Union match reports

Match Report: Sporting Kansas City 3-2 Philadelphia Union

Ninety-one minutes of solid work for the Philadelphia Union came to a disastrous end on Sunday night at Sporting Park, as Sporting Kansas City netted two goals in stoppage time to overcome a poor performance and topple the Union, 3-2.

An own goal by Sporting’s Jacob Peterson opened the scoring after just two minutes, but Kansas City responded through Dom Dwyer after Rais Mbolhi completely missed a corner kick. A booming header from Fernando Aristeguieta immediately brought the lead back to Philadelphia, and they frustrated a sloppy SKC side for the rest of regulation.

But a disastrous final five minutes saw Jalil Anibaba and Krisztian Nemeth score for the hosts and send the Union back to Philadelphia winless in five to start the season.

“We talked a lot about restarts being a big part of this game,” Jim Curtin said after the game. “I thought we did well on them, defending, but we weren’t good enough closing out the game. The guys are disappointed, I thought they played a great effort but again it comes up short and we leave here with nothing.”

First Half

Faced with an array of injuries and suspensions, Jim Curtin made changes to both lineup and personnel to start. Ethan White was dropped at centerback, with Maurice Edu slid back to pair with Steven Vitoria and Brian Carroll coming into the midfield. In lieu of an attacking midfielder, Sebastien Le Toux was pushed up to play alongside Fernando Aristeguieta as a second striker, and Erik Ayuk earned his first career start out wide. Vincent Nogueira missed the start with a minor injury, though he made the 18 — joined for the first time since the opener by C.J. Sapong.

In their white change kits, the Union started brightly, scoring within the first two minutes. A good spell of possession led to a corner kick, and Le Toux played a dangerous deep ball which was missed by Sporting keeper Luis Marin and just barely deflected over the line by Jacob Peterson, who was battling with Wenger.

The Union frustrated Sporting in the early going, all ten field players working to deny the hosts space in the defensive half. A solid counterattack led by Le Toux was broken up by a sliding tackle on Fabinho in the box.

After a rough opening, the blue shirts grew into the game, controlling play and earning a number of dangerous set pieces. They broke the deadlock with a 15th minute corner, where the looping corner was flailed at by Mbolhi and met at the far post by Dom Dwyer. Mbolhi believed he was fouled, but the referee — like every other person watching the game — didn’t see any infraction.

It took no time for the Union to answer back in the 18th minute, with a massive goal from Aristeguieta. A horrible foul by Peterson on Ayuk earned the Union a free-kick, which Le Toux smashed into the box. The Venezuelan abused U.S. international Matt Besler, holding off the defender and powering a header past the diving Marin.

Mbolhi bounced back from his howler with two solid stops off set pieces in the 27th minute. The subsequent counterattack, sprung by Carroll and Lahoud, found Aristeguieta in space, but the MLS rookie couldn’t outrun Roger Espinoza and committed a foul in the opposing box.

The half was played in a frenetic, physical style, with the Union aggressively disrupting SKC’s movements in the midfield and generating offense on the counter. Le Toux and Aristeguieta worked hard to intercept pass after pass and bring the rest of the team into the play. A Le Toux interception sparked a 35th minute move which ended with a powerful blast from Andrew Wenger at the top of the box, sparking a reflex save from Marin.

Sporting controlled possession but rarely threatened for much of the remainder of the half. A turnover following a corner in the 45th minute saw Dom Dwyer blast one past Mbolhi from close range, but he was correctly flagged for offsides and the teams went to the locker room with the score 2-1 Union.

Second Half

Peter Vermes made one change at the half, bringing Seth Sinovic on for Marcel De Jong, who was on a yellow card for a bad first-half tackle.

An early chance for Kansas City came off a long throw in the 47th minute. A long throw-in eventually fell to Dwyer at the far post, but Sydney Leroux’s husband ripped the ball just wide of Mbolhi’s post.

A 52nd minute free kick almost brought the visitors to dreamland. Le Toux floated in a smooth ball which led to a collision between Edu and Marin, and Aristeguieta smashed the rebound into the back of the net — but the Union captain had been ruled offside.

The game continued at a relentless clip. Fabinho and Peterson both crashed violently into the boards after a furious sprint to the touchline in the 57th minute. The ensuing corner kick saw Dwyer put the ball into the net, but he was called for a foul for pushing off on his defender. The home crowd did not enjoy the call by referee Ismail Elfath.

Carroll found Wenger in plenty of space in the corner of the box in the 62nd minute, but the Union winger’s right-footed shot at goal was far too tame.

The Union remained on the front foot, forcing Vermes back to his bench in the 64th minute. Offseason import Krisztian Nemeth entered for Kansas City in place of the largely ineffective Jimmy Medranda.

Back in the park where he first made his name, ex-KC man C.J. Sapong entered for the debutant Ayuk in the 71st minute, wearing a magnificent mask to protect his facial injury. Faced with a barrage of long throw-ins and hopeful balls, the Union continued to play smart defense in front of Mbolhi and counterattacked through the energetic Sapong.

The final switch for Kansas City saw Soni Mustivar replace Servando Carrasco in the 77th munite, while Raymond Lee was pressed into his professional debut at left back after Fabinho was unable to continue with an injury.

Kansas City nearly evened things up in the 84th minute, when Mbolhi whiffed on a through ball into the box. Other members of the Union backline scrambled back and prevented Dwyer from bagging his second with a last-second clearance.

The Union should have buried the game in the 87th minute, when Aristiguieta pilfered the ball from Espinoza and went one-on-one with the keeper. Caught by Espinoza, Aristeguieta pulled the ball back for Le Toux, whose placed shot was just deflected off the post by Marin, and the empty-net rebound was rocketed over by an over-eager Lahoud.

The missed chance would come back to haunt the Union when, with six minutes of added time, a set-piece in the 91st minute saw Kansas City tie the game. A looping header from Anibaba snuck past Mbolhi, who seemed distracted by a run from Nemeth, and 91 minutes of hard work were erased.

Not three minutes later, Sporting took the lead and completed the improbable comeback. The corner was flicked on past Mbolhi to Nemeth, who abused the debutant Lee to put the ball in the net. A shellshocked Union were left to contemplate yet another late-game collapse.

The Union sit on two points through five game — last in Major League Soccer. Next up is New York City FC at PPL Park on Saturday, April 11 at 4 pm.

“I think if we are better on set pieces, we can maybe win a game,” Sebastien Le Toux said. “But as of now, every time a team gets a set piece against us, we are too weak. We have to fix that, work on it and get better.”

