Union match reports

Match Report: Philadelphia Union 1-1 Montreal Impact

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

For the second time in the young 2014 season, the Philadelphia Union conceded a late goal to turn a deserved victory into a frustrating 1-1 draw.

Playing at a rain-soaked PPL Park, the Union were the dominant side for large periods of the match. Yet, after Vincent Nogueira opened his Union account in the 35th minute, the home side was unable to either score a second goal or see out a 1-0 result.

While the Union may have thought that Andrew Wenger’s 76th minute red card would put an end to Montreal’s attempted fightback, Marco Di Vaio nabbed his first goal of the season, helping the Impact steal a draw on the road for their first point of the season.

“Four games, four goals is not good enough,” Amobi Okugo said after the game. “We keep other teams in the games, and they have one chance and one goal and that’s what happens.”

First Half

Starting with the same 11 that fell to Columbus last week, John Hackworth’s side came out quickly looking to possess and push the game from the opening whistle. The early pressure nearly paid dividends after only 11 minutes when Nogueira skipped past Heath Pearce up the right touchline and stormed into the Impact box. With Jack McInerney wide open at the back post, Nogueira elected to go alone, pushing his shot just wide of the far post.

Montreal came quickly back at the Union after the let off, but Aaron Wheeler slid in at the last moment to block away Justin Mapp’s near post shot.

With Montreal sitting deep, the Union grew in stature and should have been up a man after 26 minutes when McInerney raced away from Hassoun Camara. Clearly beaten, the Impact defender pulled McInerney down by his collar. Camara was the last defender, yet referee Edvin Jurisevic showed lenience, only brandishing a yellow card.

McInerney was pressing high, and, with Nogueira filling the space behind him, Montreal looked uncomfortable as they scrambled to concede corners rather than shots on target.

In the 35th minute, McInerney and Nogueira switched roles. With the forward pulling into midfield to get on the ball, he slipped a clever ball through to Nogueira, who lashed a venomous drive past Troy Perkins.

“I was happy to be able to get a goal; it is always good to get a goal for a new team,” Nogueria said after the game. “I am just upset about the result. Scoring goals is not my main task, but I am always happy to be able to score.”

Second Half

Despite ending the first half on the front foot, Montreal began the second stanza with the momentum. Fabinho quickly found himself in the referee’s notebook for a foul on Mapp, who was finding it increasingly easy to expose the space behind the Union fullback.

Fortunately, Di Vaio could not find a touch in the 50th minute when a free kick pinballed around Zac MacMath’s box before the Union could clear.

Mapp burst past Fabinho again in the 52nd minute, and while MacMath could only get his fingertips to the cross, it was enough to put off Di Vaio, who volleyed wide of the target.

Hackworth wasted little time in replacing the ineffective Cristian Maidana, who had also taken a small knock, with Leo Fernandes, and the second year man nearly had an immediate impact. Stepping straight up for a free kick, Fernandes’ left footed service curled inches beyond both Maurice Edu and Wheeler as they crashed goalwards.

The Union looked likely to find the elusive second goal when Edu stepped around his man to rip a shot on target in the 60th minute, but Perkins’ strong hands beat the effort away.

Moments later, Fernandes kept play alive for McInerney, who slid a ball into the path of Nogueira on the endline. Nogueira’s cutback could not find the arriving runners, and the chance went begging.

Conor Casey took McInerney’s place in the 71st minute, and he too went straight into the action. When Felipe was stripped just outside his box, Casey raced to the endline before firing a low cross to Fernandes, whose flick came tantalizingly close but did not go in.

With Montreal beaten completely back into their own half, matters only got worse in the 76th minute when Wenger came crashing in on Nogueira. Considering the height of his foot and the fact that he came studs first into the tackle, Jurisevic did not hestitate in showing Wenger a red card.

