Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-0 DC United

Photo: Earl Gardner

Zach Pfeffer scored a stoppage time winner and Philadelphia Union kept their second clean sheet of the season, topping Eastern Conference leaders DC United 1-0 Sunday night at PPL Park.

The lone goal of the match came in the second minute of added time as Pfeffer coolly finished a good cross from Fabinho that Sebastien Le Toux smartly dummied. On-loan goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre did not need to make a save to earn his first career MLS win and shutout.

First Half

Jim Curtin made four changes to the team that lost last week in Vancouver. Conor Casey, Vincent Nogueira, Sebastien Le Toux, and Brian Carroll were all given starting roles, while Eric Ayuk and Zach Pfeffer were dropped to the bench and Richie Marquez missed the match to serve his one game red card suspension. Fernando Aristeguieta was called away by the Venezuelan national team for training.

After an uneven opening, the first good chance of the match fell to the Union in the 17th minute. Le Toux did well to find a few yards of space on the right side of the box, but his well-hit cross struck Casey on the arm before the big striker finished into the corner. Referee Alan Kelly correctly waived off the goal.

After another back-and-forth quarter of an hour, the home side found two good chances through Nogueira. In the 32nd minute, the energetic midfielder gathered a partial clearance 35 yards out, drove to the top of the box and hit a low drive that Bill Hamid did well to save. The Frenchman had another chance a minute later when he collected another partial clearance at the top of the box, but this time his shot was blocked wide for a corner kick.

Philadelphia would have one last great chance to take the lead just before the half. Sheanon Williams’ long throw from the left was flicked on by Brian Carroll and found it’s way to Casey as he crashed the goal. However, the big striker could only knee the ball directly into Hamid from close range.

Second Half

DC had the first good chance of the second half in the 50th minute. Miguel Aguilar faced up to Ray Gaddis and pushed the ball to his left, firing a hard left-footed shot from 20 yards. The low drive beat Sylvestre but hit the outside of the far post and the Union defense cleared. Gaddis was injured on the play and made way for Fabinho in the 58th minute.

United had the ball in the net in the 65th minute after substitute Chris Pontius headed in Taylor Kemp’s free kick. However, the DC striker was judged to have fouled his man in the build up and the goal was disallowed.

Le Toux nearly opened the scoring in the 72nd minute through a good passage of play involving Maidana. Racing into the right side of the United box, Le Toux latched onto a good throughball from the Argentinian playmaker, but Hamid flew out and spread himself to deny the chance.

After DC United had used all their substitutions, Luis Silva was forced off through injury and the visitors had to play with ten men for the final ten minutes of the match.

Philadelphia lost a second player to injury in the 87th minute when Nogueira’s pulled up with an apparent hamstring strain.

The Union eventually found the much-needed winner through two second half substitutes. Fabinho, who did very well after replacing Gaddis, beat his man on the left wing and fired a low cross from the endline. Le Toux smartly dummied the ball and it fell to substitute Zach Pfeffer 8 yards out. The young midfielder took a composed settling touch before confidently rolling a low shot into the lower right hand corner of the goal through traffic.

The announced attendance was 16,853.

Philadelphia will seek their first winning streak of the season when they travel to New Jersey next Saturday at 5 pm to take on the Red Bulls.

Philadelphia Union
Brian Sylvestre, Sheanon Williams, Ethan White, Maurice Edu, Raymon Gaddis (Fabinho 58′), Brian Carroll, Vincent Nogueira (Eric Ayuk 87′), Cristian Maidana, Andrew Wenger (Zach Pfeffer 71′), Sebastien Le Toux, Conor Casey
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Raymond Lee, Antoine Hoppenot, Jimmy McLaughlin

DC United
Bill Hamid, Taylor Kemp, Kofi Opare, Chris Korb, Bobby Boswell, Marcus Halsti (Davy Arnaud 80′), Michael Farfan, Miguel Aguilar (Luis Silva 65′), Perry Kitchen, Chris Rolfe, Jairo Arrieta (Chris Pontius 59′)
Unused Subs Andrew Dykstra, Luis Silva, Sean Franklin, Steve Birnbaum, Conor Doyle

Scoring Summary
PHI: Zach Pfeffer — 90+2

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: Sheanon Williams (foul) — 31
DC: Taylor Kemp (foul) — 65
PHI: Ethan White (foul) – 79
PHI: Maurice Edu (foul) – 90

Philadelphia Union DC United
14 Shots 5
6 Shots on Target 0
2 Shots off Target 4
6 Blocked Shots 1
 8 Corner Kicks 1
 27 Crosses  7
 4 Offsides 2
 12 Fouls 13
3 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards  0
 404 Total Passes 358
 73.3% Passing Accuracy 69.8%
 54.6% Possession  45.4%
 50 Duels Won 47
 51.5% Duels Won %  48.5%
12 Tackles Won  12
0 Saves 5
15 Clearances 32


  1. We beat a tired, not starting all of their starters team playing 10 men in the 92nd minute…. BUT WE WON!!!!
    We Suck So Little!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    compared to how much we usually suck.

