Union match reports

US Open Cup final match report: Union 1-3 Sounders (AET)

Extra time goals from Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins propelled the Seattle Sounders past Philadelphia Union by a 3-1 scoreline in the US Open Cup final on Tuesday night at PPL Park.

Despite taking a first half lead through captain Maurice Edu, the Union conceded quickly after the halftime break, with Chad Barrett equalizing following some sloppy defensive play from the hosts.

With time running down in regulation, both Pedro Ribeiro and Vincent Nogueira had chances to claim the Union’s first trophy, but when Nogueira’s shot beat Stefan Frei but rebounded back off the post, both sides had to settle for 3o minutes of extra time.

It was in those added periods that Seattle’s class showed through. The fresh legs of substitute Martins combined with Dempsey to torture a tired Union defense. While Philadelphia still had chances after Dempsey scored the Sounders’ second, they could not finish before Martins added an insurance tally.

“Seattle is a great team,” Jim Curtin said after the loss. “Seattle is the best team in our league. I thought we went toe to toe with them. We could’ve got a win there, but I was proud of our group.”

First Half

After resting many regular starters against New York on Saturday, Curtin made only one change from the side that recorded a 2-0 victory in Toronto last week. Returning from international duty, Carlos Valdes pushed Edu into midfield, a surprising move that dropped Amobi Okugo to the bench. When asked about the move, Curtin said, “Amobi was the hardest decision I had to make going into this game.”

Both sides felt each other out for the first 10 minutes of the match before the first true chance fell to exactly the wrong man, at least from a Union perspective. In the 11th minute, a slick Sounders move sent Andy Rose behind the defense. Before Ethan White could close him down, the midfielder found Dempsey racing in at the back post. But with the empty goal beckoning, Dempsey fluffed his effort over the bar.

Valdes gave the Union faithful an early scare when he went down clutching his leg in the 15th minute. He continued, but he looked to carry that ailment through the rest of the match.

Andrew Wenger nearly drew first blood in the 18th minute. Outjumping DeAndre Yedlin, the winger was unable to direct Sheanon Williams’ cross on frame. The Union kept up the attack with Sebastien Le Toux steaming onto Cristian Maidana’s through ball, but the Frenchman was stuck between a pass and shot and chose neither, flubbing an effort that Stefan Frei claimed comfortably.

Le Toux had another chance from six yards out in the 30th minute. Wenger got behind Yedlin and squared, but Frei again denied Le Toux, though the goalie was fortunate to see the ball strike his body.

Philadelphia’s offensive pressure continued to mount, with Wenger torturing Yedlin. Finally, in the 38th minute, the Union found the opener. Maidana hooked in an inviting corner, and Edu rose highest, flicking his header inside of the far post.

Second Half

Seattle came out looking to break the Union’s momentum, and an early defensive error saw the score level inside of two minutes. When Carlos Valdes failed to clear, Chad Marshall was on the scene to power a header on target. Nogueira got his foot on the goalbound header, but could only push it as far as Chad Barrett, who headed home.

The equalizer stunned the Union, and Seattle had a good chance to take the lead in the 50th minute, as Barrett played provider. A rare run forward from Osvaldo Alonso caught the Union defense napping, but the midfielder was unable to direct his header on target despite being wide open in the box.

Sensing the momentum swing, Sigi Schmid brought Obafemi Martins on for Barrett as the Sounders looked for a winner. It almost came in the 71st minute as Zac MacMath had to be sharp to keep things even. When Ethan White clattered through Lamar Neagle, Armando Villarreal waved the advantage, and Seattle quickly switched fields to an advancing Brad Evans. With time and space to measure the shot, Evans’ low drive could not beat MacMath.

The Union goalie — starting despite Rais Mbohli’s availability — was quick to react on the ensuing corner, launching a counterattack that sent Maidana in alone. But with only Frei in front of him, Maidana did not have the legs to finish the move. Yedlin flew in from behind to take the ball at the final moment.

Seattle’s poor finishing saved White’s blushes in the 76th minute when Martins caught him in possession in the 76th minute. Despite Martins, Pappa and then Dempsey having a chance at goal from close range in the move, the Sounders failed to register a shot on target, with the Union breathing a sigh of relief.

The pressure continued to mount a minute later, with Andy Rose outjumping Valdes and knocking the ball down for the onrushing Martins to send a blistering effort wide of the near post.

With the Sounders unable to find the winner, the Union took two of their own chances at the end of regulation. First, Ray Gaddis stormed forward after coming out on top of a physical challenge with Brad Evans. Finding space to shoot, Gaddis fired into a defender, with the deflection spinning to the feet of substitute Pedro Ribeiro. Before the ball would settle for a clean shot on the empty net, Frei managed to scramble back, smothering the Union rookie’s soft effort.

Moments later, Nogueira found a pocket of space between Marshall and Yedlin. Maidana spotted him and, taking the chipped pass off his chest, Nogueira leapt to volley past the onrushing Frei. While he managed to beat the goalie, Nogueira looked on in agony as the ball rebounded off the post and was cleared.

First period of extra time

Beginning the extra period, Seattle was quick to reestablish momentum. Martins nearly grabbed the Sounders’ second after only two minutes as substitute Marco Pappa slipped an entry pass his path. But despite hitting his effort well, the Nigerian could not beat a locked in MacMath at full stretch.

The teams alternated possessions in quick succession as the match grew exceedingly stretched. But it wasn’t until the 101st minute that Seattle finally managed to take advantage. Dempsey sent Martins forward with a pass from just inside the Union’s half and then finished the play after Gaddis failed to track his run, leaving the American poacher with space to power home a near-post effort.

With the Union clawing back, Pappa nearly put the match out of sight with the final kick of the first period of extra time, but the shot cannoned off the crossbar.

Second Period of Extra Time

In need of an equalizer, Jim Curtin turned to Fred. The only offensive substitute remaining on his bench, Fred nearly created something with his first touch as he pounced on a loose ball off a Union corner kick. Wrapping his foot around the shot, the veteran midfielder was unlucky to see his effort deflect off Zach Scott.

The Union continued to apply pressure from the ensuing corner kick. When the ball was again allowed to bounce around the box, Danny Cruz flicked it back into the danger area. Reacting quickly, Valdes got his head to the ball. But while it was redirected goalwards, the ball was directly at Frei.