Despite being reduced to 11 men, Montreal pressed their attack, and it was only a delicate reaching touch from Wheeler that kept Di Vaio from having a clean look at MacMath’s goal.

But a minute later, Di Vaio found the equalizer.

With the Union pressing high up the pitch, Nogueira couldn’t handle Brian Carroll’s square ball, which was recovered by Mapp. The former Union midfielder raced away and expertly picked out Di Vaio, who then went one-on-one with Okugo. With the Union defender giving him space to shoot, the Italian launched a curling shot inside the far post, and, courtesy of a deflection from Okugo, the ball found the back of the net.

“We gave the ball in the midfield,” said Okugo. “I was recovering with Wheeler, and Justin [Mapp] played a good ball to Di Vaio…I was one on one, he shot and I deflected it and it went in. It was tough as that was their only clear cut chance and it went in.”

John Hackworth said of the play, “There were a lot of breakdowns on that play. We did’t defend Di Vaio very well. There was a lot going on in that play that we could’ve done to prevent to never get put in that situation. There were things even when we had the ball. We had a great attack a couple seconds before that. A lot situations we have to correct this week.”

The Union nearly struck straight back when Nogueira cut back for Fernandes after a long run took him to the endline, but Perkins was again sharp, denying the shot at close range.

In the 85th minute, Ray Gaddis opened up Montreal on the other side of the pitch, skipping past Pearce before laying the ball back into Carroll’s path. Unfortunately, Carroll’s first drive was blocked, and Edu’s second effort was deflected behind.

With the last chance of the match, Nogueira whipped a low ball into the box for a sliding Antoine Hoppenot, but the service eluded his outstretched toe and Perkins completed his outstanding afternoon by claiming cleanly.

The Union will look to claim all three points on April 5 when they face Chicago Fire at Toyota Park (5 pm, CSN, MLS Live, MLS Direct Kick).

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath; Ray Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Aaron Wheeler, Fabinho; Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira; Sebastien Le Toux (Antoine Hoppenot ’82), Jack McInerney (Conor Casey ’71), Cristian Maidana (Leo Fernandes ’57)
Unused substitutes: Andre Blake, Ethan White, Corben Bone, Michael Lahoud

Montreal Impact
Troy Perkins; Heath Pearce, Hassoun Camara, Matteo Ferrari, Eric Miller; Justin Mapp, Hernan Bernardello, Felipe Martins (Karl Ouimette ’87), Collen Warner (Patrice Bernier ’74), Andres Romero (Andrew Wenger ’60); Marco Di Vaio
Unused substitutes: Jeb Brovsky, Santiago Gonzalez, Blake Smith, Evan Bush

Scoring Summary
35 – PHI: Nogueira (McInerney)
80 – MTL: Di Vaio (Mapp)

Discipline Summary
26 – MTL: Camara (caution)
36 – MTL: Warner (caution)
48 – PHI: Fabinho (caution)
64 – MTL: Ferrari (caution)
76 – MTL: Wenger (ejection)

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic

Attendance: 15691

Philadelphia Union Montreal Impact
13 Attempts on Goal 13
5 Shots on Target 2
4 Shots off Target 8
4 Blocked Shots 3
8 Corner Kicks 4
7 Fouls 18
23 Open Play Crosses 12
4 Offsides 3
1 First Yellow Cards 1
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 1
66 Duels Won 64
50% Duels Won % 49%
423 Total Pass 310
73% Passing Accuracy % 67%
57.9% Possession 42.1%


  1. Amobi needs to learn how to close forwards down.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      I think you meant to say, “Amobi made a mistake on that play.”

      • Absolutley. Please Please Please Union fans, recognize Amobi Okugo for what he is. An exceptional football talent. Week in and week out it is his quality that stands out way above the rest of players. Far and away the best player on that team. His touch is exceptional, his reading of the game first rate, his ability to find simplest solution almost always at the fore. He is still learning to play defense, let alone central defense, and yes he needed to close down on that play, but more importantly, the question you need to ask is, was Wheeler properly supporting him or did Amobi think he was alone. Someone needed to be screaming at him to “take ball!”