    • James Lockerbie says:


    • I feel the same way. It felt so good to win again, but I kept my emotions in check. That being said, sometimes that’s the kind of game – and win – that a team needs to get things back in gear. A win is a win, and D.C. had only lost once this year, so don’t under-react and brush it off, but at the same time the issues have not been solved. Take it, build on it and let’s get 3 more.

    • I didnt even bother to watch. fox games are the only ones i dont get and i dont really want to put in unreciprocated effort. That wenger play was hilarious. Glad pfeffer put one in.

  2. Le Toux. Carroll. Wenger.
    oh boy. oh boy. oh boy.
    Congratulations to Pfeffer. Again, the only positive- save a clean sheet I guess.
    Can’t pretend this is anything more than 3 points. A much needed three points. This team sucks and the plan sucks and the whole thing still is just totally unwatchable. Hoof. Hoof. Hoof. OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER. Disheartening and Inexcusable that THIS is the game plan. This is the only solution?
    Please Jim. I watched Brian Carroll closely tonight, as yes I shelled out $100 and took my son, who has been begging me to take him to a game, and Brian Carroll just is not very good anymore. Jim he is a bit old skool MLS, similar to yourself. OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER he offered nothing in the way of an outlet. Nothing in the way of a solution.
    This is your new, old plan Jim? Le Toux. Carroll. Wenger.
    And please don’t even get me started on Andrew.
    Someone save my life tonight.
    I can only offer Sir Elton John
    When I think of those east end lights, muggy nights
    The curtains drawn in the little room downstairs
    Prima donna lord you really should have been there
    Sitting like a princess perched in her electric chair
    And it’s one more beer
    And I don’t hear you anymore
    We’ve all gone crazy lately
    My friends out there rolling round the basement floor
    And someone saved my life tonight sugar bear
    It seems the mob left happy tonight. It seems, we are far far far away from apathy with the ‘norm’ of a fan who still thinks it is okay what is happening. Not one voice of dissent. NOthing just idle applause when we finally shoot the ball on net in 31st minute. Ugh. I’m despondent.
    But hey its 3 points. Win two more and that’s called a streak. At the end of the game, I felt like Connor Casey looked. Totally washed out. Sorry I’m such a downer. I can’t fake it though.

    • Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

      Carroll was much better in the second half.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Carroll will probably be playing next week as well. They are short on players right now. Marquez comes back but Edu is suspended due to card accumulation. Hopefully Nando will be back next week so Casey won’t have to go 90. But we don’t know about Gaddis and Nogs who both came out injured.

      • Speaking of missing strikers- how damn long does it take to do an evaluation of CJ Sapong? Why does it have to be done in California? You can make the case that other North American sports leagues treat DUIs too cavalierly but missing 4 games over one DUI is straight-up absurd (unless he’s been in the system before for a previous violation). Hopefully he gets back too so Casey doesn’t need to start.

      • alicat215 says:

        I’m thinking there was more to this than a DUI, we don’t know what was in his system………..or if he has a history of problems with substance abuse….I’m sure we’ll find out at some point. I just hope the kid gets the help he needs and moves on for the better…..

      • At this point I’d have to assume you’re right. Can also understand why they wouldn’t tell us anything in that case as well.

    • pragmatist says:

      There’s a long BC-hate Train, but there simply are no other options on the roster. Again, this is not Curton’s fault, but Sak’s, since the roster is woefully deficient.

      That said, BC was very good in the second half. Give him his due when he earns it, and tonight he earned it.

      • Fair. He was very shaky in first and settled in a bit in second I recant… that said, he offers very very little in movement as a time when the midfield was in much need of positive movement and support. He is offensively limited and I allow that to sway my feelings.

      • I would also like to point out that when Carrol does well, he’s usually not highly visible. It would be great if he were all over the pitch like Edu, but he’s just not that player. If you notice CArrol, it’s usually because he played awful or made a huge mistake.

        On another note, Fabinho didn’t deserve a sun-rocket this game….no big mistakes, played competent defense and solid offense.

        This was the game we needed. They looked terrible the first 20 minutes – very shaky – and when Wenger DRIBBLED THE GODDAMNED BALL OUT OF BOUNDS WITH NOBODY AROUND HIM I nearly burst a blood vessel. But they held off a good team (admittedly pretty lacking in drive or urgency) and grew into it. The final product wasn’t spectacular, but it was good enough. We’re not good….but the confidence of the players makes a huge difference.

      • Seeing Wenger just dribble out and then his face afterwards is one of absolutely no confidence. I feel bad for the guy. He needs to stop thinking somehow…go roam his youth fields and remember when the game was just fun again or something.
        On the bright side, I did notice both he and Le Toux doing a much better job dropping back to defend.

      • i think someone should give him a bunch of mushrooms and let him wander wissahickon on a vision quest; only then will he be able to leave his doubts and stop overthinking things

      • he must find his spirit animal

      • Andy Muenz says:

        There’s still the issue where Fabhino played about 10 crosses in the air to no one before he finally got one to work…

  3. James Lockerbie says:

    Trying to just sit back and enjoy the win, but while watching the game White kept making horrible decisions, Chaco made some bad decisions or was just not on the same page as the player/players around him. AS the game went on Carroll was making a difference on the defensive side.
    I couldn’t help but get the conspiracy theory going thinking the Dc United were letting us win the game. It took the hole 90+ to get the goal

    • old soccer coach says:

      perhaps DC is in one of those eight days with three games phenomena that MLS loves to schedule?

