Union match reports

Match report: New York Red Bulls 2-1 Philadelphia Union

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Union

In what is becoming an unfortunate tradition, Philadelphia Union again fell short on a trip to Red Bull Arena in a 2-1 loss to the home side.

Sebastien Le Toux converted an 80th minute penalty kick, but early second half goals from Theirry Henry and Lloyd Sam were enough to see the Red Bulls secure their first win of the season.

After an open first half in which the Union seemed to control the run of play, defensive lapses at the start of the second half gave the Red Bulls the two goals they needed to secure all three points. A late red card and Le Toux’s goal gave the Union an opportunity to grab a draw, but a toothless offensive display while up a man saw Philadelphia fail to even create a scoring chance late in the match.

First Half

Union manager John Hackworth made three changes from the team that drew with Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Brian Carroll sat in favor of a more attacking midfield featuring both Leo Fernandes and Cristian Maidana. Meanwhile, Sheanon Williams and Austin Berry also sat out the match. Fabinho came in at left back, Ray Gaddis moved back to the right, and Aaron Wheeler was a straight replacement for Berry at center back.

The Union got their first chance in an open first half on 13 minutes. Some quick footwork from Cristian Maidana near the midfield line saw the winger break free down the right side. In behind the Red Bulls backline, the winger picked his head up and found Andrew Wenger streaking down the left side. Maidana’s outside of the boot pass was into the path of Wenger, but the striker couldn’t muster much power on his shot and Luis Robles made the save.

The Red Bulls responded a few minutes later with a chance of their own. Eric Alexander timed his run well and got in behind Ray Gaddis on the right side. Peguy Luyindula hit the midfielder in stride. With only MacMath to beat from a tough angle, Alexander hit a pass across the face of goal that eluded everyone. Kosuke Kimara collected the ball on the left and crossed for Theirry Henry, but Henry’s acrobatic effort was well over Zac MacMath’s goal.

The Union’s next chance would come through a free kick on 41 minutes when Vincent Nogueira was fouled near the right corner of the Red Bulls box. Maidana would take the ensuing free kick with his powerful left foot, and though his shot cleared the wall and dipped on target, Robles was able to get over to cover.

Second Half

The Union would get the first chance in the second half early on as Andrew Wenger broke free on 48 minutes. Nogueria was once again the orchestrator and played Wenger in along the edge of the area. Wenger pushed the ball right of the onrushing Robles but then fired into the side netting from a tight angle.

The Red Bulls opened the scoring in the 57th minute. Roy Miller glided past Le Toux and broke down the left side on the overlap. Lloyd Sam then hit him with a perfectly weighted pass. Miller picked his head up and found an unmarked Theirry Henry 10 yards from goal, and the striker made no mistake placing a sidefooted shot into the far corner.

New York would find the net again just 10 minutes later. This time it was Alexander breaking into the Union box and getting to the endline. His cutback cross to the back post found an unmarked Lloyd Sam who made no mistake heading into the top corner of Zac MacMath’s goal.

The Union brought on Conor Casey (66′), Antoine Hoppenot (76′), and Michael Lahoud (76′) to try to get back into the match.

They gave themselves a chance to at least grab a draw when New York center back Ibrahim Sekagya was sent off. In the buildup to the penalty, Vincent Nogueira found Casey in space on the left side of the Red Bulls’ box. Casey created a shooting lane, and his shot beat Robles but hit the inside of the near post and bounced out. Jamison Olave’s clearance went straight to the foot of Maurice Edu, who blasted a shot toward the gaping New York goal. Sekagya went to ground to block the shot, but it caromed off his extended hand. Referee Ricardo Salazar was in good position and pointed to the spot straight away while showing Sekagya the red card.

Le Toux stepped up for the Union’s first spot kick since September 2012. While Robles was able to guess correctly, Le Toux’s low shot would squeak under the goalkeeper and into bottom right corner of the net.

Up a man and down a goal, the Union threw numbers forward looking for an equalizer. Aaron Wheeler moved up to the front line as the Red Bulls dropped all nine men behind the ball. But the equalizing chance never came as Philadelphia’s midfield never seemed to find the final ball into the box.

Philadelphia will have a chance to rebound this Saturday when the Houston Dynamo visit PPL Park.

