Union match reports

Match report: New York Red Bulls 0-2 Philadelphia Union

After a tepid first half, Philadelphia Union roared to life with two goals to topple the New York Red Bulls 2-0 and earn their first road win of the season.

Vincent Nogueira beautifully backheeled a strike from Cristian Maidana into the Red Bulls net to open the scoring. Only minutes later, C.J. Sapong doubled the lead, finishing off a wonderful Fabinho run. The Union frustrated the Red Bulls vaunted midfield and fought their way to a huge victory — their first in MLS at Red Bull Arena.

“I’m not going to sit here and say it was a perfect performance, because it wasn’t, but you have to grind games out,” Jim Curtin said after the match. “I thought our team put in a great effort.”

First half

Coming off a win against D.C. United, injuries and suspensions forced Jim Curtin to make two changes. Richie Marquez took the place of the suspended Maurice Edu in central defense and Fabinho entered for the injured Raymon Gaddis.

The early minutes of the match were choppy, with each team seeking to capitalize off the other’s mistakes. The first solid chance came in the 14th minute, when a dreadful turnover at the back allowed Conor Casey to play Maidana in on goal. Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles was equal to the blasted shot.

The hosts settled into a period of dominance, with Philly unable to connect more than three passes in a row. Sheanon Williams was forced into a clearance in the 20th minute after Lloyd Sam made a scything run through the box and put his cross past Brian Sylvestre.

The Red Bulls came inches away from breaking the game open in the 27th minute when Sacha Kljestan found himself in acres of space on the left side. Kljestan’s pass found Felipe open at the top of the box, but his shot clanged off the left post.

New York was forced into a change in the 30th minute when Kemar Lawrence suffered a hamstring injury and was replaced by Connor Lade. The Union continued to absorb pressure (with varying levels of calmness) for the remainder of the half. Mike Grella provided most of the danger for the home team, roasting Ethan White repeatedly. In the 44th minute, Grella swung in a cross-cum-shot which deflected off the far post. It was the last dangerous moment of the first half for either team, concluding a fairly forgettable forty-five minutes of soccer.

Second half

No changes were made coming out of the locker room for either side and the match continued uneventfully. But in the 54th minute Casey pulled up lame and Curtin called on C.J. Sapong for his first action since a DUI arrest at the beginning of the month. Sapong would prove to be a difference-maker.

Against the run of play, Philly broke the deadlock in the 57th minute through the midfield duo of Maidana and Nogueira. The latter won the ball of Dax McCarty in the middle, drove at the box and cut back for Maidana. The playmaker found Andrew Wenger down the left, and after a failed move, the struggling winger barely managed to return the ball to Maidana, who fired low from 20 yards out. Nogueira was camped out near the six-yard box and elegantly backheeled the shot past a helpless Robles, silencing the crowd at Red Bull Arena.

“Vincent is a very good player on the ball, and together we play very well,” Maidana said.

The Union would double their advantage in the 62nd minute. Fabinho made a well-timed interception and began a strong run out of the back, working a give-and-go with Maidana 35 yards out and driving toward the box at full speed. The Brazilian rolled a cross behind Roy Miller, and C.J. Sapong arrived to blast it home. The tenor of the game had completely changed in the span of five minutes.

Sapong put in a tenacious shift in his return to action. “He was a man out there,” said Curtin. “He bloodied a nose, he knocked a few guys around, and did a great job to get on the end of a cross.”

Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch introduced Dane Richards for Dax McCarthy in the 65th minute, but the winger’s first chance was blasted well wide of the post. The Red Bulls escalated the pressure, but lacked an end product, as the Union effectively launched counterattacks in response.

Curtin introduced Zach Pfeffer for Wenger in the 74th minute. Immediately after, the Red Bulls had a golden chance to cut Philly’s lead in half. Bradley Wright-Phillips was stoned at point blank range by Sylvestre, a great save from the Union keeper.

“I stuck my foot out to make the save, and my foot got there,” explained Sylvestre. “Thank god for that.” 

Tempers flared in the 77th minute, with a foul by Zach Pfeffer leading to a bust-up between Felipe and Maidana. Both received yellow cards, increasing the frustration of a shell-shocked New Jersey crowd. Anatole Apang replaced Roy Miller in Marsch’s last shuffle of the cards.

Karl Ouimette picked up a yellow card in the 84th minute for hauling down Sapong as he broke through the back line. Ouimette should have already been on a caution for a similar foul on the same player moments earlier.

