Union match reports

Match Report: Seattle Sounders 2-1 Philadelphia Union

A late Chad Marshall header assured Seattle of all three points after Obafemi Martins canceled out a first half Brad Evans own goal to give the Seattle Sounders a 2-1 win Saturday over the Philadelphia Union at CenturyLink Field.

The Union broke their three-plus-game scoreless streak when Brad Evans headed into his own net from a Cristian Maidana free kick 15 minutes into the first half. Things looked to be going Philadelphia’s way for a change as Zac MacMath saved Osvaldo Alonso’s penalty kick in the 40th minute.

But Martins was quickest to react to a bouncing ball in the Union box to draw Seattle level on 61 minutes, and Marshall scored the winner with just five minutes remaining, heading in Marco Pappa’s corner kick.

“It’s a difficult one to take because you came in and played well in the first half, and we got up a goal,” Union head coach John Hackworth said after the game. “Even in the second half, we had some chances to get a second one, and we didn’t put those away.”

First Half

John Hackworth made two lineup changes, as well as a formation change, from the team that played in Montreal last week. Playing in an apparent 4-4-2 (or a 4-3-1-2) for the first time this season, Cristian Maidana started in place of Fabinho, and Sebastien Le Toux came in for the injured Danny Cruz. Maidana was given the freedom to play in the No. 10 role for much of the match, with Vincent Nogueira playing more on the right.

The match was a fairly open one, straight from the kickoff. Seattle would have the first chance of the game when they broke down the right side through Brad Evans and Clint Dempsey. A centering pass eventually ran through for Lamar Neagle, who beat Zac MacMath with a stinging shot that rattled the crossbar from 18 yards.

The Union would fancy their first chance just a minute later when some good play between Nogueira and Maidana ended with the ball falling to Andrew Wenger in the box. But the striker’s shot was right at Stefan Frei from 12 yards.

The Union would get their first mark in scoring column in 203 minutes when Chaco Maidana’s well struck free kick was flicked by Brad Evans into his own goal under pressure from Amobi Okugo. Evans will count himself unlucky, but the quality of Maidana’s free kick created the danger.

Maurice Edu and Sheanon Williams were both shown yellow cards as the first half continued, with Williams’ foul resulting in a dangerous free kick for Seattle at the 32nd minute mark. Clint Dempsey struck his shot well from 20 yards, but Zac MacMath was in position to punch clear.

In the 40th minute, Seattle would earn a penalty kick when Amobi Okugo was judged to have handled in the area after Gonzalo Pineda’s shot hit him in the elbow. Alonso’s penalty was well struck, low to MacMath’s left. But the Union goalkeeper was down quickly and pushed the shot off the post. The penalty save was MacMath’s third of the season.

Second Half

Just five minutes into the second half, Seattle was forced into a change when starting left back Dylan Remick went down with an injury. Marco Pappa replaced the defender, forcing Brad Evans to move to Remick’s outside back position. The sub would spark the Seattle offense, with Pappa finding space between the Union’s midfield and defensive lines.

But it would be Martins to bring Seattle equal in 61st minute. Aaron Wheeler half cleared a deflected ball on the edge of his own area and then failed to challenge Brad Evan’s header from 25 yards. The USMNT hopeful looped the ball into space behind the Union defense and, while Okugo scrambled to clear the ball, Martins was quickest to react, tapping past the onrushing Zac MacMath.

Pappa would continue to cause the Union problems as the half wore on. First a rasping shot from distance was palmed over the bar by Zac MacMath in the 71st minute. Then just a few minutes later, MacMath was down low at his near post to save a well struck Pappa shot from the right.

John Hackworth would introduce Leo Fernandes for the fading Cristian Maidana in the 76th minute, followed by Conor Casey replacing Andrew Wenger five minutes later. Nogueira would continue his strong play, but the Union would fail to create a strong scoring opportunity from open play.

It would be Seattle that would find the winner in the 85th minute when Marco Pappa again provided another quality service, this time from a corner kick on the right side. Marshall was able to shake Aaron Wheeler and direct Pappa’s cross past Zac MacMath.

