Union match reports

Match report: Union 0-0 Houston Dynamo

Photo: Brad Youtz

Philadelphia Union’s winless streak stretched to six games Saturday when they played to a scoreless home draw with the Houston Dynamo.

The Union failed to capitalize upon Kofi Sarkodie’s controversial red card in the 82nd minute, with Andrew Wenger sending a point blank volley over the cross bar in the 92nd minute.

“We want to win,” Union defender Sheanon Williams said after the game. “It’s not just about being competitive.” He added that “for the most part we are outplaying teams, but we have one win in eight games. We are getting deep into the season and we can’t keep saying that.”

Philadelphia put not a single shot on goal all day despite outshooting Houston 11 to 0 in the second half. That second half marked a drastic turnaround from the first half, when Houston outshot Philadelphia 12 to 1.

The Union spent most of the afternoon unsuccessfully sending crosses into the box, only to see Houston center back David Horst head them right back out. All told, the Union whipped in 35 crosses, led by Sheanon Williams with 12 and Cristian Maidana with 7, and 25 of those attempts came after halftime. The team connected on just two.

First half

Overall, it was a match in which each team dominated one half.

Houston took its turn at the wheel in the first 45, controlling the run of play throughout. Their best opportunity came in the 38th minute when Will Bruin caught Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath leaning left and hit the right post with a driven shot.

Then in the 44th minute, Horst headed a corner kick toward goal, only to see teammate Ricardo Clark inadvertently block it.

Houston put two other shots on goal in the half, courtesy of Oscar Boniek Garcia and Ricardo Clark, but each went directly to a well-positioned MacMath.

The Union’s best first half effort came in the 37th minute, when Conor Casey tried to curl a left-footed shot into the far right side of the net but missed wide.

Second half

After halftime, Philadelphia stepped on the field looking like a totally different team, despite no substitutions from Union manager John Hackworth.

“I said, ‘Look this is not what we do. This is not the way we play,’” Hackworth said after the game. “The main thing was we were going to go out and press them. We should’ve pressed them from the start, but we’re not going to give our opponent time and space in our own building. That’s not who we are. And you saw that right away in the second half.”

Hackworth’s team definitely pressed, and they got several good second half looks at goal but failed to finish them.

The first of those looks came in the 52nd minute, after Ray Gaddis stole a Houston pass near the center circle. Maidana collected the ball and found Nogueira, who then sent a through ball to Wenger streaking down the left side. Wenger dribbled toward goal on the left side and found Casey cutting toward goal. However, Casey’s left-footed shot hit his own right foot, with the right side of goal wide open. The ball deflected off a Houston defender to Maidana, whose cross was headed clear by Horst for a corner.

Maidana’s ensuing corner kick bounced around in traffic before coming back out to him. His subsequent cross found Okugo in the box, who slammed a header downward only to see it bounce over the crossbar.

Leo Fernandes replaced Maidana in the 56th, while Sebastien Le Toux came in for Casey after 63 minutes. Le Toux proceeded to be everywhere on the field, adding defensive pressure and combining well with his teammates in several attacking sequences.

The Union would get two more great chances before the 90th minute, both off long throws by Sheanon Williams. He found Amobi Okugo in the 66th minute and Aaron Wheeler in the 84th, but each of their flicked headers toward the far left post went just wide and out of bounds without a Union player collecting them.

Sarkodie’s ejection in the 82nd minute changed the game. Referee Armando Villarreal booked Sarkodie for time-wasting after the Dynamo player took too long on a throw-in from his own half. Sarkodie had been sitting on a yellow card from a hard foul in the 40th minute, so his second caution resulted in the ejection.

From there, Houston sat back and absorbed pressure.

The Union’s best chance came in the 92nd minute, after Le Toux and Wenger combined on a nice give-and-go. Houston substitute Servando Carrasco took out Le Toux with a sliding tackle that failed to draw a penalty despite looking awfully close.

Le Toux recovered enough to kick a side pass while still on the ground to Fernandes, who then passed out to Williams cutting on the right. Williams sent in a low cross that Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall blocked. The ball fell to Wenger, who blasted a side volley over the cross bar from three yards out.

That would be the Union’s last good chance. Houston’s final opportunity came on a 96th minute counterattack, but Brian Carroll snuffed that out for Philadelphia to close the match.

