Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-2 New England Revolution

Photo: Daniel Studio

Cristian Maidana scored a fantastic free kick for his first goal of the season, but second half goals from Charlie Davies and Teal Bunbury saw New England defeat Philadelphia Union 2-1 at PPL Park on Sunday.

Maidana gave Philadelphia the lead in the 42nd minute, curling an inch perfect free kick into the side netting from 25 yards. But great service, as well as poor marking, saw Davies and Bunbury fire home from close range midway through the second half to give the Revolution all three points.

First half

Jim Curtin made three changes to the team that drew in New York on Thursday night. C.J. Sapong, Cristian Maidana, and Zach Pfeffer all came into the squad while Eric Ayuk and Andrew Wenger were dropped to the bench. Vincent Nogueira missed out with an ankle injury.

The first opportunity of the match would fall to New England in just the 4th minute. A few quick passes near the top of the Union’s box ended with the ball falling to Lee Nguyen, but the midfielder’s shot would roll wide left of John McCarthy’s goal from 19 yards.

The Union would get their first good chance in the 16th minute when Fernando Aristeguieta cut into the box on the left side. Driving toward the end line, the striker tried to cut the ball back to the onrushing Sapong, only for his pass to be cut out by a New England defender. The ball came straight back to Aristeguieta, whose first time shot from 8 yards beat Bobby Shuttleworth but cannoned off the crossbar.

New England should have taken the lead in the 27th minute when Charlie Davies missed on a header from close range. Revolution right back London Woodberry found acres down the right wing and put in a quality cross, but Davies could only head wide left of John McCarthy’s goal from 6 yards.

Philadelphia would get a good chance to take the lead on 38 minutes. Sapong was fouled from behind by Nguyen, earning the midfielder a yellow card, about 25 yards from the New England goal. Sebastien Le Toux drove in a quality free kick that found Sapong near the back pos, but the striker’s header from 4 yards was soft and straight to Shuttleworth. The linesman’s flag appeared to be up for offside on the play anyway.

The Union would take the lead in the 42nd minute through Chaco Maidana. Maurice Edu intercepted the ball 25 yards into his own half and made a powerful run forward through the center of the pitch. Keeping the ball close to his feet, he eventually forced a foul from a New England defender about 25 yards from the Revolution goal. Maidana stepped up to take the free kick and fired perfectly into the right side netting with a curling effort from his left foot.

Second half

The first chance of the second half would fall to Sapong in the 57th minute. After some good work from Aristeguieta on the right, the Union won a corner kick. Good service from Maidana found Sapong at the back post, but the striker’s header went just wide of the Revolution goal.

Jim Curtin made two subs in the 63rd minute to protect his team’s lead, with Brian Carroll replacing goalscorer Maidana and Andrew Wenger coming on for Sapong.

But New England found their equalizer two minutes later through Charlie Davies. Teal Bunbury did well on the Revolution right wing, easily beating Ray Gaddis on the dribble. The substitute’s cross was sent low along the 6-yard box, and an unmarked Davies was on hand to tap in from close range.

The Revolution would take the lead in the 76th minute through Bunbury. Gaddis appeared to slip in the build-up as New England once again attacked down the Union’s left side. Diego Fagundez found himself in space behind the Union backline and fired in a low cross that Bunbury was able to tap into McCarthy’s goal from 7 yards, cutting in front of the retreating Sheanon Williams.

Philadelphia had two great chances to equalize in the 77th minute from a corner kick on the right side. Le Toux’s service found the head of Aristeguieta, who did well to head down and on goal from 8 yards. His header beat the outstretched Shuttleworth, but Nguyen smartly backed his goalkeeper to clear off the line. The clearance fell straight to Maurice Edu on the edge of the box. The Union captain settled and fired a half volley that was also repelled off the line, this time by London Woodberry.

Conor Casey was introduced in the 78th minute as Philadelphia looked for an equalizer, but the big striker could not find his way into the game and the Union failed to create another good goal scoring opportunity.

The Union will look to rebound when they travel to Columbus next Saturday to take on the Crew.

Philadelphia Union
John McCarthy, Ray Gaddis, Maurice Edu, Steven Vitoria, Sheanon Williams, Michael Lahoud, Zach Pfeffer (Conor Casey 78′), Cristian Maidana (Brian Carroll 63′), Sebastien Le Toux, CJ Sapong (Andrew Wenger 63′), Fernando Aristeguieta
Unused Subs: Andre Blake, Fabinho, Ethan White, Eric Ayuk

New England Revolution
Bobby Shuttleworth, Andrew Farrell, Kevin Alston (Chris Tierney 60′), London Woodberry, Scott Caldwell, Kelyn Rowe (Teal Bunbury 61′), Jermaine Jones, Andy Dorman, Lee Nguyen, Juan Agudelo (Diego Fagundez 71′), Charlie Davies
Unused Subs: Sean Okoli, Jeremy Hall, Steve Neumann, Brad Knighton

Scoring Summary
PHI: Cristian Maidana — 42
NE: Charlie Davies (Teal Bunbury) — 65
NE: Teal Bunbury (Diego Fagundez) — 76

Disciplinary Summary
NE: Lee Nguyen (foul) — 37
PHI: Ray Gaddis (foul) — 41
PHI: Conor Casey (foul) — 85
PHI: Sheanon Williams (foul) — 90
NE: Teal Bunbury (time wasting) — 90′