  4. Can i mention that Wenger running the ball out of bounds made Deadspin tonight. The last time the Union made it there was when Zac Macmath let in a howler during the home opener at Portland.

  5. Great One says:

    Pfeffer, Silvestre, Casey, Williams, Gaddis, Fabinho were positives. Le Toux, Wenger, White and Carroll were massive negatives. Thankfully DC was a little sloppier than we were, and I’ll take the huge 3 points, but let’s not kid ourselves. That was brutal, just less so than some of the other games. I still say start the kids.

  6. OneManWolfpack says:

    Excuse my language… BUT HOLY SHIT, THEY WON?!?!
    Oh, and Wenget needs to not play soccer for a while. He is so far gone, he needs a serious break. Wow Him running the ball out of bounds was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen a professional do… in any sport. Ever. Unreal.

    • this one time at band camp, Wenger marched right into a wall… with his flute

      • To quote my nine year old son, “Dad, seriously, he just dribbled the ball out of bounds. Who does that?”

    • M’Bolhi plays poorly and is exiled to France. Wenger makes a play so bad an 8 year old would be enmbarassed and he gets to keep playing to “find his confidence” Does Wenger have naked picture of Curtin somewhere? It is not a coincidence that the goal was scored by pfeffer, Wenger’s replacement. There is no chance Wenger would have scored that goal.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        To be fair, by that point Pfeffer was in Nogs spot, Ayuk was on the wing, and LeToux was now in Wenger’s spot.

  7. The Black Hand says:

    We punched above our weight…
    Get better, Ray!!

  8. Andy Muenz says:

    Gaddis missed more time tonight than all last season.

  9. Slow Chaco is uninterested in playing defense or even staying onside yet remains absolutely necessary. Discuss.

    • old soccer coach says:

      technical skill and vision/”instinctive” tactical understanding.

    • Completely agree. He’s so smooth on the ball and one of the few (only?) players with that creative flair and vision. There was a lot of nice interplay between Chaco, Nogs, LeToux, and Williams in that 2nd half. And those free kicks are consistently dangerous.

  10. Gerhardus says:

    Casey had 3 or 4 perfect chances. A real striker would have taken care of business. I think he should be playing midfield, win duels, and regain possession. He and Letoux should hit the weight room, they’re light weights.

  11. Complaining about Carroll this season is silly. The man is our third-string D-mid. Is anyone going to say that the man doesn’t qualify for that role? We’re playing our third-strong D-mid because the first stringer had to get moved to CB (because of an injury and a ridiculous red card) and the second-string D-mid, who was playing the best soccer of his young career, also injured himself. I mean come on, people, I am no Carroll fan at all. But for tonight I am really glad he’s on the roster, because we’ve been so decimated by injuries and miscellaneous nonsense.

    • Agreed.
      And I was going off on Carroll like mad the last two seasons when he was starting. As depth/veteran presence he is good to have. The reason he is out there is all the injuries and really, he was serviceable last night.

    • Fair. This morning I realize I was a pisser last night.

      • you were such a jerk
        and in front of company, no less
        what an example to set for your son
        I hope you are completely ashamed of yourself
        you must make amends by attending the next home match and singing the national anthem louder than anyone

      • I do have a decent range similar to Elmer Fudd.

      • +1. Also, you must write on the blackboard, over and over again à la Bart Simpson, “Brian Carroll is as good as Amobi Okugo.”

  12. Good result to start this tough 4 game stand. The East really is a crap pile if the DC team that I saw tonight is in first place. I had predicted a 2-0 loss for the U but I’m happy to be wrong. Pretty good atmosphere tonight too. There was a lot of singing, clapping, and chanting. Dare I say, it felt like there was hope? It’s been a while since I sensed that from the crowd at PPL. Anybody hear anything about how badly Gaddis and Nogs are hurt?

    • You can think it, but don’t say it. Soon as you do, it’s gone.

    • That’s not DCU’s best XI. Squad rotation due to double game week and no Espindola at all. If Espindola is paired with Silva up front, Union are down 2-0 in the first 20 minutes with all of the turnovers. But hey, it’s 3 points.

  13. Old Soccer Coach says:

    FLooks like a line drive in the box score. Good defensive stats, but a vanilla attack. We defended set pieces. We sure didn’t seem to have our shape defensively early in the first half.

    Losing Edu, Nogueira and Gaddis for the next game will hurt badly. Sylvester; Williams, Marquez, White, Fabinho; Carroll, Pfeffer, Maidana; And three question marks. All credit to Casey for going 90, but not two games in a row.

