Union match reports

Match Report: Philadelphia Union 0-1 Toronto FC

Photo: Daniel Studio

Toronto FC defeated Philadelphia Union 1-0 on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park thanks to a knuckling Sebastian Giovinco free kick from 35 yards that wrong-footed goalkeeper John McCarthy.

Despite winning the possession battle 66% to 34%, the Union were only able to fire one shot on goal in the entire match. A late goal from Fernando Aristeguieta was disallowed when he was ruled offside.

First half

Jim Curtin made four changes to the team that lost in Columbus last weekend. Fernando Aristeguieta returned from injury to start up top and Eric Ayuk replaced Sebastien Le Toux on the right wing. In back, Sheanon Williams replaced Fabinho on the left, and Ethan White came in for the injured Stephen Vitoria.

The Union’s injury woes were compounded in the 5th minute when Michael Lahoud had to be substituted after pulling up with a hip flexor injury. Richie Marquez replaced Lahoud and partnered with Ethan White, pushing Maurice Edu into midfield.

The first chance of the game fell to Toronto in the 10th minute. Ashtone Morgan overlapped on the left win and his whipped-in cross was met by Giovinco. John McCarthy saved the Italian’s effort, and Richie Marquez blocked a follow-up effort when McCarthy failed to gather the rebound.

Toronto would get another good opportunity to open the scoring in the 23rd minute. Jackson found room on the right to float a ball into the Union box. Jozy Altidore timed his run well and was in behind the Philadelphia back line, nodding the ball down into the path of the onrushing Robbie Findley, but the winger’s shot was tame and blocked down low by a sliding McCarthy.

The Union got their first quality chance in the 26th minute when Chaco Maidana found himself in space near the top of the box on the right side. He chipped a ball toward the penalty spot for Fernando Aristeguieta to run onto, but the Venezuelan’s header was just over the bar.

Toronto took the lead in the 34th minute through Sebastian Giovinco after Maurice Edu committed a foul 35 yards from the Union goal. The dynamic Italian crushed a terrific free kick into the bottom right corner of John McCarthy’s goal. Though well-taken, the shot was not hit with great pace and, given the distance, McCarthy will be disappointed to have let it through.

The Union had a great chance to draw level just before halftime. Chaco Maidana tracked down a bouncing ball in the Toronto half after a partial clearance. The Union midfielder pushed the ball in front of him and hit a venomous half-volley from just inside the box that beat Toronto goalkeeper Chris Konopka but careened back off of the crossbar.

Second half

The Union would get their first chance of the second half in the 53rd minute off a Maidana free kick on the right side. The Argentine’s service was deep to the back post and Andrew Wenger looped a header back into the six yard box only to see Chris Konopka push the ball over the crossbar.

Toronto nearly built a two goal lead in the 55th minute. A cross from the endline eventually found its way to Robbie Findley at the back post, but the the winger scuffed his shot and saw it deflected away for a corner kick.

The Union brought on Sebastien Le Toux in the 54th minute and Conor Casey in the 66th as they sought to get back into the game. The latter came on for Sheanon Williams, with the Union going to three at the back.

Fernando Aristeguieta thought he had equalized in the 79th minute with a great header from a Maidana free kick, however he was correctly ruled offside. Replays showed the striker had started his run a step early.

Despite good pressure late in the game, including a number of set play opportunities, Philly could not carve out a clear cut chance as they chased the tying goal.

The Union will look to rebound when they travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps next Saturday at 7 pm.

Philadelphia Union
John McCarthy, Sheanon Williams (Conor Casey 66′), Ethan White, Maurice Edu, Raymon Gaddis, Michael Lahoud (Richie Marquez 5′), Zach Pfeffer, Cristian Maidana, Eric Ayuk, Andrew Wenger (Sebastien Le Toux (54′), Fernando Aristeguieta
Unused Subs: Andre Blake, Richie Marquez, Fabinho, Conor Casey, Jimmy McLaughlin, Fred, Sebastien Le Toux