Antoine Hoppenot would replace Sheanon Williams in the 87th minute as the Union searched for a late equalizer. But Hoppenot’s biggest contribution to the match was to trip over his own feet in a battle with DeAndre Yedlin just before the final whistle blew.

The Union looked much improved from the toothless team of the last few weeks, but again the chance to grab a valuable win was lost by defensive mishaps and the inability to score a second goal. Vincent Nogueira continued his excellent form, and Chaco Maidana, Maurice Edu, and Andrew Wenger all looked improved in the new formation. Still, it has now been 280 minutes since the last time a Union player scored with Le Toux’s penalty kick goal in the 2-1 loss to New York on April 16. It is now 395 minutes since the team last scored from open play with Andrew Wenger’s goal in the 55th minute of the 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake on April 12. That’s six hours and 35 minutes of game time.

Stefan Frei had little to do after Evans’ first half own goal, making only one save over 90 minutes. The Union were again disappointing in the final third but the shot blocking of Seattle’s backline was at times heroic. Goalscorer Marshall had a particularly strong match blocking shots, getting in the way of a handful of powerful strikes from the likes of Maidana, Nogueira, and Edu.

“We just have to keep plugging away and hopefully we can get some luck on our side,” Amobi Okugo said after the game. “I feel like [either] the defense has a good game and the offense struggles, or the offense has good game and the defense struggles. We just have to have a complete performance from both sides and hopefully we can get a win.”

The Union will look to secure just their second win of the season when they welcome DC United to PPL Park on Saturday, May 10, at 4 pm.

Scoring Summary
PHI: Evans (own goal) 13’
SEA: Martins 61’ (Evans)
SEA: Marshall 84’ (Pappa)

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: Williams 31’ (yellow)
PHI: Edu 35’ (yellow)
SEA: Dempsey 91’ (yellow)

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath, Sheanon Williams (Antoine Hoppenot 87’), Amobi Okugo, Aaron Wheeler, Ray Gaddis, Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana (Leo Fernandes 76’), Andrew Wenger (Conor Casey 81’), Sebastien Le Toux.
Unused substitutes: Andre Blake, Fabinho, Austin Berry, Michael Lahoud

Seattle Sounders
Stefan Frei, Dylan Remick (Marco Pappa 51’), Chad Marshall, Djimi Traore, DeAndre Yedlin, Lamar Neagle (Kenny Cooper 79’), Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins (Zach Scott 88’).
Unused substitutes: Marcus Hahnemann, Jalil Anibaba, Andy Rose, Chad Barrett

Seattle Sounders FC Philadelphia Union
13 Attempts on Goal 15
6 Shots on Target 1
5 Shots off Target 6
2 Blocked Shots 8
6 Corner Kicks 2
16 Fouls 10
22 Open Play Crosses 14
3 Offsides 0
1 First Yellow Cards 2
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
48 Duels Won 60
44% Duels Won % 55%
471 Total Pass 409
80% Passing Accuracy % 77%
54% Possession 46%


  1. gleaming the cube says:

    Does an own gol count as a rut buster?
    Another game. Another line up. At least it resembled more to the order of what we scribes and beautiful minds of PSP have howled for.

  2. I am curious how we feel about that 61 minute goal and our defender learning on the job? Was that one his fault?
    Ole. Ole. Ole. Ole.

    • Someone remind me about the commentators around these parts that think Aaron Wheeler’s great strength is his heading. Someone?
      Weren’t both those goals tailor made for his head?
      Please send Aaorn Wheeler away. He is at best a marginal MLS player and is certainly not a defender. Poster child for how this season has slipped away and gone awry.

  3. The prediction was almost correct: Seattle did score 3 goals.
    I wish the late sub had been Berry for Williams with Wheeler pushing up top, so we could have avoided the antics of Antoine Floppenot.