    • Hopefully Nogueira wasn’t hurt too significantly. And ditto for Gaddis. But assuming they can’t go, you put Ayuk and Le Toux on the wings and Casey up top again. Plan to sub Casey out after 60-65 minutes for Wenger, who can go on the wing and push Le Toux up top. Or maybe you just sub Wenger in up top? Maybe the guy needs a change of role to get himself untracked again? And not like we have other options…

  14. I know Nogueira sits deep and all, but he looked dangerous when he crept up a little closer to the box. It’s disturbing seeing Carroll pressure higher up much more often than Nogueira considering he offers so much less offensively.

    • Generally, this is my point when being a pisser last night.

      • WestmontUnion says:

        This was the point I kept making. If we look back to last year, when Carroll accepted the very conservative CDM role, and stayed back for constant cover, it allows Nog, Maidana to roam. Last night, at the instruction of Curtin I am guess (which is a whole different discussion), Carroll was constantly pushing up and leaving Nog rendered useless or out of the play as he had to cover back. This is not acceptable, even in a season when anything not resembling tragic displays of soccer incompetence is welcomed by the loyal Union faithful.

      • So he wanted Carroll to be Edu.
        Uh… nah.

  15. BTW, to go along with my comment above, complaining about Casey is also silly. The man is our third-string target forward. He’s in because the first-stringer, who had been playing very well, is on international duty, and the second-stringer, who had been playing very well, got himself arrested for drunk driving. Under the circumstances, I’m glad Casey is on the roster, because otherwise I don’t know what the hell we’d be doing tonight. Also, Hamid made a fantastic save on him or he’d have opened his account for the season.

  16. Wasn’t watching the game due to conflict.
    Curious to know how many people in the stands witnessed that goal.
    I’ve only once walked out on a match before the final whistle (an open cup match we lost to an inferior side). From what I gather, the preceding 90 mins would’ve driven me to the gate earlier than that goal.

    This is a spark. Nothing more. But something to build on.

    Shout out to SoBs for protesting

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Not many people had left. People in front of us who normally leave around the 87th minute to beat the traffic were still there.
      Trying to figure out which Open Cup match the Union lost to an inferior side. The only one I can think of was 2013 when they lost in DC when DC was awful but went on to win the cup. But that was on the road. Other losses were 2010 to the Pink Cows on the road, 2011 in DC, 2012 against KC, and last year in the finals against Seattle. Hard to call Seattle or KC inferior sides and those were the only two losses at PPL.

    • i dont know why anyone would leave early. maybe i’m an optimist but i truly did believe we were going to score a goal before the end of the game

    • I’ll be honest, this season I’ve walked out early almost every damn match. It’s just been too frustrating. This game I stood up, the U got the ball back, and I said “let’s roll after they lose possession.” I would have done so if they hadn’t netted that beaut. Then of course I stayed the remainder because I HAD to see how they’d screw the pooch. They did not, hail the gods.

    • I did not notice a mass exodus from the stands although I’m not sure about el pachyderm YES I AM CALLING YOU OUT SIR DID YOU LEAVE? DID YOU LEAVE? DID YOU LEAVE?
      seriously, DC was not trying to win, and the U was really taking it to them at the end, I was sitting next to the most neutral observer imaginable (Liverpool supporter since age 5, visiting USA, first MLS match, barely knows any of the players) and he was absolutely convinced the U were going to score, so maybe we are all too pessimistic around here

  17. old soccer coach says:

    Further thoughts, two.
    Casey looked much better tonight. Was it because he was starting? Or was it because he was playing with all the old players with whom he played, and for the most part fairly well, last season?
    It helped greatly that DC has a very vanilla attack. They are in first place with little to no offensive flair or creativity. The lack helped our defense immensely.

    • Phil in Wilmington says:

      They were also playing on a short week resting a number of players. They were down a man when Pfeffer scored. Sure they were a step slow, but this was not an A-level opponent tonight.

      • alicat215 says:

        These are the exact type of matches we have to steal to be successful at all……………

  18. They’re 1-0 when the SOBS protest, and we all know you shouldn’t screw with a winning streak.
    The best play by anyone in a Union shirt for the first 45 was the guy in section 127 who tried to head the ball back on the field . . . but in typical Union fashion flubbed it.
    For Scottso, it’s not a matter of Carroll, Casey and Fred being third stringers . . . It’s about using ~600k or 1/5 of your total cap on older third stringers. In a capped league you need to spend wisely, they would have been better off paying 3 young guys with upside 70k each and then using the rest on a high quality DP.

    • Great One says:

      I couldn’t agree with this more. Sure it’s important to have veteran leaders, but not 3 of them taking up huge contract space.

    • Shane, I take your point, but there is no way those 3 guys make $600K. $$) for being in a coaching role, but it’s not clear to me that you would get better for what they are paid. We can’t know for sure until the 2015 salary info is released. But those 3 players last year made ~$443 combined, and you can bet that Casey and Carroll are getting much less this year. I’m not sure if Fred gets paid extra (or from a different pot of $$) for being in a coaching role, but it’s not clear to me that you would get better for what they are paid. Are the 3 of them worth $300K total?

      • Carroll, Casey, Fred v. Okugo, Ribeiro, Fernandes. I’d argue to money for each set of 3 is close. It’s not even an issue if you don’t have the Mbohli contract weighing down the cap.