The Union will travel to Montreal next Saturday to face the Impact.

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath, Sheanon Williams, Amobi Okugo, Aaron Wheeler, Ray Gaddis, Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana (Leo Fernandes ’56), Andrew Wenger, Conor Casey (Sebastien Le Toux ’64)
Unused substitutes: Andre Blake, Austin Berry, Antoine Hoppenot, Michael Lahoud, Fabinho

Houston Dynamo
Tally Hall, Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe, Ricardo Clark (Servando Carrasco ’89), Andrew Driver (Warren Creavalle ’65), Tony Cascio (Omar Cummings ’76), Oscar Boniek Garcia, Giles Barnes, Will Bruin
Unused substitutes: Mark Sherrod, Alexander López, A.J. Cochran, Tyler Deric

Scoring summary

Discipline summary
HOU: Sarkodie (foul), ’40 — yellow
HOU: Clark (foul), ’42 — yellow
PHI: Williams (unsportsmanlike behavior), ’61 — yellow
HOU: Sarkodie (time wasting), ’82 — yellow/red
HOU: Bruin (foul), 94 — yellow


Philadelphia Union Houston Dynamo
11 Attempts on Goal 12
0 Shots on Target 2
7 Shots off Target 6
4 Blocked Shots 4
5 Corner Kicks 3
15 Fouls 13
30 Open Play Crosses 11
1 Offsides 0
1 First Yellow Cards 2
0 Second Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 1
51 Duels Won 53
49% Duels Won % 50%
458 Total Pass 359
84% Passing Accuracy % 71%
56.4% Possession 43.6%


  1. It’s obvious we have no plan of attack and no go to striker that can win games for us. This was really hard to watch despite a dominant performance in the 2nd half. I think that a fire Hack post may be coming sooner rather than later?

    • Sign me up for the Fire Hack-wagon. When Casey left the game we did nothing different to accommodate the lack of a target forward. Yes, the mf play was fine, but we looked clueless to the fact a dramatic change had been made when we entered the final third. Just kept lumping service into the box, hoping an undersized target would find the end of it.

      I really hope Maidana’s early exit was fatigue/fitness related. I thought he was great in the second half.

      Off tangent- Nogueira is fun to watch!

    • I think you’re on the wrong site for that.

      But a “Fire Hack” post would be more than appropriate at this point.

  2. I feel like I watched some good players today, some of them wearing blue shirts and some of them wearing orange shirts, but it didn’t look like two teams playing each other out there

  3. Noguiera begging. Pleading. Pleading with teammates to move so he has a passing option. Calling for the point of attack to switch- and being ignored. Game after game the same thing. PLEADING. PLEADING for some semblance of intelligent cohesive play.
    How is it that over and over the ball will be on right or left side of field and NOT 1 player is within 30 meters. How does the ball carrier have barely 1 viable option to pass to. You watch futbol played with intent and plan the player with the ball has 2 sometimes 3 choices and we have squat. Squat. Slow slow slow slow slow slow slow… It’s all wrong. All wrong.
    Noguiera pleading for movement.
    This team is poorly constructed with minimal soccer IQ..
    I’m sick after watching that. ‘Somebody get me the Tylenol.’

    • It’s amazing how when Nogueira gets the ball the rest of the team is just watching him in awe. “Wow, I’ve seen a playmaker like that in Philly before!” With the exception of Maidana for short stretches, Nogueira seems to be the only player on the field with creative ideas and clever ball movement. And at 5’7” he can’t do everything himself, someone else needs to step up and make something happen, or teams will just start hacking at Nogueira and take away the best offensive weapon.

  4. It’s obvious that the team is not buying into Hackworth’s brand of coaching. This is becoming more than a sick joke. Other than Noguiera the rest of the team is a bunch of Half Assed Jekyll and Hyde posers!

  5. There is no quarter from me this week. NO QUARTER! our new ‘striker’ ? Vomiting all over himself with a sitter from 6 yards? Arguably a challenging volley yes, but truly one that absolutely has to be finished. Absolutely has to be finished – not kicked onto the Delaware. Anything but the Delaware. NO Quarter. They can’t defend. Can’t score. Can barely put 5 passes together. I am hopping mad.