Philadelphia Union
Rais Mbolhi, Fabinho (Raymond Lee, 78), Steven Vitoria, Maurice Edu, Ray Gaddis, Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud, Andrew Wenger, Eric Ayuk (CJ Sapong, 72), Sebastien Le Toux, Fernando Aristeguieta
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Ethan White, Vincent Noguiera, Jimmy McLaughlin, Antoine Hoppenot

Sporting Kansas City
Luis Marin, Marcel de Jong (Seth Sinovic, 45), Matt Besler, Ike Opara, Jalil Anibaba, Roger Espinoza, Servando Carrasco (Soni Mustiva, 77), Benny Feilhaber, Jacob Peterson, Dominic Dwyer, Jimmy Medranda (Krisztian Németh, 64)
Unused Subs: Tim Melia, Kevin Ellis, Bernardo Anor, Paulo Nagamura,

Scoring Summary
PHI: Jacob Peterson (OG) — 3
SKC: Dominic Dwyer (Benny Feilhaber) — 16
PHI: Fernando Aristeguieta (Sebastien Le Toux) — 19
SKC: Jalil Anibaba (Roger Espinoza) — 90 +1
SKC: Krisztian Németh (Matt Besler, Benny Feilhaber) — 90 +4

Disciplinary Summary
SKC: Marcel de Jong (foul) — 18
PHI: Maurice Edu (foul) — 62
PHI: Brian Carroll — 68

Philadelphia Union   Sporting Kansas City
10 Attempts on Goal 14
 5 Shots on Target 6
 4 Shots off Target 6
1 Blocked Shots 2
 3 Corner Kicks 8
 8 Crosses  29
 3 Offsides  2
 11 Fouls 11
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards  0
 212 Total Passes  470
 53% Passing Accuracy  78%
 30.5 Possession  69.5
 52 Duels Won  64
 44.8% Duels Won %  55.2%
14 Tackles Won  24
 2 Saves  4
 8 Clearances  13


  1. Mbohli is very bad. He is a bad player with no confidence and a shit attitude

    • Here’s what we have learned so far in 2015: It’s really, really, really hard to win a game when you don’t have a goalkeeper.
      Bring on Blake as soon as he’s healthy! In the meantime let John McCarthy play. It would be impossible for him to be worse.

      • yes, mbohli is worthless right now. maybe at some point in the future when playing for a different team under different circumstances mbohli will be a good player but right now he is utterly worthless and unreliable

  2. OneManWolfpack says:

    Wow. We almost had our own Easter miracle.
    – Nando is good, but slow. Ha. He was strong tonight.
    -Edu at CB is a must for the rest of the season.
    – LeToux remembered how to serve a ball.
    – Ayuk is a nice player. I want to see more.
    – There was a consistent effort (till the end when I have no idea what happened)
    – M’Bolhi is garbage and must be benched for the next game. He is stealing a paycheck right now. At least 2 goals tonight we’re on him, if not all 3.
    – Lahoud was good until he missed the sitter to put the game away. That makes him a con in my book.
    Bad teams do bad things. We are a bad team. We did just enough to lose. I saw some good things but you just cannot LOSE that game. A draw would have been bad enough… but zero points. Come on… WTF, WSSM

  3. Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

    Hey, Carroll wasn’t bad..

    • For once, I can agree with this.

    • I’m a pretty big Carroll critic, but he really did play a good game tonight. I know we’re all ticked at the ending, but I thought they played their best game of the season. Played hard and smart, save last 5 minutes. Something to build on? Get some players back hopefully.

      • They have nothing to build on bc they can kill teams all they want, but they won’t be able to win out a game…..this has to be the 100th time they’ve done this.

      • I agree with you there. Was talking to a friend during game and said until they close one out I’ll continue to believe they’ll find a way to blow it. They didn’t disappoint. It’s in their heads now.

  4. If Curtin starts M’Bohli on Saturday, that will tell you all you need to know about him . . . that he’s nothing but Sak’s ‘Yes Man’.

    • Davis Russell says:

      Or that his logical backup is still recovering from a knee injury. I’m not terribly high on Mbolhi either, but I’m not sure if I want to see a largely untested McCarthy or not quite 100% Blake in goal just yet.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Yes, wait till Blake is ready, but then, especially if the season is gone, give him games. I am beginning to think that Mbohli does nave the right psyche to be a keeper.

      • At least McCarthy seems like he WANTS to be there. He was so appreciative of people coming out to see the team at Dave & Buster’s last month. Big, non-stop smile on his face. His time has come, as far as i’m concerned.

      • Great One says:

        I agree, could McCarthy really do much worse? If nothing else it sends a message to Cry’Bolhi

      • this is a huge point. i think that mccarthy will be a better keeper than mbohli simply because he will care about winning and he will put effort into trying to win. i don’t believe that mbohli cares all that much about winning with this team

      • Agreed. My perspective on Curtin: He’s not great chef, but even the best chef in the world can’t make a shit sandwich taste good.

  5. Felt like tonight was the tipping point on social media for the reporters that cover this team. More than a couple have pointed the finger at Sakiewicz and rightfully so.
    The knives will be out this week for Mr. CEO – will he respond with the same defiant bluster this time?

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Yeah I’d love to hear what Sak has to say. I’ll bet it’s nothing.

      • He’s laughing his ass off. Passaic boy has been trolling Philly fans for 5 years now, and cashing in at the same time.

    • Great One says:

      I doubt it. There isn’t enough of a general outcry or enough reporters who seem to care enough. Also the SOB continue to stay dormant and go along with the FO

  6. It’s amazing how two late goals can change everything. But yet here we are, and the club’s problems are more at the forefront than ever.
    At this point, it literally hurts to watch this team continue to flounder and get teed off on by (mainly) national and (some) local media. I am about an hour to the west of Philadelphia and am working to get into sports media, but I have long wanted to see a successful soccer club in Philadelphia. My initial joy at seeing the Union be formed has turned into nothing but disappointment, with seemingly no turnaround in sight. I am a big optimist and I want to see this team succeed, but they continue to make no substantial organizational effort top to bottom to do so. There is seemingly no mission, no vision, nothing–just the bottom line and fielding a product that is at times adequate, but never on a truly contending level. The fans who helped build this club with their interest and passion deserve so much better from the organization…there is just no clear plan to gain success on the field in place and mediocrity continues to be accepted. There must be change, starting at the VERY top (here’s looking at Nick Sakiewicz, kids), if this team is going to start turning it around. The fans who helped build this club need to start doing what they can to take the club back and demand change. This team had such a wonderful chance to stake their claim with other teams in the city struggling, and they are failing to do so. It’s hard to watch, and even harder knowing some things (Mbolhi is at the top of the list) could have been avoided.

    • I agree with this. I know some people have been down on Curtin- rightfully so thus far- but the next Union front office shake up has to lead with Sak leaving any involvement with running the club or it’s worthless. Firing Curtin if Sakiewicz remains would be completely useless. The guy has 20 consecutive years of MLS failure and somehow still acts like an arrogant dou*he. He needs to go before anything changes.

      • The club is on their third manager in 5+ seasons and things have essentially not changed on the field. I agree, I would say that is more an indictment of the people who are above all of this and the lack of organization they show.

    • Great One says:

      Where are all the people who said we should be patient all off season and that this is negadelphia?

  7. Mbohli shows how horrible he is once again. LeToux and Wenger were virtually invisible. Curtain, once again, used his subs late, and didn’t even use them all. Why did he sub out Ayuk, who was one of the positives throughout the entire match? Why not sub out Nando for Sapong to give fresh legs up front? Why did Curtain not use his last sub? At the very least as a time waster. Where did 6 mins of stoppage time come from? Once again a terrible showing by a MLS referee. The elbow to the back of Ayuk’s head at the end of the first half missed. Plenty of other fouls missed, for both sides. Curtain, once again shows his inexperience. IMO Curtain and Mbohli share this loss. Curtain needs to be fired NOW. Don’t even let him get on the plane back home.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      I lay this game on M’Bolhi more than Curtain. He was garbage. The most expensive goalie in MLS lost us this game.
      That said – you’re right: WHERE THEY HELL DID 6 MINS COME FROM?!?!