Philadelphia Union New England Revolution
11 Attempts on Goal 12
5 Shots on Target 4
5 Shots off Target 8
1 Blocked Shots 0
 8 Corner Kicks 4
 16 Crosses  21
 2 Offsides 3
 14 Fouls 11
3 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards  0
 310 Total Passes 449
 70% Passing Accuracy 82.6%
 41.2% Possession  58.8%
 46 Duels Won 51
 47.1% Duels Won %  52.6%
17 Tackles Won  18
2 Saves 4
28 Clearances 41


  1. Lazlo Hollyfeld says:


  2. SOBs got what they asked for tonight.

    1) They cheered bringing Casey on. (Why? Were they somehow SHORT on turnovers?)
    2) Started cheering “Hey! Casey! F*** someone up!” beginning at the 15 minute mark.
    (Hey! Idiots! They’re DOWN a goal! Ya think maybe there’s something better to cheer for right about then???)
    3) And then, at 7 mins, when Casey DOES manhandle someone in the NE box and draws a deserved yellow card, they can’t believe it.

    It would be comical if it weren’t so P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C.

    • Eh I can see the logic in bringing in Casey. The whipped in cross/scrum dirty goal is the last refuge of the scoundrel and the desperate and pretty much what Casey can do better than anyone else on the team. So why not? It’s not like they had the personnel on the field for build up play.

    • The Black Hand says:

      I’m sure your cheers were much better orchestrated.. Kudos to them for still cheering. Are you aware of how miserable this club has been? By all means, draw your bow and fire…just don’t aim them at our guys. I was in the River End. Those cats were trying…yeah, it was a bit shallow at times…but THEY tried. You want to string someone up? Ask yourself what a great job Carroll did at closing this one out…who made that astute adjustment?? Don’t throw those that sang, for your club, under the bus!

      • Thank you, Black Hand. I was in the RE as always and the spirit, all struggles noted, was there. Join and help shape SOB or STFU.

      • Sorry……..the SOB’s and Sak/Sugarmen are the same………they get their marching orders from the front office. I believe every part of what Amused said above…….doesn’t surprise me one bit. Sorry SOB’s…….you and what hipster army is going to make me STFU? Good Luck with that!

      • Black hand……its not throwing them under the bus…….its more of a concern that they are having the wool pulled over their eyes….and for some reason or another……don’t or refuse to see it. I think certain supporters…..aren’t waiting for them to come around……….

      • The Black Hand says:

        No way, brother. Every one of them wants better for this club. The Sons of Ben are a supporters group. They support the PLAYERS (not the FO…now granted, the argument could be made that their are supporting the FO with their ticket money but a lot of people just like to go out to the stadium and watch the only club we have), through good and bad…period. Most of them are well aware of our club’s shortcomings (Brian Carroll was repeatedly asked to be subbed off…with the option of playing down a man deemed a better tactic). Lumping them together with our inept front office (every single one of them) is not fair. Our supporter’s groups sang for 93′. (They traveled to Yankee Stadium and sang louder than Yankee Stadium). I can’t knock that. They did their job. If the rest of the Philadelphia Union could do that, we would be in a much better place.
        I get what your saying, Ali. ‘The support is giving the FO the idea that what they are doing is ok and that it’s business as usual’…but that’s really not the case. I think that the River End could be shaped to force change, but that would take a lot of time, leadership and organization. That is definitely lacking.

    • It’s hilarious that this city is even attacking its own fans. It’s the supporter’s section! If Casey is coming on, you support him. If Hoppenot is coming on, you support him. You support. the. team. Then you complain later at the bar (or on the Internet).
      The Casey chant is just that, a chant. “We believe that the timing of the substitions has been poor and also that we need a speed threat as an outlet for balls over the top” might be more accurate and relevant, but its not very catchy.

      • Who says that guy is a Union fan? I’ve not seen that name before, but perhaps a revtroll?

      • You may be right.
        And hobosocks: I’ve often thought that after the visiting players are announced, that “PLAYS WITHOUT HONOR!” would be much better than “SUCKS!” but I can’t seem to get it to catch on in my section ;>)

      • I would’ve joined in on that one, when Davies was announced.

      • I am trying to figure out why the minute of the opposition substitution sucks- “…in the seventy first minute.” “SUCKS!” Players, I get, but time? Aren’t we all in the same place in time?

      • I’ve been doing this for years. For whatever reason, it’s just funny to me. I like the suggestion that I have so much vitriol for the other team that the very time they make their subs is tainted to me. Screw the 73rd minute. (or whatever)

      • The Black Hand says:

        They could announce that a child has been lost…and the response would be “SUCKS”. This is Philadelphia…the place where Santa is a target…

      • hobosocks…….I don’t think its animosity, at least from me its not…….I think there is a lack of trust between the SOBs and the other supporters…..its hard to tell who’s side they are on……..or, if they really care whats happening to the club at all. Again, we don’t want to see an empty house except for the RE at home matches do we? That may happen if things keep going the way they are……..fact.

    • First of all, great job by the SOBs on those TIFOs Sunday. Fun to see what they could do with the relatively small space they have to work with. Kudos.