Toronto FC
Chris Konopka, Justin Morrow, Damien Perquis, Nick Hagglund, Jackson (Warren Creavalle 71′), Michael Bradley, Benoit Cheyrou, Robbie Findley (Collen Warner 76′), Sebastian Giovinco (Eriq Zavaleta 90′), Jozy Altidore
Unused Subs: Quillan Roberts, Luke Moore, Daniel Lovitz, Jonathan Osorio

Scoring Summary
TOR: Sebastian Giovinco — 34

Disciplinary Summary
TOR: Nick Hagglund  (hand) — 43
PHI: Ray Gaddis (off the ball foul) — 56

Philadelphia Union Toronto FC
10 Shots 11
1 Shots on Target 3
5 Shots off Target 6
4 Blocked Shots 2
 7 Corner Kicks 3
 30 Crosses  28
 3 Offsides 6
 6 Fouls 8
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards  0
 538 Total Passes 291
 79% Passing Accuracy 70%
 65.6% Possession  34.4%
 41 Duels Won 55
 42.7% Duels Won %  57.3%
16 Tackles Won  14
1 Saves 1
16 Clearances 43

69 Comments

  1. el pachyderm says:

    Well…… that was better – – I guess.
    .
    This tells you just how low my expectations have sunk.
    .
    I feel like a beaten man tonight – happy at least my team wasn’t throttled – only lost by one and managed to at LEAST look profesional.
    .
    I still feel like a bag of shag balls though – -sitting in the bottom of a eutrified lake plucked out by a diver- all grimy and dark brown and rusted old Pinnacles and Top Flights that thump when you hit them.
    .
    Goalkeeper got beat…… bad.
    .
    .
    .
    The POSITIVES.
    .
    Zach Pfeffer. He has a clue, that one. Too bad Sheanon doesn’t as at least 3x Zach retained possession looked to cycle ball bak and HOOOOOFFFFF – shaenon boots it up the field. Too bad edu forced Zach from the position zach should have been operating in as the game wore on, but you all know how I feel about Edu in midfield.
    .
    I told a German buddy of mine to enjoy watch Giovinco today on his first trip to PPL- he jsut looked at me like… “WHO?” – guess he knows now- that little Italian player is terrific.
    .
    Jozy, Bradley, Giovince for Toronto FC
    .
    ____ , ______ , _______ for Philadlephia.
    .

    • Alicat215 says:

      While Zach had some positives my friend, he also turns the ball over pretty easily in there sometime……..particularly with his back to an opponent. He got dispossessed on the sequence that lead to the goal………soft call, great shot…..but I think a better keeper makes the save. Still curious how he would do with a healthy Nogs in there…..and when you look at our bench, there aren’t many options. Like you said, not upset at the loss, it’s respectable……we are what we are. Sometimes if we’re lucky, we somehow once get our full compliment of players, and the stars align right………maybe will steal three from someone.

      • Alicat215 says:

        I think TBH said it best down in a later post……Zach is a little bit of composure in there away from being a nice footballer……..I like him there still than most of our options.

      • el pachyderm says:

        Yeah, a work in progress for Pfeffer but generally a bright spot. I enjoy watching him play, which I cannot say about too many Union players since Okugo left. I grow weary of slow thinkers and slow movers of the ball.
        .
        He gets in or out of a tight spots quickly- moves the ball along quickly. Generally pleasing to my eye.

    • The Little Fish says:

      “I still feel like a bag of shag balls though…”

      A bag of shag balls? Priceless Joel. Accurate description. Funny as hell!

  2. This match was not fun to watch.

  3. DarthLos117 says:

    A respectable loss.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    Even with that much possession, the U still managed to look disorganized. The guys sitting behind me were assigning points for every back pass and asking if the players got fined if their first look was forward.
    .
    To my mind there was one positive and that was the play of Richie Marquez in his debut.