At the other end, Seattle made the Union pay for their inability to capitalize on their chances when Martins tallied an insurance goal in the 114th minute. Putting Gaddis on his shoulder, Martins created enough separation to loft a soft chip over the charging MacMath, all but guaranteeing Seattle their fourth US Open Cup championship in the last 6 years.

After failing to take three points against New York on the weekend, the Union resume MLS play with critical match against Houston Dynamo this Saturday at PPL Park.

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams (Fred ‘110), Ethan White, Carlos Valdes, Raymon Gaddis; Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira; Sebastien Le Toux, Cristian Maidana, Andrew Wenger (Danny Cruz ’81); Conor Casey (Pedro Ribeiro ’77)
Unused substitutes: Rais Mbolhi, Brian Carroll, Amobi Okugo, Michael Lahoud

Seattle Sounders
Stefan Frei; DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez; Brad Evans (Gonzalo Pineda ’94), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Lamar Neagle (Marco Pappa ’74); Clint Dempsey, Chad Barrett (Obafemi Martins ’60)
Unused substitutes: Marcus Hahnemann, Jalil Anibaba, Michael Azira, Kenny Cooper

Scoring Summary
38 – PHI: Edu (Maidana)
47 – SEA: Barrett (Scott, Marshall)
101 – SEA: Dempsey (Martins)
114 – SEA: Martins

Discipline Summary
25 – SEA: Alonso (caution)
57 – PHI: Casey (caution)

Referee: Armando Villarreal
Attendance: 15,256

Philadelphia Union Seattle Sounders
19 Attempts on Goal 19
5 Shots on Target 7
7 Shots off Target 9
7 Blocked Shots 3
12 Corner Kicks 7
42 Crosses 19
2 Offsides 2
12 Fouls 7
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
536 Total Passes 575
74% Passing Accuracy 78%
49.6 Possession 50.4%
66 Duels Won 81
44.9% Duels Won % 55.1%
18 Tackles Won 30
3 Saves 4
25 Clearances 59


  1. I was told by someone the Union were beaten by the better team last night. And I disagree. The Sounders are an excellent team and yes I realize Dempsey missed 2 sitters one of which was the fault of the CB that should not have been playing as I will discuss later but the Sounders were ripe for picking last night- 3,500 miles from home and should have been beaten.
    Truth is- last night the Union were beaten by a better manager. And I guess that has to be okay. JC is young and getting OJT. Sigi Schmid is not young and one of the most distinguished and winningest coaches in MLS history.
    His lineup was spot on and subs were spot on. Our lineup was not spot on and our subs were not spot on.

    I recognize in advance I am an Okugo apologist. That said, how does one of the best DM in the league and a cornerstone of every game since this thing began sit on the bench in the most important game in franchise history. IMO the first misstep in JC managing career happened in the starting lineup last night and if I was Okogu I would be pissed off. That was not the best XI. PERIOD. There is no way anyone will convince me that #1. Ethan White is a better player than Edu at CB. #2 that Ethan White is a better player than Amobi Okugo at all. Edu at CB and Okugo at DM. Huge mistake and that mistake played out at the end of the game when Edu, caught upfield being too offensive– ambled his way back up field while Clint Dempsey and the Sounders streaked down the field. And not one mention of Okugo on bench from Pappas or Dellacamera. Interesting.
    I recognize Edu scored the gol but he could have been in that same exact position on the set piece as a CB. In the midfield however, he turned the ball over 3 times in first 22 minutes and 5 times in the first 60. Because yes, I was counting.
    How in the world does Andrew Wenger get subbed out for Danny Cruz? Was he tired? Was he hurt? Because he sure as hell was making Deandre Yedlin honest at RB and making Deandre Yedlin at RB look quite average to boot. Wenger brought much needed width to the field. He was a menace on the 1v1 attack and had multiple opportunities in the box. Cruz comes on and gets sucked inside and there goes our width with touches that were unproductive.
    The last thing I would like to say and this is no disrespect to our fan base (which generally is great) merely an observation– why does it take the 70th minute of an Open Cup final for us to begin chanting and cheering as one. Was it that we finally realized we were being out yelled by the opposition and decided to do something about it because it was nice to see and hear and IMO, again, long overdue. The SOB give us plenty opportunity to get involved and we often seem to be sitting on our hands and leaving the merry making up to them. Reminds me a bit of an Arsenal home game- though the Emirates can get quite loud when it needs to.
    Lastly if you take Edu at DM because he brings the big game experience than why not Rais at goal who brings the big game experience. Analyze it any way you want 2 of the three goals were on McMath to a large extent. He hesitated on coming out in the first goal for the clearance punch which threw everything off and he came out on the 3rd goal when he should have stayed home.
    A missed opportunity last night. I’m bitter. and disappointed. because we should. have. won. like The Eagles in 04 and The Phillies in 09.

    • I agree with almost everything you said. Macmath earned his spot in net though, and for the most part had a solid game. This games on Curtin.

    • Two more mistakes, in my opinion, from Curtain in addition to starting White over Edu.
      First, he left Casey in too long. I was actually surprised he didn’t get red after he berated the ref on the one call. I thought Pedro should’ve come on 5-8 minutes earlier than he did to get Casey out.
      Also, the last substitute was the wrong move (unless Williams was hurt). The correct move (in my opinion) would’ve been to take out White – who never should’ve been starting – and insert Okugo rather than Fred. And it should’ve happened sooner – almost immediately after Dempsey’s tally.
      The Great One is spot on. This game is on Curtain.
      Also, the ref was downright horrid. Whatever “gift” he received at the end during the award ceremony he should return, because he sure as hell didn’t earn it.

    • Totally agree with you about Okugo, Joel. I was very disappointed to not see him starting.

      While it’s easy to bash Curtin for his subs, he wasn’t going to be fighting a fair fight when Schmid can bring Martins and Pappa off his bench while we counter with Ribeiro and Cruz. However, that really has to do with the limitations of our current roster compared to a large budget team like Seattle. The one valid criticism that could be leveled vs Curtin is having 3 DMs on his subs bench and not another attacking option. Perhaps Brown should have been there instead of Lahoud.

      Even though the end result stunk, we really can’t complain as we had our chances to win the match. I just wish that we had come out more aggressively at the start of the 2nd half. We were on our back foot for the first 10-15 min and let Seattle dictate play.

      • Brown couldn’t be on the bench because the Open Cup has a limit of 5 international players per team. Valdes, Nog, Maidana, and MBohli were four of the five; the fifth slot went to Ribeiro. (Le Toux, Lahoud, and Fred have green cards and count as US players.) Basically, Curtain had to pick between Pedro and Brown and chose Pedro.