      As far as the Casey cheers, I heard them and I get it. It was kind of like rooting for your favorite NASCAR driver to wreck someone instead of, ya know, WIN the race?

  3. The Realist Brian says:

    The blame isn’t on Curtain….it falls squarely on Sak-of-shits mismanagement of player signings over the last 6 years that put us in a position of having a tissue paper thin roster. We will suck until he is gone from the team. #SakOutNow you fucking destroyer of teams.

    • Nah… This one is on Curtin he could have brought on White and moved up Edu. Or he could have brought in Ayuk’s energy to the wing in an attempt to shake up the game.

      • This one is on Curtin and his “I want to win every game 1-0” attitude, but I like where he’s going with this.

      • Admittedly, I was a bit distracted during this game (teaching the kids to make stuffed shells). However, it seems that he was managing to spread out the depth, as the union are in a very busy stretch.

        A few really good saves from Shuttleworth, a couple of unlucky bounces, two great plays by the NE subs and that was the difference.

        I’m not as upset over this loss.

      • I agree the blame for this one is 100% on Curtin. No one on the field was a so-called “Sakiewicz signing,” and Curtin’s adjustments were a reaction to New England’s offensive substitutions – and they were masterful at that. Jay Heaps completely out-managed Curtin in this one, and his substitutions were curious at best, even though none of the three was directly responsible for the result.

      • How can Curtain decide to pack it in after 45 mins? What makes him believe this team can do that? He subs out the only play maker the Union really have. They quickly let up 2 goals. So at this point they don’t have the firepower to come back. You had to know the Revs were gonna come out after the half gunning to score. This team started this week with so much promise, to end as disappointing as this. The Guys deserve better.

    • yes it is……….

  4. These team is who they are at this point. They aren’t winning anything anytime soon. But I doubt they are this bad.
    I doubt for stability sake we can fire Jim Curtin this season but maybe we can get a GM whose first task will be blowing out Mbohli’s salary for reinforcements.
    You Know who we could have used during this game?
    Danny Cruz. Suck it haters.
    The Union have made me pine for the return of Danny Cruz. THE UNION HAVE MADE ME A MONSTER!

    • Really? And what do you think Cruz would have done? I don’t understand the love for Cruz.

      • It’s not love. Not even close. But his direct Cruzness would have come in handy in a game like this. Granted you may have had some of the same effect by putting Ayuk in. But thats neither here nor there.
        Having one player like Cruz on the bench doesn’t hurt.

      • I, for one, am glad Cruz is there and not here.

      • Azog D'Filer says:


        Cruz should keep heading east IMHO

  5. …Stands on The Cliff, warming by The Black Hand’s fire. Notices its a little less crowded than the past few weeks.

    Hears groaning and footsteps off in the distance getting closer. Checks phone for score.


    Goes off to get more cookies….

    • The Black Hand says:

      Hell of a view, though…

    • We maybe going to hell in a bucket babe, but at least we’re enjoying the ride……….at least we’re enjoying the ride……….yeah, at least we’re enjoying the ride!

      ………I’ll stop now…….that was just too perfect not to 🙂

  6. Footy 101: keepers punt can’t bounce….bad things happen. The ball needs to be headed. The match winner falls on Wenger……he just watched that bounce slightly over his head……which either comes from lazily getting back into shape or just misjudging the ball…..either way, here it comes. McCarthy’s face said it all….he was looking at the part of the pitch where it happened with a wtf look across his face.. Sheanon doesnt do well tracking guys off his back shoulder either……burned twice. We are what we are………….

    • I’m just wondering who we can dump Wenger on the way Montreal dumped him on us.

    • McMohansky says:

      Exactly. Wenger is lazy and pouty. Should be sent down to regain some touch and confidence because he is hurting the team. Really negative subs from the coach. His stock is plummeting fast.

      • Dude, after it bounced over his head….he just walked…..walked, I repeat…..he walked. That says more than anything.

      • The crowd where I was sitting really got on Wenger after that. I’ve never seen an individual player called out like that.

        Mo was all over him and he seemed to argue back. I don’t know how you can fail to hustle like that and show up your captain and still be on the team.

      • +1. My section was all over him too.

    • SPOT ON. And then he turns and watches as the ball goes down the flank and says, oh maybe I should trollop after it.

    • Agreed. The story of this season is the poor wing play.

    • agree soooooo much

  7. OneManWolfpack says:

    This is on Curtain primarily. He made substitutions too early that signaled they were willing to draw or hope for a late winner. Maidana off (maybe he couldn’t go 90, I don’t know) and Pfeffer too… shows he wanted to bunker in and at least get a point. That’s disgraceful at home. It completely backfired when you took all your attacking talent off the field and they took the lead a few mins later. They weren’t dominating the game, but I don’t understand those subs at that time. No one bunkers at home… at least you shouldn’t… yet we do it time and again. Awful. Just awful. That’s what an inexperienced coach gets you. A loss that at the very least should have been a draw. All good vibes and momentum is now squandered. They have to start over. Ridiculous.
    They also just aren’t good enough but the coach does then NO favors at all

    • Andy Muenz says:

      The Pfeffer sub was after they were already down 2-1. The other two (Maidana and Sapong) were both players coming off injuries who probably aren’t in shape yet to go the full 90.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Ok fair enough I had Pfeffer switched with Sapong. My point is that Curtain needed to make better subs and didn’t. He contributed nothing to help that team get at least a point.