    • John Ling says:

      I agree. I thought Marquez looked good. Wasn’t afraid to step up to challenge, used speed a few times to cut out a pass, and did an all-around solid job, I thought. Plus some rockin’ facial hair, too.
      .
      I thought Ethan White did OK, too. He got killed earlier in the year, so I’m willing to stand up – so to speak – and say I thought he looked much improved.
      .
      Ray Gaddis seemed more involved in the offense. He had a few really good overlaps with Le Toux and Maidana late. Good to see Ray getting comfortable going forward again.
      .
      And now… well… I apologize in advance for my French…
      .
      Why the fucking fuck was Andrew Wenger starting this game? And why was he allowed to stay on the field after halftime? Several times my daughter asked me why Wenger was moving closer to his defender despite having acres of space on the wing.
      .
      Le Toux was better, at least if he’s being compared to Wenger. I’d still rather see McLaughlin or Sapong at this point. (Why wasn’t Sapong on the bench?)
      .
      Last, thank you to Pfeffer and Le Toux for coming over after the game and signing autographs. I know they’re frustrated with losing, and tired after going 90. I appreciate them both coming over and signing for all the kids in the area.

  5. At least Marquez was put in for Lahoud. Why not give McLaughlin a try. The Union are not getting the lucky bounce. Next game we should see Blake.

  6. Was unhappy to see it happen as a result of a LaHoud injury, but Marquez’s chance was more than overdue. I think he showed himself to be pretty capable. Hope he gets more minutes ASAP.
    .
    Should have been starting instead of White anyway.

    • And full marks to the Sons of Ben for the “Yes!” chant following Marquez’s goal line clearance.

      • YES! Credit where credit is due. And ANYTHING other than the 4 “standards” and the completely ridiculous “Four Leaf Clover”.

  7. neatherprovidencepops says:

    As I felt my phone buzz around 6:15 I was shocked to realize that I’d missed the game. Why did I think it was a 7 o’clock game? Why didn’t my phone alert me that the game had started? I’m buying my phone a case for sparing me having to suffer through what sounded like a horrid game. Where is Blake? Why is my man Williams in coaches doghouse? (Fitness breeds confidence Sheanon). This has to be the worst Union since ever. I really do miss 2010 when we all had a glimmer of hope in our eye, instead we such so much. And Sapong wth.

    • The Little Fish says:

      Pete Nowak’s 2010 squad in retrospect seems like so much more fun than this year’s flawed version of our Philadelphia Union. Sadly.

  8. I’m not sure this makes sense but I think I might have actually mostly enjoyed watching that game if we weren’t sitting in the basement on one win

  9. Great One says:

    It’s amazing where the team is right now and where we all are. Long long season left and little hope right now.
    .
    At least pfeffer and Marquez looked good. Blake needs to play. The wingers continue to kill this team. Ayuk has something but wenger/Le Toux are hopeless.

  10. @Vancouver, DCU, @NYRB, @DCU. Anyone see a point there? 1-10-3 smells like a real possibility.

    Blow it up. Play the kids.

    • el pachyderm says:

      poof.

    • We can’t even keep a clean sheet. Hell, I’ll take 12 ties like last season if I thought we had a chance to right the ship later in the season. Injuries and stupidity (red cards, suspensions, etc) — we have hardly had a chance this season. And when we do, we can’t close the deal.
      I’m content with this team to keep on sinking.

  11. el pachyderm says:

    Let’s stop for a moment and really assess this team.
    .
    Let’s consider something.
    .
    Goalkeeping issues, Yes?
    .
    Significant defensive issues, Yes?
    .
    Midfield and winger and service issues, Yes?
    .
    Scoring issues, Yes?
    .
    .
    Not one aspect of this team is well funcitoning. Nothing to hang a hat on and say, “we do that well.”
    .
    Consider that every single aspect of this team is ALL wrong- so much so – that I feel mildly lighthearted tonight knowing we won the possession battle – but that’s right – this team has NEVER been able to turn possession into something productive anyway -ever.
    .
    They are literally without ideas- the blind leading the blind. On top of it all is the inability to even score.
    .
    .
    Here’s a joke for you to tell… an own goal, a set piece goal and a fluke goal walk into a bar….

  12. Was at the game. Tough loss. Especial because I think they looked decent.
    .
    Perhaps there’s a benefit to this catastrophe of a season in that it will demand more than Band-Aids to fix. We’ll really see what the owners are made of. My expectations are not great

    • The Black Hand says:

      We know what our FO is made of. Dora Band-Aids for all!!!!!