  6. Yea I got nothing this week.
    I am really starting to get burned out on this team.
    I don’t get how we look this horrible playing some really bad teams.
    I don’t get pulling Maidana for Fernandes at the point we were looking the most threatening. (I know we had some good chances after the subs but before Maidana came off we were getting constant pressure for the first part of the second half and I was getting the sense that a goal was coming.)
    I don’t know was there anything to build on after this game.
    I see no plan, no art, no creativity jjust two color coded teams slugging it out and annoying the hell out of me.


      • whoa whoa whoa never asked that

      • Not bringing in Hop was Hack’s best move of the day.

      • With 6 minutes of stoppage time and playing up a man I think Hoppenot would’ve been a great inclusion. For 6 minutes he could literally run the entire team and just find the hole left by the ejection. Make the tired legs follow him around and either create a chance himself or for someone else. Hoppenot is not always the best option when Hack chooses to sub him in, but I think Saturday was a good time. Either way, why not use the 3rd sub for 6 minutes of stoppage time? He can’t carry that over to the next game.

      • agreed

      • Hoppenot doesn’t find space, he doesn’t look for gaps he will run right at the defenders more or less nullifying the man advantage and going down when a blade of grass gives a bit too much resistance upon his shoe.
        Should he have been subbed in for Carrol? Sure, why not. But When he does come in you are more or less putting him in in hopes of a penalty because that is about all he adds to the team.

  7. only got to see part of the “dominant half” and they still looked awful.

  8. What do you take of maidana hustling of the field at the end of the game (subbed again on for an unknown reason to me) not staying for handshakes etc. He and noggiera seem to be starting to connect then subbed. What about Edu? Sometimes he’s there others not. At one point there was a back pass to the top of the box where I expected edu to be and nothing. Leadership?

    • In all fairness I just looked up the Opta chalkboard for Maidana and his stats looked bad. I don’t remember him being that bad, so maybe we missed something.

  9. I repeat. 4-4-2. Diamond. Up the spine: McMath, Okugo, Berry, Edu, Noguiera, Wenger, Casey.

    • Edu, wenger and Casey were all big parts of the problem today.

      • I don’t disagree. Frankly they all smelled. I just think having Noguiera behind strikers, after about 6 games, they would start jelling a bit better. In think Edu as Pivote in solitary role is best hope.
        Noguiera needs 100 touches a game but not in defensive half. Work triangles with Edu and the wingers. Build attack and slip the ball behind defenders. Sooner or later, someone will know the pass is coming and start making the proper runs. Noguiera seems to be the only one in the right position time and again so give him the CAM/ libero role and see what happens.

      • Absolutely agree…it seems Hackworth has given him the freedom to roam the field wherever he likes…he needs to stay in the middle of the pitch sitting in front of Edu…Carroll sits..edu CDM and Nog CAM ….so simple to see

      • Not to mention, when properly deployed the outside backs could properly get forward by creating 2v1 overlaps with the outside wingers- you know, this being standard, entry level understanding of how the game is played.
        This would be FAR better than watching Gaddis again dribble ball 70 meters only to vomit on himself and cough up the ball outside the other box- at which point he is completely out of position. You remember boys, the 2v1 overlap? General basic plan for getting the outside backs up the pitch when properly deployed. Hey there coach- Diamond. 4-4-2.

    • If you’re gonna play a diamond, Noguiera is better suited as one of the shuttlers rather than at the tip. He typically already shows up along the sideline to link up with an outside back so he’s kind of playing that role already.

      Leo is probably your best bet for that role just behind the strikers, but he’s just too inconsistent to depend on in that role.

      • I think Maidana could handle that spot.
        My 4-4-2 would look something like:
        MacMath; Williams, Okugo, Berry, Gaddis; Fernandes (Left), Edu (CDM), Maidana (CAM), Nog (right); Casey, Le Toux.
        Bench is goalie; Lahoud, Fabinho, (mid), Hoppenot, Wenger, (open).
        The “(mid)” spot goes to the best option that specific week among Bone, Cruz, and Fred. My selection is based on health (obviously), the week in practice, and tactical considerations for my next game. The “(open)” spot is similar, but I don’t expect this player would ever see the field. It’s just an open spot in my 18 to reward a player for working hard, showing well in practice, etc.