      • Amobi waved him off. See below.

      • Old soccer coach says:

        You guys all know that the three principles of defense are, in order, pressure, cover and balance. Okugo chose to not pressure, I am guessing because he had no cover. Wheeler was too far away to give him cover in the central channel. My instinct at the time was that he set up two yards too far away, but it was a wet field, and Di Vaio beating him to the inside would have broken the striker in alone on McMath.

      • He made a mistake, but a lot of defenders do against Marco Di Vaio. As mentioned above he had 1 great chance and 2 or 3 good chances to put one in the back of the net in the lead up to the goal, and whether it was rust the weather or something else he missed. But you can’t give Di Vaio one good look, let alone 4 or 5. It was only a matter of time. They needed to do a better job of shutting down the service from the wings.

  2. phillyboy1 says:

    Wow!, Why is it that every time Brian Carroll is in the lineup, we do not get a win?

    • Brian played well. Perhaps the answer to your question is “small sample size.”

      • The Chopper says:

        He did play well. Helped generate our goal, but his poor pass and Noguiera’s inability to control it, led to DiVaio’s goal. Two blown leads on two Brian Carroll passes.

      • That mistake was Carroll’s alone in my opinion. Noguiera had no chance to control that pass. Too much rush rush rush. Whenever Caroll has the ball its rush rush rush.

      • He may be held responsible for a give away in his offensive third of the pitch, but blaming him for the goal? No. I do not put that goal on BC. If you do, then we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

      • Atomic spartan says:

        I disagree with your agreement to disagree. 2 blown leads on 2 blown passes says it all. Not what we should expect from an experienced pro. Bad decisions to put the ball in harm’s way at critical times, not poor execution. Carrol’s misplays and Wheeler’s emergence should dictate a backline that includes Berry and Wheeler, a midfield that includes Okugo, and a bench that includes Carrol.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I disagree with your agreement to disagree with his agreement to disagree. Carroll didn’t show the best decision making but that goal shouldn’t be put on him. Amobi blew a tough marking assignment. That said, I don’t disagree with the idea of a Wheeler/Berry CB pairing and putting Amobi at the CDM. In fact, I think I like it…a lot. Not sure Wheeler won’t eventually crack but he has shown well, so far. His speed would compliment Berry and they would both make a physically imposing middle. Interesting options would stem from such a move.

      • I don’t hate the idea of a Wheeler-Berry backline, but Wheeler is unproven over a long season, and we have the talent to make the playoffs and make a run, so I think Hack needs to stick with Okugo & Berry long-term, and let Wheeler play when needed, in exhbitions and Open Cups.

    • Excellent question these days. As you will see in my tantrum below, I am perplexed why Hackworth sends Edu and Carroll out together. There is no reason in this league to need 2 DMs. The quality is not good enough. The extra DM limits the much needed touches by #5 and #10.

      • I thought Edu was supposed to play from box to box. I have been a bit confused by his positioning.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Carroll had a game. Give the man credit.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I agree. If this was the NHL, he would have had a secondary assist on the goal. Plus on several occasions he teamed with his defense to strip Montreal players of the ball right around the edge of the box.

        I have to put this draw on the coaching staff for once again not having the team prepared to play a man up or with the lead.

      • +1

  3. I love Okugo, but that goal was definitely on him. It happened right in front of our section. First of all, it looked like he actually might have been able to block the through ball, but he didn’t see it right away and then got turned around. Second, he had defenders trailing behind him in the box for backup, but he let DiVaio just waltz right into the box with no attempt to step up or make a play. That was a really disappointing way to end the game.