        These were philosophical decisions about youth v vets and an ownership that does not want to spend on a technical staff. It was wonderful that Carroll & Casey pulled out some of their old ability last night to help the club win. Anyone honestly think they can keep that up over a series of weeks?

        The team needed last night, and the players out there deserved to celebrate. But blow it up. Play the kids. Last night was an anomaly. Don’t be taken in by a mirage.

  19. Glad the S.O.B.’s finally did something. Sad that all the F.O. had to say was that they agreed the fans deserved better.
    As for the game, I’m happy. I don’t care it wasn’t all that pretty. I don’t care D.C. United were down to ten men. I don’t care Wenger and Le Toux were largely ineffective for most of the match. Because they won. Yes, they won. No, its not for first place, or second, or even to get off the bottom of the table. But in a season of shams, shambles, and sending offs, it was something positive. There were no bone-headed plays that cost us the game. No referee sending off a player with a suspect red card. No goalie blunder. No horrid back-pass. No goal taken-away, with-out merit(Casey’s definitely was a hand ball). They played tonight within themselves. No one was great, or created magic. But they played well enough. They didn’t over extend. More importantly they didn’t cause the Union to lose.
    In this season of woes, I refuse to bitch and moan after this one. It was a win. A much needed win. And these Union players, flawed, as they are, found some heart, gritted their teeth, buckled down and won for their fans. Thank you fellas. (BTW I plan to be ALL piss and vinegar next week)

  20. alicat215 says:

    A wins, a win. Outside of the first half hour, we didn’t play bad. Casey does a better job than Nando up top. For a big guy, he has a better touch than Nando…and he still gives back four fits. Casey played great last night. Ethan White is horrible, the kid is a walking turn over factory. I can’t believe a player at this level has to look down to receive a pass. Lastly, at about the 35 minute mark….we started finding Nogs with the ball…he calmed everything down and can actually play the ball forward….not backwards all the time! When we play fast on the break….and the key word here is “fast”……we can cause other clubs problems. DC didn’t look their strongest last night either….but I can tell why they are where they are…..their back four absorb pressure very well and they have the best keeper in the country!

    • Bill Hamid. Patiently waiting to take the helm at headquarters USMNT. The sooner he begins getting more games the better from my POV. He was the man. He is the man. He will be the man.

      • alicat215 says:

        I’m shocked he isn’t abroad yet……….

      • Dr. Union says:

        Brad Guzan is still better then Hamid.

      • alicat215 says:

        He definitely gets more reps at Villa! If there is one keeper Hamid has to beat out…..its Guzan. I would not be so quick to label one better than the other though. Does Guzan have a better CV? Of course, but if you don’t think Hamid is the real deal…and could easily pass Guzan on the depth chart…your mistaken. PS……thats why I said, “in country”!

      • Dr. Union says:

        Oh missed the “in country” part and while Hamid could surpass Guzan he is not close to there yet. I give Guzan 2 to 3 more years then Hamid might be ahead of him if he continues to progress.

  21. Wenger was the biggest disappointment on the pitch. BC did his job, get off his back. We gave up some sloppy fouls (Edu) and thankfully weren’t punished. Casey is too old to go 90, good thing we loaned out Catic somewhere *rolls eyes*. Le Toux didn’t offer much offensively but I think he realized that and did pretty well in the 2nd half to pick up defensive slack (his dummy on goal was tremendous). White looked shaky but I think that’s because Rolfe and the DC boys know his weaknesses better than other MLS offenses. Fabinho should get a run at LM/LW, he’s perfectly capable offensively. I don’t really think anyone suffered from a lack of heart, everyone seemed in-it-to-win-it up until the goal. Really proud of the boys for that.
    But to get back to Wenger. He SPRINTED off the field when his number came up. The kid has no confidence, no desire to be there. Why start him? We don’t have depth, but we can do something. Start Fabi up there, or Jimmy. Le Toux wasn’t as sloppy as he’s been the rest of the season but Wenger was proper garbage. Move some things around, get Wenger off the pitch. We’re practically starting games with 10 men at this point. How does Curtin see it? Some guys just can’t play through bad form.

    • I noticed that when Wenger was under pressure he actually had a few nice touches. Then when he has all the time in the world and dribbles out of bounds.
      As a said above, I feel really bad for the guy. He is thinking way way too much to play effectively. I can’t remember the last time I saw him take someone on 1v1.

  22. For all of this talk, (great banter)! the MVP last night for the Union was Mo Edu. Without him they easily lose 2-0. He was a beast in the back. After his terrible blunder in Vancouver this was very impressive to see him come out and play solid defense.

    Point to note, and put a downer on it the next day, both wins came from goals in stoppage time from the same spot with the same positional player. We can’t score. Oh well, at least yesterday was fun!

    That upstairs club was a dead zone yesterday!!wow!!!!

    • alicat215 says:

      he played well back there last night…..calm and composed, and the only one who can play a ball out of the back without hoofing it up the pitch!

    • Agree. Edu has been very good this season. Sure he’s made mistakes, but he’s been perhaps the most consistently good player for this team.