      • The 6 minutes was deserved. There was A LOT of injury time.
        Not that KC needed 6 minutes.

      • M’Bolhi doesn’t have the highest salary in the league. He’s on $240K/year. There are, I think 3-4 guys above that level.

    • UnitedPenn13 says:

      I don’t know what match you were watching but both goals came off of crosses from Le Toux. The first goal was an own goal but Winger forced it. I do agree with you on Mbohli though. He is much more responsible for the loss than Curtain. Mbohli, what a great purchase by Sak, he can sure pick em.

      • Yes LeToux’s kicks from corners and set pieces, after four games of slop, were finally good. And Wenger’s effort on the goal. But during the run of play their effect on the game was minimal at best. Yes LeToux did his usual tireless running. Yes Wenger had a shot on goal. Was any of this actually effective? Did it change the course of the game at all? No, it didn’t. That was the game I watched. A 30% possession game where the Union couldn’t keep KC from getting chance after chance.

      • Great One says:

        I agree. Really those 2 goals at the end were a long time coming. A sub needed to be made, almost to have the effect of a timeout. That said, the 6 mins were fair

    • philly loves a winner says:

      Curtain isnt thr problem here. Sak on the other hand…..

  8. Ok.. here we go.
    Wenger has the worst haircut on the Union. It looks like a combover even though he has a full head of hair.
    Rais is completely dysfunctional with the team. obvs.
    The Union were given a gift when the ref called that a foul on the that goal KC scored. It makes up for the phantom foul call during the RSL game. We blew it anyway.
    We were double gifted when Lahoud had an open look on goal that he skied. I can only get so mad. He is Lahoud. What can you do?
    Fabhino is getting subbed off!
    I thought this game was destined to be a tie at half time. I had faith that KC would make adjustments and find a way to tie it. But Kc didn’t live up to my expectations But then Philadelphia took it among themselves to exceed my expectations.
    WSS…I don’t even have the heart to say it….
    But hey Aristeguieta is a beast, So we got that going for us.

  9. Easter Requiem
    It is not our burden to find the positives and organize a leading of belief after this game for these men- to roll the stone of good news aside, of which there is some — that responsibility lies on the shoulders of JC….
    …Our lot, our burden- – is to lean over and bare the lashings of this game with honor intact, to see the averting of eyes and resultant humiliation of a new franchise low – teeth gnashed to a pulp like the stump of tension to which we are surely bound.
    It is only a game. It is only a game. It is only a game.
    The nadir. The nadir. Is it near?

  10. OneManWolfpack says:

    Again not all his fault by any stretch, but if Lahoud scores that sitter we win. KC is defeated and prolly only gets it back to 3-2. Maybe not, but it woulda made it at least a point in a really tough spot. Whatever. We got nothing. Per usual. I’m at a loss anymore.
    For like 10 mins I actually thought we were gonna win… I really did. I will never let that happen again.

  11. I could not help but wonder when the 6″ extra time was announced, when was Curtin going to use the last substitute to slow down play, a bit?
    It never came.
    I am utterly disappointed that the coach failed the team. Tell Wenger to switch to the other side of the field and then substitute him for Jimmy, or for Nogs. Let Wenger take that slow semi-walk, semi-jog, to the sideline.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Good point about the last sub. Especially after they scored their 2nd and rushed the ball back up to tap it again.

  12. So many associated with this club have no business drawing a paycheck or to be involved with this sport.

  13. The Black Hand says:

    He started Brian ‘Fucking’ Carroll!
    I’m not saying another goddamned word about this match.

    • BC wasn’t the weak link.

      • I was actually impressed with the Carroll/Lahoud combo.

        Carroll doesn’t have the engine to play every week. He does, however, have the skill to come in once in a while and play a solid d-mid.

    • What else was he supposed to do? We have no more depth in the midfield.

    • Great One says:

      I’d almost ways agree with you,but he wasn’t the worst part of this game. That said, him starting is a huge part of the huge possession disparity

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agree. Carroll’s showing, last night, was not the problem. The fact that we are in a position where BC is in a starting XI…is my problem. Carroll had one of his better matches…but we should be well beyond anything that Carroll has to offer…and we’re just not.

    • philly loves a winner says:

      … Carroll? you couldnt point your finger at anything that even remotely impacted the game negatively?

  14. Ok, I am a founding member and have enjoyed having season tickets,
    BUT, I am bringing PAPER BAGS with eye holes to the game and if they start Mbohli I will wear the bag all game. Just like the old New Orleans Saints football fans. This has become embarrassing!

    • The Black Hand says:

      Who’s your keeper? We have no option.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Start Blake. Hell start McCarthy. And I mean that. Send a message for F’s sake. Do something.

      • McCarthy led the USL in GAA last year, I’m not sure why starting him is viewed as a question by some. M’Bohli needs to sit Saturday if only to get his mind right.

      • Start McCarthy if Blake is still hurt. The rolling around grabbing his head after he whiffed the corner on the first SKC goal was pathetic. Equivalent would have been Lahoud grabbing his hammy after missing the sitter at the end

        MacMath was what he was, but we never questioned his effort & he took all the criticism sent his way. I’d much rather suffer through a young GK finding his way (Zac or Blake) than the current no. 1’s attitude.

      • To be fair, we did question macmaths effort plenty the first couple seasons. Not defending M’Bohli, just saying.

      • MacMath was a young keeper who had a lot of learning to do, and I don’t think people questioned his effort as much as his skill in the previous years. M’Bohli is supposed to be a World Cup starter quality GK.

      • Yep. This

      • Mbohli was seen as not good enough by European clubs, even after his World Cup showing. It was only the U that saw gold in them there hills. Is he even worth a copper penny?

      • People questioned his willingness to attempt saves on shots he didn’t think he had a chance on. He did freeze up a quite a few times. That goes back to indecisiveness more than lack of effort, but it did look bad at times.

      • After thinking about Pace’s comment, I think we questioned Zac’s work off the field to improve, that he did not work hard unless he had someone pushing him for the #1 job. Most complaints regarding on the field were related to poor decisions, not effort and attitude.That was the thought process behind my original post.

  15. At this point I’ll take the hit because I don’t give a….
    The most disgusting display of cowardice on set pieces and a lack offensive zone IQ (not including Aristaquieta)I’ve seen yet! Again it goes to the weak corrupt and yes feckless nature and culture of the ownership of Sugarman and Sakeiwicz. Once again this team embarrasses themselves on national and worldwide tv because this ownership is cheap and money grubbing, As for the game, Mbolhi is a joke. I don’t care what his exploits were in Brazil. Putting Edu at CB was this smartest thing Curtin has done since taking over however, for a former all-star defender his set pieces coaching is total crap starting with Mbolhi. I get that this team is loaded with injuries and other issues but it again speaks to the cheapness of this ownership and the lack of quality depth on this team. This major market demands a name coach and a name GM and a financially competent and competitive ownership who will bring in the type of talent and quality that is worthy of it!