    • I am all for the art that is drawing the referees into your little vortex- or the well timed header…. slowly oh so slowly maybe the culture of our brutish MLS game of speed, athleticism, work ethic, tackle, tackle, tackle may ebb towards a more refined product….
      ….but the word for Antoine’s Latest Header is best served this way— R.E.P.U.G.N.A.N.T

  4. Gullwing Sidewinder says:

    Oh and another thing. Can anyone see the distinct problem Coentrao and Ronaldo are going to pose for our USMNT RB if it happens to be Mr. Evans? How about the Ghanaian Asamoah? I rue the speed……
    Please Jurgen. Give us Yedlin. At least he can match the pace.

  5. I know the Union are gonna spin this as a tough hard fought contest but in actuality it wasn’t. Take away the woodwork and one Zachary Michael MacMath the score could have easily been 4-1 or even 5-1. The kid deserves better for this performance.
    Once again the team becomes less dangerous after each sub (needless to say I think we have less depth than we did last year)and once again the Wheeler experiment is costing up dearly.
    Oh and Hoppenot won himself a Neymar for most obnoxious dive…

    • The scoreline sure didn’t indicate the difference in quality of the teams.

    • George H says:

      Great point about the team’s performance dropping each time Hack makes a sub. If we think we have no depth now, just wait until Edu goes off to USMNT training camp.

      • Edu isn’t dominate enough to make the camp. He watched Martins walk in on goal.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agreed. Edu isn’t putting in efforts worthy of a WC call-up.

      • jlockerbie says:

        From whet I saw educe was covering the play till wheeler paniced jumped in and headed the ball straight up not clearing the area martins gathers the ball in a dangerous spot and takes his. Chance. Edu and okugo were stuns at what had just happened if wheeler stayed home that play doesn’t develop

      • I agree… I expected him to be more of an influence, but I constantly see him jogging around (or worse standing still) while opposing midfielders go at Okugo and Berry (I mean Wheeler… sorry, wishful thinking there…)

      • The Black Hand says:

        He does appear lazy, at times. Against Seattle, I thought that he did a good job holding down the DM…with Carroll. If Edu is to realistically beat out Jermaine Jones, he needs dramatically increase his presence on both sides of the ball.
        Overall, I expected a player of Edu’s caliber, to have much more of a positive impact!

  6. There should have been a foul called for Hopponet as the defender tried to shove him off the ball with his elbow. Once again hop has been dangerous beating defenders. I wonder how the match would have played out with him starting. Possibly bad or maybe really good with hop beating defenders and tiring the defense, creating scoring chances or putting the ball in the back of the net. For one thing, opposing defenses have been having field days against our offense. Maybe hop would give the team something new in the attack. We’ll never know though sadly.

    • Hoppenot? Just no…. He is the poster boy for the Union’s one trick pony brigade. If he is going to have any impact on the game at all it is going to be late in the game where defenders are tired.

      • Well that’s exactly what’s happening, how’s that working out? he’s a sub last min and it’s just not enough to show yourself. Starting hop up top with someone else might work. It’s worth a shot at this point.

      • as opposed to coming in at the 60th minute? The time he comes in EVERY OTHER GAME.
        The only thing Hop adds to the attack is diving, lots of diving.

      • George H says:

        Right now, I don’t see how Hoppenot is the solution to the problems that the Union have right now. He’s had plenty of opportunities this year and has yet to make a positive contribution in his role as super sub. Playing him more isn’t the solution. If anything, I would use him less. He’s just not good enough.

      • If you are in a situation where Hoppenot is being considered a solution to your problems, you have bigger problems than you think. And agree, he has had plenty of opportunities and done little with them.

      • How has he had plenty of opportunities? 10 min. doesn’t allow a player(especially in the MLS) to get enough touches on the ball and to get comfortable with the team. Also, what the hell is a super sub? On the diving I sort of agree but he hasn’t been diving in every play. He actually has been getting fouled a lot because he is dangerous against defenses and his ball control is pretty good as well. Of course he’s no Di Vaio and niether is anyone else on this team. we have to use what we have and in my opinion he brings pressure and attacks the opposing Defense, know one else does that on this team. Starting Le Toux up top is a bad decision as we can tell.