    • We can only expect the speculating “owners” to flip this team to someone who cares about the results on the field. Obviously these b*st*rds don’t care.
      Free this franchise.

  13. The Black Hand says:

    McCarthy is not an MLS keeper…not even close.
    .
    Marquez should have been looked at…a lot earlier.
    .
    White was a legitimate CB, in the 2nd half.
    .
    Who is Vitoria? Oh yeah, he’s a guy that has been on the pitch for A LOT of goals against. Sit him down!
    .
    Ray Gaddis is the RB for the Philadelphia Union. He TOOK Sheanon’s job.
    .
    Sheanon? What happened to all the ‘promise’?
    .
    I am sick of Maurice Edu…yeah, I said it. Soooo expensive…SOOOOOOO mediocre, regardless of position.
    .
    Wenger wasn’t as bad as he will be made out to be. That said, he wasn’t any good either.
    .
    Pfeffer is a bit of composure away from being a legitimate footballer.
    .
    Chaco needs to weight his passes a bit better.
    .
    LeToux…runs a lot.
    .
    Ayuk is a good player. We need to make sure we don’t lean too heavily…on an 18 year-old kid.
    .
    Artig******** put in a blue-collar shift. He got manhandled…yet, I think that he needs to start producing. Solid crossing came into his box today.
    .
    Another loss…
    .
    DRRP!

    • el pachyderm says:

      Sheanon. Phew (the sighing version). Phew (the code brown smelly version that requires multiple wipes). What can I say TBH, underwhelming again from the defensive player.
      .
      Maurice is not the answer at midfielder if you want to keep Pfeffer and Noguiera and Chaco on the field together which IMO has to happen. I still like Edu at CB and I like Marquez (small sample size but WTF – this guy is worse than White and not worth a look?) better than slow footed S.Vitoria and “a game away from poor play again” E.White.
      .
      It would be treasonous to shuttle Pfeffer to the touch line as a winger. Nougiera, Pfeffer, Okugo ( Opps.) insert DM here, and Chaco could really begin to control play in the midfield and maybe have an idea or two in final 3rd. As alicat215 thought, Zach looked strong building play from deep and played pretty okay on defensive end as well.
      .
      Pfeffer, that young man is our Luke Skywalker- A New Hope.
      .
      Speaking of Chaco….

      • The Black Hand says:

        Lot of money for a average-above average CB. We could get a sufficient CB and solid midfielder for HALF of Edu’s price-tag. Man, we could do something with that OTHER HALF!!! I’m not seine the return, from the Mighty Mo. He was a mistake, in my opinion…a big one.
        .
        Marquez did look pretty good, didn’t he? Not great…but not Vitoria…and that’s really nice, right now.
        .
        Agree on White. But, he did look great in the second half.
        .
        Pfeffer, Pfeffer, Pfeffer…What to do with Pfeffer??? Kind of have to run with him.
        .
        Chaco…meh. His set-piece goal was magic.

      • Alicat215 says:

        and if the season is kind of a wash……….and we still have no solution to LB………..why not look at Wenger there? I’m not the first to bring it up here…..but I am now intrigued to see it…..considering our limitations there and the skill set Wenger has…….why not?

      • old soccer coach says:

        He’d need to practice there and get some game time. Curtin’s relationship with Bill Becher at HCI seems different from that of John Hackworth last season. Curtin honored what had been established last year, but it seems changed this season. Our loaner player have not been dependably available. Any coach, if he cannot count on something, prepares as though it will not be available, and if that approach creates something that works, then he will not tamper with it.
        .
        It’s an affiliation, not a farm team. It’s not like the Phillies and Lehigh Valley

      • Alicat215 says:

        OSC……..respectively, when in my post did I ever even bring up HCI? I know they aren’t our farm team………I never once suggested or stated they were. Crossword puzzles bro!

      • I believe OSC is saying that Wenger needs minutes at HCI in order to transition to the LB role, and that Curtain’s relationship with HCI would prevent that from happening successfully.