    We had such hope:


  16. Fernando again played like a beast, and the midfield asserted itself more than in previous games thus far. Somehow the Union actually were able to build play confidently out the back at times, and could actually make passes. Then it all went pear shaped…

    Mbohli is an absolute disgrace and needs to be sat. Blake needs to start and Edu needs to play at CB. This summer the Union need to sign a DM, and LB.

    Bigger picture, the FO needs to be removed and Jim Curtin. We are bottom feeders, and are approaching Chivas status

  17. When will Blake be ready? Seriously, when will he be back?

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      At one point, they showed Gaddis in an animated conversation with our world class GK. Wish I could read lips.

      • And after the gaffe on the first goal (followed by the fake injury and the demand for a nonexistent foul), I didn’t see ANYONE on the Union going to Mbolhi in support. I don’t know what he did to alienate the rest of the team, but it’s time for Curtin to make a grown-up decision and sit Mbolhi.

      • i think what he did was make a ton of mistakes then blame his teammates for them

      • Mbohli opened his mouth. Rolled his eyes. Has made blunder after blunder…why wouldn’t the rest of the team be alienated?

  18. Hahahaha!!!!! Wtf!!! This season might just be over already! Where the fuck is the organization when marking on set pieces!!!! Hey Curtin try telling the team to keep the ball as much as you can and keep possession. Hbu slide Lahoud in the Back and slide someone else in his DM position. But no, instead you put a fucking rookie in when we desperately need a win. Bottom line is that they shouldn’t have been just clearing the ball away every chance they got. They should have tried to keep possession instead. MBohli, you’re the equivalent and maybe worse than Macmath! Yea we all have heard your bs comments about how you play for your country with your do or die mentality, hey idiot try that here ! In philly! If not gtfo! No wonder you have not had a solid starting position on any foreign team! Our CEO zak should be fired and Curtim should too. Next match I will be sitting in my seat the entire match and possibly booing when they step onto the field. I’ve paid enough Money for this embarrassing organization, they will hear about it next game. Also, I suggest all SOB members turn your backs in silence too. Personally they need to finish out and win a game before they get my respect again. One last thing Curtin, try getting your players in shape before the season starts……..

  19. “He started Brian “Fucking” Carroll”…And he played pretty well too, so…What…? Credit where credit is due, he stepped up.
    Let’s recognize a GREAT 90 minute effort that only feels bad because, yes, it was followed by a terrible 6 minute effort. There were a lot of positives before it was all wiped away.
    Converting any one of those three late scoring opportunities makes the exact same effort look like crazy success. So, keep it in some kind of perspective at least.
    I have been defending Mbohli most times due to the ridiculous back line play. Tonight, I won’t. The back line WITH Edu (finally) was pretty good. Mbohli was just awful and looked like he had no goalie instincts whatsoever.
    Mbu needs to start, he gave a good team all they could handle.
    It was great to see Le Toux FINALLY hit some quality set pieces. It made a HUGE difference and finally gave his guys a chance to make something happen in front of the goal. (Y’know, like a normal professional soccer team.)

    • There were indeed positives this evening and that is the tether we have- that is the tether we have — – because somehow, someway, we have become that franchise- the one I talked about last week we are seeing play out before our very eyes…the laughingstock frachise.

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      Astute. 90 minutes of hope. 6 minutes of despair. I say again as I have said before of Mbohli: we did not need him, we can’t afford him, and we will not win with him. Hell, now we can’t even tie with him. The revolution will be televised.

    • The Black Hand says:

      “Great effort”?? 30% possession (Brian Carroll). 53% passing.
      Those are atrocious numbers. Yes, we almost stole points (punched above our weight), but that was hardly a quality showing by a football club. it was an ’empty bucket’ doing what an ’empty bucket’ does. So, in other words, we went back to 2013.
      We need Andre Blake healthy!!!!

      • And you wouldn’t have given a damn about either one of those numbers if the game had ended at 90 minutes, just like fans don’t care about the “numbers” when a 14 seed steals a win or two in NCAA tourney every few years.
        And yeah, it takes a great effort for a team with the makeup of the U to play like they did for the first 90 minutes against one of the top teams in the league in their park. Especially when the coach freely admits in an pre-game interview, that the Kakas and Lampards are not going to walk through the Union doors and fix this for them. Help is not on the way. They have to fix this themselves with the people they have. Any coach can look like a genius if they’re getting fed Euro stars left and right on their rosters.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I’m sick of being the 14th seed in the tournament…every year. There is no progression. We’ ve been showing these “great efforts” for years…and going nowhere.

      • I’m with you on the frustration bud, just not to the point where I won’t recognize the positives when I see them. Credit where credit is due. Anything less just erodes one’s credibility.

      • The Black Hand says:

        It’s tough to laud the one step forward, when your bitter over the two steps back.
        But…you’re right, credit is due. Curtin made a strong call, with Carroll and Lahoud in the DM. That’s the only way to handle a club like SKC…smother their attacking players. (If Noguiera was fit, would JC have got that right?)
        Did we play a strong match? Or, did we muck it up enough to stymie, an off-form, SKC? Or…was mucking it up our tactic?? I’m tired of THAT Union mentality. It does not compete…it simply reacts and prays. Yeah, we have some injuries but we should be far more evolved, as far as a tactical approach is concerned.
        It was nice to almost get a point, but the truth is the club showed rather poorly…just not as bad as previous matches (dreadfully bad). So, credit for not sucking as bad as normal???

  20. The Realist Brian says:


  21. Got to say for 90 minutes we looked like the team we need to be. That said the extra time it was like everyone just quit. What did Curtin say at the beginning of the season about being “bastards” till the end? Apparently that didn’t resonate very well with the team. M’bolhi I have tried so much to forgive this guy but after tonight enough is enough…very disappointing for that kind of money. You guys can say all you want about Carroll but tonight I think he played very well. Very painful to be a Union fan right now.

    • Brian Carroll is and has been the least of the concerns for this team.
      It is bigger than any one player.
      It is bigger than Rais M’Bholi. Le Toux. LaHoud missing a sitter. Bigger than Ayuk bigger than Okugo and McMath. Bigger than Nowak. Hackworth. Multiple goalies. Unpaved parking. Unloading the talented youth. Letting go of proven commodities instead of building around them. The inexpensive land. The Commodore Barry. The freight steaming down the Delaware. The water.
      With each passing game, week, season the one glaring issue is the culture of this team. This is a culture problem becasue the chemistry is always all wrong even when the chemistry seems right. We are powerless to it… beyond our words and our wallets….
      … until the specimen is isolated in a petrie dish to culture it- see what grows.
      Then kill it.

  22. Fortunately I spent the period between 7 and 9 tonight on the Northeast Extension & did not see this debacle. However, the 4 minutes of highlights on MLS homepage showed me plenty. Mbohli needs to be benched & sold as soon as possible. Rolling around on the ground when you have whiff a corner is pathetic. You screwed up, own it, accept it and move on. Nope, gonna act like – again – it was someone else’s fault.

    Interested to hear from those who did watch their thoughts on Edu at CB and how the 2 forward formation worked.

    I’m the meantime, I’ll be clearing some brush over here so we have enough room on The Cliff. It’ll help TBH keep the fire going.