      • Ahh, makes sense. Thanks, John.

    • I assume you were watching on TV since you mentioned Zumoff – who I believe was doing the game, not JP – and Pappas, but I was at the game and that was the best crowd ever at PPL Park. There was constant cheering throughout the stadium, standing and screaming for every corner and long throw-in, and the crowd chanted with the SOBs throughout the game. Not sure if you heard that on tv or not, but that crowd was AWESOME. Better than the home opener, better than the playoff game in 2011. Bravo to the crowd for stepping their game up.

      • I was at home so I defer to those of you there who say it was electric. It is hard to pick that up on tv sometimes.

      • Yea that place was jumping. If TCN used the GolTV feed you probably didn’t get the full effect. I walked in at 7:15 and I could feel the intensity already.

    • I completely agree with Joel on every point here. No Okugo, the Wenger substitution, and McMath answered everyone’s question last night as to why Mbohli was acquired.

      I feel the same about the cheering and the chanting. At times it felt that I was sitting in a Library, and all the noise was coming from Seattle. I personally think the River End needs to be expanded and sections like 103 need to be “annexed” as part of the River End.

      Things are a changing, but I feel we have one more season of disappointment before this “project” bares fruit.

    • One we were beaten by a better team. When the Union needed offensive reinforcements we got Ribero off the sidelines when the Sounders needed offensive reinforcements they subbed in Martins. That pretty much sums up who is the better team.

      That doesn’t excuse the team for playing like collectivly like morons for the entire second half.

      When we were watching the game me and my friend noted that Andrew Wenger was done. He was totally spent and was probably on the field 5 or 10 minutes longer than he should have been. So the Cruz sub was inevitable.

      And as far as the fans go. Games have ebbs and flows some cheer and some watch but as the game becomes more tense people get more into it they start to cheer and be more participatory. Alcohol helps. The thing is by the point the rest of the crowd was getting into it my voice was shot from being in the river end and I was just pretty much clapping.

    • Old soccer coach says:

      Wenger gets subbed off because having played the full ninety against New York in the midfield he was gassed as you saw in the second half when he did not anticipate and execute at least two obvious offensive combinations with teammates.

      • If you feel he was gassed then that is an acceptable response. He seemed alright to me but I did not have the benefit of seeing him when the TV wasn’t on him.

  2. This was a weird game, played really well in spots and got beat in others. In the end it was an off day by a few guys and a manager who decided to lose his mind that cost the game.
    first off Nogeuira and Edu were beasts the entire game, they bossed a lot of the midfield and turned up in a lot of good places. Wenger was very confident and took Yedlin to task several times (btw he is so fast, how about when he caught Maidana). Maidana was solid but made a few bad passes, although he is supposed to try those things. Gaddis played his heart out, but in the end I think was hung out to dry by the CBs.
    I believe the culprits here (besides Curtin) were Le Toux, Casey and White. Casey just didn’t seem to quite be in the right spots or have his touch tonight, and Le Toux appeared to give it away a lot or was constantly chasing play. White was the most obvious. After the manager started him, the spotlight was on, and White was not. Bad clearances, giveaways and horrendous Def in transition killed us. The fact that Carlos looked beat up only made it more obvious.
    The omission of Okugo will be ultimately what killed us and what this was remembered for. In the end though they played unbelievably hard and just had an off night, great atmosphere at the game.
    Oh and Dempsey is a major punk. I will find it hard to root for him after that grabbing/elbowing and crying display.

  3. The Union were so close to winning this thing. I’ll never forget Nogeuira’s shot bouncing off the post. That was our game in one play.

    What the Union couldn’t seem to do all night was find anyone open in the box on attack. Crosses in and passes up were always into a crowd of defenders. It seemed we couldn’t outrun them or break free. We looked best in the final 10 of regulation. Don’t recall seeing Casey or Le Toux in any spots to threaten. (I only caught the second half, though, so maybe I missed something.)

    Agree on subbing in Cruz. Why?

  4. Greg Williams says:

    Surprised no one else posted it, but any thoughts on David Moyes being at the game? He was on the field when we walked in (section 101), then headed up to the suites.

    All I can say about the game is that while I’m frustrated, I am very proud of the entire team. I hope this is a huge stepping stone to future success!

  5. It was a sloppy game by both teams with too many passes where the passer and receiver were on completely different wavelengths.
    I agree with the comments about Okugo starting but I was fine with the Cruz sub. Seattle had fresh legs and the Union needed to match them. From around the time Cruz came in until the end of regulation was when the Union were at their best and had the best chances to win.
    The worrying thing is that the team spent so much and now won’t be able to get a result against Houston AND that Seattle spent so much they won’t be able to get a result in NJ (remember, Seattle is now the Union’s ally this weekend). The one good thing there is that Okugo will be fresh Saturday.

  6. That was a shitty walk out of the stadium. That was our cup to lose.
    As others have touched on, that was not our best XI. Edu should have been at CB instead of White, and Okugo should never be dropped from a starting lineup. That decision could be the one he holds on to at contract time. Why would he stay if in the biggest game in franchise history, he rides the bench after playing so well leading up. Stupid decision, and I felt that way before the game ever started.
    Cruz had some flashes of improvement earlier in the year, but they were exactly that…flashes. Taking Wenger off was a terrible decision. He was the only dangerous attacker we had.
    Chaco looked gased at the end of regulation. I know he’s the creative playmaker, but you can’t do that when you can barely jog around.
    Such a disappointment, there is solace in that it was Seattle. They are probably the best team this year, and just do so well in Open Cup. They were beatable but it’s better than losing to Chicago. This makes the tie versus Pink Cows a bad result now. Houston this weekend is a must win game. The only goal is making the playoffs right now.

    • Old soccer coach says:

      Think carefully all ye who don’t like White over Okugo in the back line. What are Seattle’s most dangerous offensive characteristics? Speed going direct onto goal and combination play in the central channel in front of the center backs. Ethan White is faster in a straight sprint than Okugo, and every drop of speed counts. Okugo is a fine DCM, but he is less experienced against world class players than are either Edu or Nogueira. AND, Okugo provided depth on the bench at center back as well as defensive center mid. Think about the specific exact nature of the problem the Union coaches have to solve as part of you critical analysis. Okugo still gets schooled by truly world class e. G., Marco DeVaio, a good thing overall because it makes him more likely to stay here if we offer him a decent raise, and I would definitely like that to happen.