      What’s really driving me nuts about the team — aside from the turnovers — is the inability to finish. Some of it is just luck – the goalie being in the right place at the right time, but our best ball handlers – Nogueira and Maidana – are allergic to scoring goals. Some of Maidana’s through balls and passes are really fantastic at times, but I wish the guy could score. say what you will about Old Man Casey, but he knows how to put a ball in the net. That one that was called back because it hit his arm, would have been pretty nice if not for that. Since about game 4, Nando seems to be 50 percent likely to just hit the ground when he gets served the ball with his back to goal. The most impressive goal scoring I think I’ve seen this year has been from Pfeffer (last night) and Sapong. We need a guy who can make his own chances and take them. Create. I’d like to see more of the same from Pfeffer. Maybe he can get something going. Thank the soccer gods he didn’t make the national team cut.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Too bad Edu can’t play next game.

      • That was such an incredibly bad card from the ref. It was blindingly obvious for my whole half of PPL that Rolfe was the one clutching and grabbing and yet the linesman stood there mute. What a tool. And what a terrible call by the ref who had zero angle to see it clearly. So double shame on him for not asking the lines, for calling something he couldn’t rightly see and on the lines for not piping up.

  23. lopezzzz says:

    I enjoyed Pfeffer’s goal and Hoppenot’s man bun.

  24. Don’t understand why there’s so much hate on Casey after this game. I thought he was one of the few bright spots in our offense last night. At times he would swing out wide and play crosses in, it was almost like he was playing his and Wenger’s position for a while. One of Casey’s better games this season; was very active in front of goal and put together some good attacking plays. Ethan White didn’t play all that bad either, the DC had 0 shots on goal, how can you dog the backline after that?? Le Toux was OK, Wenger should have been pulled in the 20th minute for Pfeffer. Don’t know what happened to that guy, looked so promising last season. I do agree that Chaco looked off, appeared very sluggish for the last 20 minutes of the game. Yea I get that he was working hard the whole game, but you’re a pro and a big piece of our offense; suck it up or get off the pitch.

    • alicat215 says:

      I’ll agree on Casey, dude played great last night. Ethan White can’t even receive a ball with his head up! Count the turn overs…..count how many times we swing it around the back and it ends on his foot to the opposition. We had to play him last night, I get that…………but a lot of our possession woes come directly from him. He can’t play a pass on the deck!

  25. 3 points. At this point, in this situation, that’s pretty damn nice to walk away with. Mo was extremely solid, which was a great response after getting lit up in Vancouver.


    Two key takeaways from this game – one could potentially be good, one could potentially be very, very bad. First, the good…

    Fabinho, in his 30-odd minutes, created more quality chances from the left side than Andrew Wenger has this entire season. Just further evidence that while Fabinho should never, ever, ever ever ever, play left back…. he could be really useful as a left winger. We have limited funds and an imperfect roster, gotta make the most of what’s there and right now, I’m not sure there’s an argument to be made against trying that out.

    Now, the bad. Wasn’t able to go to the game so watched the FS1 broadcast. During the game they were discussing a conversation they had with Jim Curtin, and how Ben Olsen told him to “stick with what got you here”. Curtin, taking that apparently to heart, told the FS1 reporter about his starting line-up last night, “These are the guys that got me the job – I’m going to stick with them.”

    Oi. Really? These guys got you the job based on their play LAST YEAR. And in case you forgot, THEY DIDN’T GET YOU INTO THE PLAYOFFS! FFS, this is what he thinks? Look, I like Jim Curtin, we won last night and I don’t want to get too far off the rails. But this is scary, and is one more thing pointing to the idea that Curtin is simply not able to process what he’s seeing. Wenger is so far gone that it doesn’t matter if he was Messi last year, he needs a break. And I really, truly hope he doesn’t believe Ethan White is a starting caliber MLS center back beyond emergency situations like last night. Sticking to principles is one thing, and is completely understandable. Blind loyalty to players based on previous performance is a whole different story, the kind that puts you on the unemployment line.

    • Great One says:

      I thought the same thing when I heard that.

    • My take on the Curtin’s line up last night was that he went with the available players that he thought had the best chemistry together; irrespective of current form.
      We’ve heard him say numerous times in press conferences this year that with the injuries, call ups, off the field issue, etc. he can’t even get a his ideal core group practicing much together.
      Sure we saw all the individual warts last night, but it was a much needed TEAM win (especially for their confidence).
      Onward from here.

    • alicat215 says:

      Completely agree. I think last night Jimmy was making a statement with that line-up……..you were the guys that I started with……….now, get me three points and get us out of this mess……

    • 100%. I watched replay on DVR after I got home and when Lalas said that my heart sunk. SUNK. Injuries or red cards or not. That Pfeffer sat till deep into 2nd half is egregious. He’s the one guy who can score- as evidence by the 2 gols in what 5 games the club has scored.

      • alicat215 says:

        it was actually kind of ballsy of him……….because if we lost with that line-up people would be calling for his head today! What worried me about his conversation with Benny is that he thinks sticking to his vision long term will get him through this……It may have worked for Benny, but I don’t think that will work here. Unless Jimmy is able to dismantle the roster and bring in counter/win ugly 1-0 players…. We still have players that Hack brought in to play tike-taka…….there in lies Jim’s true dilemma………

    • Transfer Windows don’t open until July, so the roster is what it is until then. Between injuries and suspensions did Curtin have much choice with the lineup?