        I’m letting Le Toux play the way he did the first two years, with freedom to move around and pop up as he wishes. He can play off Casey, and look for through balls behind the defense. Maidana looked damn good to me yesterday, and I want more of him. I also give him and Nog the freedom to roam as they like, and Edu is charged with covering for them. I’ll risk the occasional odd man counter attack in order to let my creative players move as they feel they need to. (Plus Nog has proven he’ll bust his ass to get back on defense.)
        I’d really love to see Okugo in that holding role, actually, but then I couldn’t get Edu on the field.

      • Just some random observations (some have been mentioned by others):
        Can we *please* stop blaming Le Toux for he and Maidana switching sides? Maidana was on the right quite a bit yesterday. And, actually, at least Le Toux actually switches. I saw Maidana and Wenger both on the right more than once.
        Wheeler scares me. I cringed every time somebody passed to him.
        I wish Wenger had shot that ball rather than passing to Casey. He was in a great position with pace. (And yes, if Casey actually scores I’m likely singing Wenger’s praises for making a good pass.)
        Can we please, please, please stop whipping in crosses as our first and second plan on offense? This team isn’t built for it.
        Was the ref as bad as I thought? Is it normal that the players on a team have to remind a ref that the yellow card he just issued was the 2nd for that player?
        Maidana looked good – I think perhaps the best I’ve seen him. He seemed… interested is the word that comes to mind, actually. He seemed interested in the game.
        Edu looked bad, I thought. A lot of mishit passes.

      • I actually thought the ref was doing fine up until that 2nd yellow thing. He called advantage well, and I thought was in good position to make the close calls (even if I yelled about some of them). That second yellow to Sarkodie was a brain-fart on an epic scale, though. He wanted to caution the team as a whole on time-wasting (not a bad idea), but just plain forgot the guy was already on a yellow.

      • Thanks. I’m still, overall, in my learning curve for soccer. Though it’s starting to flatten out a bit.
        I know in the first half in particular I saw a lot of calls and non-calls revolving around Casey. It seemed Casey was called more than he should’ve been, and Houston seemed to be able to shove him around, elbows in the back, etc without concern. (A guy in my section was peeved at the call against Casey when he and Hall got tangled up in the first half. I actually think that was the right call.)
        Also, I had meant for my post to be below, as a “main” level comment. Not sure where I screwed up… Oh well.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Pretty sure the Casey/Hall call was a handball on Casey, not a foul. Ball looked like it popped up and hit his forearm.

      • Just a general thought on the 2nd yellow – I get the idea of not wanting to send a guy off for a relatively weak 2nd offense like time wasting, but isn’t it mostly on the player to have enough awareness to avoid even putting himself in a possible 2nd offense situation?

      • I am open to discuss the semantics of deployment though think if we give Noguiera the #10 it is in the teams best interest.

  10. This is really bad to watch. We need some deal to get a real forward.

    • It’s still too early to know, but Jack for Wenger looks like a disaster so far. Now we’ve got an old burly guy with bad knees, a guy who can run around with great alacrity but can’t score or set up his teammates, and another college draft bust to choose from at forward.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Jack sucked too. Let’s be honest.
        This club has no plan of attack. It doesn’t matter who’s up top.
        I would love to see what a Philadelphia Union training actually entails.
        We are rapidly regressing!!

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Jack did not suck. Not at all. He required service. Some forwards require service. Just because he wasn’t the type to beat 2 or 3 guys and score doesn’t mean he sucked. Honestly.

      • The Black Hand says:

        No. He did not suck and neither do our current strikers. That was my attention grabbing header:)
        My second second statement was my actual point. Hackworth has (year after year) shown zero ability to design a tactical plan, which incorporates any threat from his strikers. Their ineffective play is the result of an incompetent manager, not recognizing each strikers assets and designing play to incorporate those strengths.

      • Why so sour ?

      • The Black Hand says:

        Watching two professional clubs compete for who could kick the ball the highest and furthest, sent my frustration levels to a boil. The ball was actually kicked out of the stadium…and I paid money to see it. It was that and my generally sour disposition, Prof.

      • Jack wouldn’t have fared any better. Weeks ago when the team was playing more organized he still didn’t score even when he did get the service.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        How can you possibly assume that? He scored 12 goals in a season that certainly didn’t feature great service. Although not a true creator or hold up guy, Jack did much more for the attack by opening up the defense. When defenses started keying on him, he took defenders with him on every slashing run and in the kind of scrums in the box that this game had, he was deadly. Face it. The trade was probably the biggest mistake this team has ever made.