    • Edu at CB was almost better than you would have thought. He instantly made Gaddis and Vitoria better. Gaddis looked like his old self, and Vitoria had a calm that wasn’t there in the first 4 games. He also man marked Opara pretty well for most of the game. We also actually passed out of the back more often.
      The 2 forward formation was more mixed. Nando was a beast, Le Toux looked better than he had, but still was just running around more than effecting the game. He did have a million times better service than the first 4 games. It was tough because of the void in Midfield with Carroll and Lahoud purposely staying back.

    • Edu at CB was great. Vitoria had the best game of his season so far – no coincidence. Get Williams back in there and that’s a solid back four. Edu can organize the defense, since I’m not sure our GK is up for that. LeToux looked much more effective as a forward, though I’m not sure the 2 forward look is worth sacrificing one of Nogueira/Maidana from the 11 once they’re both healthy.

      • Thanks to both of you for the info.

      • I agree that Seba looked pretty good up top — active, and they all interchanged pretty well. Edu had the kind of game where you never hear from him — which, for a CB, is a good thing. Vitoria and Gaddis had their best games of the year, and Fabinho wasn’t bad either. Ayuk also looked rather good. So if you want to put Le Toux up top with Nando, we can play some combination of Wenger/Ayuk/Sapong on the wings, Maidana at CAM, Nogueira at CDM. Edu clearly needs to be at CB for the forseeable future. I actually think this would be a pretty strong lineup (once Williams is healthy), with 2 question marks: 1) GK — can’t add anything to what’s been said above. M’bolhi’s rolling around and begging for a foul after nothing was pathetic. He absolutely needs to be benched to see if it will motivate him. Unfortuntely Blake is not back yet, and when he is, he’ll certainly need some time to shake off the post-surgeical rust. 2) If we go with one CDM, and it’s Nogueira, does our defense suffer? He’s not a stay-home-and-protect-the-back-line kinda guy. Not sure how that would play out.

      • I think Nogueira at CDM leaves them too exposed, you have to play Lahoud there if Edu is CB (which I where he needs to be right now). I guess since I’m including Lahoud, and then Nogs/Maidana/Nando up the middle, its up to Curtin to figure out the wings or second forward based on matchup.

        Thanks everyone for your answers. I’d much rather have these types of conversations. Now, back to The Cliff….

  23. The Chopper says:

    Bad team. Bad Karma. Deja Vu all over again. Kudos to Brian Carroll for a very solid effort in his first action of the season. He did his job. LaHoud did too for the most part, but no one gets a pass for missing layup. Fabhino held up as well. Vittoria much better next to Edu. A lot of the initial planning held up.

    I have been patient with Mbolhi because I have seen his quality elsewhere, however it is clear he has sensitivity issues and the less than warm welcome he has received combined with last year’s Chicago gaffe has rendered him worthless. He might as well sit, he is of no use in his current form and it is now apparent he will not work it out on the field.

    I have also been patient with Curtin. He has a good MLS pedigree and the team responded to him last year. However, they can still not defend set pieces and still can not close out matches. These were the two things he set out to change in pre season. So for him epic failure.

    I rarely make rash judgements and tend to err on the side of patience. But I think there is some potential here, before the whole season gets away again. I would wipe out the entire coaching staff tomorrow and bring Muelensteen and some of his cohorts in for the remainder of the year and change the bad karma once and for all.

    • Thankfully, the season is still young. Curtain is a good guy with Philly roots, and seems to have a plan. The Union have marginal talent, including MBolhi, who came to us as a very overrated talent who seems to have zero heart. This might end up being a tough season, but lets see how it plays out.

      • Yea look what having philly roots has done for us….just saying.

      • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

        It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at….. and the U are AT the bottom of the table, dead last, 20th out of 20.

      • I couldn’t care less where a guy is from. I care even less if the coach is a good guy. I’d rather have a dick like Caleb Porter. If you don’t know to use your third sub to kill time at the end of a game when your team is holding on by their fingers nails, then you are a BAD coach. This is a PROFESSIONAL league, not a training ground for coaches. Curtain was a cheap mistake made by Sak and Co. Once again the fans must pay for it.

      • Couldn’t say it any better. He shouldn’t be learning on the job. The staff is too thin, and he is in over his head.

      • Speaking as a general statement, I actually disagree. I think – again, generally – it’s OK to have a young coach who is learning on the job. IF that young coach has been identified as a great talent who just needs a bit of game experience in charge, I’m OK with learning on the job. But… if that’s the case, it is incumbent on the Front Office to then provide that young coach with solid, calm, experienced assistant coach. That assistant has to be somebody the young coach respects, and it has to be somebody that won’t cause the young coach to look over his shoulder.
        The team is doing Curtin a disservice here. If they believe he’s the next-great young coach in MLS, they need to give him the tools to learn and grow, and they aren’t doing that.

      • MooseHere says:

        Regardless of you guys who have disdain for the coach, its pretty tough when your goalie is a heartless, gutless malcontent.

      • The Black Hand says:


      • What plan? I could care less on where the gaffer is from or whether he played local or not. Jim is in over his head….its obvious. His match day decisions suck and each week they go about their business like they played 5 a side all week in between matches. Are you from Glenside per chance Moose? I know he’s got nothing but love for him in Gside!

    • it would seem the body of Mbolhi’s work we have not seen – which comprises the vast majority of it and the essential component of any assessment – supports the following description: french born Algerian trained in french youth system with apparent physical qualities but unable to connect with any french or other western european club, knocked around various eastern european clubs with little consistent playing time or success, identified as a potential algerian national and had a few good efforts but no real success – hit the goldmine economically in his going nowhere professional career when signed by Philadelphia Union but indifferent and inconsistent play – punctuated by crippling errors – continues to mark his performances.

  24. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Two observations: 1. As some have already implied or overtly stated, game all of us expected to be a disaster was not. Give credit for that where it is due, to the coach’s preparation and to the players’ efforts. 2. Also give credit to Peter Vermes’ emotion to his system, because he is as constant as the North Star, he will attack and hence can be beaten by a good defense and shrewd counter attacking, as we have done several times in the last two years against SKC. Against more flexible opposing coaches, the system employed tonight by us will have much less success, as it did last year towards the end of the season.
    I offer the considered opinion that perhaps the pattern of late game collapse is influenced by a lack of conditioning. It is by no means the collapse’s sole cause, but we no longer outwork the opposition in the last fifteen minutes. We used to do that.
    If Sakeiwcz will not let Curtin bench Mbohli, then Curtin and Albright should resign immediately. The goalkeeper did nothing to help in the last six minutes. His fundamental courage is beginning to be in question. He does not shake adversity well. Once Blake is fully ready, give him the job and let him learn.
    Notice than Curtin created the distribution system of having the DCMs pass back to the CBs for the ball to be distributed forward. Worked well for about seventy minutes.

    • I had the local club winning (documented even) that game 2-1 in typical bewildering headscratching what is this team really about fashion — was set to crow crow crow.
      Alas the crow didn’t get out of the way fast enough and now lies in black heap on the road. Six minutes of infamy.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Conditioning is a major factor for this club. We need some!!!

  25. Phil in Wilmington says:

    54% passing accuracy.

    An incomplete 18 when healthy that was scraping through the bottom of the barrel to get 11 on the field.

    Even with the gifted own goal, how is anyone surprised by this outcome?