    • Did he know defenders were behind him? Were the defenders telling him to play the ball or contain? Looked to me Wheeler was caught slackjawed ball watching. Was McMath telling Okugo what to do or was he ball watching as well. Defense is a team game and yes he allowed DiVaio to turn, but after that hughly long through pass Okugo may have thought he was alone and was trying to contain an arguably great MLS goal scorer 1v1 at which point said goal scorer curled a beautiful ball to the corner.

      • Right before Di Vaio got the ball, you can see Okugo look back and wave to Wheeler and MacMath to stay home. Okugo was the one who decided to take Di Vaio 1 on 1, and then he let Di Vaio back him up almost into MacMath’s face. I’m as big of an Amobi fan as there is, but that was an atrocious play on his part.

        Also, there was absolutely no way MacMath could have reached that shot, and he wasn’t out of position. He had to cover the near post first.

      • ^ What Joe said. He turned, saw the defenders, and waved them to stay back.

      • Granted if you saw the wave off. Then the responsibility is his. surprised he didn’t try to push him to the end line more. either way, what a bummer of a goal. too often the Union make that killer mistake in a game the last few years.

      • Philly Cheese says:

        Di Viao and Mapp were only two Montreal players participating in the game. Okugo should have been calling for two more to join him on Di Viao since Mapp was still out of touch.

  4. It was a lot funnier last year when it was Toronto giving up late goals to drop points. This year, not so much. I guess we had a couple last year too, but I hope this is not a going to be a year long issue.

  5. Amobi Okugo is the only defender on that team with true quality. His touch is exceptional. His reading of the game excellent and his level headed cool play where he is always seeking the easiest solution is plainly obvious. He will kick the ball up the field only as a last resort. Having said that, what was he thinking not forcing the play on the striker tonight. On the other hand, McMath needed to be screaming at him to close down or Wheeler screaming. The Union were in a position of strength on that play and they failed miserably. Anyone who thinks Carroll played well tonight watched an entirely different game than me. He made multiple poor decisions and hamstrung #5 with the peg leg pass that caused the turnover outside box before Montreal gol- granted #5 made original poor decision. THey needed to build play there, be patient. Patience, such a challenging thing to find in this league. Thought #5 and #10 would be able to slow play and build but when they hardly touch the ball…. Also, why in the world is Hackworth sending out Edu and Carroll. They are essentially the same player and whenever they are on the field it is the same thing as Keon Daniel and Carroll. When they are both on the field play bogs down. No coincidence, the best they looked this year was the game Carroll was sick. Far as I am concerned Edu can go or Carroll, but Edu likely to roll out of Philly as soon as he gets the chance. They have way too many unproductive touches on the ball together and do not properly link play. Also, the LB Fabinho played lousy tonight along with Raymond Gaddis. Sheanon can’t come back soon enough. Too many poor touches. Too much panic. Truly poor result tonight. That is the difference between good teams and bad.

  6. Am I annoyed? Yes.
    Do I think Hackworth shouldn’t have subbed out jack for Casey? You bet!

    But seeing how I am KEEPING IT POSI I will just give you all the greatest SOCCER RELATED VIDEO OF ALL TIME to keep everyone from being so glum.

  7. Carroll made some nice defensive stops but passing and shooting were awful. Gaddis…see Carroll, but even better 1v1.

    Fabinho got worked by Mapp.

    Chaco “turnover” Maidana needs to ride the pine.

    LeToux’s set pieces were not good enough.

    Wheeler had himself a really nice game. Amobi had a great defensive and offensive game.

    Nogueira had some excellent touches. Glad he got his first goal. I just don’t love how he and Edu mesh (don’t mesh).

  8. Hack,
    Please stop switching LeToux & Maidana. It’s predictable and ineffective.

  9. Southside Johnny says:

    I know he is a work in progress, but I think given how little experience he has, Wheeler has tremendous potential at center back. Most of the that things he does really well are the hardest to master. He just needs a little time to figure out a few things, gain confidence and have some decisions become automatic and he could really be somebody back there. He’s got a lot of heart and a seemingly level head. I’m impressed with this kid.