      • Face it. He’s gone. When he had chances this year to score he didn’t. Hopefully he’ll flourish in Montreal.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Wenger is not awful, with his off the ball movement. The service, when there is any, often puts him in an awkward spot and there is NO ONE up with him to provide support. He has played in TWO matches, scoring in one. Let’s give him a decent run before labeling him the “biggest mistake”.
        Jack was deadly sometimes…other times he was downright poor. He had missed his fair share of sitters.
        The club has decent strikers. It’s the getting them involved part, that seems to be impossible.

      • Southside Johnny says:

        So why is lack of support/service an excuse for him and not Jack? Listen, Wenger isn’t the mistake. He’s a good, well-rounded player, but not a guy who is going score a lot of goals. Fine. If they wanted him so badly, they could have offered LeToux and/or Hoppenot and/or Cruz and/or cash…

      • Your point about no help is best. It doesn’t matter who’s been up there, when the ball is received there isn’t a secondary player making a run to get the ball. So regardless of who the strikers been, they’ve almost had no chance. Face it, the guys who this setup would work for (Di Vaio) are few and far between. We need to change our theory

  11. First, I am very disappointed with Edu’s performance today. although he is a DM at heart, he really should have been trying to get involved with the attack since good old BC was the DM in every game. He just wasn’t moving into space to create plays and neither was anyone else on the field for that matter. If Carroll is going to be in then Edu really needs to start helping in the attack. Second, Carroll should not be starting ever! I know I sound like a broken record but i cannot stress that enough. There is just no need for him on the field. He can’t even defend well even in his preferred role so I just don’t get why he is in the starting line up, captain or not. Third, Fernadez should be starting either up top or in the midfield. He has proven that he can put the ball in the back of the net and create plays. he has done everything that has earned him a spot in the starting 11. Fourth, There is no reason why Noguiera should be an outside midfielder, he should be in the middle of the field and he should not be playing in every position, but of course i don’t blame him since the rest of the team cant even play their own positions half the time. lastly Casey should not be starting at all he can’t run at all and his play has been poor, ex. his awful attempt to score in front of net but instead fell on his face. He should only be used as a sub. Lastly, I seriously think Hack should give Hopponet a chance to start, every other forward hasn’t been dangerous to the opposing defense and I think its time he gets his chance what else do the they half to lose at this point. Hopponet can actually put pressure on the opposing defense, where he has in prior matches when he even draws fouls and can really create chances. Bottom line is that Hackworth has been making horrible decisions with his tactics and his substitutions. I am about ready to see what other Managers are out there.

  12. Fire Hack!!!! Its time.

  13. And another thing! when you try to put the ball back into the box like we did for like a thousand times, make sure you pick someone out instead of just hoping someone gets a touch on it! UGH! such poor knowledge of the game…….

  14. Three games in eight days, and Hackworth can’t think of a third substitution? Hackworth coaches in-game like he’s afraid of making a mistake, and it’s filtered down to the players. Everyone is afraid of trying stuff.

    • Sheanon was totally gassed in the last 10-15 minutes, he was literally walking around on the right flank, no movement whatsoever. I was shocked Hack didn’t at least get Fabinho on for him and move Gaddis over.

      • Philly Cheese says:

        Williams was slow to the ball the whole game. At least this game he didn’t keep falling down to cover his fatigue. Overall, there is no movement off the ball in final third. Just sitting waiting for the obvious cross. Look at LA Galaxy as to how to move without ball to find space.

      • They should trade him to Houston for sakodie

    • Andy Muenz says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. The third sub should have come much earlier than next week.

      The other thing I noticed was that whenever Maidana shifted over to the right side, he would wind up in a sea of orange and no way to get rid of the ball. They have got to stop switching from side to side.

  15. The Black Hand says:

    We suck so much!

    • I wondered when this would make its triumphant return

      • The Black Hand says:

        Somehow James’ four words seem like their relevance will be timeless. The weather is the only thing I can speak positively about. It was that bad!

      • I’m not going to lie, WSSM entered my head while watching this match. But I decided not to pull the trigger on it. But if we play like this in Montreal, It’s on!

  16. I see a lot of people wondering about our striker options- like I am. If I may talk about something other than this game: I remembered the Harrisburg free stream on YouTube Saturday night. Only caught the last 15 minutes, but Ribiero was playing center back again in the 75th minute.

    Since Harrisburg was down 1-0, they switched to a 3 man back line and Ribiero switched to forward. Literally within one minute of doing so, he was in opponent’s box making a couple nice cutbacks to lose his mark before whipping nice ball across face of goal. Even the Harrisburg announcers said (jokingly),” So wait, is this guy a defender or a forward?” Ribiero also made himself a nice target for crosses several times. All within 10 or so minutes.

    Dan I request you ask Hackworth if Ribiero playing CB in Harrisburg is a directive from the Union. If the answer is yes, suggested follow-up question is “Why?”. But I’ll settle for knowing if it’s Hackworth’s intent to switch him to defender. The guy is 2 inches taller than Casey, 10 years younger, and can play with ball at his feet. He screams target forward…

  17. I said it last season but figured he deserved at least this year. Hackworth needs to go. He is not a professional coach. He can not manage players at the MLS level. He is a U17, assistant coach at best. He is good at finding talent but is lousy at coaching. His presser will be the same regurgitated cliches and talking points. He will never admit that he needs to do a better job of communicating with his players. Fact is he can’t! The players look like their all out there doing their on thing. Noguiera is the player coach. He’s out there trying to tell his players where they should be, how to anticipate the next play. Where the point of attack should be. Why is Hackworth even out there… feckless, no game management, inept, incompetent etc…!

  18. Nova 66-64 says:

    Nog is a pleasure to watch is frustrated by the lack of support. Hack worth should be replaced so we have a chance to attracts more players like Nog. What talented player would want to play for Hack. You know they are not coming here for the money

  19. Very few people on the Union have any clue how to move without the ball. Or to use an example, my favorite sequence of the game featured Nog out wide on our left. He then switched the field all the way to the right to Williams, who took a couple touches and then was forced to pass the ball to the only person who managed to get open for him: Nog.

    Nog who ran across the entire field to get open within 10 yards of Williams while the rest of the team stared like a bunch of slack-jawed statues.

    • You are dead f’ing on. yes! This is what i am saying. I remember the exact moment you are talking about. Totallytotallytotally hopeless.

    • Yes. He is levels and levels above them. Sadly none of them are even trying to take his example.

    • Never was a huge Edu fan, but I feel he is better than this and absolutely lost as to where he is supposed to support the attack. RBNY didn’t help the case for dropping Carroll, but I’m still pretty sure that Hack just acquires players and puts them on the field…
      Oh and then you see Okugo bombing up the field late and you can’t help thinking what could have been.

      Basically, we should just copy the comments from last year and change the names, right? Cuz there’s only one name that’s the constant here.

      • It almost looks like Edu is playing not to get injured before the world cup. Just not playing full out.

  20. All Hackworth’s fault. He’s a hack. I echo sentiment that Union practice must be a disaster. No one knows how to create, no one makes runs, no forward knows how to finish.

    Proof is in the goofy position-switching.

    Wheeler playing CB.

    Okugo (our best player who excels when he dribbles upfield) playing CB.

    Ribiero playing CB at HCI.

    Marfan playing in Liga MX but not good enough for Union.

    For a the criticsm of Hoppenot, it’s not like current forwards are getting it done. And at least he takes people on. Unless we’re going to sign Jozy Altidore, let’s give Hoppenot a shot at starting.

    Leo Fernandez not the answer. Jogs around aimlessly. Opposing teams have figured him out. He’ll never score again.

    I’d say start Hoppenot and Wenger up top. Wenger has trouble finishing, but his work rate awesome. Plays good defense. He’s one of main reasons Union got a shutout yesterday. Casey’s muffed shot just a disaster, had he scored we’d all be singing Wenger’s praises for creating a goal.

  21. ebradlee10 says:

    Bright side:

    Second clean sheet of the season for Zac MacMath!

  22. I’m enjoying the many comments suggesting Hop is the answer.

    • +1
      I’m not a Hop fan b/c he has the soccer IQ of my cat (much like most of the team). But in defense of them all, what has Hack developed in anybody? Other than change their position, what growth is there in player development? Even Okugo is as good as he was when hr first moved back. Hack will ruin all of their careers.

    • If the question is “who will run directly at defenses and fall at a light puff of wind?” Then yes Hoppenot is the answer.

  23. Trading Jack for Wenger will go down as the straw that broke the camels back. The worst part is that it tells you all you need to know about Hackworths attitude on gameday.

    Jack may not have been the perfect fit for this offense, but he had skills. His sense of movement and positioning is above league average – especially for his age – and was an asset to this team, ESPECIALLY when we have capable players like Nog/Edu/Maidana now.

    Jack is the kind of player you FIND a role for. Wenger – exactly what does HE bring to the table? A work ethic? “Toughness”? It’s a joke.

    We basically traded a 8 year younger Wondolowski for a better version of Hopponent.

    • It was more a salary cap necessity for next year than anything else.

      • It was more Hack wanted a forward that would defend/ pressure backs…so now we just tie games.

    • I like the trade as an upgrade on Letoux. As an upgrade on Jack notsomuch.

    • HAHAH. I’m so glad Jack is gone the only thing he did well was take shots at the keeper. look at the tape almost every shot this year was directly at the keeper. Even his first goal for the Impact was directly through the keeper and he got lucky, didn’t pick out any corners and didn’t place his shot. Also his skill is sub par, when he never creates space for himself against defenders to take a shot and his touch is inconsistent. I’m glad we don’t have that inconsistent and amateur player anymore.

  24. Rick and others have absolutely nailed it. It’s poor soccer IQ and stagnant players. Players making runs shadowing their shadow. It’s crazy. If Nogs cannot beat a player 1v1, there is literally no offense. They think they are passing crisply but if nobody moves the opposing team is just cornering the small triangle of passing into an easily defensible area. Run. Off. The. Ball.

  25. Million dollar question: If Hacks out, who’s in?
    Can’t be Vartugian, cuz he’s the same. I grew up watching Curtain and Albright at CR Dynamo, so I know they know a more progressive game, but Albright has more diverse playing experience, but less coaching experience. The new guy from Montreal (forgetting his name)? Hire from outside?
    The next few weeks are key for this Club. B/c I have no faith in Sak. I mean he hired Hack after going 8-10-12 I think. If that didn’t tell you this guy would tie more than win…
    If they don’t win 2 out of the next 3, it’s a bad time.
    And we’re pretty close to being very good. If only we had a coach. My kingdom for a coach…

  26. How good will Williams look if someone would actually score on his crosses ……only wondering fellas.

    • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

      It’s been all or nothing with his crosses. Still think he’s trying to shake off the rust of missing the beginning of the season. Some of his crosses yesterday were on the money, while others went into orbit. He’s still clearly not fully match fit, but he will be soon.

      • Crosses are always all or nothing sir but you still have to do it all it takes is one of the to hit its mark and as you can see he put them where great forwards would do plenty of damage.

  27. River Schuylkill says:

    I’ve had it with Hackworth, so this is my official “Fire Hack” post.

    1. He has added legitimate talent to this team, talent that now looks either lost or frustrated by the team’s tactical ineptitude. A fresh face is needed to galvanize a team playing beneath their ability.

    2. He is married to playing “his way” in the 4-3-3 when it is painfully obvious that the 4-4-2 is a better formation to the personnel he has available.

    3. He starts BC at PPL when we have the majority of possession at home, but sits him away at RBA where the Union have never won and a hard-earned defensive point would be a positive result.

    4. His team is playing its third game in 8 days and he has an unused substitute, a man up, in a 0-0 game at home.

    5. Between he and Sak, they both have the “smartest guys in the room” syndrome a la Andy Reid and the Eagles, convinced that their way is the right way


    Have the balls to do it, Sakiewicz, the fan base demands it, and you could still save the season. The empty seats starting to appear in the stadium should send a message, change is needed.

  28. I agree River Schuylkill, but if Hack should go Carroll should go too. If anyone thinks Carroll should stay then You must not want to see this team succeed or you just don’t understand how the game should be played. Carroll is just taking up playing time for others and just in the way. The only DM we need is Edu. overall, the Union need to start as a team, moving on and off the ball with everyone moving into space. Just watch an EPL match and compare. I have no damn clue how Hack trains his team but they should be watching footage of teams over seas and implementing and analyzing what they do. The biggest problem I see overall is the movement on and off the ball, there is none. This is a huge problem atm.

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