Scoring summary
NY: Henry (Miller, Alexander) ’57
NY: Sam (Alexander) ’67
PHI: Le Toux ’80

Disciplinary summary
PHI: Fabinho (foul) ’17 — yellow
NY: Sekagya (handle on the line) ’78 — red
NY: Olave (foul) ’82 — yellow
NY: Henry (foul) ’86 — yellow

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath, Ray Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Aaron Wheeler, Fabinho, Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana (Antoine Hoppenot ’76), Leo Fernandes (Mike Lahoud ’76), Sebastien Le Toux, Andrew Wenger (Conor Casey ’66)
Unused substitutes: Sheanon Williams, Austin Berry, Brian Carroll, Andre Blake.

New York
Luis Robles, Kosuke Komura, Ibrahim Sekagya, Jamison Olave, Roy Miller, Dax McCarty, Peguy Luyindula (Tim Cahill ’63), Eric Alexander, Lloyd Sam, Thierry Henry (Jonny Steele ’89), Bradley Wright-Phillips (Armando ’80)
Unused substitutes: Ryan Meara, Connor Lade, Ruben Izquierdo, Eric Stevenson

Match Stats

New York Red Bulls Philadelphia Union
11 Attempts on Goal 12
5 Shots on Target 5
6 Shots off Target 5
0 Blocked Shots 2
3 Corner Kicks 3
23 Fouls 12
16 Open Play Crosses 14
3 Offsides 4
2 First Yellow Cards 1
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
1 Red Cards 0
44 Duels Won 50
46% Duels Won % 53%
381 Total Pass 436
77% Passing Accuracy % 83%
47.5% Possession 52.5%



  1. If I start complaining about this game I’m gonna be typing all night. So time to go to my happy place…

  2. This begins and ends with John Hackworth. Why do you take Williams and berry out the same Game, on the road, against a world class finisher? But beyond that, staying in the original formation and the subs he chose were just god awful. Hopefully he learns going forward. Okugo had an I characteristically bad game, surprising.
    The midfield looked strong most of the game, and Wenger had another good start. Le Toux looks totally out classed right now with the rest of the midfield, and needs to sit at least a game. He was at fault for goal 1, got beat and didn’t continue his run. He has no ability to run at the defender right now either, which makes his switches to the left side mean nothingz. Something is disjointed with the final piece of the attack, I think we need to at least try the 2 striker set. Something needs to be done before it’s too late.

    • I think Berry and Williams were probably still injured and/or out of shape. It is soccer shit happens. But Wenger for Casey is just baffling.

      • Torvald Coolguy says:

        Wenger for Casey was questionable but I’m sure fitness/reinjury concerns were why Williams and Berry didn’t play, especially considering the short rest.

    • Like u said: It’s all Hack. He has never had a scheme for the final thirds. Moreover, he built this team with a complete void of tenacity (at least Jack had that)

      LeToux starting is the biggest problem for this team. Followed by the preset Hop sub.

      Somebody just tell Nog and Chaco to be more selfish and aggressive.

      We’re about two games away from it no longer being “early in the season.”

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      I disagree with your assesment of Wegner. He did a good job of pressing defensively, but that was it. Rarely put himself in good positions, rarely threatened, and the one time he did he took a shot from an impossible angle instead of passing. Also he was completely AWOL on the few crosses and corners that they generated. I felt that he slid to the outside a lot and left no one in the middle to target.

      You are dead on about LeToux!

      • The problem with Le Toux is the deployment, not so much his own ability. Hackworth has him in some wacky, incredibly ineffective inverted role, in which he somehow ends up on the left or in the middle – and usually in somebody’s way. If he were to stay on the right where he belongs and whip in crosses, which he’s good at, there would be no issue. The fact that he’s doing this every match but isn’t being benched for it shows that it’s Hacktics, not his own tendencies as a player.

        All the goofy, cute passing in the box and lack of quality shots is another byproduct of the ineffectual 4-3-3. Wenger needs help up top, and the team overall needs someone willing to SHOOT THE BALL. Seba and Fernandes as a strike partner could mesh quite well with Wenger. Time to stick a fork in the 4-3-3 and move back to a 4-4-2. Sans Carroll, of course.