      • Between Letoux, Hoppenot and
        Cruz pick your poison, there is no ideal solution there.
        And yea he has been given chances going clear back to last year. He wasn’t the answer.

      • George H says:

        You’re seeing things in Hoppenot that haven’t been there this season. His best performance was in Portland when he was helping kill off the match until he had a brain fart and didn’t cover the back post on Portland’s tying goal. Since then, it’s been a whole lot of nothing. It’s no secret of what he can and can’t do which opposing defenders have clearly figured out.

      • There is a great post on BrotherlyGame.com about the “influence” that Hoppenot has had this season. Against Montreal, he played 8 minutes with 0 passes/shots and against NYRB he played 14 minutes with 0 passes/shots. That doesn’t indicate that he is having any effect on these games, even as a late sub.


      • His only purpose out there is to draw fouls/dive. The coaching staff knows this. His last minute flop is a feature not a bug, trust me on this.

      • If it’s Hoppenot’s job to dive then he needs a better diving coach, because that was embarrassing.

      • it was, i’m still laughing about it.

  7. Two goals and two faults to wheeler. First goal he fails to clear the header then doesn’t even challenge for the second ball. On the second goal it’s his mark that puts it in the back of the net. But wheeler is suppose to be the aerial presence. Time to end the experiment.

    • Time to end experiment with okugo too. Not big or physical enough.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Can’t pin both goals solely on Wheeler. His CB partner has been faltering just as much. Amobi was not very good…and hasn’t been for a while. Wheeler wasn’t terrible, at all, in this match.

      • If Okugo is faltering it’s because he’s trying to play the position of BOTH centerbacks because Wheeler may as we’ll not be there. Hard to fault Okugo when he’s always got to have an eye to be covering Wheelers space as well as his own. Nothing against Wheeler, it’s not his fault he’s been put in this position, he’s just not a good centerback period.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Wheeler did some nice things. Not saying he is a good CB, but he isn’t awful.
        Amobi is a very good footballer. He is a decent CB, who has made his fair share of mistakes, and shouldn’t be free of criticism.

      • George H says:

        They are two young players who are learning a new position at the professional level. It’s no wonder why they are both struggling.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree 100% George. Was simply stating that both CB’s have made mistakes, not just Wheeler.
        Both players are playing their hardest, in positions that neither should be playing.
        One must ask; WHY??? What good is the manager seeing? What do these performances look like in Hackworld?
        In reality, we have one of the worst defenses in the MLS.

      • 100% correct sir.

    • Andrew D says:

      Have to agree here – ridiculous that Wheeler, after the first poor clearance, doesn’t even go up to challenge for that ball, but instead pulls a “pump fake” which does nothing but cause our remaining defenders to hesitate.

      • The Black Hand says:

        He was trying to “fake out” the other player. Definitely failed!!!

      • Why would a guy who is 6’4” try and out fake another guy. Dude, put your ass in the air and win the ball. Clean up the slop you created.
        A natural defender either jumps and heads the ball or at the very very least puts his rump into the other guy and shields the ball in the air. Pump fake. GO PLAY BASKETBALL IN SERBIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • The Black Hand says:

        Why? Very good question. I got nothin’…

    • The Black Hand says:

      Definitely, on second goal. Wheeler should have asserted himself. I think he was too focused on Dempsey. Remember, Wheeler is not a CB. He’s going to make mistakes…and has.
      Why was Wheeler even in the match??? The answer to that, is the root of our struggles.

  8. On The Right Track says:

    I really enjoyed watching the first 60 minutes. Electric. We moved the ball well. Maidana looked really good as the 10. The 4-2-2 seemed effective. McMath was playing great…and then…we just couldn’t sustain it! Our back line started caughing up corner kicks and then became “leaky” again. Hack then removed Maidana and our offense completely stalled.

    I feel like we learned some good stuff today regarding successful formations for THIS team and best fits for players therein. Too bad it looks like it’s too late now anyway……Fogging Sox…Dammit! Good thing we don’t have relegation! Now what? Time to rebuild? Again? Play rooks? Embarrassing to be asking these questions after 10 games.