    • The Black Hand says:

      He has held up strong. He is showing to be a pretty talented footballer. He hasn’t looked out of place on the back line.

    • He’s got more giddy-up than I expected too. There was one play in 2nd half where he needed to get back fast, and he seemed to be eating up 10 yards with every stride. Easy speed.

  10. Surprised no one is bringing up the obvious, they can’t score goals! Hey okugo makes a mistake, big deal, he’s earned a pass for that one. It takes a while to gel on offense and they’re in that period. The only thing that needs to happen is the coaches have to help the gelling process and stop trying to force square pegs in round holes.

    • The Chopper says:

      I think no one brought it up because it’s been obvious since pre season. You can’t win consistently scoring only one goal a game. This team generates enough chances and defends well. But no finishing. You must play perfect and lucky on defense to keep winning 1-0. It would be a lot easier to score two and win. But that won’t happen unless Casey rounds into form.

  11. The Black Hand says:

    Di Vaio is a tough assignment. Talented striker, that tortured our back line. Prime example of what a single striker should do. We could use something like that!
    Fabinho looked so bad, that I think he may have just put Ray Gaddis back at LB, once Shaenon is fit. I hope, at least. Gaddis is a quality player. Fabinho is a poor defender with a left footed cross…sometimes.
    Our midfield looked jumbled and disorganized. The bright spots being Noguira (dude is good) and (I cannot believe that I am going to say this) Brian Carroll. Noguira showed off some real talent on the ball. Would have had an assist if McInerney had not kept himself offside until the last second, removing himself as a target and forcing Noguira into a tough angled shot. He was looking to make that pass.
    Carroll put in a good match. He stepped up, challenged/won possession and started the Noguira goal, with a nicely played ball out to McInerny. He rushed play uncomfortably at times but, all-in-all, Brian Carroll put in a fine effort. The rest of the midfield put in a painfully anonymous performance.
    Our strikers were…we had no strikers. Pitiful! McInerny’s set up, of Noguira’s goal, is the only thing to come from our high attacker(s).
    On the whole, it was a disappointing day. Good clubs put down 10- men teams, especially on a home pitch. We have fine tuning to do, if we are to be considered one of the leagues better clubs. I think we will get there, but we certainly were not there this afternoon.

  12. james lockerbie says:

    I am pretty sure someone already pointed this out but the midfield/strikers need to take some shots from just outside the 18 once in a while! the ball was going back n forth across the goal line like a ping bong ball. Then there was that one extra pass in front of the goal line. take a pitcher in baseball you gotta throw a high fastball to keep the batter honest and on his toes!

    Had Edu or anybody in the final third taken a shot on net maybe just maybe we could have gotten the second goal. I mean challenge the goal keeper if you hit it on frame then there could be a follow up shot. Worst case sinario its a goal kick and restarts the play. Which is better then losing possesion and giving the opposing team a counter attack without having had a chance at net. very fustrating game we were there approaching the finish line and then….

  13. james lockerbie says:

    o.k. just watched the postgame news conference encouraging news Coach Hackworth actually looked Mad! and holy crap He said exactly what I just discribed above. Sometimes a player hast to man up and take the defender on and sometimes he got to be ready and willing to pull the “trigger” that is take the damn shot! not everytime but if the opportunity is there go for it. Given the wet conditions a few shots on target might bounce,skip or slip in past the keeper.

  14. I was getting ready to say that, although he and Edu make no sense being out there together bc they take eachothers space, Carroll was playing play today. Then came ANOTHER bad late game pass to setup a tying goal. The goals on Amobi, bad decision, but he’s earned one bad play. Carroll set it up yet again.
    We need more offense besides Jack making off run balls, Le Toux running in circles, and Nogueira doing anything he can to move play forward. Something needs to change.
    This is on Hack. 4 games is a good enough sample size now to see that something should change. This doesn’t mean like for like switches either, like every sub was this Game. Let’s good Hack steps up, uses the anger he showed, and makes a positive decision moving forward. Under no circumstance should we start the same. Again.