    It’s not six minutes of infamy, it another 96 minutes of exactly what this club is capable of.

    • Hey Phil in Wilmington. The words here are scorn filled each week lately it seems, mine included and generally I completely agree with you regarding the gestalt, but I think to be intellectualy honest, we have to recognize this team played pretty well for almost the whole game- save an awful play from the keeper on first goal and a crippling premature ejaculation by our DM to salt game away.
      The club took the game to SKC as best they could. Had them dishelved in the midfield and played what appeared to easily be their best effort of the year. That counts for something – – – even when I am completely unsurprised by the turn of events that led to infamy and the avert your eyes laughingstock we have become – – – for all the MLS nation to behold.
      I wonder, when LaHoud sees the replay and realizes how much space he was in- what that squemish feeling will be like… but I digress.

      • I thought RSL was our best match of the year. I can’t say this was a strong performance because they didn’t close it out like a good club should. Mbohli’s fault on the first and second goal. On KC’s second goal…………the TV skipped the foul….but it seemed it came off of our throw in….probably a stupid foul, again. Lee got manhandled out there……….Nesmith made him his biatch on the match-winner. Did they play better than expected…..yes. Does it matter……no!

    • as soon as fox flashed the graphic that Union had dropped 15 points in the last fifteen minutes in recent matches, my desire to watch lessened. when letoux missed the one v one (I don’t blame lahoud as much but he should have taken a touch and finished it too) it plummeted. yet there I was watching the vehicle hurtle towards the train crossing, the inevitable descent.

      we have not reached the nadir yet … which is troubling, but we are closer and maybe relief will come once some sort of supreme being/new owner finally reaches orbit directly above PPL.

      • “How come I end up where I started. How come I end up where I went wrong. Won’t take my eye off the ball again. First you reel me out then you cut the string.”
        15 Step. Radiohead.

      • If you’re going to go with Radiohead, for this team, at this time, the only appropriate song is “No Surprises”, not just for its title, but for the content of the song, which is a suicide note wrapped in a lullaby.

        “I’ll take a quiet life, a handshake and carbon monoxide…”

      • Well played.

  26. Soccerson says:

    -More Ayuk please
    -Confirmed Edu should be in the back
    -Seba a tad better (not by much) as 2nd striker
    -Good 70 minutes from Carroll
    -The Sapong sub changed the dynamic and the team was suddenly seating deeper with less quick transition.
    -Lee got burned
    -Another night of invisibility for Wenger.
    – Did I mention more Ayuk please? They had to bring in a different left back because of him. He needs more time on the field.

    • Former Season Ticket Holder Greg says:

      Agree on all, especially Wenger invisibility.
      This scar of a game will either be what we build on for a season turnaround or it will serve as further proof that we are the new Chivas. If the latter, our death can’t come soon enough.

    • Totally agree with Ayuk. The kid should have gotten a start sooner. Why he was taken off instead of putting Sapong in for Nando, I will never get. Nando, again, with the best heart and effort on the team. Not a Carrol fan, but he had his best showing in two years.

    • Everything changed when CJ and Lee came into the match……….

    • Would love for you to explain why you want to see more ayuk. Is it because LeToux has been that bad out wide? Do you believe he is the solution? Maybe 1 cross and other then a few step overs and fancy footwork that went nowhere I saw a lot of dribbling with head down and losing the ball?

      • Well said, and I am an Ayuk fan thus far.
        He is willing to play with the ball at his feet more which causes all of us to hope there is some playmaking ability there. He is a young young man, much to learn but we are hopeful to catch a break with a young player, you know someone to throw the weight and hope of the franchise upon- I jest- – – so send him somewhere to play or be sure he gets on the field here and is given the opportunity to grow.

      • In the few minutes Ayuk played this season he has been far superior to LeToux in the right wing. He has showed a decent first touch and good short passing combinations. He is really the only one in the team that can dribble in the final third and make defenders nervous or frustrated. He was a constant threat to KC and really was the main link in transition for most of the game. I can’t recall LeToux forcing the opposing coach to sub out his marking leftback at half time to try to contain him. He has more to learn and a solution for this team is far bigger than an individual player. But he is definitely a resource that I would like to see used frequently, given the current play level of the starters.

  27. alicat215 says:

    I don’t even know where to begin here………………….keeper? Lee? Central Midfield? CJ? I guess we are what we are…………….we have no depth………..our reserves cannot match what other clubs put on the pitch…….problem bigger than just last night. We need a left back!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When CJ and Lee came on……the problems started……

    • alicat215 says:

      Lee looks like they pulled him off a track or basketball court when he was 13……………a very rugged footballer. Scared too….you could see it in his face!

      • Definitely scared. I would be too getting thrown into my first league and in KC.

      • Thats Jim’s fault for putting a rookie in that situation to begin with………….if the match was different, put him on. But you are about to steal three points in KC…..you put a veteran in there!

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Everyone available was on the bench. Whom do you choose?

    • We have a left back when Williams is healthy. Lee is a third choice left back forced into action. Unfortunate, but that’s what we were left with.

      • Not entirely true. Lahoud has played spot minutes on the back line over the years and should have been moved back there, rather than bringing in Lee. Not the best solution of course, but you wouldn’t have seen a deer in headlights.

      • John Ling says:

        I agree. I think the only way Lee should’ve seen time in that situation is if it was a blowout either direction. In that case, the kid really has no pressure; instead, he was tossed into a game trying to protect a 1-goal lead late.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Already on the field in a position for which there was no depth at all, given that Nogueira was in fact unavailable. (Curtin press conference Weds 4/8)

  28. I can’t even….. Just make it stop.

  29. I’ve been watching the beautiful game consistently on TV for over 20 years now and there are players you notice that
    only play incredibly well for either their national teams or their club teams, but not both. Some players are able to stay extremely focus during a tournament, but can’t sustain even average focus over the course of a long season. Then there is the player who can’t handle the pressure of a tournament, but excel for most of his games during a regular season….

    Well after seeing him for enough games Mbohli is a player who plays incredible for the Algerian Nat team and is utterly at a loss for being a consistent, average club player… for any club he has been at.

    At this point I’d play McCarthy until Blake is healthy and, maybe, use Mbohli for the US Open Cup. I’d do this so, maybe, we have a chance to move him during the summer. If we do, do we bring MacMath back if Blake is struggling?

    Man what is it with the U and keepers?

  30. Credit does go to the team/manager for the best effort all around for the season. Goalkeeper position needs to be switched now. Honestly, for the sake of mercy to Rais he should not have to play another home game this season. If Fabinho goes down, why is the first option Lee and not moving one of our vets from midfield to cover the position for the last minutes?

    • I said the same. lahoud has played on the backline before.

    • Jim Presti says:

      I lost my mind when I saw that Lee was coming on. You mean to tell me we have not one veteran – NOT ONE – healthy enough to come into that match and lockdown the midfield? That is all on Curtin.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Then, whom do you put in the midfield as the replacement? Curtin can only use what’s available to him. Blaming the coach for the injuries and suspensions is irrational. If your poker hand is ten of spades high, that’s what you play with.