  3. The Chopper says:

    Well no one can blame Brian Carroll. I was fine with the starting lineup. It’s the second game this week. Williams probably is t ready to handle all those minutes yet. Gaddis has been fine on the right and Fabhino was better tonight than he has been recently. Berry earned his spot on the bench. Amobi really was the weak link on the two goals.

    As for the subs. Casey certainly had a hand in the goal,and has a knack against Red Bull. I’m tired of Hoppenot, but there was no one else and Leo has yet to be 90 minute guy and there is another match Saturday. The choice was leaving Maidana in, or sending out LaHoud which allowed Edu to press forward. The strategy may have changed if Hackworth knew he was going to have a man advantage, but how can you know that? So I really can’t argue with anything Hack did. They just lost.

    • I can’t see where the first was on Okugo. He was closing down Sam (who LeToux didn’t track back) and Wheeler opted not to step out on Henry (more about Henry being good at getting lost than Wheeler/Edu not picking him up). Gaddis also had a rough night w/ the interchanging FWDs and LeToux not helping.
      All I remember about the 2nd is Zack staring at it while it floated in (for the second time tonight).

      • The Chopper says:

        After watching the replay a few times, he didn’t take the best angle in his close and with the near post belonging to MacMath he has to make sure that back lane pass is cut off. Not his best work.

        But you are right, LeToux did not track back and really did nothing all night?

    • As you see my comment below, The biggest factor I saw was our defensive play as a whole. They just seem inexperienced and every defender we have is getting beat and just looks out of position. its very concerning.

      • The Chopper says:

        The inexperience factors is big. Okugo has always been next to a Valdez or Parke. Plus Carroll is usually back there helping to organize as well.

        While Edu is far superior to Carroll, he is not as glued to the back as Carroll is. Add that to a very green Wheeler and you get holes.

      • And at some point (now) MacMath should have the responsibility of organizing is back line.

  4. Soo its definitely apparent that are defense and our defensive play is so inexperienced its a joke. I have no clue what Hackworth presents to the team on how to work on Defense as a whole but it doesn’t seem like the team is getting it or Hack just isn’t working on it in an effective way. Know one knows that except the staff obviously. For example Henry, or anyone for that matter, should never be unmarked in the box. Great teams know how to organize themselves on the fly when the opposition is on the counter attack. There is no excuse for both Henry and Cahill being completely unmarked when at the top or in the 18. Hopefully the U can actually fix these mistakes instead of just pointing out week after week what they do wrong.

    • Yes, they’re inexperienced. Now. Experience takes months, not minutes. These mistakes they’re making are (hopefully) what they’ll learn from. And (as someone pointed out below) nobody is running away with the East this year. So I’m not mad now. But if they’re making the same mistakes in August and September, I’ll question what Hackworth has been doing in practice.

  5. sigh

  6. Tough game. I actually though the Lahoud sub was pretty smart. Given the options we had off the bench, the best way to boost the offense was to push Nogueira and Edu forward at that point. Lahoud brings energy and pretty solid defensive cover to allow those two to get forward more. Hoppenot as a sub just doesn’t seem to change the game like he once did – I know he wasn’t on the bench tonight, but Cruz would’ve been a nice option late in the match. You know he’d attempt to take some defenders on when they were putting 9 behind the ball and needed to be broken down by someone. Defensively, I didn’t see Okugo at fault on the goals. He was closing down the final ball on each goal…the issue seemed to be Henry, then Sam/Cahill running free in the box. Can’t happen. Fabinho in particular just doesn’t defend well enough. There was a lot of ball watching on that 2nd goal, and that turnover late in the game while up a man allowed NY to kill off the last few minutes in our end. Offensively, Wenger looks promising, but would love to see our wings more involved in the final 3rd. Can’t wait for Saturday – we really need this game to get some momentum going.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      Lahoud may have been a smart sub in theory, but his execution was attrocious. He had MULTIPLE unforced turnovers once NY was down to 10 men and playing compact. It was actually pretty embarassing.

      • Yeah. His first pass in over a year was an attempted 40 yard dart that didn’t make it. Edu should have been that guy and just told Lahoud to go run around up top.

    • There was definitely ball watching on both goals. It’s unacceptable, frankly.
      I’ve done nothing to hide my man crush on Le Toux. But, really, his whole game is about hustle. Probably a bit over-simplified, but to me that seems to be the essence of his game. And he was out hustled – badly – on the first goal. And his mistake was compounded by his teammates letting Thierry freaking Henry go unmarked in the box.
      The second goal, the ball watching was even worse. Cahill and Sam both had an open look at that ball, with no defender nearby at all. At least one person completely blew their coverage assignment. Badly.
      And frankly, the Union ought to check the rules and see if they’re allowed to decline a red card…

  7. What I found consistently frustrating today was the lack of final pass, we had some glorious combinations to relieve pressure and move up the field, but every time someone picked up their head to pick out the run, they miss hit their opportunity. Chaco blew a few but I particularly noticed Edu being the negative end to about five sequences.

    Loved the absence of Carroll completely but agree that it was not ideal to do so while also removing Berry and Sheanon. One of the three could have stayed… Would like to see Andre Blake (I would) on saturday…just for the sake of it.

    • Yes. I see Chaco and Nog looking for the Barca-esq outside-in diagonal run behind in hopes of playing through on the Def opposite shoulder. But everyone else is pealing wide b/c they see space, which is only on in a 2-FWD set and a German/British style.
      Hack needs to define it.

    • So Blake wants to see Blake play on Sat?

  8. This loss (and really the whole season) is on Hackworth. Sucky defense. Leaving Thierry Henry unmarked in the box on a cross?!? No good experienced center back on the team. Drafting a goalkeeper instead of a CB or forward. Substituting Lahoud when we needed a goal?!? (How come other teams can start Shipp and McNamara – rookie midfielders – but we have to watch Lahoud be ineffective this year just like last year?) Everyone was excited about Ribiero, so Hackworth banished him to HCI. (And – as I’ve said before – the excitement over Leo’s few goals and assists was totally unmerited. The guy was a 4th round draft pick. Do we really think Hack saw something no one else did? The league has now figured Leo out and he’ll never score again). Oh yeah, and Marfan scored for Cruz Azul but wasn’t good enough for the Union?!? Playing Okugo out of position for his whole fing career?!? It would be ok if Hack talked to Klinsmann and the latter said he wanted Okugo to play CB bc the US is weak there, but does anyone really think Hack talks to Klinnsman? And Okugo hasn’t been called up to USMNT yet anyway. At some point, doesn’t it become clear that our coach is in way over his head and can’t select players, can’t put them in position to excel, can’t coach defense, can’t coach offense?

  9. How do you blame lineup when defense goes 55 minutes before giving up a goal? Poor marking – again. If Berry & Williams weren’t ready, you’d rather see BC?

  10. -1- Other than for taking corner kicks, why do Seba and Chaco keep switching sides? Maidana looked so much more comfortable last week when he came in and played mostly on the left side. In-swinging corners aren’t worth the sacrifice of run-of-play quality.
    -2- Wenger plays hard and tries to *make* things happen, whereas it seemed that Jack would wait and hope for things to happen (and then get mad when they didn’t). So far, I’m pleased with the swap.
    -3- Hoppenot added absolutely nothing to that game.

    • Southside Johnny says:

      Re: #2, trying is nothing. Goals are all that matter. Cruz tries even harder. Like it or not, as this promising season continues to unravel, Jack will be missed greatly.

      • +1 He works hard and that is a plus, but he was easily dispossessed and completely physically intimidated. His touch was poor, especially on his two chances in the box that resulted in a weak shot and a touch that took him too wide around Robles.

      • The Black Hand says:

        His shot was well taken. It’s tough to put a lot on a shot, when your are going against your momentum. He looked to touch it to the far post. Robles made a fine save.

      • Good points, gents. I just think that if he were still playing for the U, Jack gets man-handled even more and doesn’t even get the opportunities to make the mistakes that Wenger did. Time will certainly tell.

  11. Granted, I’ve never played goalie etc etc, but that second goal seemed very save-able for MacMath, especially given how he’s been playing. Ball just seemed to be floating there.

    Obviously there was some blown marking on the play, and that’s where the true blame lies for the goal but I thought it should of been saved.

    There was another easy save earlier in the 2nd half that he let roll in, luckily the play was blown offsides, but still, don’t you make the save just in case the whistle isn’t blown? Instead he just turned to the ref before the ball was in the net.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      I don’t put any fault on MacMath for the second goal. That header was not looping, it was hit well and MacMath was literally going post to post to make the play.
      That play is down to Fabinho abandoning his mark in the box.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I disagree. MacMath tried to stop it with his eyes. He had no reaction to save. Not sure he could have saved it but he has to make an attempt. He did the same thing on Wright-Phillips header, that was whistled for offside. That is an area that Zac needs to work on.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I agree with Eli here. MacMath had a better chance of getting a concussion from hitting his head on the post if he dove for it than he had of stopping the shot. Don’t forget there were 2 open players so there was no way to anticipate which way the header was going to go. Both goals were on poor marking rather than on MacMath.

      • I agree with Black Hand. It was a very savable shot especially when you see the view from the camera behind the net. Once again Macmath’s horrid positioning and lack of fundamentals rears its ugly head. It would have twice but luckily the first was offside. I don’t care if they scored or not but he needs at least make an effort you never know even getting just a fingertip on that could have prevented that goal.

      • Eli: why do you and the rest of PSP feel the need to always defend him?
        Call it like it is. He literally watched 2 balls go in his goal. Whether he could save them or not doesn’t matter. He should have more pride.

  12. I really think the 4-3-3 formation is a horrible decision for this team b/c it puts Nog. out wide where he and Edu should be linked up together and Leo should be the attacking mid. in my opinion. so a 4-2-3-1 I think would work a lot better.

  13. McMohansky says:

    One win in seven games. This is not a very good team.
    As mentioned above- Okugo is really having a tough time being the defensive organizer and leader. He’s a great talent and I want nothing more than for him to become a world class player, but there is a lot he needs to learn and the concern is – from whom does he learn?
    McMath has bailed out this team multiple times this year. If not for him we’d have two points from seven games.
    The trouble with Hack’s preferred formation is the demands on the wingers to help out defensively. I thought Maidana did a decent job, but Letoux got it all wrong. Our fullbacks are decent but they need help. NYRB kept it pumping down our right side and it was so easy for them.
    At the same time, Gaddis especially does not need to keep trying to get forward. That is not his game, he can’t really pick out a cross. Sure he has great recovery speed when the inevitable turnover occurs. But by then the centerbacks are pulled out of position and its on for the other team. I can forgive Fabinho more for being caught upfield because he’s a threat with his crosees and passes to teammates feet. But it cant be both outside backs, especially when there is no Carroll sitting in front of the CBs.

    • Spot on regarding Okugo. That’s tough spot to put on a young player who is still learning his position at the professional level, especially when his partner has played only a handful of matches at CB after being a forward his whole career. He’s clearly struggling with this set-up and his overall play has suffered

      • ebradlee10 says:

        Whether it’s Wheeler or Berry, it’s an adjustment for Okugo after the relative comfort of playing all of last season next to Parke. We need to get that familiarity sorted STAT.

  14. Another problem I have is our complete lack of threat generated on the flanks. Le Toux sucks, he is no longer capable of helping us. Not to mention he loves to cut in too much.

    Chaco is good, but doesn’t seem to be playing to his best and is also being screwed over by the switching with Le Toux.

    Relying on our FBs to generate pressure on the flanks is dangerous when our FBs are a below average, midfielder first in Fabinho and a decent but still limited Gaddis. Williams would be better, but the bottom line is none of of FB options are THAT good that they can batten down the oppositions flank play AND constitute our wide threat as well.

  15. 1) Brian Carroll may not have prevented that first goal, but it was right where he would have been. So maybe…
    2) Hoppenot’s game is 1 dimensional: Run at a tired back line. He didn’t even try to use that dimension. He was standing within 3 yards of Casey, plastered to the offsides line.

    • Yea I am starting to think we are stuck with Carrol going forward until something better comes along. He is just needed for cover especially if Fabhino and Wheeler are out there.

      • The problem with this thinking is that we haven’t scored any goals. You don’t compound a problem by just leaving a 5th defender in. Let Edu play there and stay home. He’s more than capable.

      • JediLos117 says:

        I don’t think its an ability thing.
        Edu is scoring and creating more scoring opportunities when he is higher up the field and when tasked with limited defensive responsibilities.

      • Yea if you aren’t scoring with Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana, Leo Fernandes), Sebastien Le Toux and Andrew Wenger your problems are bigger than Carrol

  16. JediLos117 says:

    Edu and Nog sharing DM role may work in the long run but not with a lazy, inattentive and uninterested Edu…he seemed a second behind runs, slow to read game.
    Asking Edu and Nog to share DM responsibilities decreases their offensive effectiveness…and decreases a consistent shape. Clearly reason Lahoud was introduced…play DM push Edu and Nog up, decrease their defensive responsibilities.
    That 4-3-3 really looked like a 4-2-3-1

    • It’s been a 4-2-3-1 all season. We don’t have the players for this formation, a second attacker is needed. Someone needs to tell Edu to just play destroyer and not go forward. He is a better version of Carroll.

      • JediLos117 says:

        If it anything its been more of a 4-1-4-1 with Carroll as lone DM role, yesterday looked more like Nog and Edu shared/switched DM until Lahoud’s intro

  17. Nogueira has clearly been the team’s best player thus far, but he is not a true CAM. I thought Leo could play that position, but he disappeared for portions of the match. So given the lack – STILL, after 4+ seasons – of a true #10, I think Hackworth needs to move to a flat 3 in a 4-1-3-2.
    Normal back four: Williams-Okugo-Berry-Gaddis
    Edu as the “1”
    Maidana-Nogueira-Le Toux across the flat 3.
    Casey-Wenger up top. It’s pretty clear the 4-3-3 isn’t working. The team can’t hold possession for long, consistent periods of time, and outside of Nog and Edu the midfield doesn’t defend. Hackworth has repeatedly said he wants to play possession-oriented attacking soccer. Well, they can attack but not finish, they don’t do anything with the possession they have, and there are lapses in defense every single game. It’s really just a matter of when. I don’t know if it’s Hackworth or lack of leadership on the field, but someone needs to get pissed off and start calling people out for the mistakes, which everyone sees but no one (internally) acknowledges.

  18. The Black Hand says:

    Honeymoon is over. Our results have been unacceptable. After five years, we should have some sort of core and a hint of an identity/tactical plan/anything. We have Noguiera and Edu (Needs to tighten up his game).
    Amobi Okugo is not a CB. He will get away with it because he is a very talented player but he is average at the position. Coupling him with Wheeler killed our central defense. If we have a back line that we have to glue a DM to, we don’t really have a back line.
    Le Toux, and his aimless wandering, shouldn’t be in our midfield. He would make a decent sub but is not on the same level as the rest of the Union middle. For the love of God, please stop this man from taking free kicks/penalties/corners!
    We are not an effective single-striker club, regardless of who’s up top. How many points will be sacrificed before our, very stubborn, manager will move on to our next option?
    It all funnels back to John Hackworth.

    • I can’t agree more with this entire post. We are 7 games in now, and 1-2-4 as opposed to 3-2-2 even last year when the talent level was much much worse. I know it’s not exactly the same but the players look lost and like they don’t know where to go. The skilled players look frustrated with the constant misplays from the Fabinhos, Carroll’s, Gaddis and Le Touxs. Gaddis I don’t blame bc he shouldn’t be upfield.
      The bottom line is it all comes back to the manager. He did a great job this offseason with acquisitions, but his game management has actually regressed somehow. Our most promising young player (Okugo) actually looks to be declining. It’s not his doing it’s the deployment of those around him.
      Here’s the 2 questions every fan needs to ask themselves. With the current roster, are we sitting where we really should be in the standings? Does John Hackworth have your faith that he’s the man who can make the changes necessary to correct this?

      • Yes, and yes*. It’s been a sea change with this team in terms of strategy. The style they’re trying to implement is so easily thwarted by negative, park-the-bus tactics (you know, those tactics that stole the Union lots of points last year) that it will take while to get the team cohesion in place to beat it. And I do still think Hackworth can pull it off, but every post-game interview where he blames his team gives me pause.

    • I agree that Hackworth is the problem, for a lot of that it looked like most of these guys had never played together before. Not acceptable after 7 games.

      I don’t understand your comments about LeToux. He scored on a penalty kick and is 8-0 on penalties.

      • I think there are plenty of things to criticize Le Toux about – bad corners, bad crosses, ineffectual free kicks, wandering inside and getting in the way, etc. But, like you, I can’t at all see why somebody would say, “Keep Le Toux away from PKs.” Dude even buries bad kicks like last night’s, somehow.

    • I agree so wholeheartedly with this. Central defense was one of only strengths for this team and now it is deplorable. No idea how to score goals. No one capable of the runs Noguiera wants. No identity. No tactical philosophy. I am troubled.

  19. As mentioned yesterday in another thread, I am not at all surprised NYRB won last nite. A positive of note was Maurice Edu. For 75 minutes he was very much in control and much much more involved than last week. Hopefully Hack leaves that alone.
    Agreed Okugo had a poorer game but I am wondering more about wheeler’s impact on Okugus poor game. I have great concern about wheeler as defenseman. I also disagree completely that Fabinho had a good game. Another midfielder converted to defense that just isn’t good enough. Okugo is one thing, Fabinho is another, let alone the striker playing CB.
    What a mess.
    The alpha and the omega-
    Bad defense plus no offense equals danger ahead.

    • The Black Hand says:

      I wasn’t impressed with Edu’s efforts. He showed decent hustle early on but seemed to slow down, waiting for play to come to him. A player of his pedigree should have much more impact, in my opinion.
      I was expecting MUCH better passing.
      Okugo is giving too much space, when playing his angles. A smart player (DiVaio) will cut in and burn you. If Bradley Wright-Phillips played a smarter game, Red Bull could have put 4 or 5 five on us. This was one of the worst showings that I have seen from a Union back line.

      • McMohansky says:

        Agree. Two games in a row Edu was gassed and looked suspect in the second half. Hoping its only him getting his fitness back, but you don’t want your main mid to have to pace himself so much. That said, he is still able to do the damage at the end of matches.

    • I agree so wholeheartedly with your 5 year in comment T.B.H. Central defense was one of only strengths for this team and now it is deplorable. No idea how to score goals. No one capable of the runs Noguiera wants. No identity. No tactical philosophy. I am troubled.

  20. One thing I’ll say about Henry’s goal. I haven’t seen any of our guys put that much power behind a shot this year. Suddenly the Houston game is looking like a must win. I knew the turnaround is too soon for a tactics change but something’s gotta give. Hell, throw them out as a 4-4-2. Thank the heavens MLS is a long season and no ones gonna run away with anything in the east

  21. Carroll would have been there for the first goal. We dominated possession but NY had better chances from their quickly developing attack.

    This one is not like the others. We were not the better team, unless keep away was the game.

  22. Andy Muenz says:

    I know Hackworth’s taken a lot of heat here but I’m going to add fuel to the fire. First, this team had zero chance to win if they were not ahead after 60-65 minutes. His bench included Williams, Berry, Carroll, and Lahoud. That meant that at least one of his subs was going to be defensive. Of course, maybe he could have brought in Williams or Berry and pushed Wheeler forward, but that would have made too much sense. Also, when bringing in Casey, why take out Wenger out? Like for like is not the way to go when you are down a goal and don’t have additional offensive subs to pull off the bench.
    The other thing I was extremely disappointed in was the teams lack of effort in the end. During the last minute of stoppage time, there was no urgency to push forward. The team was continuing to pass the ball between defenders 60 yards away from goal. No excuse for that.

    • Agree with your comments about the subs and the apparent lack of effort. Is there a true captain or leader among the players? Edu at least seemed to be yelling at people, but he faded a lot in the 2nd half himself.

    • +1 about the subs. There was not a single attacking midfielder on the bench. We had them all out on the pitch (and still couldn’t score). Apparently Hackworth figured that he’d be pushing Edu and Wheeler up front for additional firepower if needed. Seems questionable, and designed only to hold a lead (or a draw), not retake one.

      Also, I knew that Austin Berry couldn’t play 2 more games in 7 days, but I was hoping that he’d play against Theirry Henry, as Aaron Wheeler matches up better against Will Bruin. Alas, it appears I was prophetic.

  23. OneManWolfpack says:

    I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. It’s is really stating to get concerning. The defense is suspect. It’s no longer the lack of finishing that is causing this team to drop points.
    Casey is doing nothing, and is no where near his form last year.
    NYRB was a team ripe for the picking, and they did nothing to show me they are a quality squad, yet we still couldn’t earn at least a point.
    In no way am I giving up on my team, it’s still April, but this is beginning to worry me.

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