    • The Black Hand says:


      • This is why BC should be dropped. He played very well, but having him on the field puts two people out of position. And Noguiera isn’t a CAM. I put the turnover on him, bc he never should gave cut it back to Carroll. He had options. Leo should start over BC (or Edu next week).

      • The Black Hand says:


      • The Black Hand says:

        That has been the source of my displeasure with Carroll. It’s no so much his play, which is far too one-dimensional, but the effect his presence has on our formation and tactics/execution. He limits the club. Did have a nice showing, though.

  15. On The Right Track says:

    We need offense. Edu needs to shed some defensive responsibilities and get up the field. It’s really not that complicated! Let BC do his thing shielding the back line, and tell Mo to force the issue in the final third. C’mon Hack, let’s go…!!!

  16. On The Right Track says:

    Another poor game by Chaco Maidana. He is struggling to integrate into our scheme. Another clunker from him next week and I think it’s going to be Leo Fernandez time. I hope he gets his s#it together because you could tell in the opener that he has mad skills. C’mon Chaco get it together bro! DOOP!

  17. Hack needs to let the hate control him and join the dark side.

  18. I’m glad to see a few others pointing out Carroll’s contributions this week. Of course he’s not an offensive spark, but for most of the game, the pair of Di Vaio and Felipe were very quiet, and that’s exactly what Carroll is supposed to accomplish.

    Okugo is by far my favorite player, but I simply can’t defend his play on the Di Vaio goal. He’s the one that waved everyone else off. Then he retreated faster than the knights in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He says the goal took a deflection off of him and maybe that’s why it curled so much, but he’s got to pick a spot and stand his ground sooner. If he get’s beat 1v1, then we say Di Vaio made a great veteran play. Okugo got beat looking like he was afraid of looking like he got beat (if that makes any sense; I think I confused myself on that one).

    I also can’t blame Hackworth. His postgame comments about guys being unwilling to take chances and go 1v1 against Montreal sound a lot like the New England game when he was screaming at the midfield & backline to get forward and press the issue. Hackworth isn’t telling them to be hesitant. They’re being hesitant on their own, and he’s not happy with it. With the exception of Nogueira, it seems like they’re waiting for their opponents to get caught out of position instead of forcing the issue and trying to exploit their opponents’ weaknesses. That’s a big thing that the brothers Farfan brought to the team. That’s also something that I think will come back with the return of Sheanon Williams.

    My big question is this: where is the Edu that we saw in Portland? Didn’t he come here to show he can be a complete, 2-way midfielder? I don’t think it’s Hackworth that’s holding him back right now. Yes, he had that one shot heading for the upper 90 that was sacked by Perkins, but when the game was winding down, he was just passing the ball side to side with Carroll. Get in the box and cause some havoc.

    • Old soccer coach says:

      He picked his spot and set up, and chose to invite the shot because of it’s angle difficulty and because he had no one providing him cover in the center of the box as Wheeler was still recovering from giving cover against Mapp near midfield in the right channel. Okugo set up too far away from Di Vaio to put any pressure on the ball, but he was ready to contest any attempt to penetrate towards the central channel in the box, where Di Vaio is devastating.

  19. Random list of reaction points:
    -Rain didn’t help
    -Edu and Chaco look more like I thought they would: rusty.
    -Chaco will take a while to adjust like most SAm. DPs; plays weak.
    -LeToux is frustrating, but at least he plays the high press well.
    -Love Jack and his passing, but needs to VARY his runs more.
    -BC played well.
    But see comment above.
    -Fab might as well sit when Sheanon’s healthy. A blind man can pick better crosses. Or Ray can just not use his left foot but play better D. It’s all the same.
    -For the umpteenth time: Hoppenot needs a meetting with the Bob’s… “What would you say you do here?”
    -Okugo played very well, but obviously didn’t know his angle and positioning on the goal. I think it was a random lapse as opposed to unfamiliarity with CB.
    -On to the next one.