      That said, your larger point is valid, there were players out there last night, some of whom even played pretty good for one game, who should not be part of the club’s long term plan’s if they are serious about getting better.

      • Oh I agree, there wasn’t much he could do with the line-up. Would i have liked to see Ayuk start instead of Wenger? Sure. But ultimately, JC put out a line-up he felt would work, made subs and walked out of there with 3 points. Good on him for that.


        What scares me is that he took Olsen’s “stick with what got you here” comment not to mean to stick with the philosophy and principles that got him here – defense first, solid on the counter – but to stick with the players that got him here.


        If it were another coach, I might be able to buy into the idea that it was just a bunch of “coach-speak” aimed at motivating a collection of players who were basically the only option. But Curtin doesn’t have that gene. He’s not a bullshitter. And that’s really what worries me. That he’s going to ride Andrew Wenger even longer. Not just till the wheels fall off (they already have), but until the car runs off the road, flips a few times and lands top-down in a ditch. That he won’t be willing to adapt, to adjust, to change.


        Again, we won last night – given the circumstances, that’s cause for optimism and I don’t want to drag it all down. It was just a comment that hit me so hard I literally had to rewind the broadcast to make sure I was hearing it right.

    • maybe that’s Coach’s way of pumping up his team, so I’ll let it slide, but I swear if Ayuk does not start next match I’m going to want to shoot my television

    • They got him the job by playing so poorly under Hackworth!!!! I was at the game and didn’t see the interview but thats probably the dumbest thing he could’ve said……..wait, no its not, there’s always more.

  26. was there a competition last night to see which team could pass backwards more often? Was Brian Carroll going for the individual record in back passes?

    And to say that the Union’s first 15 minutes were “uneven” is way too charitable. Those guys looked like they all just met in the parking lot. If they are all “must win games’ then why can’t the start look at least a little organized?

    • my issue was he was back passing to ethan white who does not look comfortable at all with the ball at his feet. If that back pass comes from midfield or our side and it results in a field switch and positive movement its fine but unfortunately all too often white played poor balls resulting in negative movement.

    • alicat215 says:

      your both spot on…………I counted three Union players last night that could connect a positive ball on the deck, three: Nogs, Casey, and Edu. Every other player on the pitch, either thumps it long……or plays the ball backwards. First half especially, it was driving me bat shit crazy!

  27. alicat215 says:

    Happy for Pfeffer after getting snubbed by U-20’s!

    • maybe it will fuel his fire. I believe for him its better to be shunned. he is the type I believe will work harder. heres to hoping and to the fact maybe the union will benefit from that as well.

  28. Great One says:

    Nick Sakiewicz Statement to fans – http://faninfo.philadelphiaunion.com/nl/jsp/m.jsp?c=be1392606984d87b19.
    What a load of BS, they really just don’t get the fans or don’t care frankly. Really? They’re going to reference the PRESEASON!!!!!!!!! Everything is just bad bounces, poor refereeing decisions, injuries and suspensions.
    6 months for Rene is up… First off, that was NEVER said previously. Also, what the hell was he getting paid for? That was a massive dog and pony show.
    They “remain committed to finding the right person to lead to organization”
    I don’t even know what ot say anymore, I’m finally there.

    • Great One says:

      Sorry for a double post, but I just don’t know if I can even describe how angry this makes me. I honestly believe now that we are doomed.

    • The biggest issue here is that they said nothing. absolutely nothing.
      it was we are committed to being successful. oh by the way we are committed. dont say we aren’t cause we are. no idea what we mean by that we dont know either. thanks. i will be here all year.
      The whole thing is more a slap in the face than nothing at all. maybe a few fly by night uneducated fans may be pacified by this. beyond angry.

    • I for one appreciate the acknowledgement whether sincere or as a fire blanket from Mr Sakiewicz.
      It is this letter that makes me know in my heart he has listened, at least to someone, whether the SoB or PSP or Mr. Smallwood or the skewering the club gets on Union Headquarters homepage or ESPNfc or all the above.
      This club has been a laughingstock for 3 year and will continue to be and he knows it in his heart and it speaks DIRECTLY to his absolute failure as a leader. Pucker up and say your sorry sir, we deserve it! Moving on….
      ….My hopes are Rene M. has a dossier: do this, do this, do that before this, do this- than that, do this last.
      I am COUNTING on Rene to have sat back and observed and not looked away from the ghastly train wreck of this season- to have not averted his eyes from the foul stench of a club wandering without a head and taken copious notes and have legitimate solutions.
      I really think that is why he was brought in and I damn well expect him to give us direction and I damn well expect the direction to be heeded.
      Vision. Philosophy. Plan. Rene!
      Rene. Vision! Philosophy! Plan!