    • On the bright side, it’s actually not too late, since the Eastern conference is a train wreck.

      • George H says:

        True, but we’ve played at least 1-3 matches more than everyone else and we’re still in 8th. Schedule only gets tougher for us.

      • my friend. come to terms. we suck so much.

  9. Andy Muenz says:

    This is getting really old, really quickly. Can someone plan to ask Hackworth at Wednesday’s press conference whether he is going out there with the intent to lose every game? It’s now been 3 games since one of the Union players put the ball in the opponents’ net.

    • Yeah, that’s his intent! You need to indicate your kidding – or consider the full implications of what you say (imagine someone saying this about you at your job – or your kid’s). If Wenger had laid the ball off a couple of times to wide open teammates rather than shooting into a crowd of Seattle defenders, there would have been goals. Especially the time in the 2nd half after he made a great run.

      • If it isn’t his intention to lose then why isn’t he winning?

      • wow, didn’t know it was that simple! i have to follow you around to see how you manage to make everything you intend turn to gold.

      • If we aren’t winning, why?

        Hint: it isn’t just the centerbacks

    • I’m pretty sure in the last 3 matches we’ve averaged 15 shots at goal….and one on target. Does anyone on this team know where to aim the ball?

  10. On The Right Track says:

    …..and the slo-mo replay of Hoppenot is really embarrassing. Seriously dude dive much? For him to plead for a call made it that much more pathetic. Does Coach Hack like this crap? Condone it? wtf?

  11. Same old. Defensive lapses leading to goals and can’t score, but hey, the midfield ball movement looked pretty right? Tired of hearing that already. We were the better team when Cruz and Keon were starting everygame. Bottom line is we suck right now. Awful. Longest non winning streak in team history right? Now combine that with crashing out of the playoffs last year and how has this team done over the last say 20+ games?

  12. Scottymac says:

    An OG and a PK are the only goals since Edu scored a header in the 90th on APRIL 12!

    The good news is DCU only average 1 goal per road match, so we’ve got a good shot to get a point in a 1-1 draw.

    It’s more than making some tweaks, the manager admittedly doesn’t have an idea how to right the ship. Hack offers the obvious, we need to put those away or something we need to work out in training. When? Which match on the schedule will this be corrected by? At KC? At LA? The “it’s difficult” line has worn thin. Sigi was down a goal and made adjustments to get his team positioned to win. It was difficult for him too, but he figured it out.

  13. Worth repeating… Berry sits on the bench and Hoppenot comes in. There’s Sigi an actual professional manager. Then there’s John Hackworth, a bottom feeding buffoon!

    • there’s informed thoughtful comment, and then there is this. Sign made no grand tactical decisions. Hackworth changed shape and lineup to good affect. Sigi had to put on pappa due to injury. Subbing berry would have been useless and is he even fully fit? Didn’t look like it last time he played.

      • John Ling says:

        If Berry isn’t fit he shouldn’t be in the 18. Simple as that.
        Hindsight is 20/20. So it’s easy to say, “Why’d he put in Hoppenot? Should’ve put in Berry and moved Wheeler forward.” Maybe the move would’ve helped, maybe not. But that’s the point of Monday Morning Quarterbacking, right?
        I thought Wheeler played really well for the first 60, and then just completely fell apart. I don’t know if it’s fitness (doubt it), Seattle just finally wearing him down, Wheeler being as lucky as good in the first 60, or what. But whatever it was, Wheeler sure seemed to lose his mojo late. So getting Berry in and adding Wheeler’s presence up top certainly wouldn’t’ve made things worse.

      • It was a little bit Wheeler running out of luck, and a lot of Seattle’s forwards finding his weakness and exploiting it.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Berry sub wouldn’t have done anything for us.

      • When Hoppenot came in no sub would have helped us.
        But something could be said for bringing in Berry and moving Wheeler forward.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Possible. But throwing a cold Berry in and pushing a gassed Wheeler up wasn’t going to get it done in Seattle. I guess we would have had the same result…

      • sieve!!! says:

        Well if you consider Casey gassed when he enters the game it is still a kind of a wash.