      • I don’t think anyone is looking at Okugo in the back line instead of White. Instead we are thinking Okugo in the midfield and Edu replacing White. There were definitely times last night when White’s ball handling got the Union in trouble. With Edu and Okugo in the lineup, you know either can go forward and the other will cover. You lose that when White is there.
        That being said, one thing we need to remember is that Curtain also needs someone in the midfield fresh for Saturday. While he was trying to win the Open Cup, I think he knew that it was about 50-50 at best and if he threw everything and lost and had nothing left for Saturday, the team would be in a real hole trying to make the playoffs.

      • You kidding right? the part about being schooled by world class players. how many times in the last 3 years he has shut down the middle of the field. Man. People.

  7. crusty old coach says:

    First off, I’m one of the few here that actually like Danny Cruz. He’s a hustler, and would take on a brick wall if asked. However, coming in for Wenger was a huge mistake. I didn’t see Wenger hurt or tired. All I saw was outstanding, impactful play. I’ll never understand that move. Secondly (and I’ve said this many times) why is Casey playing? He gets goals and assists simply due to his minutes and his hanging around the goal looking for scraps (I’ll also give it that he’s a big target on set plays…however). He has to be the slowest forward in the business, and most of his first touches are sloppy. He can’t hold the ball up at all. If he’s just being used as a “blocker” up top, and a guy who’s only role is to play with his back to the goal to play the give and go with attacking mids, then I sort of get it, but that is not fully utilizing the role of the lone striker. He’s a great guy, but Brian and Pedro need to get minutes. Either one will prove to be a more effective player in that position.

    All that being said, I like JC, and realize he’s trying (and succeeding!) to make an immediate impact. You can’t “throw out the baby with the bath water.” We’re winning, so let’s continue to support this team, and this manager, and I hope to be blogging with you all during the playoffs!

    • Are you really an old coach? Just stop. Conor Casey may be old, yes, but to say that Riberio or Brown would be more effective than him is absolutely idiotic. He has consistently created offense for the Union since he’s been here.

      • crusty old coach says:

        …only because he gets the minutes and good services. like I said, good target guy on set plays. Good “play back” guy. Lousy first touch. No movement. Slow. Can’t hold the ball up…. I actually like the guy, but we can do better.

        to be fair, I don’t think Brian would have made a difference last night, but, give him some game time, and he’ll become a play maker. Now Pedro to start last night… we might have to argue that a little more.

      • crusty old coach says:

        ..more.. we can call each other idiots if you like. I’m o.k. with that.

        Here’s what I think. The U is still in need of a pure, well rounded, multi-faceted striker. While we have the guns to play mid and back in the 4-5-1 (or 4-2-3-1 if you like), I think we still need that world class “1”.

        as a coach (yes, really…licensed too), I’ve played a 4-4-1-1 where my top-1 was a “Casey-type” player (play back, pick up the scraps, harass the keep…) and it worked. But I had another pure striker who could move better with the mids, hold up the ball while the attack set itself up, draw the defenders off, etc, etc… Maybe there really isn’t that much difference if you really think about it.

        I guess it’s a matter of philosophy and what your expectations are, but I’d still like to see a different style up top. I think when we find that, it will show.

  8. Crazy traffic getting in, at least for us. We arrived right when Valdes was down. For whatever reason, traffic backed up onto I-95 for the parking lots. We were on the ramp when we heard the Hells Bells intro. We were *still* on the ramp when the fireworks went off. By the time we got through the mess, Lot B was closed. We ended up in C, and that was all but full – we got what seemed like one of the last spots. (Also, note to the Union: turn on the damn lights in the parking light!)
    I was happy to have a 7:30 start. I can typically make it on time for 7:30 games during the week. But despite leaving my house in Bucks County around 6:10, we didn’t get inside the stadium until 15 or so into the game. Damn it!
    That was, far and away, the loudest I’ve ever heard PPL park. I want that more often! Everybody on their feet chanting in unison was full of awesome-sauce. Fantastic environment!

    • Agree on the traffic. We live 15 minutes away, left the house at 6 and didn’t get into the stadium until almost 7. That was parking in Lot A which was backed up all the way onto 291.

    • I got there early and I’m glad I did. As I was driving in I told my wife that I thought we were going to be too early as we had left straight from work and had no tailgating supplies to occupy us. I got there around 6, and the line going into Lot B was already long and moving very slow. I went to Lot C, where the line was shorter but also moving very slow. And that’s because the lot attendants had to write the names (I guess – they were writing something) of all the people using their season ticket cards to get the cheaper parking. What was the point of that? Just showing the card should have been good enough. Hopefully they’ve learned a lesson here.

      PPL park was really rocking though. Despite the traffic and parking obstacles, the fans came through. Putting the outcome aside, it was a really fun night with the engaged crowd following what I thought was a very entertaining game.

    • Old soccer coach says:

      Heard from friend that there had been a freight train going through creating a traffic delay as the friend was coming in on Highland Avenue. Might be the root cause of the traffic?

      • Yeah, that would certainly be something that would create that sort of mess, since nothing would move while the train was coming through.

  9. This was all about missed chances. Letoux could have scored on a cross but hit it straight at Frei. Wenger’s head ball should have been a lot more dangerous (he needs to work on those headers!), Pedro should have opened his hips and directed the ball into the far corner instead of straight at Frei, Nog’s shot should have gone in but hit the post, Madaina’s free-kick had a nice deflection but it went straight into Frei’s arms.
    So you can jump high and low about who played and who was subbed but came down to the finishing that was very poor, while Seattle was very efficient finishing their few chances.
    Atmosphere in the Rivers End was excellent; has not been like that for a loooong time!

    • Guido your comments are spot on. I think what really killed us was putting the ball right at the keeper. Ribreiro had more time to pick out the near post instead of one timing it to the keeper. Wenger has to score with his header on the first attempt of the game, he had no pressure and the whole net in front of him. no excuses!! Nog. was the only one who picked out a corner and was unlucky hitting the post. It is obvious to see that we need to invest and search for high quality strikers who can hold the ball up in the offense, can create plays and chances and who can put the ball in the back of the net when given the chances. I want to see us acquire forwards who have great touch and skill to create space for themselves to create chances at goal and who can finish those chances. I believe this is our next step to achieving one of the best teams in the MLS.