      • The Little Fish says:

        I agree 100%

      • Why not play Wenger at LB? Because that is a horrible idea. See, e.g., Wheeler, Aaron.

      • alicat215 says:

        Wheeler and Wenger are two totally different players and have two completely different skill sets that they bring to the table…..and Wenger has played in the back, Wheeler was an experiment. Its funny that you would even compare the two situations…..and you tried to come off like you knew what you were talking about…..even funnier! Explain why, son?

    • old soccer coach says:

      Javier Mascherano is not worth every dime and then some to Barcelona? If we desperately need a center back, why not have him be the highest paid player?
      .
      Many want Kaka-like offensive production, Pirlo-like distribution, and Desaillies (poorly spelled) defending from Edu. I am reminded of the norseman Canute commanding the tides to cease. Edu is what we have, by far the most versatile player we have in the defensive half of our central channel. Edu can break double-teams while maintaining possession when he must. No other Union defensive center mid ever has. Yes it is simpler and better to beat such double teams before they trap you, but reality does not conform to theory. Edu can deal with the reality of having to beat two by dribbling, if it comes to that.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Javier plays his position(s) in a way that complements the players around him…and he does it well.

      • I am with you on Edu. I don’t understand the hate. Easily the best and most versatile player on the squad. Edu is holding defensive MF by trade and is really just helping at CB because the U need him there, desperately. After the events of this weekend though, I’d switch up the lineup and formation (4-1-3-2). Ethan and Marquez showed the ability to hold down the fort together…both played very well. If CJ can play, I’d actually line up Mo at LB and Gaddis at RB. Put Nogs as the CDM. Chaco as CM, Ayuk at RM, and Pfeffer at LM. Then, Nando and CJ up front. Start Blake and let these cats go 90 minutes. With the versatility on the field, we’d also have the ability to sub in whomever and shift the formation depending on the flow of the game. That would be my plan, but what do I know?

  14. George H says:

    Glad that I sat this one out. No idea why Curtin has to declare that Gaddis is his right back for the rest of the season. Makes no sense. You have three outside backs, make them all think that they’re battling for a shot (we all know that Fabinho isn’t a starter, but still…)

    Season is pretty much a lost cause. Let’s see the kids play…that’s the only way that I’m going to continue to be engaged in this season

  15. pragmatist says:

    So, if healthy/recalled/not suspended…
    Blake
    Gaddis – (2 of 3 – White/Marquez/Vittoria) – Williams
    Nogs – Edu – Chaco
    Ayuk – Nando – Sapong

    Zach hasn’t been impressive enough to trump those three, but is a damn fine substitute.

    I can live very happily with that.

  16. old soccer coach says:

    I watched a lot of Harrisburg City Islanders games last year on You Tube, to keep tabs on the Union loaner players and because I really enjoyed the one City Islanders game I’ve attended in person.
    .
    Richie Marquez led USL-PRO (as it was in 2014) in minutes played. He is more composed on the ball than Ethan White, has a full plateau higher of technical ability with the ball than does White, and plays with intelligence. I am glad to see him finally get his opportunity. The only aspect of play in which White is superior to Marquez is foot speed, and this afternoon Giovinco was faster than either one in a foot race. Marquez had the smarts to avoid fouling when a foul would have been disastrous.
    .
    That said, Toronto’s offense was very, very simple. Without reviewing replay tape, I remember Cheyrou making one run through the central channel only, happy to be corrected on the point. Bradley made a handful. Otherwise our back line had to play against Altidore and Giovinco only in the central channel. Vanney uses Altidore the way Klinsmann uses him, alone or in tandem with one other. Particularly with Toronto’s newly found emphasis on disciplined defending in two lines of four as its top priority, with both Bradley and Cheyrou lying deep in front of the center backs, there is very little complexity or deception in the central channel of their attack. The challenge of Toronto is not tactical sleight of hand but the individual skills of the two strikers. We did not see how White and Marquez would read and react to a more complex, varied offensive scheme such as that employed by Seattle when Dempsey and Martins are together on the pitch.
    .
    All that said, I judge that Marquez has shown he can function on an MLS pitch, and offer the opinion that he deserves more chances to play.
    .
    Final observation: Le Toux’s passing was quite poor, others may have noticed it earlier, but I was shocked by the errors of weighting and judging available space. It is time to give Jimmy a chance. Seba is a good soldier; he is the face of the franchise in many ways, historically. The league may be passing him by,however. I would hope for grace and class from player and team. When the club establishes its pantheon of past important players, Sebastian Le Toux should be the first one elevated.
    .
    Parenthetical note: City Islanders, with no union loaner players, beat Wilmington at Wilmington 4-0. They were a team. the oppositiion was poor with two or three starters on the pitch for the first time after only a week of practice. Our loaner players need to practice with their gameday teammates, otherwise they will never integrate into the team and grow the way Marquez did.

  17. maybe this is all there is

  18. I seem to be in the minority here but I was not happy with or impressed by Pfeffer. His skill level seemed ok but he made several plays that I would categorize as lazy today. He made a at least 4 bad passes that took the intended target off their stride forcing them to come back for the ball and halt any momentum going forward. In each case he kicked the ball without pace, without intensity, which again appeared to me as lazy. He had the same lack of fire in receiving several passes as well. Waiting for the ball to arrive rather than going to it. In a number of these awkward connections a turn over occurred and in all of them, regardless of the outcome, Pfeffer could be seem showing up his team mate with a pouty face and arms raised. Even when the fault was clearly his.

    This team is just brutal to watch. It honestly feels like I’m watching some other sport than soccer. They have no direction at all. The overwhelming vibe from them all is confusion. Whatever Curtin’s plans are in the locker room, these guys step on the field and have no clue what to do.

    The highlight of this whole event was running into Ed in Lot A and scoring a coveted PSP bottle opener. I put it to use the second I walked in my front door. Ugh!

    • old soccer coach says:

      Glad you waited till you got home, your responsibility is commendable, worthy of widespread emulation! 🙂

    • el pachyderm says:

      I don’t think you are in the minority. Personally, I commend Zach Pfeffer – all the while recognizing he has areas that need to be improved upon. Zach is not a finished product and, as we are possibly finding out, no player becomes a finished product for this club because either they are sent away or the play is just crummy enough to keep them in the morass of not reaching potential.
      .
      What I appreciate about his game is the ‘new way’ of playing – quick incisive passing, move the ball on, ability to dribble in and out of tight spots.
      .
      You know, in MLS Giovinco is a ‘Superstar’ on Juventus he was a bit player fighting to see the field regularly and Giovinco can frequently be seen rather unhappy with his teammates.
      .
      I personally do not have a problem with this as some do. I get yelled at regularly by primadonnas or damn fine players, whether I deserve it or not – it is part of the game- particularly when playing with europeans.
      .
      Zach makes me hopeful, the way Okugo makes me hopeful even if he gets pissy as you say.
      .
      Regarding the remainder of your comments Rob127 – yep. This team suffers from a distinct lack of ideas and a distinct lack of flair and a distinct identity and a distinct gift for making one feel filled with ennui on a sunny day.
      .
      That said, at least in defeat they resembled a professional team.

  19. The Little Fish says:

    At this point I’d like to see radical change. I am not advocating a coaching change until the off-season though when Rene Meulensteen will have the best European and S. American talent to choose from. Guys with an established system. I would however like to see Andrew Wenger immediately moved to LB. He played there in college and is our best option right now. Certainly better than an out-of-form, right footed player like Williams. Also, Richie Marquez looked solid. Real solid. Starter for the Union solid.

    My back five for this weeks game: Blake (GK), Wenger(LB), Edu(CB), Marquez(CB), and Gaddis(RB). I think there’d be some busted lips out in Vancouver. Pent up frustration + breath of fresh air line-up + karma (we ARE owed) = VICTORY. Walk me out in the morning dew my honey. Walk me out in the morning dew today!

  20. Great One says:

    I certainly don’t think Edu has been amazing by any means, but I don’t Get the animosity towards him. The guy has never said or acted badly, seems to be the only player who actually talks in the back and moving forward, and generally is one of the few that will take the ball out of the back. Yes he is not worth the sum of money he’s getting, definitely not, but we criticize the Union for not making these types of signings and then killing them when they do and it’s not exactly who we want. I want okugo back too, but Mo has been a solid player for us. I hate to tell you, and I’m as disappointed as anyone, but what production really have we gotten from Nogs and Chaco this year? It seems to be an epidemic on this team that people don’t improve but get worse. Who has really not taken a step back overall since Curtin took over? Pfeffer is really the only one you can point to.

    • Agree. I like Edu. Definitely a good pager and not on the long list of problems that need fixing.

      • * player.

        He might be a good pager too, but that would be speculation on my part.

    • The Chopper says:

      Edu takes extra grief because he is not Amobi Okugo. Sad, simple, but true.

      It is certainly fair to make the argument that the front office spent too much money to sign him and those funds could have been more wisely allocated elsewhere.

      At the same time, the guy shows up and plays hard each week. He is more often than not our best player and continues to push hard while everything else collapses around him.

      Ask him to play defense and he is our best defender. Move him back to the midfield and the midfield gets better (as it did yesterday).

      He may not be the answer, but he is not the problem.

    • Agreed. Edu is regularly one of the top 2 or 3 performers each game for the U. I disagree with your take on Maidana though. Nearly all of the chances we create come through him. We’re a completely different team when he’s out there. The Nogueira point comes down to health, which has been iffy this year (as a team, we seem to incredibly injury prone this year). The spine of this team with Edu, Nogueira, Maidana, and Aristegueita is a strength. I don’t see any issues there.

  21. OneManWolfpack says:

    I don’t have much else to say that hasn’t already been eloquently stated by my colleagues above. It is just a really sad, dark time for our club, when you walk out of yet ANOTHER home loss and say: well, at least they looked a little better. There is not one single doubt in my mind that we don’t get to 10 losses, before we get to 2 wins. If that was a line in Vegas, I’d put my house on it.
    .
    They have to play Pfeffer, Marquez, Ayuk, McLaughlin, etc. for the rest of the year. Do what DC United did and see what you have. This season is over.
    .
    FREE OUR FRANCHISE.

  22. Well if we’re looking for positives, it starts with the center backs. Marquez looked solid after being unexpectedly thrown into the game. Ethan White had possibly the best game I’ve ever seen from him.
    .
    Other than that…we had more possession than we normally do. Didn’t do anything with it but it’s something I guess.
    .
    McCarthy was shockingly bad. Probably should have saved the goal but he made a number of dubious decisions beyond that.
    .
    Wasn’t there a time when Sheanon Williams knew how to play defense?
    .
    The team overall is too tentative in all aspects of the offense. Afraid to take on people a lot of the time. Afraid to pull the trigger. Refusing to move without the ball. This is soccer 101.
    .
    Our defensive mids are not doing there job effectively during the transition to offense. At one point our defenders were passing the ball between themselves since nobody was getting open. Maidana came all the way back to get the ball and start it moving forward. Why the hell is our not-particularly-fast attacking midfielder forced to do that? Zach or Edu need to be filling that role consistently with that lineup out there. Nog doesn’t fit with the pieces with have (who does on this team?) but he would have been standing five feet from Ethan White and demanding the ball as soon as the ball was in our possession.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Great point, Rick…regarding players not “fitting”. That is the number one problem with out club. None of our players fit…none. Good clubs are made up of players that work well, as a unit. We are made up of individuals. Edu, Chaco, Noguiera…none of their styles fit with the other 10 men they share the pitch with. We rely on: individual effort and luck…not a speck of team…

  23. The game was not very enjoyable to watch. The all too usual dearth of offensive chances hurts even more with the added possession we had. Case in point the U did not “enjoy” the added possession. I don’t know the specifics but seems like CJ really messed up. This game could have been different with him out there.

  24. 700 Chopper says:

    Stink Stank Stunk I think that sums it up

  25. alicat215 says:

    ……like a Makisupa Policeman!

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