Union match reports

Match Report: Chicago Fire 1-0 Philadelphia Union

Chicago Fire center back Adailton scored on an umarked header at the end of the first half, and Fred saw a straight red half way through the second half, sending Philadelphia Union to a 1-0 road defeat on Sunday night at Toyota Park.

It was the second time in two weeks the winless Union were shutout and finished with 10 men, and the first time since Jim Curtin took over last June that the team has lost two games in a row.

First Half

Jim Curtin made two changes to the side that lost at home to Dallas last weekend. Fabinho replaced the injured Sheanon Williams, starting at left back and pushing Ray Gaddis to right back. Michael Lahoud came in for the suspended Zach Pfeffer, pushing Maurice Edu and Vincent Nogueira higher in the midfield.

The game started slowly as each team worked to grab hold of the game. The first true chance of the match fell to Chicago in the 20th minute after a scramble in the box following a corner kick. Lovel Palmer latched on to a bouncing ball and fired a shot toward goal that was blocked. Quincy Amarakiwa tried to turn in the rebound, but his shot was blocked by Ethan White’s hand at close range and then saved on the goal line by Rais Mbolhi. Referee Dave Gantar chose to overlook the handball.

The Union would create a number of half chances as the first half wore on with Fernando Aristeguieta, Sebastien Le Toux, and Andrew Wenger all scoring offside goals.

The Union’s best chance of the half fell to Andrew Wenger on 30 minutes when Chicago’s defense misplayed a long ball out of the back from Philadelphia. The ball ran through for Wenger who was in on goal. Despite having two good looks to take a shot on himself, Wenger tried to lay the ball off for Aristeguieta from 12 yards out, but his pass was behind the striker and the chance went begging.

Chicago would take the lead in the 37th minute after Ethan White gave up a completely unnecessary foul on the right side of the Union’s box. Harry Shipp whipped in a great free kick and central defender Adailton, who was completely unmarked, got to the ball just in front of Rais Mbolhi to flick a header into the far post.

Second Half 

Chicago had a chance to double their lead in the 55th minute. Kennedy Igboananike got in behind the Union defense but Mbolhi was out quickly and did well to save the striker’s shot with his feet from close range.

The Union would start to apply some pressure after that chance and Jim Curtin went to his bench in the 67th minute, bringing on Fred for Vincent Nogueira. The veteran midfielder’s day would be a short one though when he was shown a straight red card just five minutes later after he appeared to take a swing at Shipp behind the play.

The Union would have a great chance to equalize just minutes after the red card. Maurice Edu got in behind the Chicago defense on the Union’s right side and had a chance to either shoot or lay a pass of for the onrushing Sebastien Le Toux. The midfielder appeared to be between both options and sent a harmless shot/cross wide of the Sean Johnson’s goal.

The Union would continue to pressure Chicago despite being down a man. Eric Ayuk replaced White in the 82nd minute, with Philadelphia moving to three at the back. Anotine Hoppenot replaced Wenger in the 86th minute as the Union continued to push for an equalizer.

Chicago’s best chance to take a two-goal lead came in the 85th minute when Shipp danced through three Union defenders and fed Michael Stephens. But Stephens was quickly crowded out before he could get a shot off from close quarters.

The Union failed to register a shot on goal in their third shutout in four games.

Philadelphia’s next chance for their first win of the season will happen again on the road on Sunday against Kansas City.

Philadelphia Union
Rais Mbolhi, Raymond Gaddis, Steven Vitoria, Ethan White (Eric Ayuk 82′), Fabinho, Maurice Edu, Vincent Nogueira (Fred 78′), Michael Lahoud, Sebastien Le Toux, Andrew Wenger (Antoine Hoppenot 86′), Fernando Aristeguieta
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Richie Marquez, Brian Carroll, Raymond Lee

Chicago Fire
Sean Johnson, Eric Gehrig, Jeff Larentowicz, Adailton, Lovel Palmer, Harrison Shipp, Matt Polster, Michael Stephens, Joevin Jones (Guly 84′), Kennedy Igboananike (Matt Watson 66′), Quincy Amarikwa
Unused Subs: Jon Busch, Greg Cochrane, Colin Fernandez, Chris Ritter, Kingsley Bryce

Scoring Summary
CHI: Adailton — 37′

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: Fred (fight) — 72
CHI: Sean Johnson (time wasting) — 80
PHI: Maurice Edu (foul) — 90

Philadelphia Union Chicago Fire
7 Attempts on Goal 16
0 Shots on Target 3
5 Shots off Target 8
2 Blocked Shots 5
4 Corner Kicks 5
20 Crosses 14
5 Offsides 3
10 Fouls 12
2 Yellow Cards 1
1 Red Cards 0
486 Total Passes 450
76% Passing Accuracy 80%
51.7% Possession 48.3%
48 Duels Won 45
52% Duels Won % 48%
16 Tackles Won 16
2 Saves 0
14 Clearances 34


  1. Eoin Boyle says:

    After another night battling to get to sleep because of this mess, here goes.
    Hypocrisy, a lot of it going on. So many people on here were sooooo pro Jim Curtin it’s not funny, and now, when he has been found out, the axe should fall.
    Jim got the job because Sugarman (not Sak) decided he didn’t want to pay Meulensteens wages. Now, maybe his demands were too great, but surely not as great as then paying him as a consultant?? DOH!!!
    Sugarman was swayed by ‘the bounce’ that most teams get when a manager/coach is replaced and a new guy comes in. But, what happens when the bounce stops bouncing? You get the end of season we had, and the start of this is just a follow up.
    I honestly feel for Jim, nice guy! But, he was hoodwinked, as we were, by the bounce. He’s not ready, and he was not ready. And now, well, he may never get a Head Coach job again, because, this is dismal. No fight, no fire, no game plan, no plan b, I could go on.
    Albright?? Ditto. Out of his depth.
    I was (am) a big Meulensteen fan, as a coach. Manager? Who knows, but what I do know is that this team needs COACHING ! And it needs it quick!
    But, could he rescue this now? No way.
    Sak distanced himself very well. Every decision was to be Jim Curtin’s !
    Well Jim, you screwed up!
    We want to play on the break, so our big summer forward signing is a guy who at best is a decent hold up guy, HE CAN’T RUN !! So, who signed him?
    I’m sorry, but the love in for Nogs, Maidana and a few others has to end. They are nice. That’s it, nice. They don’t dominate games, they dominate 5 minute sections of games, but they are not a force in this league. Le Toux?? Good servant, finished!
    The back four in Chicago was a joke, and that is supposed to be the base from how JC wants us to play. Genius.
    Ultimately , until Sugarman either puts some serious dollar into this, or sells up to someone who will, we are screwed. Because no matter who comes in, to use a phrase from my dad, “you can’t polish shit”. And that is the majority of our roster.
    To those who were so pro Jim Curtin, I hope you are happy to have pushed a guy into a job he was not ready for. He believed your hype, and that allied to a large dose of unrealistic thinking has led us to where we are.
    There, hopefully sleep will come easier!!!

    • lefthalfback says:

      The team isn’t good enough. Ferguson could not win with this team.

      As for being unable to sleep?

      It really, really is not that important.

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