  14. philpill says:

    Easily could have been 4-0, right? Would we have still heard the same positive post-game quotes? Wheeler was part of both SEA goals. Will anyone press Hackworth on why Berry isn’t just on the bench, but not playing at all?

    • The Black Hand says:

      There wasn’t a single defender, that was NOT part of those goals.

      • I’d rather say there wasn’t s single player that was not part of both goals. On the 2nd goal scored from a corner kick,the entire team was defending the corner kick and should all share the blame for the goal. If there is any blame to be assigned, its on the second goal from open;and it should be on the specif individuals at fault not lumping it on the entire defenders or midfield. Wheeler played well and should be commended for his efforts. I can only blame him partially for the first goal because Edu was in a perfect position to make the play but Wheeler recklessly intervened and also failed to challenge Evans. The entire team was there defending and failed to bail Wheeler and it was just simple luck that Obafemi won the 50-50 ball to finish the play. You can expect him the forward player in that situation to react sooner as he was facing the goal.

      • This is a joke right?

  15. Great One says:

    It’s a shame bc the goals weren’t directly wheelers fault, and he made some other nice plays, but it can’t be a coincidence he’s involved in these goals. Also, amobi was not in good places on either goal.
    The midfield looked so so much better this game. Maidana was electric and Nogueira was his usual self. But edu looked much improved and like he wanted to impose. Carroll has some bad giveaways but even he looked more confident and moved forward some.
    Shaenon had another clunker, I’m hoping he gets out of this soon. The biggest problem was the forwards, most notably le toux. His touch is just so awful, it’s just more obvious now bc there’s several good touches before he receives it, and nothing. We need another forward ASAP or we are in big trouble. The plus side is this formation seemed a little better.
    How freaking fast is Gaddis

    • George H says:

      +1 on Williams. His form has been pretty poor lately. Unfortunately, we can’t afford to sit him as the only option on the bench is Fabinho and as we all now know, he’s not a left back.

    • John Ling says:

      I agree on Williams. He also started poorly last year, then turned it on. So I’m hopeful he gets it figured out soon.

    • Agreed on le Toux. He looks a beat behind everyone now. He’s still fast, but it’s like he’s thinking about where to go, instead of just going there.

      • Completely agree. He looks really tentative, which is odd for him. Le Toux was always at his best going full speed ahead and letting things fly. Based on current personnel, I think a Wenger/LeToux pairing up top makes the most sense, but he needs to get back to being aggressive up there.

  16. The results are frustrating but I really liked the switch to a 4-4-2 diamond. Berry needs to be starting but besides that I think we are one effective striker away from being a very good team. Wenger and new striker x up top. Letoux just isn’t good enough.

  17. OneManWolfpack says:

    A few thoughts:
    MacMath was outstanding again. Nice to see him show up every game.
    Happy to see the 4-4-2 and I think it served the team well. Still can’t score though…
    Williams and Edu were terrible. Carroll was decent.
    Again the subs did nothing to make the team better.
    I honestly cannot believe Wheeler continues to start over Berry. At this point I have to believe its Hackworth’s pride or sheer stupidity that keeps starting him. Totally unacceptable.
    Another game where the opposing team wasn’t that good, yet the Union can’t take advantage and even earn a point. They’ve got till the end of May to get this figured out… or we can stick a fork in this season.

    • And your certain berry is fit? Agree both center backs were poor and are not up to it.

      • George H says:

        You have to assume that Berry is fit if he keeps making the 18.

      • You also have to assume Berry is fit if you just loaned the next CB on your depth chart, White, to Harrisburg.

        Berry had a clunker v. RSL, healthy or injured. Replacing him the following week with Wheeler may have been the correct move. The issue many people have is with Hackworth’s press conference anointing Wheeler his starting CB. Wheeler has done a lot right when he has played, but he has also done quite a bit wrong that, using Hackworth’s standard with Berry after RSL, should have gotten him benched.

