. It is not always the best thing, to rush a keeper, but I think that we should at least give him a look. If anything, the competition might force MacMath to step his game up.

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