    • I agree. My sense of how things went, too. If just one of those regulation time chances finds the net, there’s not a thing to complain about. The most maddening miss might have been Ribiero, which looked a lot like a WC Wondolowski to me. At first, I thought he was Le Toux, and I yelled “How could Le Toux miss that!” Learned a moment later it was Pedro. He had a great chance. One could argue Casey would have netted that ball, though I believe he needed to be subbed out when he was.

  10. I don’t know why there is so much negativity on the starting XI. I know there’s an Amobi love fest on this site, but, quite frankly, over the last month he has been pedestrian. We did not lose this game because of White over Amobi, we lost the game because our chances simply didn’t fall. Edu was a beast in the MF. He brought more to the game in that spot than Amobi brings. Edu has been the best player on this team since something set off a spark in him at the All Star Game.

    There is a reason that Dempsey, Martins and Barrett are combined making two times more than the entire Union roster. That showed in the extra time.

    I was so proud of our team, our coach and our fans – even in defeat. No Seattle player or fan can, in good faith, say that they outplayed the Union in regulation. If I was a foreign playing watching my first MLS match, the game and the atmosphere would instantly pique my interest in the Union

    I also give respect to those Seattle fans – a huge contingent travelling across the country. They were loud and enthusiastic

    My only criticism is the same as said above about taking out Wenger – he certainly didn’t appear gassed to me, and he was bossing it on the left.

    It was nut-kick loss, but, in the end, it was a fair result. Seattle’s huge money players made the difference in the extra time.

    One last thought, that Rose kid for Seattle was a beast. Really opened my eyes.

    • You and I have vastly differing points of view on the role of Edu and Okugo at DM. The fact that he is ‘pedestrian’ speaks to the quality of his game- but I am not going to go on about all that today. We will have to agree to disagree. Which is fine. Edu caused the go ahead goal- by being way out of position for a DM then showing no hustle to get back in the play. He played well. He is a good DM even very good DM. My point is that Edu is as good a CB as White which is why he should have been at CB to get Okugo on field who is a better all around player than White. This is about White not Edu or Okugo.

    • btw. agree about Rose and the big money players. my ass puckered the minute I saw Martins on sideline- and I knew the whole game he was coming in.

    • Nah, edu did not boss midfield like Okugo does. Edu makes bad passes from really bad spots that put us on our heels. You always have to watch Edus passes until completion which causes hesitation. Okugo passes from those same spots deep in the center of the field not only connect without danger but many times they are clever enough to start something from nothing. Also how can you call Okugo shutting down Michael Bradley “pedestrian”? To have a player of okugos caliber on bench for a game this big recalls the reason why I no longer go to PPL park. It is also the reason I was yawning watching this important game last night. If there was any hope it was with Edu at CB and Okugo at DM. Yawn…

  11. So many thoughts, but the most important for me was that Nogueira put on one of the best midfield performances in the history of MLS last night. I was in awe of him. After the Sounders came out strong at the beginning of the second half, you could see him decide to turn it up another gear. He was the best player on the pitch by a country mile. His touch was mesmerizing and his energy topped what we had seen at the beginning of the year. He deserved that goal off the post so badly, but still, he single handedly convinced me to re-DOOP for next season. Absolutely unbelievable performance.

    • As a proud owner of a Nogueira #5 Union first kit, I nearly woke up the neighbors when he missed that chance late. But he really was fantastic last night like you said.

      The extra burst of stamina he had at the later stages of regulation time and injury time was impressive considering how many consecutive months of soccer he’s been playing.

  12. Missed opportunities and lack of depth were the causes of last night’s loss. Every sub Seattle made was spot on and strengthened their team. Every sub we made took quality off the field and really made no impact. When Martins came in at the beginning of the second half we should have brought on Okugo to strength the defense and hang on to that 1-0 lead a little longer. Not sure if that would have completely changed the result, but would have given us a better shot at protecting the lead. We have no offensive depth and that showed last night. Brown is a bust and the only other striker seeing the pitch lately is a rookie. Time to offload some dead weight this offseason and spend the big bucks on a quality, proven, play making striker. Casey still has some gas in the tank, but we need someone who can create their own opportunities and run at defenses with the ball.

  13. Awesome game, heart-breaking result. Sounders have won before (3 Open Cups), and the Union are still learning how to win championships, and that was the difference. Sigi has won a LOT, Curtin is learning on the job. The Union showed that for 90 minutes they can play with anyone in this league, but so many times when a game like this go to extra time the truly better team just finds a way. The Union are really close to being that team, they’re just not quite there. YET. I am so proud to be a fan of this club today. The crowd was AWESOME, the atmosphere was great, and the team responded in kind with a great effort. It’s devastating to come so close but fall short. Let’s go get that MLS Cup.

    • crusty old coach says:

      Hey, Steve. You got it! We all (myself included) do a great job of “Monday morning quarterbacking”, but to be honest, I was incredibly proud of the entire team during…and after… the game. I’m sure some will disagree, but the overall quality of that game was on parity with the EPL. It was technical. It was creative. It had pace. It was just plain fun and exciting to watch. If I had the choice between United and City, or watching a rematch of Union/Sounders, well, I’d be in Chester. This is “home.” This is “us.” We’re all champions of the beautiful game, and we love it here along the banks of the Delaware! Bottom line…. DOOP!!

  14. Gruntled Fan says:

    As someone already mentioned, tough walk back to the car, but no shame in losing that game. Union had their chances in regulation, ball just didn’t fall our way. Thought Edu and Nogueira had great games, but the entire team came to play, I didn’t have a problem with White starting, I don’t think that decided the game.

    Awesome atmosphere last night, I’ve never heard PPL Park that loud, definitely had the feel of a championship game and as much as I hate to admit it I think the Seattle fans were part of the reason. Hopefully we’ll get a playoff game and fill the other 3000 seats and top it in a few months.
    Just tough when we’re brining Cruz and Riberio as our scoring threats and Seattle’s options include Dempsey and Martins. I think we now know our number one need for the offseason. Can’t imagine Casey will be back next year and if so, he’s probably late game sub not a starter.
    Anyone else noticed Frei changed his goal keeper jersey at half time from white to yellow? Wonder why….

    • Gruntled Fan says:

      Also agreed that is now very hard to like Dempsey after watching the way he plays in person. Between him and the way Osvaldo Alonso plays they make hating Seattle easy.
      Maybe we should sell Wenger to the Premier League, the way he dusted by Yedlin last night he might be worth a couple million now. Not sure what all of the hype is with Yedlin after watching him last night. Aside from him closing in on Maidana (which my eight year old could have done at that point), I didn’t see anything that really impressed me enough to see him leave the league, not that I can blame him for going to Tottenham.

      • +1. Wenger had Yedlin in his freakin’ pocket. If he keeps developing, he could be our offensive co-star next year when Casey starts to run out of gas.

      • Yedlin can’t defend, he’s all speed. He’s a decent midfielder for MLS standards, but I’d take Ray 100 times out of 100 for my RB.

      • Sir. I am inclined to agree. Ray brings speed and tenacious defending and still drives me crazy when he dribbles.

    • Both goalies were wearing white. If you get into a frantic late-game situation where the goalie of the losing team goes forward, the refs can’t tell them apart quickly.

  15. Heartbreaking loss but fun game to go out to. Here is to better results in the future.
    Nogueira was a beast.
    There was something up with the pitch last night as players were tripping and falling left and right. I suspect it was still in bad shape from the Red Bulls game.
    Sigi Schmid looks exactly like a Wal Mart greeter on the sideline.
    As I said before Andrew Wenger was completely spent and needed to be subbed off. There was no way he was going to make it to 90 without being a liability.
    I was in section 139. Watching Okugo’s look of “If I were only in there.” while the subs were warming up was painful.
    This game probably cost Curtin his job. This was the first team in a while the Union have played that weren’t actively going backwards. So in a game with actual stakes with a good, motivated team Curtins plans weren’t good enough. It seems there is no plan B if the counterattack isn’t effective.
    Though the blame has to fall on the Union team as well I have not seen such a difference in mental sharpness and common sense from one half to the other ever in a game. There was no one to calm the team down and to get them to refocus. Was that Okugo’s job? We’ll never know.
    But all in all Seattle are the better team to say otherwise is delusional.

  16. This was a combo of Seattle’s superiority and Curtin’s decision-making.

    The Union played well but when they tired and subs were made, Seattle had a huge talent edge, bringing on Martins and Papa.

    At that point the game was way too wide open. That’s on Curtin. Yes, we got some chances at the end of regulation time, but Okugo should have been brought on for White, to drop Edu to CB and shore up the play and insert some more discipline.

    • Old soccer coach says:

      Seattle has the fan base and the stadium size to have very likely the largest consistent revenue stream in the league, and hence the ability to buy the strikers who beat us. Why do you think Arsenal’s board approved upgrading from Highbury several years ago? Why is Liverpool reported to want to replace Anfield? I cannot remember whether it is West Ham or Spurs who are getting the modified 2012 London Olympic Stadium, but it’s higher revenue ceiling could potentially improve whichever club it is if the spending decisions are sound. Seattle should be winning things. Revenue and spending are no guarantees, look at Toronto and QPR. But make a list in your mind of the perennial European powerhouses and discover their stadium capacities. Then compare to the stadia of the others. The correlation is not mathematically perfect by any means, but there a correlation that is more than random.

      When in the future there are enough soccer fans buying enough tickets consistently to justify building something the size of Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia will have the opportunity to become a world class club, and, probably, will do so.

  17. The Union had their chances. MacMath made plenty of excellent saves, the Dempsey goal is not on him, and neither is the Martins.
    You can argue about Okugo convincingly, but the coach decided to go tough and big against a more technical side. For us to come into that game against the players that Seattle has, and compete and almost win, that’s fine. It’s tough to lose that game because it was a championship, but the coach knew what he was doing.

    • I disagree about the keeper; MacMath has to wear both those goals. He came out too soon on Martins; Gaddis had that touch covered. And, with Dempsey goal, anytime the keeper gets beat to the short side, it’s his (or her) fault.
      Good point about choosing White vs. Okugo in the starting XI. I (and many in the fan base) would have preferred Okugo, but at least there is a valid and logical argument for what Curtin did — this wasn’t a ‘hey, let’s try Wheeler at CB’ move.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. MacMath was fantastic…but those two goals were bad decisions from our keeper.
        “Tough and Big”…lost. Lets not overlook how easily Seattle could have put 5 in the net. I think that our CB’s had a poor showing. MacMath and luck were on our side, as far as Seattle’s opportunities were concerned.

  18. I know how beloved he is here and I’m a fan too but I don’t see anybody pointing out what a bad game Valdes had. He’s usually a stalwart in the back but last night he was a liability. Maybe he was hurt from the tumble he took early but, if that was the case, he should have come out because he hurt his team.Also, my section was screaming for Edu to take the shot at least 5 times in the match. This team would benefit from some more selfish play. Hesitation while looking for the perfect pass lead to several lost chances. Put the damn ball on frame.

    • Great point. Valdes was ok in defense but his distribution was slow and uncertain. I saw both Nogueira and Edu looking frustrated with him.

    • I absolutely think he was slowed by the groin or whatever he was holding at times.

      • Old soccer coach says:

        When he came off he was holding the very top of his hip bone right in from where the hip flexor attaches. He played like that hurt him the rest of the game. Also keep in mind that he is not yet in MLS shape. He was on Pekerman’s bench during the cup. And we all are aware of the idea that Latin teams may be technically better and tactically more savy, but are not as conditioned and athletic as ours. Why else did Roger Torres leave the league?

    • +1. I have a giant man-crush on Valdes, but he did not have a good game last night.

    • he was giving the ball away nearly as much as White was. and was at fault – along with Ray – for the Martins goal. and Ray left Dempsey to join two other defenders closing down Martins on Dempsey’s goal. Big mistakes. Not sure about Union being gassed as last 15 minutes of regular time was pretty much all U pressure and several good chances that we missed. Seattle allows other teams to play a bit in the hopes of an open game, which we could not fully exploit and which they did in the end. agree with all that Dempsey is whingeing nasty pri#$% and makes it easy to hope for Seattle’s demise.

  19. The U lost to the best team in the league, in overtime, when one of the league’s premier and highest paid players scored a nice goal. There is no shame in that, and the the U did not lose because of a screw-up or bad managing.

    The U lost because Seattle has better talent. Around the 55th minute, when Seattle had all the momentum and was pressing, I started going through the substitution options in my head. They weren’t good. I would have taken out Casey a little sooner, and I thought Maidana looked a lot more gassed then Wenger, but there were no better options, especially for more offense. We have no Martins on our bench.

    Having said that, I was surprised at how flat the U started the 2nd half, or maybe it was just a Seattle blitz.