  31. Every game same thing for the last 6 seasons can’t close out games. No faith from the organization in keeping a consistent team, constantly trading away players or letting them leave. Why oh why does this organization continue to get rid of players that are just getting comfortable? For those of you that can’t tell I’m talking about Zac MacMath now we can all admit he had troubles here and there and that his command of the box was only starting to grow. But come on the kid was 22 maybe 23 now, finally coming in to his own and could organize a back line and was starting to control the box. Now we have a 28 year old baby who couldn’t make a save to save his life (9 goals in 5 games some world class keeper). He could easily be responsible for 7 of the goals if not more. These mistakes are largely rookie errors with no confidence I mean he fell over his own feet on the first goal. Sell M’bohli trade him I don’t care but bring Zac back and watch this team instantly improve. Also love the fact that Gaddis got in M’bohli’s face he’s got the right attitude someone needs to get on M’bohli and telling him to stop being such a !@#$%. Also someone needs to take charge I am fine if Gaddis decides to do that cause no one else is. Also keep Le Toux up top instant improvement and Ayuk looked very good on the right and can control the ball. Best players for the Union had to be Ayuk (why he was subbed off still can’t figure out), Nando, and Gaddis (One of the few players on this team with any heart).

  32. Gruntled Fan says:

    Think you have a typo near the end of the article, “improbable comeback” should read “probable comeback”, right? We are talking about the Union here. Seems like there are teams in sports that find ways to win games and there are teams that find ways to lose games and we fall into the latter.
    I think most of the reasons have been covered already, but a couple things I noticed as well, Fernando’s name was called way to much in clearing high balls out of the our box last night. Shouldn’t Edu or Vitoria be handling some of those balls? Also puzzled why the third sub wasn’t sent out at least to kill some time after the second goal. Rais is just not a leader, please give McCarthy a shot at least he wants to be there.
    Anyone else tired of hearing about the long throw-in last night? Every two minutes, “KC has another long thrown-in”, okay we get it, they throw the ball far, just like a corner kick.
    This is the first game I’ve watched on Fox Sports 1. What is up with the cutaways and the corner ads? Man that was annoying.

  33. Ok, many have said it, but I’ll chime in with some things maybe not said. The Union have NO IDEA how to play with a lead. No last sub, Jimmy, really? Your team was getting steamrolled for at the final 10-15 minutes? In the low-mid 80 of the game, they were getting throw ins, and RUNNING to pick them up and then taking them very fast, like within 5-8 seconds. Really? That’s the time you take 20-30 seconds off the clock. Amateurs really. Totally disappointed in this team. They played pretty damn strong for 89 mins. Epic collapse. This is getting really, really old.


  35. I’m going to come down on the coach a little here: You are about to steel a very badly needed three points in KC, you have ten minutes left on the clock and Fabinho goes down hurt. Instead of taking one of your veterans who could play a makeshift left back, you put a rookie out there who looked scared shitless. He could have easily put Lahoud or Carroll into that spot and put Nogs in the midfield for ten minutes. The whole match changed when Jim introduced his two subs…..CJ and Lee both had a negative impact on the match. You know the ball is coming into the box in the air….why put someone who’s face isn’t even healed yet out there and the other a kid who got manhandled! Lee looks like they pulled him off a of a track or basketball court when he was thirteen and made him a footballer….very rugged and ungraceful out there….doesn’t move like a footballer.

    • Agree here. If Nogs is in the 18, he’d better be healthy enough to help kill off a game for 10 minutes while Lahoud holds down LB.

  36. The Little Fish says:

    Ok that sucked. Now I see why Mbolhi was so readily available and why there were virtually no other teams vying for his services. I really cannot fathom that we spent so much of our ‘limited’ resources on him. Foolish and Naive with a goalie fetish….terrific.
    Fabinho was subbed off with what appeared to be leg cramps. Wtf? Not only is he a poor defender but he can’t even last the full 90 minutes. C’mon Coach Curtain that is so friggin’ weak. Can’t we at least be as fit as our opponents?
    The kid Ayuk played well on the wing. Leave him there and play Seba up top with ‘Nando.
    Vittoria looked like a completely different (better) player next to Mo Edu. That is a fact!

    • Completely agree on Vitoria. That’s got the makings of a nice CB pairing if they keep Mo and Vitoria in place. My problem with Seba as a 2nd forward is that it keeps one of Nogueira or Maidana off the field. I’d rotate LeToux through the outside MF slots with Wenger and Ayuk.

    • Clearly Fabinho didn’t grow up playing in Manaus.

    • John Ling says:

      Regarding Fabinho coming off… I do wonder if it had something to do with the way he went into the ad boards. He’s gone 90 before, in way worse weather. For all his faults – and he has plenty! – general fitness hasn’t ever seemed to be one of them.

  37. The Little Fish says:

    ….And why the hell did Curtain not burn off some clock with a 3rd and final substitute? This was coaching 101 and Coach Curtain FAILED. This just killed me last night. Total coaching “brain cramp.”

  38. The only positive I saw was LeToux’s corner kicks were actually very well taken. He normally sucks at them which, of course, begs the question why do they continue letting him take them? That is actually one of the reasons I like Maidana in there. He gets his share of the corners and does a much better job than LeToux. Not last night though. I know it’s not much but it’s all I can muster as my heart is still broken.

    • Given the players on the field yesterday, who else would you have had taking the kicks? I agree Le Toux was much better yesterday; I also agree that the Union should’ve replaced him on set piece kicks by now. But… who?
      Under most circumstances, I’d answer that question with Nogs. But he wasn’t in the lineup yesterday. Le Toux really was the only option. And, thankfully, he delivered. Hopefully it continues now.

      • Prior to yesterday, my answer to your question would have been ANYBODY. But, as I stated above, he was uncharacteristically good in his service yesterday and I also hope it continues. I wouldn’t bet on it but I’m hopeful.

  39. Let’s take a count of positives from last night. (Only way to keep myself from leaping off that cliff, or bridge or pick your metaphor).

    1) Le Toux’s service on free kicks was vastly improved.
    2) Ayuk looks good
    3) Nando is awesome. Give that man more chances and he’s going to score.
    4) Edu at CB should be a debate that is now officially closed. White shouldn’t start another games in which both Vitoria and Edu are available.
    5) Curtin’s gameplan was better than adequate. Again, something — lack of faith in his players? — is preventing him from making quality substitutions. But I think he definitely put the best XI available on the pitch and the team had a plan that should have gotten them a win.

    OK, with that out of the way, there’s a glass-half-full way to look at last night and say the fact that we were in position to win given absences of three of our best players — Chaco, Nogs and Williams — were injured is not bad.
    But I can’t abide by that point of view. This team, again, found a way to beat itself with god-awful play on set pieces. Mbolhi is now an unmitigated disaster. There’s no way he can possibly be psychologically ready to start agin in goal. I like the comments above suggestion we bench him for anyone else available (McCarthy, Blake) and use him for open cup games until we can trade/sell/loan him elsewhere.

    • I wouldn’t even use him for Open Cup games, frankly. Again, the Union simply cannot fall into the Sunk Cost Fallacy with MBohli. He’s done, and he shouldn’t play another game for the team, regardless of how much he makes. Blake and McCarthy for the year. Start Blake in league games, start McCarthy in the early rounds of the USOC. If they advance like they did last year, Blake plays USOC matches and they pick and choose league games for McCarthy to give Blake a rest.