  20. Southside Johnny says:

    Would someone please help me understand why with a one goal lead or a tie would you consistently sub for a guy who:
    1. (I’m pretty sure) had as many late goals as anybody in the league last year
    2. is having a solid game
    3. is playing a huge role in creating space and chances
    4. isn’t hurt or obviously gassed?

    • The Black Hand says:

      Because he is ineffective and unproductive as a single striker. His runs were not that great and too many crosses entered the box, with our striker 18 yards away from goal. I think that Jack is a talented player, but he doesn’t have the size/skill set needed to strike alone. Look at what DiVaio did and then look at what McInerney did.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        So how have the subs worked out?

      • The Black Hand says:

        Good point. I think we need to switch up to a 4-4-2, in order to have any threat. We don’t have the wings to keep rolling with the 4-3-3. Hackworth should recognize this by now and adjustments should come. Will they??? That’s another question.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        I totally agree and that’s my point.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Hacktics…are not very good.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        In a 4-3-3 Jack shouldn’t have to play as a lone striker so much, but, I agree, given how it has gone so far, bring on the 4-4-2.

      • Old soccer coach says:

        Hmm. Thought Leo Fernandez gave the attack quite a spark playing at a wing midfielder. Before changing the shape, give Fernandez a chance and Maidana a rest, because Le Toux was more disciplined in his runs and does provide high pressure defense.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        That’s exactly why Conor should have come in for Le Toux rather than Jack. Jack and Conor up top together would have had a better chance to put the game away (or go ahead once the tying goal was given up) than any other combination on the team.

      • The Black Hand says:


      • Southside Johnny says:


      • yup

      • This I’d why I don’t respect Hack. Can’t read the game. He’ll play a 4-4-3 just b/c hr thinks that’s how they should play. I compare the U to Liverpool often bc they had similar personnel issues. Rodgers found a system that suits his team and best players best. Doesn’t just throw out a 4-3-3 regardless… Heck, w/ Wheeler we could even play the 5-3-2 BR played earlier in the year.

    • That game was inexusable. Everyone talks about losing points last year and not making the playoffs. Well the Union lost 2 points. For no reason. Up a man with 20 minuts to go.

      Let’s be real. If Di Vaio was in form that would have been a 4-1 beatdown.

      I agree with others that pointed out Edu looks like hell. But the solution I propose is different. LET OKUGO PLAY HIS PROPER POSITION. Sit BC. Let Edu play box-to-box. Play Chaco/Nogeira/LeToux as wide midfielders or CAMs or whatever.

      Let Marquez/White/Berry/Wheeler play CB.

      I don’t care if we play 1 or 2 strikers. I don’t think you can start both Casey and Maidana bc neither is very fit and you’d have to sub both of them 50-60 min in.

      Sure, Marquez and Wheeler might give up some goals, but so did Okugo. At least people would be playing in their correct positions. Have you seen this Shipp guy for Chicago? How come other coaches who don’t have Hackworth’s supposed experience with player development can start rookies? But the Union, who suck, can’t?

      THE UNION ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. Maidana and Edu don’t compare to Bradley and Defoe. We’re starting everyone out of their proper position. Develop guys for next year.


      at home.



      Consider sub Ribiero for Leo since seems like Leo can’t play a full 90 anyway.

      Also, give up on golden boot for Jack. He’s an ok player. He’s not Di Vaio or Magee. And he sulked on the attempted shot/cross by Nogueira. He appears selfish and childish. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but really…

      • The Black Hand says:

        How about dropping LeToux and going with a two striker set?

      • The Black Hand says:

        I should have read the whole post and not just looked at the lineup. Four matches is a bit early to give up hope. Sure, there are some wrinkles that need to be ironed out but there is something to work with.

      • +1 Yes, I’m glad someone said this. Four games in for a team with a whole new set of midfielders is not all that long.

        Also I wonder how much Jack getting used to the players around him is affecting his strike rate. One of Jack’s best skills is positioning, and it would make sense to me he’d struggle a bit when he’s getting used to his teammates.

      • the union are going to make the playoffs. We have too many talented players to not make them. Remember 5 teams get in, So you have to be a bad team to not get in. And the Union have too many players to be bad.

      • Old soccer coach says:

        FYI Marquez and Ribiero are on loan to Harrisburg City Islanders.

      • I was originally thrilled to hear of Hackworth’s appointment to Head Coach, but am coming to the conclusion that he is just another example of the old guard thinking and highlights what is wrong with coaching at the American Soccer level. Almost like he is coaching not to lose. Very frustrating. Very frustrating to watch an away side control the tempo and pace of play.

  21. The reason we didn’t win is clear…we need a guy like Di Vaio on OUR team and not the opposition. His goal was world class…hard to defend against him for 90+. You can blame Okugu if you want, but most guys in this league can’t curl balls in like that.

    So, if you want to lay blame, we simply didn’t put the game away due to our lacking offensive prowess. This is going to be THE issue moving forward IMO. When everyone else was gushing about the new midfield and was concerned with filling some defensive holes, I was concerned about filling a striker position.

    Many still don’t want to admit we have a problem there but it will become more apparent as time goes on and the issue escalates to the point where we are wondering if we can even compete for a playoff spot in this league. Still too early for a fire Hack conversation though but it will likely come later in the season.

    • Hey! How come this guy gets a picture?

    • Again, this is on Hack. We have talented players who don’t know what to do in the final third.
      From what I can see, Hacktics consist of a high press (which I like) but what else? He should be scripting what the final third should look like. Instead, Fab swings crosses regardless, Jack drops shallow for posession, LeToux runs wherever and Edu is wondering where to go. What does the boss want? Early service, beat em around the endline, combo plays on the edge of the box to get behind???

    • Old soccer coach says:

      They are in the process of finding out whether McInerney is merely a poacher, like Chicarito Hernandez with Man U, or can grow into more than that. Jac Mac’s contract is up after this year and they have to accumulate information to inform their decision.

  22. Every point I had to make about the match has already been made above. So I will just add this minor item. The Okugo bobble head has to be the worst thing I have ever seen. I read that Amobi didn’t think it looked like him. That is the understatement of the year. What a joke this piece of crap is. The perfect ending to the rain soaked fiasco that was this draw.

  23. The Chopper says:

    Let’s stop calling it a 4-3-3, it really is a 4-5-1. Calling it a 4-3-3 is marketing for the fans that we are going forward and going to be offensive. It’s a 4-5-1 with a lone striker who is an inconsistent threat. This is Hack’s preferred formation, it creates chances, controls possession and puts the team in a position to win. But if you can finish, it’s pointless.

    This team would have experimented with a 4-4-2 in the pre season had Casey been healthy. It likely will happen soon if Casey is up it. Some kind of 4-4-2 with Fernandez in for either LeToux or Carroll has potential to generate some more goals.

  24. Did anybody watch the Liverpool Tottenham game? Now that is how football is supposed to be played.

  25. kingkowboys says:

    Giving up the goal was a two man effort. BC delivers another terrible pass in the opponents half and Okugo hesitated. If Okugo closes down on Di Vaio without letting him cut back he can’t make that shot. MacMath has a chance to stop any other shot than that one.

    The offense needs Le Toux and Chaco to contribute more. They were invisible and never in a dangerous position. I don’t think either are very effective this year out wide. Our team is much more effective in the middle with 1-2 touch passing.

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