      • Yes. We need more communication, regardless of how much of a PR filter it gets. It’s better than the usual silence. At least this gives us more for which to hold this FO accountable. The next thing the organization should do is hold a press conference with Sak, Curtin and Mulensteen to discuss the report’s findings, recommendations and lay out a timetable for getting a head of soccer operations and what coaching and scouting resources need to be added. If you want to win fans back, get out there and talk to them.

      • The reason I am so offended is it reads as something the MLS people said he needs to handle and this is the garbage we get. It would take little effort to craft something with substance. This could not have taken longer than 15 minutes to compose (by an intern likely) and just an electronic signature. there is no proof here he even read it.

      • Great One says:

        I agree. Yea great, he didn’t completely ignore everyone. I guess that is better than the alternative. But all this does is explain to us several things.
        1. Rene cancelled his employment early. THis is not a positive.
        2. We STILL are not close to having a sporting director.
        3. The team is in denial. They reference preseason F*ing success and the barometer that we are going in the right direction.
        This season, starting with the entire offseason, has been one extended step in the wrong direction. This may be the first time that I truly think we may never have a good team here.

      • changes nothing. it’s not the plan, it’s the implementation. the track record on implementation speaks for itself. while the coffin thing is a bit much, the concept that nothing good can happen while Sak is in charge remains is valid.

    • Sak opens Rene’s report. Recommendation #1 – Fire Nick.

      Sak calmly lights rest of report on fire, places in trash basket, and dials the PR department…

      • I didn’t say throw a fire blanket on me, damn you just crushed the meager optimism I have been able to garner for, well years really….
        well played nagjs1. well played.

      • fantastic! With this scenario in mind, I bet theres not a snowballs chance in hell we ever see that report!!!!!!

    • I suppose the biggest concern is that the part about “fulfilling the promise we showed in preseason.”


      All I remember about the preseason is that we were shooting to make the playoffs. No one thought we’d be this bad, but no one, and I mean NO ONE, thought we were in any way, shape or form an MLS Cup contender. So the promise we’re trying to fulfill is to make the playoffs in a conference where six of the ten teams make said playoffs? And where two of those ten are expansion franchises? Lofty, lofty goals we’ve set for ourselves there…..


      I also find it interesting that in the same email, Sak talks about “not sitting idly by”, then pretty immediately follows that up with a paragraph on how they’ve spent the last SIX MONTHS looking for a Head of Soccer Operations and are only to the point of having “several meaningful conversations.” In that time, he’s wasted an entire off-season and likely this ensuing season (at least the meaningful part, anyway) by not having anyone to steer the organizational ship.


      Look I get that this needed to be sent. They needed a response beyond the “We agree” press release that went out last night. But at some point, these things need to stop being talking points and start becoming actual, you know….. actions.

  29. Dr. Union says:

    I’ll start off by saying glad they won.
    But horrible game they were still the same tired old lackadaisical soccer team I’ve seen this whole season. It just happened that DC looked worse.
    When the announcers are talking about how the game sucks it is never a good thing.

    HOW IN THE HELL IS WENGER STILL ON THIS TEAM LET ALONE STARTING? I nearly had a heart attack when he just dribbled it out of bounds. No one within 15 yards of you and you dribble out of bounds. My GF who never played soccer in her life even stated “I can do better then that” and I agree I think she could (maybe she should be the LW based on how Wenger continues to start). Just horrific WENGER GET YOURSELF OFF THE FIELD I DO NOT WANT TO SEE YOU ANYMORE. If I was Curtin I would’ve benched him right there he is doing nothing but hurting this team and he is of no use to anyone on or off the field right now. He has had by far to many chances his chance now involves getting splinters in his ass as he watches a real soccer player take his position(or more correctly while he watches some one with very little skill on this roster overpass him).

    As far as Edu bitching left and right about calls suck it up dude and play CB. You are going to get shoved around its a dirty position just play tough and for once in your life please learn how to control a pass and stay home at your position. I do not want to see you making 60 yard runs up the field for no reason and I am tired of your terrible touch and lazy fouls that you give up. You are the captain act like one.

    As far as Nik Sak and his BS letter: You sir are an incompetent piece of pus who needs to stop giving us BS. Here is what we want from you FIRE YOURSELF and hand this team over to someone who is competitive and has a brain. You sir may be the dumbest worst CEO I have ever known.

    Also Ray Gaddis get better soon we are in rough shape without you.

  30. Great One, please don’t try to tell me Williams was a positive. His touch is terrible, he cannot cross a ball, and he is lazy getting back to defend when he makes one of his useless runs forward. He did make a good defensive play to take the ball off the attacker who had already beaten him to the inside and was going to be in free.

    Hopefully Rene’s Report won’t go the way of the FIFA investigation into Qattar.

    • Williams had an excellent game. The play he broke up may have saved a goal, and that player had beaten a central defender. He read that through ball immediately and cut it out. He was also was very dangerous with overlapping runs and whipping in good hard crosses. He’s been inconsistent this season, but he clearly is talented. He had a good night last night.

  31. We can thank Fabinho almost as much as Pfeffer. DC’s hot streak was due to come to an end just as much as the Union’s losing streak. Unfortunately, nothing has really changed expect a temporary reprieve from fan anger. Sad, but I’m happy to take that this week over the alternative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *