Union match reports

Match Report: Philadelphia Union 2-3 Columbus Crew

It all fell apart in astonishing and spectacular fashion.

The Philadelphia Union, scraping and clawing for a postseason berth, saw that glimmer of hope – -a figurative way forward after a string of poor performances.

New York was beating Toronto three to nothing, and Jim Curtin’s team had broken the deadlock at home, scoring two second-half goals against a short-handed Columbus Crew. A Union win, combined with a Red Bull triumph, would place Philadelphia just one point below the red line with two games left to play.

It was the perfect pair of results.

But the next five minutes will be seen as one of the most discouraging stretches of play in franchise history. Just as quickly as the lead was built, it disappeared. Curtin’s team shipped three goals in rapid succession, lost the game, and saw itself eliminated from the playoffs.

It was a brutal end to this Union season, after the phenomenal mid-year turnaround that saw the club get back into the playoff picture and advance to the finals of a cup competition for the very first time. The history books will show, however, that the 2014 Philadelphia Union would finish this campaign just like years past, with no trophies, and no post-season appearance.

First Half

Jim Curtin made several changes to the starting lineup, beginning with his back five.

The international absence of goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi paved the way for Zac MacMath to earn his first start in weeks. Ethan White was deemed fit enough to start at center back, while Ray Gaddis assumed right back duties and Fabinho was preferred to Sheanon Williams.

Illness forced Cristian Maidana to the bench, and Vincent Nogueira was pushed into a #10 attacking role in front of holding midfielders Amobi Okugo and Maurice Edu in the club’s 4-2-3-1 shape.

The Crew, meantime, did not have the services of suspended left back Waylon Francis, and forward/midfielder Federico Higuain.

The game almost started in scintillating fashion for the Union, when Andrew Wenger missed wide with a first-minute header. Pouncing on a Crew turnover, Sebastien Le Toux looped a back-post cross for the left winger, who got low and pushed a diving header just off-target.

Philadelphia was then denied a penalty shout in the 9th minute, when Nogueira received a dummied pass and pushed into the box. A collision with Bernardo Anor separated the midfielder from the ball, but referee Mark Geiger decided not to whistle for a foul.

Fabinho got involved in the 21st minute, running onto a clever flick from Le Toux into the left channel. Conor Casey attacked the low cross, but the ball squirted wide of the net under blanketed defensive coverage from Michael Parkhurst.

The center forward then failed to connect on a Wenger cross from the other side of the field.

Play went back and forth for the next 20 minutes, and Wenger headed directly to Clark after fighting off his defender to latch onto a diagonal Gaddis cross. Fabinho then cleaned up a botched clearance attempt on the other end, and both sides went into the break at nil-nil.

Second Half

Both sides poked and prodded in the opening 15 minutes of the second stanza. MacMath was out to claim a couple of loose balls in the Union box, then Columbus struck the post on a right footed Justin Meram drive in the 60th minute.

Substitute Danny Cruz, who entered for Conor Casey, then sliced a wicked left footed hit just wide of Steve Clark’s goal on the opposite end.

Curtin had placed Cruz at right forward, with Le Toux pushing into Casey’s center forward position.

The substitution would pay dividends a short time later, with Cruz breaking the deadlock in the 68th minute.

Fabinho, active on the left hand flank, played a floated cross across the box and toward the back post. Okugo was positioned well, and rose high to head the ball down and towards the six yard line. Cruz ran onto the loose ball, and his side-footed shot spun off of Meram and into the back of the net.

The Union doubled the score in the 75th minute with a quick surge and a bit of luck.

Running onto a ball in the right channel, Nogueira was able to push past Tyson Wahl and fire a low shot across the box. Clark got a hand onto the ball, which then struck the post. Wenger was waiting on the doorstep, and turned his hips quickly enough to tap in awkwardly from just one yard out.

That’s when it all went straight downhill.

A flurry of Columbus goals – three in five minutes – would doom the Union to a horrifying playoff exit.

It started in innocuous fashion, with Tony Tchani playing wide for Hector Jimenez on the right. The fullback’s cross got behind the Union defense, and Ethan Finlay hit a one touch, side footed volley that beat MacMath.

Then, almost immediately after, the Crew sprung another push forward, this time Meram able to dance his way through the box and poke a second ball into the net.

Substitute Jairo Arrieta then delivered the final dagger, stepping in front of Carlos Valdes to redirect a Tchani cross past MacMath.

Philadelphia Union
Zac MacMath, Ray Gaddis, Carlos Valdes (Antoine Hoppenot 84′), Ethan White, Fabinho, Amobi Okugo, Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira, Sebastien Le Toux (Pedro Ribeiro 80′), Conor Casey (Danny Cruz 58′), Andrew Wenger
Unsused Substitutes:

Columbus Crew 
Steve Clark, Bernardo Anor, Michael Parkhust, Tyson Wahl, Hector Jimenez, Ben Speas, Ethan Finlay, Wil Trapp, Tony Tchani, Justin Meram (Chad Barson 87′), Aaron Schoenfeld (Jairo Arrieta 74′)
Unused substitutes:

Scoring Summary
68 – PHI – Danny Cruz (Fabinho, Amobi Okugo)
75 – PHI – Andrew Wenger
78 – CLB – Ethan Finlay (Hector Jimenez)
79 – CLB – Justin Meram (Jairo Arrieta)
82 – CLB – Jairo Arrieta (Tony Tchani, Bernardo Anor)

Disciplinary Summary
70- PHI – Danny Cruz (foul)
90 + 1 – CLB – Chad Barson (foul)

Philadelphia Union Columbus Crew
20 Attempts on Goal 18
6 Shots on Target 4
7 Shots off Target 10
7 Blocked Shots 4
9 Corner Kicks 3
34 Crosses 17
5 Offsides 3
9 Fouls 10
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
370 Total Passes 418
76% Passing Accuracy 78%
48.1% Possession 51.9%
47 Duels Won 40
54% Duels Won % 46%
15 Tackles Won 16
1 Saves 4
14 Clearances 20

75 Comments

  1. I never thought I would have to say this again….

    We Suck So Much.

  2. These are YOUR Philadelphia Union.
    .
    Cause of Death- Self inflicted Wounds.
    .
    There are no other comments to make.

    • True, but when you have young players out there, they don’t always know how to close out games…oh, wait…never mind.

    • Planet earth looks blue and there’s nothing I can do.
      .
      Major Tom just checking in.
      .
      Is it real?
      .
      or is this just fantasy?
      .
      caught in a landslide
      no escape from reality……
      .

  3. That’s so Union!

  4. This one hurt.

    • Like when your booger eating arch enemy in 3rd grade kicked you in the scrotum, she- pinging the left nut off the inside of your levi Straus and you going white with pain.

  5. going to be an interesting off season… Pathetic game

  6. see you next year

  7. 1. Preferred XI last 2 games: Blake, Marquez, Berry, White, Gaddis, McLaughlin, Ribeiro, Okugo, Hernandez, Brown, Wheeler. (With apologies to you who know HCI better.) See what’s there.

    2. Stay away & watch SKC game on TV. Send Jay a message.

  8. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse than the last game. How could they blow that lead?

    Random thoughts:

    Fabinho looked like the best, most motivatedUnion player on the field.

    The scoreboard highlights at halftime were mostly Wenger not scoring on 4 different shots.

    I don’t get Mo Edu. The few times he moved the ball forward with authority it worked, the U looked like a threat through the middle. But mostly Edu was content to play the ball sideways a la Carroll. He could be so strong out there……

    This game killed any hopes Curtin had to be the manager.

    • Looked like Fabinho had a hand in their first 2 goals – especially the first. I think Valdes hasn’t been fit since groin pull. Where’s Berry?

    • Pretty sure valdes could take the blame for the 2nd to last or last goal the crew scored. Oh but I forgot valdes is soo amazing he can’t be blamed…. Sorry just so pissed atm haha

  9. The only silverlining will be we get rid of dead weight this offseason and let the young players on the field the next two games.

    • Also it conclusively answered the Curtin Question. Up 2 at 75 minute mark, go to a more possession/defensive style – especially against a Higuain – less Crew. When you’ve put Carroll in your 18 and you don’t use him then (for LeToux), why the heck is he there? Or Maidana -to possess, not to score. I count myself as a big Curtin fan & I hope he learned as much as possible this year. HHeis a future head coach in MLS. And when he says they’re not quite good enough now, he includes himself.

      • I like Curtin a lot, but there’s no way I can disagree. This loss was a team collapse far worse than last week’s mistake against Chicago. And Curtin has to take responsibility for that.

  10. Why the f was Ribriero in? Worst team in the mls. There needs to be some major changes to this team. curtin made the wrong move putting in ribriero. He fucking sucks. Doesn’t even know how to play the position. Ya know what, just bc someone is tall as fuck doesn’t mean they can do it all….Hmm I had hackworth dejavu. Hopponot should have started and subed on way before the 80th min. Not even Messi can show anything great in that amount of time on the field. Wtf are you thinking? !!!! Fucking horrible. If youre the kind of person who drops their season tickets I’m sorry but you’re un loyal and it only hurts this franchise even more.

    • Sack only understands money. Cast your vote of no confidence by staying away. Nothing changes if we continue to faithfully attend and spend our money. That dosnt make me not loyal. That makes me a customer, which we all are!

    • Dude: Curtin poorly managed the end of the game, but Ribeiro was the right sub, but too late.
      Ribeiro and BC should have come on a right after the second goal. Who else is gonna hold the ball up? The 2 Crew goals were direct result of unnecessary high-press.
      And stop w/ the Hop clamoring. He can’t play in MLS. If you want to watch a guy dribble aimlessly w/ no tactical understanding, go watch a high school game.

      Truth is, we don’t have the players to cover for a less than perfect coach. And we still have way too many foolish and undisciplined players since our inception – the house needs yo be cleaned.

      • High school coaches everywhere would like to say that aimless dribblers can play left bench.

      • yea I agree we need to clean house but how is Hop an aimless dribbler? He barely gets on the field. What has Pedro shown that makes him the right choice? He stays with his defender up top like hes married to them. He doesn’t know how to play the position at all and that is really on the coach putting players out of position. Hoppenot did a lot with the ten minutes he had. He has been applying pressure to the opposing defense and holding the ball up top, drawing defenders to him to open space, actually taking shots on target and just creating that spark we need up top. You’re going to tell me that Pedro Ribriero deserves to start after what he showed this season? I’ll give credit where its due.

  11. With Sakiewicz’ sense of timing, he’s probably lining up the press conference for Sunday morning to announce Curtin will be new manager. Then he’ll get testy when the assembled media start asking questions about the Union season ending.

  12. So with PSU, the Flyers and the Union all starting at 7 I decided to dvr the Flyers and Union and watch them after PSU in that order. Each loss was more disgusting than the one that preceded it. What a magical night.

  13. There is something so Chevy Chase about this team right now, attic floorboards smacking the face or Ty Webb’s inability to play good golf when it mattered most.
    .
    Where’s the tylenol?

  14. Top-5 in my list of worst sports losses of all time. Playoff berth was always going to be a challenge, but schedule appeared friendly. The walk out of PPL after 2-2 against Dallas was bad but nowhere near as dejected as we were this time. For the record, I was the guy in 125 screaming “how is that possible?!” after second goal.

  15. Up 2-0 with 15 minutes left in a must win game. Isn’t that the exact situation you still have Brian Carroll on the roster for?

    • Yup. You beat me to it.

    • Little Fish says:

      Good point.

    • Yup. But it’s the culture. The U are DUMB from top to bottom. I’m so tired of our pathetic lack of soccer IQ all around.
      I’m a Curtin fan & want him to do well but he needs to leave this organization if he is going to learn anything good about coaching. Right now, he has too many Union tendencies.

      • I agree. Now he has the out. Go, Jim! Make a name for yourself on staff of a great organization (NYCFC?) & come back in a few years when you can make a real impact. Godspeed!

  16. 700 chopper says:

    A pathetic defensive collapse, terrible subs and a keeper who knows he’s a dead man walking on this roster made for the worst philly collapse since the 64 phillies! Curtin has got to go we need a new and fresh look and I don’t have any confidence in the front office to get it done right. My rant is done Go Union Doop Doop!!!!!

  17. Little Fish says:

    Still in shock. Eliminated from the playoffs with 2 games remaining. OUCH that stings! We puked all over the silver platter presented to us. I like our team but dang we came up so small. Two meaningless games left. Oh boy! Time for the kids to audition….

  18. Curtin is right, of course. We saw the end of the last two games before – from March through June – at Portland & in Hack’s last stand against Vancouver. Not holding the lead may be the defining feature of the 2014 Union. But don’t the Sons of Ben shoulder some of the blame for not running onto the pitch to administer the Heimlich Maneuver to the team & staff?

  19. So that was just a nightmare, right? A bad dream. There’s no possible way the Union would go up 2 – 0 and then give up three goals in 6 minutes to lose. That’s just not possible, right?

    ……

    Someone needs to explain how that happened. I watched it and couldn’t believe what I saw. How did the U fall apart so fast? It makes no sense.

  20. Note the stats, Columbus only crossed 17 times and scored 3 genuine soccer goals where they attacked the box. Meanwhile the Union For 30+ time this year under both Hack and Curtin relied solely on crosses 15 yards outside the box to score.
    .
    We need a new coach who emphasizes build up play and scoring through the middle with possession. They lost because they were aimlessly booting the ball 40 yards bypassing the midfield on every play during the last 15 minutes. Clearly that’s the only way they were trained to play.

    • crusty old coach says:

      Shane — good point. I commented below, but maybe should again, that it’s time to quit making PPL Park the training ground for all the youth-developers in the area. However, I must give the team credit for that brilliant play in front of the goal in the 14th minute. In the end, it doesn’t help when you have nothing but a “junk collector” up top. You cross, hope another mid can gather the ball, and if they miss, maybe Casey gets lucky. LOUSY strategy.

      • Mo in CDM and Nog at CAM = bypass midfield. We know this and Curtin should have found another solution (2 fwds maybe??).

        The crossing issue continues to be the result of having 1/2 of a real forward & no dynamic CAM. Curtin has done well with LeToux and esp. Wenger on the flanks, but Casey cannot move enough in the box.

        As many have said, this was a team with 4-4-2 personnel that insisted on playing a 4-3-3/4-5-1.

      • D. Good calls all around. I can live with the 4-5-1, but we have, as you’ve so aptly stated, a 4-5-1/2…if even a 1/2. Casey is just up there, because, well, I really don’t know. At least with Cruz, we’d have a forward who would give a crap about movement. Anybody would be better than some guy just walking around in the wrong place all the time and giving up possession at every opportunity when he does have the ball.

    • Shane, very well put. I’ve always been amazed by how predictable we have been. It needs to stop. You’re right we need to progress through the middle of the field more often and create opportunities to take shots more from the 18 box then crossing from the flanks and hope that someone gets a head or flick onto it. That type of play hasn’t been successful for 2 full years now. Our style needs to change.

  21. crusty old coach says:

    Last night I read the article on this site about being tough to be a Philly fan. Punched in the gut doesn’t even come close. Last night might be the most disgusted I’ve ever been while rooting for the home team. What a bush-league performance at the end. How can a team come out playing so incredibly well in the first part of the game, and then give up a 2 goal lead in such short order. Back in the day, my U-15’s did a better job at holding a lead. What horrible disorganization. I like the players (except for Slack Attack Casey, but what gives! Like all commenting on this site, I could go on and on about who/why/what/when, but what does that even accomplish? Bottom line: Sack Sac, then get a seasoned manager who actually coached in the big leagues – with success. Sorry, JC. You’re a cool dude, and will be very successful in due time. However…enough of the training ground for the ‘youth-developers’ in the area. Oh, while I’m at it…get a real sponsor with some meaning! Pardon me while I go puke…again.

  22. Wayne Gretzky once referred to a then pathetic nj devils organization as corrupt and “Mickey Mouse. ” I’ve called the Union an absolute “dog and pony show!” It took a total reorganization and house cleaning from top to bottom to get the devils straightened out. The same is needed with the Union. It’s going to require a massive undertaking from everyone including the best fan base in MLS. It has to start with removing Sakeiwicz. For the good of this franchise and the growth of the sport in this top market, he needs to go. Letter writing, blogs, SOB’S. A concerted effort is needed. Sakeiwicz along with the incompetent FO and weak ownership, corruption, unskilled athletes, and poor managers are the early legacy of Union soccer. It’s a real “Mickey Mouse, Dog and Pony show! “

    • Pretty cutting commentary, LC. I like all the animal metaphors, so permit me to add another. What this team needs is a voodoo princess with a rubber chicken. It’s difficult to imagine a “clean house”, since all the culpable actors will certainly have a need to save face. Pitiful, really, that we have to put up with this amateurish level of pseudo-leadership. WE make this team. They play for US! Oh, and we don’t buy the bread. “Baked with goodness and packed with love.” What a bunch of horse hockey! How about “train with purpose and execute with precision!”

      • ..Oh, and another thing…. “The beautiful game” is true in the context of precise execution, but “death to the opponent” is the necessary mindset. When I played, I never wanted to just win a game. I wanted to embarrass the other team – make THEM look amateurish. As Patton once said, “no poor dumb bastard ever won a war by dying for his county. He won a war by making some other poor dumb bastard die for HIS country.” No more excuses! Just show me the points!

      • Spot on my friend. Philly sports are in a bizarre state. Tonight I have to meet some friends in the Village at a Philly sports bar (Woogies NYC) for the Eagles giants game. They’re ny fans. Would love the Eagles to redeem my sports weekend.

      • sums up the lot of a Philadelphia sports fan – hoping for a second/later team to help recover for the poor performance of the first/second/third/fourth team. time for sak to go, just like ruben.

      • In a nutshell!

  23. This morning after sleeping on our loss I actually feel even worse and my bewilderment grows by the minute by what I saw last night on the Telly. Union you really know how to kick a fan in the family jewels but I’ll be back next year drinking the kool aid because I love my team!!!!

  24. OneManWolfpack says:

    When the dog is sick, it’s best to put him down. WSSM. Wow.

  25. James Lockerbie says:

    We need a G.M./ Sporting Director, a new Head Coach and a complete roster overhaul. But we’ll see, not holding my breath.

    • Not until the malignant Sakeiwicz is gone. Oh yeah on my way down town I saw a Bimbo bread wrapper lying on the “A” train tracks on 14th. It must be a sign.

  26. James Lockerbie says:

    We finally got 2 goals in a game with 15 minutes on the clock! The Union should have slowed it down and kept possession. The guys on the field should have been able to handle that much.
    `
    Where was the professional foul, take a yellow stop the play regroup. NO, they just tracked back with the guys with the ball and gave them free shots on goal. It took us 60+ mins to get 2 goals we gave them 3 in 5 mins. Nuts!

  27. I loved the first half, though some goals from those plays sure would’ve been nice. It was fantastic watching them push the Columbus defense and goalie with pressure, forcing bad passes. I’ve never seen a goalie play short as many times as Clark.
    .
    I liked that Wenger let Nogueira’s shot roll to the post. It looked like Wenger could’ve easily buried it before it got there, but knew he was all along and gave his teammate a chance to bag the goal. I like that, and think it speaks well of Wenger as a teammate.
    .
    Curtain’s first sub was good – Even before Cruz scored, I liked getting Le Toux up top with Wenger and Cruz running on the outside. The Union put high pressure on the Crew all game, and they had to have some tired legs. That, to me, is exactly how to use Danny Cruz, with an occasional spot start mixed in here and there. But then, of course, the unthinkable happened – well, unthinkable to anybody but a Philly sports fan – and the Crew scored twice. And Curtain’s answer was… remove Le Toux and put in Ribeiro? Really? *Really*? Look, I like Pedro. I think he’s had a bum deal this year, having to play some center back for HCI and then coming here and playing forward. I get that if his choices are “get on the field but out of position” or “sit my ass in a club box and watch” he’s going to pick A every time. It’s not about him, it’s about the coach putting him in places to succeed. And why the hell is Le Toux coming out? Yes, he’s coming off an injury. I know. He looked OK, and he’s proven over his career that he can make things happen. Take out Fabinho – your weak link on defense (though he played well, overall, yesterday) and put in Williams. That should’ve been the move before they coughed up the lead – or put in Brian Carroll for Nogueira or Edu – but Curtain waited. And so now the score is 2-2. You need to get a winner with 10+ left, and the decision is, “Taking out Le Toux and putting in Pedro will get us the lead back!” Really? Dumb move. If Le Toux’s ankle was bothering him, I’d rather see Hoppenot for Le Toux in that spot. If his ankle is not bothering him, I’d prefer to see Williams for Fabinho. Or go to a 3-man back line and bring in Maidana. But unless his ankle was bothering him, Le Toux is, I think, one of the last people who should’ve come off at that point.
    .
    Then, the third goal. And the answer is to take out Valdes for Hoppenot. My daughter asked, “Why Valdes? Why not White or Fabinho?” My answer: Aside from Valdes not looking 100% ever since the injury (or, really, ever since getting here), Valdes is prone to wander-abouts out of the back, while White will stay home and play the middle. And While Fabinho is an overall weak defender, he was playing well offensively last night and that’s what they needed – offense. So for me, the move made sense in the moment. It just never should’ve been to that point where you’re down a goal with 10+ to play.
    .
    Absolutely terrible defending with a 2 goal lead. A bizarre move – to me – once the game is tied.
    .
    I like Curtain. But he’s not ready to be one of these, “young and rising former players now coaching” types. They need a seasoned guy to come in and take Curtain under their wing. I don’t have a name, but I have a profile. I want an older coach, somebody who has been successful. Maybe that guy is officially retired, or just looking for one last gig before calling it a career. Find that person. Pay him so he can’t say no. Make part of his arrangement that he has to keep Curtain, has to be a mentor-like figure to him. Find a similar person to work with Albright. Remove Sak from any and all personnel and on-field decisions. I get it; he’s part owner and ain’t going anywhere without somebody buying the team. Fine. But somebody else needs to do player personnel. They need to get Torres from Chivas. Figure out a way – somebody is going to get his rights after Chivas folds, and the Union need to be that team. I’d love to send Mbohli packing, but that won’t happen. So, trade Macmath to Orlando before the expansion draft; trade Blake somewhere after the draft. Sign somebody to be Mbohli’s backup and sign somebody else to be the 3rd keeper. Say goodbye to Brian Carroll (I wouldn’t be upset to have him offered a spot on the coaching staff) and say goodbye to Connor Casey. Make a decision: Edu or Okugo. The team can’t have both players next year. I prefer Okugo, but Edu may not be the wrong decision – he has plenty of positive qualities as well. Ensure Nogueira and Maidana are here next year. Find a left back, and trade Williams if that’s what you need to do to make it happen. Next year’s lineup: Mbohli; Gaddis, White, Valdes, OPEN; Okugo, Nogueira, Maidana; Wenger, Torres, Le Toux. McLaughlin and Pfeiffer both make my game day 18 and get significant playing time. They get spot starts to rest players or fill in for injuries, and they come on as subs where needed. I draft a striker in the 1st round of the draft, and he plays in Harrisburg. If he does well, he gets called back early in the summer, and also makes the game day 18 as a sub and spot starter. I think that lineup competes while keeping an eye toward 2016 as well.

    • I appreciate this well thought out commentary. I appreciate you doing the work for me. There is genuine hurt inside those words but rational clear thinking. We can discuss at length certain points but all in all Dead.Solid.Perfect. – for all you Ben Hogan fans.
      .
      I work nights and was most unfortunate to be awake ALL night as the reality of our situation mulled around in my mind through the deep hours of early morning when concise thinking becomes tantamount to safely caring for people. I am utterly despondent by what I saw last night and the symbolism of this loss as it relates to the season as a whole, this team and my hopes and aspirations for a Philadelphia franchise getting it right.
      .
      I came home, went to sleep, awoke and…. am still utterly despondent. Where’s my cynicism, my sardonic tone I so enjoy, the satire? Where is my desire to want to laud the great Philadelphia Union? Drained out of me completely- like a pool preparing for a long winter. Where’s the clorox for the final cleaning?
      .
      My word.

    • I pray to god they trade Williams……so he can return to punish the U….this team will break philly heart or years to come.

  28. If the first order of business is: Who do Union hire & To do what? Then let’s play that game whilst the hangover wears off. Forget where Sak isn’t going: this is Sugarman ‘ s money & he didn’t make it to let other people piss it away. You have 5 minutes to make your case for whom he should hire and what they will do and (if you can) what you think it will cost. GM? Separate head coach? Personnel director? There are way better football minds who know this stuff on this site than me & mine. But that has to be the first biggest decision & the time to (re) start this search is NOW. Ready? Go!

    • “5 minutes” = his time, not answer in the next 5.

    • I would guess Sugarman isn’t putting any more money in. he took a beating with iStar a few years back and while probably still getting paid quite a bit, it does not appear to be ending up in the Union. New majority/funding owners would be nice – Jay and Sak can go – their track record speaks for itself.

      • Doesn’t new TV deal mean more money? Plus new CBA. Stakes only getting higher. Chivas just sold for $200 mm! What did Union cost- $75 – 80 mm. MLS today is where NFL was in 1958. In a DVR world, live sports programming is uniquely valuable. I seriously doubt Sugarman can’t attract minority investors – unless the product is inferior. He saw the USOC final. What is the going rate for 2 high quality guys – GM & coach? $500k/yr? He’s paying more for DPs – on a team that doesn’t make the playoffs 4/5 years under CEO. Show him he won’t keep seeing 18k/game by staying home Saturday. A sea of empty blue seats? THAT would get his attention.

      • The smart move will be to spend more to improve play. This is Philly. Win and we’ll sell out ppl park. Give us a half ass team, and we’ll stay home. It’s not because we’re not loyal. We’re just not easy to trick.

        Next year is going to be even tighter in the eat with NYCFC and Orlando. We’re going to have Kaka and Frank Lampard and David Villa to contend with. We have to put a better team together. Otherwise, ppl will be empty. A contender will fill that place every night.

        Sadly, around the time of the open cup final, I would have said we just need a better striker and this tram could beat the Sounders. Now, ugh…. It needs a complete overhaul, coach included. And I’m not happy about that. I really like Curtin.

  29. Gruntled Fan says:

    My last three walks leaving PPL Park: US Open Cup loss in extra time, Chicago Fire tie at 91st minute and last night’s game. Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse they find another way to drop points at home. Was looking forward to the final game of the year with at least a chance of making the playoffs, thinking I may just stay home.
    .
    After the game I was trying to explain to my 11 year old son that this what it is like being a Philadelphia sports fan, they will also let you down in the end, usually in a way you could never imagine possible.
    .
    Can’t wait to see how this off-season plays out, at least we’ll be in a better position in the draft to grab another keeper.

  30. Former Season Ticket Holder Greg says:

    This was the first game I didn’t attend in two seasons. Every game for two seasons. Over 90% for three. After sitting out in the rain for 7 hours due to an earlier commitment I still had time to attend the game. I made my decision though when I didn’t renew.

    I still queued it up — even over the Flyers game. For most of the match the regret was gnawing at me. Then it came. And that cold decision made sense.

    I really feel for anyone who actually attended that.

    Three solid seasons consisting of nothing more than a glimmer of hope.

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