      • One bad game after an Injury isn’t a good enough reason for you to get benched for a Striker. How many players played like crap last year for multiple games and yet stayed in the starting 11?

      • And that is what is frustrating from a fan’s perspective.

  18. I thought Groundhog Day was fiction but we’re seeing it happen in real life. The same damn thing every match and no reason to believe they will right this floundering ship.
    Antoine Louganis should be fined by the league.

    • If hop should be fined then martins should as well. Let’s be fair here.

      • Fair enough. But for some reason I take more exception to tripping over your own feet and crying foul than the standard flops that Martins was pulling.

  19. These players have absolutely no clue on how to head the ball away out of danger or clear it safely out of danger. It’s embarrassing

  20. The Chopper says:

    Here’s something I never thought II would say, through 10′ games,the Union’s most consistent and effective defender has been Raymon Gaddis. The rest of the backline has been less than consistent.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Ray is dead nasty defensively. Very good recovery and closes out his player quick. I think that, if he could threaten more offensively, he would be one of the league’s better outside backs. He was thrown to the wolves, at LB, and has been up to the task.

      • I’m okay with him threatening offensively, just not dribbling the ball on the long runs he makes. In the Daimond 4-4-2 there will be plenty of chances for overlap runs by him- that is how he can get involved up top.
        Tired of seeing him dribble- then lose ball out of position.
        He is an astute defender for sure though.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Are Shaenon’s crosses to nobody better?

      • joeliejoel says:

        Nope. He really has one scratching the head. He played really well the last 3 years and something is amiss.
        He’s never been a particularly good offensive threat in my mind, but lately it is just off. Maybe needs more time. Who knows.

      • The Black Hand says:

        He’s still finding fitness. He will get better.
        Agreed. His assist numbers were inflated, a bit, due to the long throw. While its an impressive feat, I don’t find it football related. His passing is OK…a lot of over the top. I think he gets trapped upfield, a little too often (Gaddis does too, but is able to get back in a hurry). That said, he’s a good player and we need his form to turn for the better. I think it will.
        Our club needs intelligent service from the wing…before the touchline. We need some diagonal passing, to spring our strikers. The unaddressed crosses have become too simple to defend.
        A lot of our problems are REALLY starting to lead back to Hackworth’s dierctives…or complete lack-there-ofs.

  21. philpill says:

    Better? Sure: 4-4-2, XI, tempo. Good enough? Nope: Wheeler v. Berry, 1 shot on goal, loss in final minutes, Hop. Hackworth has made some changes. Will he make some more?

  22. I thought the 4-4-2 (attacking Diamond) was a great choice tactically. I thought the starting XI (except Berry instead of Wheeler) was good.

    I think we all know our back for is suspect and this brings to attention the real issue…..Strikers. The Unions approach in the final 1/3 is horrendous and not because of the mid field not gaining possession or creating chances…..it’s because there are No depth in Strike Options!

    I think Wenger is a great pick-up and an overall improvement to Jack. However, the Union are a one trick horse, and the rest of the leagues know this. However a possible solution is right under the radar….and his name…..Wheeler!

    Move Berry back to CB and move Wheeler up to partner with Wenger in a 4-4-2 (Diamond) or even a 4-3-3. Now you increase the attacking depth chart on the bench with Fernandez, LeToux, Cruz, Hoppenot.

    In either case, a winless May should be the end of Hackworth because the Union without a doubt have the talent, the players are just being miss managed by a coach who is out if his depth, and showing it more and more game after game.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      And a winless May is a definite possibility. So mad…

      • Andrew D says:

        I will definitely give Wheeler another chance if they put him up front where he can perhaps positively affect the game rather than hopefully not conceding a goal

      • The Black Hand says:

        Never saw much more than “sub”, out of Wheeler (as a striker). Good size, but what else??? I didn’t hate the look at LeToux. (If only he had a hint of a touch.) I wouldn’t mind a look at a Leo/Wenger top pair, with Casey coming on as 1st sub. Two strikers is the way to go!!
        The 4-4-2 definitely gave us more of a flowing feel. I think that Maidana had more to offer. Edu appeared a little too defensive-minded, but I think that the “Diamond” could show promise. As long as they figure out a good balance of Noguiera and Maidana.