      • 100% on Curtin, especially with 30+ minutes still left in the game. Maybe with 15-20 minutes left, I can see bringing on Wenger for Sapong and switching formation to go 4-2-3-1. I’m OK with that, even though CJ is a weapon up front (and I’m not of the opinion that you lay back against a quality side like NE). But pulling Madaina at the same time…for Brian F’ng Carroll? Hanging offense. You just replaced your most talented offensive player and the best possession player on this team and replaced him with one of the weakest players on the entire roster. And quite frankly, it doesn’t matter if Pfeffer moved up front and Carroll played defensive mid. It’s a huge net negative when those two positions in the aggregate move from Maidana-Pfeffer to Pfeffer-Carroll. Absolutely terrible.

      • Whenever I see Carroll on the field I get sleepy. I don’t know what it is?…

  8. Andy Muenz says:

    Biggest problem the Union are facing is the complete lack of possession. They can’t dictate the pace of the game when they never have the ball. The team that deserved to win tonight won.

    • You’re dead on Andy, bc they play only to counter I feel that it’s impossible for them to get comfortable on the ball and to get into a groove. Possession isn’t just for keeping the ball but it can also allow everyone to sync up with the passing game and can create that great first touch that we desperately need. The simple theme of just connecting simple passes can allow the team to take a breathe and get comfortable. Every successful team does this. You must use possession with the counter attacking game. They go hand in hand.

    • McMohansky says:

      Its one of their problems, certainly. Odd the best game the Union midfield played was in Salt Lake and Le Toux played ahead of Carrol and Lahoud.
      Why didnt Curtin bring on Ayuk out wide to stretch their defense and prevent the fullback gojng forward and push Letoux into that role behind Nando if Maidana couldnt go 90?

      • Your on to something here McMo, And I was wondering the same. This may fall on Jim a bit. Guys like Sapong, Ayuk, and even Wenger are great to put on with 20-30 left to kill a match because of their pace. When you stick guys like them out high and wide late in matches it makes the oppositions back four think twice about pressing and having a higher line. Having someone out there like that……changes the match. If we are going to be a counter team….at least be smart about it.

      • My only thought would be that Curtin clearly wanted to hold to a tie but Carroll can’t even play defense! He’s not a defensive midfielder. He really shouldn’t even be here

      • By putting Carroll in it left the central mid wide open for open play for NE. This allowed them to come in deep in the midfield and play out wide.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Yep. It was exactly what Nguyen was waiting for.

      • Look, if Chaco couldn’t go 90, then it’s pretty simple. Bring in Ethan, move Mo to Pfeffer’s spot and move Pfeffer up to Chaco’s spot. How hard is that? But to bring on Carroll? Disgrace.

  9. Here’s my suggestion. When the union score the next match, the whole stadium becomes quiet so the players can be reminded that they have a full 90 minutes to finish out. I could go on and on with the horrible sub decisions and the tactical problems but what’s the point……

  10. Sorry, McCarthy is not MLS material yet.
    That first game was a terrific story, but the player review made here at PSP earlier in the week made a point of his weak ball distribution performance. I went back and watched the replay to pay attention to something that was easy (for me) to overlook in all the celebration of a win and the “feel good for the local boy thing”. It was an eye opener. The amount of additional pressure the defense has to absorb when a goalie can’t clear it past his own mid-field is unacceptable. (And we’re talking with the wind at his BACK as well)
    Thursday wasn’t SO bad, but perhaps that was helped by the short field?
    Tonight was just awful. I counted just 4 kicks (punts or goals) that looked like they were struck with any quality. Breeze or no breeze, most everything he put a foot to was weak and, to make it double bad, directionless. Even worse, he looks completely lost and/or intimidated distributing the ball by hand.
    Combine that with two goals againt that looked an awful lot like what we saw with Mbohli…Time to make or break with Blake.

    • McMohansky says:

      Not his fault at all. Look elsewhere because the goals are on Gaddis, Gaddis, Wenger, Victoria, and Williams.
      He looks confident coming out for free kicks and directs the back line well. Its so windy the distribution is not an issue. Perhaps they should play out of the back more in those conditions.

      • I’ve played goalkeeper for a long time at many different levels including Division 1 college. McCarthy’s distribution is nothing short of awful at this level; the inconsistency is alarming. Every 3rd or 4th goal kick is inexplicably hooked…that’s high school stuff. His punts and sidewinders are not cleanly struck on a consistent basis…you can tell by the rotation and arc of the ball. His lack of confidence in being able to read the opposing team when either throwing or bowling the ball is pretty evident too (this is not so much his fault, as he still needs to get used to the speed of the game at this level…what worked at Harrisburg and LaSalle will not necessarily work here). Distribution is by far the weakest part of his game.

    • Overall you are correct — McCarthy’s distribution has been terrible in all 3 games, and Blake should get the start once he is fit. However, I think both goals tonight were a case of the defense letting their GK down. Gaddis was beat on the left side at the start of both goals, and Williams failed to mark the runner who scored both times. I’m not sure any keeper saves either of the New England goals today.

    • There is some truth to what you say here. Most top flight keepers can flight a ball well into the oppositions half from they’re own box…….some of the best can almost hit the other box. He hit one tonight that fell in our half to the opposition……again, he knew it and the look on his face said it all…he was shaking his head. When you can’t hit a ball confidently…..you can’t dictate the pace……the ebb and flow of the match……something he was always pretty good at coming up. Nether of the goals were on him, but I think there is some validity to his play with his feet and dictating a match.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Awful decision, rolling with McCarthy. The kid just got you 4 tough points. Thank him and sit him down. Andre Blake should have been given his team. Do we have anyone in the goalkeeping monitoring department??? I mean, really!!!
      Goalkeeping didn’t sink us…our manager did.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Yeah Blake was the play tonight for sure

      • At least Curtin won’t have the excuse he doesn’t want to change up a winning team. A lot of capital has been expended to get Blake and he’s played one MLS game- get him in there. I thank McCarthy for stabilizing the position- no small task- and continue working on your game. You’ll be a fine backup this year.

    • I’ll definitely watch the replay this week and post myself as corrected if he was really hung out to dry vs. not having himself where he really needed to be.
      I’ll be very interested to see where the player rating comes out this week. I don’t claim to have the soccer chops of the PSP folks. (Though some lose me with the occasional, unfathomable pleas for more Cruz and Casey.)
      Again, McCarthy’s poor ball striking had nothing to do with wind conditions. The guy has just been hitting it poor, period. The NYCFC and NE keepers struck the ball (in the same conditions) with a completely different sharpness, velocity, and spin. Night and day.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      On neither goal was the keeper at fault. Neither one. I agree he’s not an MLS distributor. And he’s not athletic enough to be an elite shot stopper, only adequate. But he made plays that had to be made. He takes no blame for the goals; each shot was on or inside the six yard box. Lev Yashin doesn’t stop those.

      • The Black Hand says:

        He did, Coach, and he was not the reason that we lost. BUT…he shouldn’t have seen the pitch. He’s not there yet. He filled in, more than admirably, but Blake is our goalkeeper. Let the kid watch, learn and be ready when called upon.


  12. OneManWolfpack says:

    Also, as stated above, ZERO possession again. It’s no longer a problem, it’s just the way they play. It’s also ridiculous and makes them susceptible to losing every game no matter the score. That has to change, but won’t until the players and coach get better.

  13. I am thankful to Taylor Twellman championing the angst this city feels over this franchise. That is the ONLY positive.
    Jim Curtin outsmarted himself tonight. You want to pull Sapong for Wenger? Under what pretense? Fucking Offered NOTHING while Sapong was everywhere on the field in offense in defense in build up. Everywhere busting his ass. Unless he was hurt and couldn’t go anymore it was wrong. Carroll for Maidana I am okay with until Shame-on-you Williams decided to fuck it all up.
    Those goals are on Williams. Fucking inexcusable- to be beaten like that once, let alone twice. Inexcusable! how badly he was beaten.
    I am running out of ways to express the torment I feel.
    It is all wrong. Wrong Wrong Wrong. The only way we can score is on free kicks and OG by the other team. We give up 70% possession. When we do finally touch the ball – – we turn it over – misconstrue elementary passes. When we get a lead we go into a tortoise shell and allow the other team to dictate every aspect of the rhythm which in theory should be fine – if you can protect that lead – but we are incapable of doing that. PEOPLE this is all wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Before the apologists start to say I / we are overreacting – yes I understand 3rd game in 9 days. blah blah blah. This is what I say to that….
    ….Balls Across the Nose.

    • The Black Hand says:

      I paid to see it…damn, sirens of the sun!!
      Carroll sub was brutally bad. I get the reasoning, but he’s not the player…and our manager should know that.
      But…Sheanon has the throw-ins!!!!!

      • Again Chaco wants the quick throw in down in the corner and gets called off by Williams and slams the ball in ground as his walks away in disgust.

    • Oh, I almost forgot ….along with my BATN and now adopted sign off, FREE THIS FRANCHISE….
      YAAL. You Are A Laughingstock.

    • Right after the game I was thinking about the 3 games in 8 days angle but then realized I’m tired of 6 years of making excuses for this team. You have to be able to overcome circumstances sometimes to be any good, this franchise simply hasn’t.

    • Section 114 (Formerly) says:

      Look, each of the goals is on the defense. OK, maybe not the slow white guy. But Sheannon, Gaddis and Edu each misplayed each goal and left McCarthy out to dry. And he’s not going to steal points.
      The loss is on Curtin and Sak. Sak has a team with its highest salaried player in France, no depth, and its second best player now playing in Orlando, to provide the cash for that goalkeeper in France. Curtin took the shit sandwich that Sak gave him and decided to roll out a 1-0 strategy at half time and a 1-0 set of subs in the (automatic) 60th minute subs. And then, for the second game in a row, he has a forced third sub (Pfeffer was gassed, Nogs hurt) and he doesn’t have an appropriate piece to sub in the 18.
      Even the defensive failures could fall on Sak as their poor second half play might have been a depth issue for the back four (and Lahoud)? They played very well for 225 minutes this week but then ran out of gas with no one to rotate in and got torched on plays where they should have been running and checking harder.
      Can’t wait to start watching these boys play. I’m renewing my four season tickets the day we get rid of current ownership.

      • If we didn’t keep loaning players out (Cruz to Norway, Fernande’s to Cosmos, MacMath to Colorado, Hoppenot/Marquez/McLaughlin to Harrisburg) we would have some other options off the bench than Carroll….

  14. The Black Hand says:

    Maurice Edu busted his ass. I have been brutal with our captain, but today he worked hard. He is a strong CB.

    • He is fine. He is one in the story of misallocated funds. The problem is not Edu the player, the problem is Edu the idea.

    • +1. He’s unfairly targeted on this board, quite frankly. Look at the utter slop that he has to work with. We have some talented players up the gut (Nogs, Pfeffer, Chaco, Nando), but our personnel on the outside is dreadful, even by MLS standards. He’s a good soldier too…you never hear him say anything negative or act negatively, and he has more reason that anybody to do so. Collectively, we should really learn to appreciate what we have in Maurice Edu.

  15. I don’t care what his potential is; Wenger right now is HORRIFIC. Please send him away.

    • The Black Hand says:

      We are too thin to send anybody away.

      • We are also so poor that no one on the roster should feel their spot is safe. And I don’t just mean in the XI, I mean on the roster.

        At this point I’d rather go down with the Ayuk/Pfeffer/McLaughlin’s of the world than watching Wenger’s one trick offensive moves every week.

      • Cuz we loaned out all of our depth!

  16. I missed the game…was driving back from a golf/camping trip in Maryland. How happy am I that I missed this game!!!
    You look on the Union website, and it almost looks like they’re trying to tell us we won 1-0. Headline: “…bends in a free kick to get 1-0…” How about…”but we still suck.” I watched the “highlights”, and pretty much feel I wasted even that amount of time.
    I think the movie title is “Train Wreck Meets Groundhog Day.”

  17. Maybe a better question for tomorrow after we have some time to calm down, but any initial thoughts on Pfeffer in the Nogueira spot? I saw him make a couple of good defensive plays, not sure I saw him linking the play in transition like Nogs.

    Want Pfeffer to succeed as he is the first HGP product for the club, and I think he has talent. Just not sure there is a spot in the XI for him when Nogueira and Maidana are both healthy. I’ll defer to those on the board here with more soccer knowledge than me (which in reality, is almost everyone).

    • I think Pfeffer disappears for large amounts of time. I remember Xavi Hernandez once saying he needed the ball 85 times a game – certainly Zach Pfeffer is no Xavi and he only had 60 minutes, but I think I safely can say he had fewer than 10-12 touches tonight and that is just not enough.
      One part I chalk up to the obvious – the part about the whole being unable to maintain even the simplest possession but one part of that then lies upon each individual’s shoulders as well.
      I do not have learned acumen beyond an E License which means nothing…. I played marginally….Most everything of value I know about the game I’ve learned from studying the Kleiben brothers teams and teachings….
      … I watch untold amounts of the game though and unequivocably what I come to see over and over is a lack of football agility… as it relates to ball possession -ie passing to right foot, passing to leading edge of a move, tight control and an inability to handle the most important P – pressure and an inability to get the head up at crucial moments to read the game and inability to think fast enough. This is an overall MLS issue but really I see it over and over with our players, Gaddis on the ball, Williams on the ball, The Striker the Portuguese defender, Wenger, Le Toux – just awkward- the whole lot of them.
      Lahoud played a simple game cycling and recycling possession and over and over I just didn’t see Zach involved enough. Maybe it’s me. I like his game. I like him to learn on the job, I generally like his control and thinking but he seems very passive.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I would encourage you to focus on the first twenty minutes and then consider giving the enemy credit for adjusting. They knew we were weakened in the midfield and overloaded it as much as possible, playing what at times almost seemed 3 backs, six middies and a striker. That forces Pfeffer to defend. At least twice he saved potential serious problems by tracking back into the back line. Check OPTA for his defensive picture, I have not looked at it myself FYI so I may well be wrong.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Pfeffer was very poor.

      • Joel agreed. Foot skills not only make beautiful soccer but over time win. It is the difference. Several union players have it to certain degrees. Chaco, Nogs, Nando come to mind. Edu to a certain degree especially with the whole field in front of him. Zach has it too I believe, but not sure using foot skills feels it is rewarded or useful in this environment; ie long throws, 50/50 balls, flying elbows.

      • The Black Hand says:

        We are a rather cement-footed club. Nogs, Maidana (maybe) are the only ones with soft touches…on the whole club. The others are…the opposite.

    • Section 114 (Formerly) says:

      Pfeffer is a good, young, MLS quality player. He is a guy who should be in the 18 for a good team, and maybe in the 11 in a year or two. But he’s not a replacement for one of a team’s three keystone players, and it isn’t fair for us to compare him to Maidana/Nogs/Edu, at least at this point in his development.

  18. Hey anyone else sit there thinking. Hmmm…. they brought on Tierney at left back I bet he’s gonna be more attacking. Why the hell don’t you put in Ayuk as a counter sub? It puts new England on the back foot and Tierney has to defend. Plus instant push on offense for another goal. This was just again typical union. Inexperience andwrong players at the wrong time. Sell the team to better management please before there is no team. Just like Saks last team the Tampa Bay mutiny.

    • Correction, he sold his last team to “better management”, or what was thought of as being better at the time than AEG owning 80% of the league themselves.
      You know them now as “Red Bull New York”.

  19. Old Soccer Coach says:

    1. Barring injury of course, Curtin subbing Carroll for Maidana mixing Pfeffer up and swapping Wenger for Sapong at or around the 60th minutes was obvious as soon as you saw who was starting and who was on the bench 20 minutes before tap. Two words: match fit. So many of us are so bent on cricizing that we ignore basic facts. No coach can do that. Curtin went for it from the get go and hoped to play withem and perhaps get ahead of them, which he did. I admire his guts and his commitment to his principles.
    2. Heaps made the obvious move. Save your burners for the 2nd half when patterns have been established and fatigue is beginning, both physically and mentally. It worked, twice. We can cuss all we want, and undoubtedly warnings were given at halftime. But Williams was still caught flat footed by Davies switching out to the wing. And then Bunbury caught him upfield. You cannot coach speed. You can make a plough horse a faster plough horse; you cannot make him an Arabian. Fagundez and Bunbury are burners as far as our guys are concerned.
    3. What other moves do you want Curtin to make, given the facts of who was available on the bench? Fabinho was probably a phantom “dress out” to fill out the 18. Wenger or Ayuk? How tired is Ayuk? White or Carroll? Did you practice at all with Mo in the midfield? Unpracticed improvisation often hurts badly. And remember he had Friday, Saturday and possibly A light Sunday morning for any practices of any kind. That is fact, not apology.

    • I appreciate the obvious understanding you bring to the game and I appreciate you seldom ever post until multiple hours after the game allowing yourself time to think, digest and analyze, while I tend to use this vehicle as a means purge emotion.
      Your points are solid and well founded while my points tend to end in “ing” and begin with “f” and I agree with your intellect often …. but while you cannot teach speed, you can teach positional awareness and game awareness and Sheanon Williams was egregious on the first gol and simply lacking awareness on the second. He was caught ball watching both times and it cost them- dearly.
      This notion of being a defensive team and counter striking team only works if you can defend. It is the same story revisited on a different game day. New England is a good team. Earning one point yesterday in the face of 3 games in 9 days is honorable and ‘job well done’ – puking all over yourself in the final 30 minutes because you are an amateur in a bar at 2:30 am and haven’t figured out yet how to hold your liquor is something else totally- especially when you did the same thing to yourself the week or two before. It is really sad OSC.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I fully understand purging emotion, that’s what the car ride home is for in my case.

    • I saw the changes more as a much too early decision to try to protect the one goal lead. I understand the personnel end of the assessment, but it seems to me that there had to be a way to avoid parking the bus like that. It seemed to be problematic from two different perspectives first, this is a team that, for better or for worse, looks to counterattack and possession be damned. If the back line is in such game shape that they couldn’t match up with the speed that was being brought in, then the counter should be abandoned, and the proper strategic adjustment be made to accommodate a deeper settled defense. Second, I was not sure that everybody was on the same page from the beginning of the game as to the attack. Many too many of the movements forward were too “flat”, going right into the box, rather than the corners, and that led to the Revs’ counters coming right back with the Union backline still upfield. If the decision has been made, as I think that it was, to hold onto the lead, then Gaddis and Williams shouldn’t have been in the position where they had to recover sixty yards to try unsuccessfully to defend those attacks. I guess that the one thing that I can find was that, this game for once, set piece defending didn’t bite. Is that something on which to build?

  20. I watch the games now, but frankly don’t really care. Sak has made me dead inside. I laugh when they go down because it’s inevitable. I think I’ve hit the schadenfreude stage with this franchise. They’ve literally got me to start watching The Phillies again which is about as damning an indictment as there is.
    On a positive note That Villa/Liverpool game may have been the best football game of the year.

  21. Curtin was handily out coached for at least the 6th match this year. We sit where we are right now Bc of bad front office of course and some players having bad years, but specifically Bc of how Curtin has coached and a chunk of points lost.
    Le Toux is done, give him a game off to get his head together. He’s chasing everywhere instead of moving intelligently, and his touch has been lead.

    • Section 114 (Formerly) says:

      Agreed. And he was the second or third best player on the pitch for us yesterday. WSSM. Need depth. Need talent.

  22. To me, this game turned at half time when Jay Heaps prevailed upon Jermaine Jones to stay home at Center Back. This eliminated the main way that the Union were generating chances in the run of play in the first half – Jones turnovers and being out of position. With Jermaine sitting back, he dominated Aristiguieta, Maidana, Casey and anyone else who came his way. Plus, he got more time and space to play field-switching long balls that always put the Union outside backs under pressure.

    Of course, the Union played into this a bit by sitting so deep, but at the end of the day the Union just have less talent. When Jones stayed home, it became very much a game of individual match-ups and the Union lost almost all of them.

  23. Let’s not forget the horrible marking by williams where he got caught on both goals I believe. Not putting all the blame on him of course bc the plays that led up to those goals have to be accounted for as well, but williams sucks at marking up. I can’t understand why this team can’t defend by marking up and staying with their opponent for 90 min! I mean he let Davies or was it Burnbury, slide in behind when NE was pressing into the 18 box. Either way both Davies and Burnbury got in behind williams. How the hell are you not goal side on both of those plays! It’s inexcusable.

  24. Amobi Ribiero says:

    That New England team is just stacked. Please with the praise for jay heaps. J jones coached the team on the field all game. It was a pleasure to see. Oh let’s take out Alston and agudelo for bunbury and fagundez, high level thinking, it’s like make your own FIFA roster. This is the problem. There are talent and spending upgrades all around us and the U are stuck managing their roster like its 1995

  25. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Wenger. I saw no mental agility today, no flexibility. (Well, it was yesterday at this point my error.). He does one thing, sometimes devastatingly well, but only one, to wit, gets the ball at his feet and dribbles at the defender or defenders. Someone earlier in the season at the MLS website called him a target winger, but he doesn’t hold and distribute, he only turns and attacks on the dribble.
    Some players do not have the psyche to be attackers, they are more reactors than creators. Perhaps Wenger is one of those. A technically skilled reactor can be devastatingly effective defending. Perhaps Twellman is onto something. It would be a reorientation and a mistake filled learning process.
    He’s a technically skilled – for MLS – strong reasonably pacey athlete. Mentally he’s tied in knots.

  26. “Lesson for today: prevent defense sux.” — the text I got from my dad (a DC United fan) while I was walking back to my car after the game.

  27. I got to see that Diego Fagundez play for Boston Boltz FC before he moved on to the Revs Academy when he was 15 up in Portland, ME. They played YMS, which was supposed to be a “good” team…….I left in the second half to watch another match….I think it was already 5 nil. That kid Fagundez was a man amongst boys out there……..even at 15. You knew you would be watching him someday….last night, when I saw Diego come on to the pitch……..a smile just crossed my face…..remembering the kid that was tooling everyone at the park……good for him, nice little player. The Revs said clubs abroad already want him too…….they are actually looking at a profit on a transfer fee……

  28. Our team just got outgunned. That starting 11 was pretty good (though I think I’d prefer Blake in Goal) and capable of going toe-to-toe with NE for 45 minutes. It didn’t have the stamina or guts to do so for 90. I think what bums me out the most about the Unions is being forced to watch them give up leads. It crushes the soccer fan soul.

    If the only trick we have up our sleeves once Maidana sits is to belt the ball upfield and try to “out-athlete” the other team, it’s just not going to work.

    The positives I saw were that we are pretty good on set pieces. We were Sapong’s face mask and Lee Nguyen’s head away from two goals that would have been beautiful.

    On subs, I would not have wanted Ethan White pushing Mo up to DM. I want Mo at CB. Always. I think the other subs simply show how shallow our bench really is.

    Finally, this team really struggles to create quality chances during the regular run of play… so many pushed passes that go too far, crosses to no one, etc. Hard not to find Le Toux and Winger at fault for coming up short in that category time and time again.

  29. As a life-long player and coach……..when your going to park the bus……I’m looking for two banks of four…… and then one and one, for the counter. Watch Chelsea park the bus…..two banks of four…..come break us down. We didn’t see any of that in the second half……our guys ran around like chickens with their heads cut off, no discipline at all. They played in behind Pfeffer constantly. It is something you work on, on the training pitch. Plus, parking the bus for an entire half, while its your third match in 8 days doesn’t make much sense……..20 left, sure……not a whole half. We asked for it yesterday……and the Revs obliged. This all points to more bad decisions from Jim….and exactly what the hell do they work on in training? More experienced heads than me watching the match I was with….all put this on Jim.

    • I agree about how to park the bus. I don’t think the feel of the team as “parking it” to start the second half was intentional. I don’t think Curtin wants his team to just sit deep. I know he says he likes to win games 1-0 and all, but he tends to like to go for it all the time.

      Otherwise, yeah. If that was the intention, then everyone — including Curtin — failed big time.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Good stuff, 215. Agree 100%

  30. Vision. Philosophy. Plan.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      None. None. None.

    • The Black Hand says:

      What are these things you speak of?

    • We have a plan: reduce all operating costs as much as possible:
      1. Loan out all of our players (Cruz to Norway, Fernandes to Cosmos, MacMath to Colorado, Hoppenot/Marquez/McLaughlin to Harrisburg) to reduce how much salary the team has to pay

      2. Fire everyone but one person to run website and instruct them to copy and paste Chick-Fil-A/Bimbo/other ads and don’t waste time on actual content

      3. Ignore fans pleas for rocket to launch Fabinho into the sun.

  31. 700 Chopper says:

    Gaddis and Williams suck and Williams looked very out of shape during the match and it showed when he got burned for 2 goals I rest my case except that the rest of this team is shit too!!!

  32. These comments make me laugh. I just want to personally thank all of you for entertaining me this afternoon!

  33. The Black Hand says:

    Can we take a moment and reflect on Maidana’s free-kick? That was…a real free-kick. That actually happened…

    • The Black Hand says:

      Ok, that was long enough. Who’s next on the cross???

      • funny.
        Shuttleworth was screaming at Davies, “Charlie! Charlie! Charlie!”… like he was about to bust an artery…. all to no avail – there was no stopping that gem.

      • The Black Hand says:

        I jokingly said to the guy next to me, “Watch, Chaco is going to bend the ball over the wall and kiss it off the right post”…and then I shit myself…

      • I hope you used a beer soaked napkin to clean up….

      • The Black Hand says:

        Now you tell me…

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