    I couldn’t tell you what happened in the first 15 minutes because I was sitting in crazy traffic trying to get into Lot A; that is the worst I have even seen the traffic, and the game wasn’t even a sellout. But once inside I thought the atmosphere and the fans were great. People we up and cheering on many plays.

    This team can play with the league’s best, I am looking forward to the playoffs. Although I will be curious to see who can play on Saturday against Houston, other than Okugo.

    • I cannot get over the benching of Okugo who arguably is one of our best players. Other than being the true professional he is, I wonder what would motivate Okugo to play on Saturday for a coach that much disrespected him.

      Those who commented here that Okugo will not have added any offensive help if subbed over Fred seem to have forgotten that it was Okugo who scored the lone goal during regulation in the semi-final match against Dallas-which we later won on penalties leading to the championship he was benched.

      Like Joel I am a die-hard Okugo fan because I see the quality in his game which is not clear to the naked eye. It is Okugo that brings out the best in Chaco and Nog because he provides the quick passes both players need to get around their markers and relieves them of defensive duties.
      There is this nonsense commentary that White was selected over Okugo because of size and toughness. I’d say that there is no Union player with intelligent display of physicality in games than Amobi Okugo. Being physical is not pushing down opposing players in your penalty box. This post is really not about White but about the Youth Coach Jim Curtin.

      Anyway you slice it Jim Curtin lost the game. Curtin did not taking warning from the imprudent conduct that caused the dismissal of John Hackworth. Hackworth’s mis-use of Okugo cost him his job because he ignored the calls to play Okugo in DM where he is one of the best in MLS. We have won many games since Okugo moved to DM under Curtin. But the naked eyes and the ignoramus will not see that it’s Okugo’s ability to shield the backline that improved our defense–not Edu, not White.
      Like Hackworth Curtin will regret his disrespect for Okugo. This is a player that has been with us from the begining and have given his all to the team. This is the player that won the Team MVP last season and has captained the team on several occassion and yet cannot see time in the very first championship game his team is playing and at home.
      Any manager who cannot make the tough decision is not worthy of the position.Okugo over White is not even a tough decision because there is no criteria to choose White over Okugo. This is not about white who is a good player in his own right, but please Okugo any day is a better CB than White. Okugo compares favorably against Edu in DM and Edu being a better CB than White should have just played the CB position and the trophy would have been ours. We just missed a trophy the havens lined up for us. I am sure Sak is as angry as we are and is calling the guy in London.

      • Kiri, Agree 100% that Curtin blew it from the before the opening whistle. Agree that Okugo frees up Nogs and Maidana to create offense because he relieves them of defensive duties. Agreed Okugo gives up no dumb fouls, but to take that a step further he is the best I have seen at giving up “smart” fouls. He somehow, at least once a game, pushes his physicality right to the yellow card limit with the ref and then when the opposition is blowing gaskets, he pulls the physicality back. That’s how Michael Bradley disappeared for a week. That’s how Dempsey would have been invisible for the night… We’d be asking today, what happened to Dempsey? Good for us that he had a off night. Geez, even Martins sub couldn’t get him going… To his credit SIgi must have told them at half time that Curtin made a blunder. Let’s make him pay!

        The Curtin interview is telling. He said it was the toughest decision to bench Okugo. It also may be the last tough decision he makes as a coach. To get so close to winning a cup and maybe a new career as a true head coach is a “tough one” Jim, but you’re just another blunder prone Union decision maker…

        How about how they traded LeToux when he became the first franchise player…? yawn… Union front office is a waste of my time. I like the Sons of Ben. I like this website. Love the sport. Union puts me to sleep. Fred? For real? yawn.

      • You two give me hope.

  20. I think last night exposed a big problem we’re going to have for the rest of the season: the lack of quality options at CAM and CF. When we started the season, we had Casey, McInerney, Wheeler, Maidana, Fernandes for a short period of time, and Ribeiro once he was ready. Hackworth tried the Wheeler CB experiment. We swapped McInerney for Wenger, then found out that Wenger is actually a winger rather than a target man. We haven’t heard from Fernandes since Curtin took over. That reduced us to Casey, Maidana and Ribeiro, with the mid-season additions of Fred and Brian Brown (I believe Brown was unable to play due to restrictions on foreign players in USOC games). Ribeiro is more CAM than a target man, but someone has to be there to relieve Casey after 65 minutes.
    With Carroll, Lahoud and (shockingly) Okugo on the bench last night, as well as Brown unable to play, we had 3 DMs and only 1 CF options for a sub. Here’s three different scenarios I think Curtin should have gone with last night:
    1) Replace Casey with Ribeiro, but put him at the top of a narrow diamond midfield with Edu deep, Nog on the right and Chaco on the left, and slide both Le Toux and Wenger inside up top. Seattle’s pair of Dempsey and Martins was causing havoc on our CBs. I think we could have done the same to them with Wenger and Le Toux. Obviously not the ideal positions for them, but they’ve both played striker before and I think leading the line by himself was too much to ask of Ribeiro.
    2) Sub in Okugo for Chaco and move both Edu and Nogueira forward. Maidana was gassed late in the game, and there was no other target to join Ribeiro in the box. We needed another big body in the middle, and Edu could have filled that role. I’ve knocked him before for not being the 2-way midfielder he said he wanted to be when he came here, but he was doing well last night and I think the pressure of a title match would have brought out the best in him.
    3) I’m probably going to be ridiculed for this one: recall Aaron Wheeler for one game. We simply needed more size in the box. You don’t even have to bring him in for Casey. Let Ribeiro come in first, then bring in Wheeler later on for either Maidana or Wenger and put him in front of Ribeiro.
    None of these options are perfect, but we’re acting out of necessity at this point. We need depth up top. That’s our biggest concern this offseason.

    • All 3 of those options have potential. I agree on the bigger bodies; corner kicks still are not a strong point for the U, maybe more big bodies would help.

      And you forgot Hoppenot in your list of earlier forwards. I would have preferred to see Antoine instead of Fred last night late in the game.

      • I left of Antoine because he plays (or we played him) more as a Le Toux/Cruz type of winger. He’s not really a guy that fills the hole we have up top.

      • I also left off an ‘f’ in that last post. I think it plays more as a winger as well.

    • Good commentary.

    • I think option 1 would have been too drastic of a formation change to allow chemistry, especially in this pressured situation. But I agree that #2 and #3 would both have been good options. I did not know that there were restrictions on foreign players in USOC games, but given that, we should’ve had another American striker on the bench.

      • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/222438-the-us-open-cup-why-no-one-cares-about-it-and-how-to-fix-it

        As of 2009, the restriction was 5 foreigners allowed in the gameday 18. If that’s still the rule, the 5 would have been Rais, Valdes, Nogueira, Maidana and Fred (I thought it was Lahoud, but I just checked wikipedia and he has American citizenship).

        As for option #1, I agree that it’s drastic, but as Dan Fouts said in The Waterboy, “Last game of the year, Brent. Can’t hold anything back now.”

        The bottom line is that there are only so many times a 70-minute attack plan can win you a 90-minute game. We need to know what to do when Casey needs a sub. Is Brown a like-for-like replacement? After only 100 minutes thus far, I have no idea. Is Ribeiro the best answer? I’m hesitant to rely on him as the first guy into the box, but I’d be overjoyed if he was our 2nd guy in. A lack of a bona fide 2nd striker doesn’t mean you have to use whatever comes closest to one. You can make up for it by changing your tactics. If we get up early on Houston this weekend, I would like to see Curtin try the first option and see if there’s any potential with it. Wenger’s athleticism and Le Toux’s speed could cause mismatches with tired CBs late in a game. I think it’s worth exploring before the playoffs, but we need to secure games early in order to do that.

      • To be clear: I’m not saying that option #1 is too drastic, period. I’m saying it would have been too drastic to implement on short notice in such a huge game.

  21. I don’t understand the point of view that Jim Curtin somehow lost this game. The Union were organized defensively and gave up very few good chances during regulation. They were up 1-0 against the top offensive team in the league. Yes, I would have liked Okugo in the starting 11, with Edu at CB. That was my immediate reaction (and Facebook comment) when the lineups were published. This game came down to offensive firepower. Casey was done, and wasn’t terribly effective in this game. Unfortunately, we don’t have a replacement on the bench for him that can really impact a game, so we have to hope Ribeiro can make a few plays. I get not wanting to take Wenger off. He’s been dangerous out on the wing, and was again last night, but he was spent. If not Wenger, who are you taking off? Cruz, for better or worse, was the best available offensive option on the bench at the time. Le Toux, Nogueira, Edu, and Maidana certainly weren’t coming off, so where else do you get fresh legs on the field? Seattle simply has more firepower on offense, and the longer the game went, the more likely it was that they’d make a play or two.

    • Agree. Most everyone (except maybe Nogs) was done at the end of the regulation time. This was a game where Seattle just had better options off the bench and that made the difference.

  22. Section 129! WE had a blast…until we were rear-ended leaving the game, but I digress…

    There were some really fantastic performances from Nogs and Edu last night. The Union have to secure them.

    The stat for me was the 42 crosses! 42 crosses? IS that right? The corners and crosses are just not quite right, yet, but they got the crowd revved up, I thought.

    It was a great night (mostly). Congrats to the Union for a wonderful effort. Martins is an absolute beast.

    • Edu can go IMO. He creates a problem in a position on the field that is well secured. I’m okay with Carroll filling the role on Amobi’s nights to sit. Maurice, have a nice career. Thank you. Bye now.

  23. Yes, it must suck for Amobi to have to sit. But Edu and Nogs were,world class last night. Our holding midfield play could not have been better. It provided the Union with the neccesary chances to win the Cup and defeat the best side in MLS. Those chances were not converted.

    That is a gutsy and ballsy move by the manager. And I commend it. Amobi Okugo is an excellent defensive midfielder. ,but he is the third best one on this team. And for everyone who moaned about Amobi being played out of position when he was at center back, well Maurice Edu reminded us last night what he can do when he plays in his “natural” position. And he is the better player at it.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Far too much jogging from Edu, in my humble opinion. He did not really threaten with his passing, often opting for the easy pass to the flank. (Amobi takes shots at pushing passes up through the middle of the pitch. It’s nice to have that coming out of the defensive midfield…ask Juventus.) I can honestly say that I hope that Mo moves on, once our season concludes. Good player, but not a great fit for us.

      • I think Mo will move on. We have enough quality depth at that position that we would be better served deploying our cash elsewhere.

        But for now, if I am looking at our depth chart at DM, Okugo is number 3.

    • Chopper. We are all inclined to our opinion and that is what makes this fun but if you think Maurice Edu is a world class player sir, we have problems. The only World Class player that hails from this great country is Tim Howard. Period. Only. World. Class. Player. Not Dempsey. Not Donovan. Not a one world class player save Tim Howard. Just because you ply your trade overseas does not mean you are world class. That is a special category.
      Vincent Noguiera? One could argue he is world class but only by the hair of his chinny chin chin.
      Careful with the use of the words World Class. One may be getting caught up in the USSoccer propaganda machine.

      • Brad Guzan has certainly impressed at Villa and might be considered World Class (albeit a step below Howard).

  24. I think the premiere lineup has to be Amobi in for White. White is definitely serviceable but AO is an upgrade and I totally agree with The Chopper that Edu is ahead of Amobi in the CDM role.



    Wenger/Letoux/Ribs or Casey

    • When the Union shelled out the bucks to bring in Maurice Edu, it was to play in the midfield. Moving Edu to the back line had more to do with Okugo not performing well on the back line when the season began. So the team was better served with Edu in the back and Amobi did play well as a midfielder.

      But with Ethan White emerging as a competent true center back, the lineup is better with a midfield pairing of Edu and Nogs. Now Okugo played very well next to Valdes in the past, I would not mind seeing that again, but he would have to earn it. Ethan White has been solid and physical.

    • There is nothing Edu brings to the CDM position that Okugo cannot give you and better in one great area: Edu often fails to make those incisive passes that Okugo can close his eyes and make. Edu also turns over the ball a lot which is not a great attribute of a holding mid. Okugo is more disciplined in the position than Edu and I can go on forever. That said I love Edu greatly for his composure in the back-line and his toughness especially when challenging the 50-50 balls.

  25. OneManWolfpack says:

    Curtain pulled a Hackworth and overthought the starting XI and the substitutions. While I agree Seattle probably wins this game 9 out of 10 times, last night was our one.
    Maidana gets tired to quickly. He jogs a lot. He’s not physical. His free kick was brilliant, but he’s very hit it miss for me. I would use his money and upgrade next year.
    PPL was the loudest and most ridiculously awesome it has been probably since the inaugural game. That place was just electric. Sucks we lost, but that was the best game I have ever seen live. Period.

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