      • He rolled around grabbing his head after he whiffed the corner on the first SKC goal from the phantom contact. Time for an extended layoff due to ‘concussion protocol’.

        Frankly, I don’t care how they spin it. He needs to sit now & be shipped out in the summer window.

      • John Ling says:

        Yeah, that was completely embarrassing. Or it should be, anyway, if Rais has any pride. It reminded me of when I was a kid playing stick ball; you’d see somebody swing and miss, and then immediately grab their lower back or limp around like they pulled a hammy running the 100m against Usian Bolt. Ridiculous.

  40. fredricschwartz says:

    I was just plain angry after last nights game…no other emotion can describe what I felt….just anger. M’bolhi can’t be “fixed”. He is here for a paycheck only and could care less about this team, it’s fans and possibly even this league IMO. He needs to be run out of town now before any further damage is done. That said, I just can’t fathom how that game was lost…the collapse was truly epic and is a hallmark of this team. Start McCarthy, bench M’bolhi. Period. The sooner we can get Blake back the better so we can rid oursleves of this guy permanently. And for the rest of the club…all I can say is Ayuk looked promising and I would like to see more of him.

  41. lefthalfback says:

    The team needs better players. The team needs two DPs. The team needs a change at GM. The team needs to spend money. End of story.

    And can I please say that Le Toux’s improved corners were nice but hitting the net in the 87th minutes with the keeper out and one foundering defender vaguely in the picture really kinda-sorta is something your main atttacking player need to be able to do?

    Le Toux has lost at least a step IMHO.

    • Can’t pin that on Le Toux, he did everything pretty well just hit the post on a goalie closing the angle very fast- truthfully- The Striker needs to be vetted on that one IMO. He had a full break away, a step and a half and vomited on himself– but considering his otherwordly header in first half…. what can you say….. snakebitten in the end again.
      and no they were not unlucky.

      • lefthalfback says:

        I really like Le Toux but I thought he should have had that one.

      • John Ling says:

        Yep. I agree. 6-8 inches to the left, and he does have it. Mike Lahoud, also, should’ve bagged the rebound. I don’t care that he doesn’t usually get to see the goal from that close up. That rebound came off the post right to him. He’s gotta bury it, not sky it.

      • lefthalfback says:

        once a fullback, always a fullback

  42. lefthalfback says:

    What is the over-under on wins for the U?


    Right now- can they beat ANYBODY?

  43. I’m still slack-jawed shaking head in disbelief-how in the hell did this happen. Any chance the players are in a similar cloud. Boy I hope so.
    Reminds me of playing a nice round of golf- sailing really, smooth mid sweet spot repeating to target over and over then hiccup on the 15th and……. melt down.

  44. Where’s Osager? Come out come out where ever you are.

    • Hi. Thanks. What can I say? Last night hurt. I agree with pretty much everybody.
      I’ll just add that I’ll forever remember the pain of this loss as the one that not even pilfered chocolate bunnies from my kids’ Easter baskets could ease. That’s some serious pain.

  45. Soccerson says:

    Goalie blunders aside…. Gaddis was supposed to mark Dwyer on set pieces. I saw the highlights again and his marking was terrible. Completely lost him on all plays (including the valid goal and those that were disallowed). Yes he keeper misread the goal, but that should not be an excuse to get your man and at least make it uncomfortable for him to get his head on the ball.

    • Dr. Union says:

      All goals could have clearly been averted with a confident keeper grabbing the ball in his own 6 yard box instead of falling over his own feet and looking like a statue. Plus the fact that Gaddis is covering Dwyer is a mistake right there. Can you talk about mismatch? Gaddis is not one of the stronger players in the air what should be happening is players should step up and mark their men with those supposedly good in the air like Vittoria and Edu marking up their best in the air. (I know Edu marked Opara, but what was Vittoria doing). You are right Gaddis shouldn’t be marking Dwyer, but if he didn’t no one would. I have yet to see most people on this team step up and take some responsibility if Vittoria is a leader where is he in organizing the mark ups, or M’bohli,or Edu for that matter. There just isn’t a way I can blame Gaddis on a mismatch like that when it should never happen to begin with.

      • It seems to me on review he is not reading the ball well at all. Can’t remember if it was the second or third but he moved towards the near post when the ball easily skimmed towards the mid to mid back third of his box before deflecting in. A total misread that left him literally no where close to the ball.
        Rais M’Bohli has escaped my wrath thus far – as I am inclined to argue more towards the general cultural ineptitude of our club – but he is moving within sight of the cross hairs for a skewering.

  46. OneManWolfpack says:

    I thought Curtain was a defensive minded coach? We can’t mark a player to save our lives?!?

    • Im telling you OMW, he sees the field from his position- looking out. He is spatially limited with his managing view. Not only is he old school MLS, he doesn’t read the game very well IMO. What did any of us expect. Again, he beat a few farm teams in Open Cup and got a nice win in Dallas and was anointed before the wheels began falling off. It is not his fault…
      … none of this is his fault. It is his responsibility but not his fault.
      JC is the guy who shows up for a skat game on sunday at the links and you love him for it cause he is a swell guy, wins occasionally, but he is a donator of cash week in and week out cause his game can’t hang over the long haul – with mine or the other boys- I know it, he knows it, we know it, but it is what it is.
      The only hope is that he keeps showing up, grooving his swing under pressure, practicing the flop shot and learning how to win with what he has.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Yep… not gonna happen. Rene manages this team by June.
        I hear you though Joel. I agree its not his fault, but it is more than evident he cannot manage this team. He should have apprenticed for a year or two under a competent, veteran manager. I’ve said before, if you want to play Moneyball (or Unionball)… you must have a knowledgeable manager to lead the team. They pulled the trigger on Hackworth, which was necessary, but will they do it with Curtain?

      • Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
        What we have here is a moment of original genius- as rare as the pipsquack bird.
        Where I am learned from original genius is difficult to attain as we are so woven into the context of everything around us. You sir, have attained it though.
        Better trademark that OMW.

      • Maybe you and Wolf can go for a joint trademark – Onionball

  47. Phil in Wilmington says:

    This game to game agonizing is a recipe for a stroke, folks. You have to start seeing the bigger picture. The FO put together an incomplete team. There’s a solid core of 4-5 starters, 4-5 solid bench players, and a new coach. No real leader among the entire group. No room in the cap for a plan B. Everyone else is unproven, or is proving to be a bust. This is BEFORE injuries and suspension, but the lineup doesn’t get to a solid 11 even with everyone healthy. It never did.

    Blame or defend the players and coaches week in and week out all you want–none of em were given a chance to be truly competitive from the get go. This team is incomplete, (something I have said from day 1) and that is SOLELY the responsibility of ownership and the FO.

    The answer is simple even though no one wants to hear it. Stop going to home games. Season holders, SOB’s, boycott from the parking lot, singing your faces of FU UFO FU UFO…. Demand refunds until Sak steps down and Sugarmen sells. If this is your team, take it back. But blaming the players and the coach is not the way to go. They can’t help being outclassed and outgunned and they are doing all they can (and if passing percentage is anything to go on that’s not much).

    In the meantime enjoy the open faced shit sandwhich that mgmt has been served to you under the title “professional soccer team.”

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