  23. Hopefully the 4-4-2 is here to stay, but until we get a back line of actually defensemen, I am fully in the Fire Hackworth category. I’m boycotting the Union as long as Hac insists on playing a forward as his CB.

  24. So last year, if the Union had gone up on the road early like last night, it would’ve been total bunkering in and anti-football the rest of the game. Last night the stayed positive and kept pressing, and it bit them. Does anyone want to go back to last year?

    • We have less counter attacking possibilities than last year. And to be fair we pulled off some results from bunkering last year. The only constant between this year and the last is we aren’t that good.

    • +1 NOPE. I want them to defend better.

  25. Some one in Hacks next presser needs to ask why the hell he keeps taking Chaco out even if he’s playing well. Try keeping him in for 90mins for Christ sake!!!!!

  26. The Chopper says:

    The reality may just be that despite the off season improvements to the midfield, we may not be a better team. Losing Parke has been been a bigger loss than anticipated and for whatever reason, Williams is in poor form. Not having Valdez or Parke to pair with has exposed some weaknesses in Okugo’s game, so we have taken some big steps back defensively.

    Last year,mte the team got one great goal scoring run from Jack,and then some great form for awhile from Connor Casey. This year, nothing has maeterialized. Not sure Wenger has a real run in him and Casey might be done. So we are weaker up front.

    Tactics or not, we just may not be better.

    • I agree 100%, which is why I said in my earlier comment that we were a better team last year with Cruz and Keon starting every game. That said, even that team didn’t make the playoffs. Everyone became so hyper focused on improving the midfield (and rightfully so), other glaring issues were overlooked and now have come back to haunt us. The lack of a finisher being the #1 issue in my opinion.

      • Great One says:

        Please don’t speak of Keon again, please sir. This season is going bad enough without having to think of him jogging out of position before passing backwards to the other team

      • Spot of comment. No talk of Mr. Daniel please.

      • philpill says:

        Edu + Berry + Maidana = talent upgrade from 2013. Hard stop.
        None has been deployed to maximum effect.
        Casey was expected to start slow from injury, but his heir apparent instead learns to become our new CB on the job while we fail in final third repeatedly.
        Okugo languishes as CB.
        Why? Why? Why? Why?

      • Also:

        Why did we draft Blake to let him languish on the bench when we could have used a starting-caliber CB of which there were 2 in the draft?

        Why is Ribiero playing CB at HCI when we could use him up here?

        Because Hackworth can’t coach. Hopefully Sack will call him onto carpet today.

      • River Schuylkill says:

        +1 This keeps getting forgotten. Pundits praised the Union on draft day yet we have the No. 1 pick sitting on the bench when we could have drafted a CB. Even before this season, Zac had proven himself at GK (albeit with some inconsistencies). The pick made no sense. Why would you not address a more pressing need?

      • Gonna devils advocate this one. Blake was the best player in the draft by a wide margin. Next year Zac Macmath would get a HUGE bump in pay. They were planning on unloading Zac and putting in Blake(Probably throwing him under the bus the same way they did Zac)I don’t think they predicted Zac would be playing out of him mind right now.
        Also, we have Defensive depth(on paper at least) But Hackworth is just determined to make Wheeler work. They same way he was determined to make Okugo work or Garfan Work or Gaddis work.
        It is frustrating really.

      • On the other side of that coin, the Union are constructed very much to win now and to draft a player you know probably won’t be able to contribute is kind of silly.

      • Just a note . . . not that I disagee with you as I wanted Dean . . . but I checked the other day and Birnbaum is playing in the USL and Dean has played 13 minutes so far this year. Only Eric Miller has gotten meaningful MLS playing time so far

      • If you’re not willing to pay a franchise goaltender, then who are you willing to pay.
        If this is a financial decision I am concerned about who and when The Union are going to keep their cornerstones….
        ie Jack Mac.

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