As the Union continued to show renewed quality on the counter, a curling cross from Maidana led to a nifty headed goal by Pfeffer, however the hero of the DC match was inches offside.

The Red Bulls nearly put one on the board in the 88th minute when a low cross at the near post was completely whiffed by the substitute Apang. Eric Ayuk came on late as Le Toux cramped up and the game would down.

The Union showed uncharacteristic defensive stability to see out the match, and they travel back down the New Jersey Turnpike with three huge points — and the franchise’s first win at Red Bull Arena.

“The game is crazy. One game is happy, good, one game is not. Now, this last week, everybody worked hard. This game is wonderful,” Fabinho said, summarizing the mood inside a buoyant Union locker room.

Philadelphia Union
Brian Sylvestre, Fabinho, Ethan White, Richie Marquez, Sheanon Williams, Brian Carroll, Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana, Andrew Wenger (Zach Pfeffer, 61′), Sebastien Le Toux (Eric Ayuk 90+1′), Conor Casey (C.J. Sapong, 53′)
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Raymond Lee, Fred, Jimmy McLaughlin

New York Red Bulls
Luis Robles, Roy Miller (Anatole Bertrand Abang, 81′), Kemar Lawrence (Connor Lade, 30′), Chris Duvall, Karl Ouimette, Sacha Kljestan, Felipe, Dax McCarty (Dane Richards, 67′), Lloyd Sam, Mike Grella, Bradley Wright-Phillips
Unused Subs: Kyle Reynish, Andrew Jean-Baptise, Sean Davis, Marius Obekop

Scoring Summary
PHI: Vincent Nogueira – 57
PHI: C.J. Sapong – 62

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: C.J. Sapong (foul) — 73
NJRB: Felipe (argument) — 78
PHI: Cristian Maidana (argument) – 78
PHI: Vincent Nogueira (foul) – 80
NJRB: Karl Ouimette (foul) – 84

NY Red Bulls   Philadelphia Union
15 Shots 7
3 Shots on Target 3
7 Shots off Target 3
5 Blocked Shots 1
 4 Corner Kicks 4
 33 Crosses  14
 1 Offsides 5
 13 Fouls 13
2 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards  0
 542 Total Passes 285
 79% Passing Accuracy 61%
 66.1% Possession  33.9%
 70 Duels Won 54
 56.5% Duels Won %  43.5%
20 Tackles Won  14
1 Saves 3
12 Clearances 27


  1. Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

    Fabinho, WOW

    • Prof. Hathaway says:

      What’s that smell?

    • The man needs to start …whether you like him or hate him, he is much smarter and now aware than any of our outside backs …his anticipation and his touch taking him towards the left post are things you don’t see from Gaddis and Williams …and to my last point, every back on this team would have picked their head up and took a shit angle shot on goal once approaching the six …Fabinho played the smart ball ensuring a goal and a win for the u….awesome job

      • Anyone who thinks Fabinho needs to be the starting left back going forward has obviously not been paying attention to his play since he came to Philly. Go back and watch the Columbus game and see if you feel the same way. It’s amazing that one good performance makes some people forget the rest of the terrible ones

      • He’s not a bad player. What he is is a horrifically inconsistent player. Some days he plays very strong defense, adds substantially with crosses to the attack, or both. Some days he’s a sieve who dives in and gets beat like a drum. As a BACKUP left back, he’s fine. We need another fullback anyway, so getting one who is truly starting quality would be really helpful. But he has a place on this team’s bench. Also, we need to further consider having him play at L wing instead of Wenger, at least for the time being.

      • I always liked Fabinho despite all the haters. His assist last game gave us the win and he obviously had a big match against the red bulls. If he can continue this kind of play than he should start. What he did in the past doesn’t matter, only what he can do in the present and moving forward is what counts.

  2. Dear Carolina Railhawks,
    Can we keep him?
    Sincerely, cszack4

  3. What a difference a half…and a goal…make. From insipid to inspired. The Maidana-Noguiera combination in the midfield was in full flow, Sapong was tireless up front, and wow…Fabinho. Props to Sylvestre as well, he had some big moments. They looked like they wanted it in the second half…the defensive work was so much more committed and there was some decent fluidity in the midfield and attack. Refreshing, though remains to be seen if this is sustainable since they had to ride their luck at times in the first half.
    Pretty remarkable too considering that this was a very scrapped together XI…Edu, Vitoria, Aristeguieta, Gaddis all out of action (Lahoud too) and just 35 or so minutes of Sapong. It would be interesting to see what the first choice XI would be once everybody returns…I’d like seeing Edu push up next to Noguiera (Marquez has been a revelation at CB, so he could potentially pair with Vitoria), then split Sapong and Pfeffer wide around Aristeguieta. Le Toux/Casey could sub up front and Wenger could sub out wide. Needs to be based around form more once the full compliment returns.
    Overall, that’s a heck of a result. More work to do.

  4. el pachyderm says:

    I am glad they won, at least I think. It is hard to tell anymore what I want. Victories while nice, hide nothing and likely prolong what most needs to happen.
    But we play games to win. And they won… So congratulations… I will go easy on the typical unwatchable play or not dwell on Tony Meola’s numerous comments about, “The Union Defense being a shambles.” It appears for once the adjustments we so long argue for were made by the Union and that is a good thing.
    …What I want to talk about, is… how many of you …if just for a second thought to yourself……el pachyderm for Philadelphia Union Sporting Director, when you saw Grant Wahl holding the Ali Curtis 300 page NYRB Manifesto: A Mission Statement….outlining EVERY aspect of the Red Bull club from playing style to player development to club relations to points expected at certain stations of the season? Come on. Come on. Come on.
    This is the expectation from me. Period. The end. Go find me this person.
    NOW. NOW!

    A PLAN with a PHILOSOPHY to match the VISION for the club. Very very very simple and very very very necessary.


    Outlined, indexed and WRITTEN.
    Cause while this team won and we play games to win… it does not hide the absolute urgency of a club wide manifesto written by a Sporting Director with a Vision. Philosophy and Plan.

    • Can we please give Albright some help already; hire a full front office!

    • Don’t quit your day job. Which, for you, I understand, is a night job. 🙂

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Mighty elephant, you sure you want all of us snapping at you heels?
      😉 ???
      My thought was hat perhaps a coach like Jesse Marsch had had no interest in the Union job, because of a demonstrated lack of patience in the Front Office.
      I doubt that the real reasons for Nowak’s firing are widely known as the matter has been restricted by litigation and will probably remain closely held as part of whatever legal agreement gets signed in the end. All that is clear is that out of the blue he was gone.
      Then Hack gets a mid-season axe.
      Would you want to work for the Union as the coach? The public record is mixed.

      • I thought Nowak was pocketing some of the salaries of South and Central American players that he was negotiating as the Union’s club representative. From what I recall, his conduct was deemed unehtical and immoral. Wasn’t he also hazing players and breaking the league’s CBA? Petr is basically blackballed from MLS at this point, which is probably why he’s national team technical director for Antigua / Barbados.

  5. OneManWolfpack says:

    I don’t know who was wearing the Fabinho jersey but it most certainly NOT Fabinho himself. I don’t think he’s ever played a game like that, in his life. Kudos sir. The rocket is on hold… for now.
    They resembled a team tonight. A tough place to play and especially for them. Well done to earn the three points. And an excellent job in closing it down and keeping a clean sheet.
    Wenger woke up a bit. He remembered he is allowed to run at guys and try to make things happen. He may be starting to turn the corner.
    Their may be hope for this season after all… maybe…

    • el pachyderm says:

      “hold it now, hold it now, hold it now….. hit it!”

    • He’s played other excellent games in the past at times. And then he gets his ankles broken the game after. As I said above, he’s maddeningly inconsistent, but certainly a worthy bench player.

  6. A cross-cum shot by Grella…… you don’t say. LOL

  7. That second half was the most fun I’ve had watching this team this season. Fabinho was superb. Sapong was a spark plug. Nogs is the man. We get had some good moments. Just really happy with that win.

  8. For all you Fabinho haters, you can shut up now. My opinion, player of the match. Killed it with one on one defense and like always did great getting forward and cleared alot of balls that were sent in. If he stays this course then he deserves to start and should. Another key component to this win was having Nogs and Chaco on the pitch together. Finally some movement from this team and purpose going forward. Very sloppy in the first half but really got comfy in the second, well done the U !!!

    • The Chopper says:

      Fabhino has gifts. Unfortunately he has had the propensity for the killer gaffe. That earns you permanent scorn around these parts. Very happy to see him turn in that kind of effort. he works hard and is by all accounts a good team mate.

      Hope he can keep it up.

    • Fabinho’s mom . . . is that you?

    • Agreed re: all the Fabinho haters!!!

  9. Everyone! Stop right where you are! Someone has laced the cookies at The Cliff of Union Despair Memorial Day BBQ with a potent hallucinogen! People are walking around saying Union beat NYRB 2-0 in New York!
    …..checks phone….holy sh!t

    eats cookie.

  10. Wow. We actually played like a team. That wanted to win no less. Only one question: when will Curtin get over his idiotic fascination with Wenger and start someone who a. cares and b. can play soccer?

    • el pachyderm says:

      Another game where the young national team player sits for over an hour while the Wenger Winger struggles yet again.
      Seems backwards.

      • C’mon, if Pfeffer was in there he doesn’t get dispossessed and the ball would have never bounced to Chaco to deflect off of Nogs for the first….Nah, no clue why Wenger still sees the pitch.

        A lot of guys who have struggled this year stepped up the past two weeks. Wenger, not so much. Hope that as players return to the lineup, Curtin makes a switch.

    • Steve H. says:

      Wenger did a fine job helping Fabino on the left side today. The opta board on Wenger shows his defensive help (as well as his offensive problems).
      The guy lacks confidence on the ball right now but he’s putting in the work on defense to make Curtin keep putting him in there. Clearly he believes that Zach isn’t ready to put in the defensive effort that Wenger did. Otherwise he would start Zach instead.
      Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

      • el pachyderm says:

        Fair argument…particulary when starting the Brazilian on the left defensively like today.
        Le Toux and Wenger are difficult to watch when on the field together. You wind up having Noguiera holding up his hands like in the 20th minute for the 2nd time in the game.
        Remedial soccer. Yuck.
        I will take Pfeffer everytime over Wenger these days.

      • pragmatist says:

        I agree. Zach can offer more on offense (sometimes), but Wenger is simply a better defender, consistently. And in a game like this, Curtin was protecting the back.
        I like Zach and I want to see him get more minutes, but Wenger offers better defense for the defensive coach.

      • Steve H. says:

        Looking at the opta board with Wenger and Fabinho shows how well they played together.
        Wow, best game on opta that you will see with those two on the field so far this season.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Curtin is a philly guy, loyal. He sees practices, we don’t. Given that they’re in a four game stretch where neutral observers could easily have predicted dropping twelve nod they’ve instead earned six, I’m willing to trust the coach.

      • I’m not neutral and I had them dropping all four of these games

  11. Steve H. says:

    Excited, no.
    Satisfied with a win, yes.
    The last two games doesn’t erase the terrible off season. This team is still not ready for prime time as current constituted. We also lack a true GM.

  12. Andy Muenz says:

    Besides Fabinho playing out of his mind, I also thought BC had his best game in quite awhile, at least until the end when he was plumb tuckered out. If Vittoria can’t play next week, it may make sense to play Edu and Marquez at CB and keep Carroll at CDM.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      That thought has occurred to me. White 1 v 1 got schooled twice, which is worrisome for a center back, worrisome.

    • Agreed, BC was always in the right spot to slow down an attack and kept possession nicely. Unsung hero for me on Sunday, doing a lot of the work that freed Nogs up.

  13. First win in Harrison! Bet those bull fans are low over losing to the perpetually inept U(haha), but it’s frustrating that our team is a “3 points in da bag…wow we must blow if we really lost to them” kinda team haha. I’m really hyped for Sapong, and support him fully. Thank god for Nogs!

    • Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

      RBNY fans sure are uppity. Matthew Doyle (a cleverly concealed Metrostars/RBNY fan himself) was trying to stoke the “non-rivalry” fire on Twitter during the match.
      Oh well; they were beaten like a drum today!

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        A drum composed of two posts and some lack of composure, as well as a ball to the wall Union side.

    • George H says:

      I was sitting with a friend of mine in 126 who is a RB STH and the fans couldn’t have been nicer to me in my Union jersey. I got a few congrats at the end and a couple in Red Bull gear even let me exit in front of them “you guys won so you deserve it”. I didn’t get any vitriol at all from anyone all day and got to celebrate with fellow shell shocked Union fans. It was a special day.

      BTW – the parking lots up there aren’t paved either. They’re overfilled with gravel and some cars actually get stuck before needing a tow truck to pull them out.

  14. In each of the last two matches, once the club has gotten thru a scary first 20 minutes, it seems like they settle down and play the style Curtin wants. I don’t think we can count on Casey and Carroll keeping up their form for much longer, so the question is – will the players coming back from injury/suspension/NT duty be able to keep this form up?

    Sapong for Casey, probably yes. Marquez’ play gives Curtin some flexibility to move Edu to CDM. Where does Nando fit, and how do we get Pfeffer more minutes?

    I don’t believe for a minute this is a top-tier MLS team, but the product on the field has been watchable the past two weeks. I know a reversion to the mean is coming for Fabinho, Sylvestre, Marquez, etc. But questions on who to play and minutes for player X over Y are so much more fun than just ranting.

    • pragmatist says:

      Right now, our 3 up top are Wenger, Casey, and LeToux. They can be replaced with Pfeffer, Nando, and Sapong.
      Marquez and Vittoria/White (Marquez is the lock) play CDM, and the midfield is Edu, Nogs, and Chaco.
      Play Gaddis/Williams/that person calling himself Fabinho (I don’t know where the real one is) in some combo on the wings.
      And Sylvestre stays in net until he shows anything that says he doesn’t belong. His distribution isn’t great, but he’s playing very well out there.

      • Westminster Union says:

        I hope the suggestion of keeping Casey in the line up was joke?! Sapong, Le Toux and certainly Nando are all far supiorior strikers. I think the only decisions that will make or break Curtin over the next two months will be whether he 1. chooses the the right defensive line up; 2. how he keeps Nog and Maiden in the line up, happy, and supported; 3. how he manages the Wenger situation.

        Based on the last three performances, I’d like to see 1. Gaddis Edu Marquez Fabinho. Marquez has to play. Vitoria can push Edu to Mid if Nog or Maidana are injured or rested. Fabinho, while not anywhere near talented and consistent enough for the MLS, is a left sided player and has good form attacking down the wing, so for that I think he should play right now.

        2. Nog and Maidana need to be on the pitch and Curtin needs to keep them fit and happy. If that means benching Wenger or Le Toux to surround them with a player(s) that will bring the beat out of them and provide support. Carroll does this in my opinion. He’s predictable, conservative, and allows them to carry the ball and create without having to worry about tracking back. Edu in Mid was unpredictable and never seemed to be In the right place at the right time.

        3. Nando has to start if he’s healthy, and Sapong should start over Wenger. Sapong could also start over Nando against teams with faster more mobile CBs. I think Sapong could be special for us, if he’s kept healthy and motivated.

        Time will tell whether Curtin gets it right but my gut says he won’t.

      • pragmatist says:

        When I said “right now,” I meant the line up that Jim’s rolling out.
        My top line is Zach, Nando, CJ, unless they just go 2 up top. In that case, itMs CJ and Nando.

        I’m pretty sure everyone has honed in on the top 11. It’s just a matter of seeing them out there for a few games in a row.

      • WestmontUnion says:

        Agreed. Here’s to hoping we see our best line up soon!

  15. Carroll…good work sir
    White…stop doing your Carroll impression
    CJ Sapong…hopefully your head is on right, because we can use your skill
    Maidana…has there ever been a player who makes wonderful passes followed by headscratchers
    Marquez…friggin’ solid
    Fabinho…really impressive run. Would not be denied

  16. 700 Chopper says:

    2 in a row is awesome and that we beat the energy drinks only makes it sweeter come on the Union Doop Doop !!!!!!!

  17. Any truth to the rumor that Fabinho just heard about the rocket to the sun just prior to the kick off? Only reason I can come up with for his well above average play tonight.

  18. Old Soccer Coach says:

    I compliment Aam Cann on his analysis of Red Bulls defensive weakness, that their style of high pressure with the front six can leave the back four isolated 1 v 1 against a quick accurate counterattack. Especially the second goal fitted his description in several respects.

    • The leisurely jog that Roy Miller was taking down the middle of the 18 yard box while CJ was busting it didn’t hurt either on that goal.

      • Jim Presti says:

        That goal is entirely on Roy Miller. If he made any sort of effort that cross is cut out and cleared out of the box. He basically watched Ouimette get beat by Fabinho

    • George H says:

      Very true, OSC.

    • I have to publicly eat crow, because Adam (aspirationally) predicted a draw, and I told him that without Edu in the lineup his prediction was nuts. So what do they do? Go ahead and win the damn match. On the road. For the first time ever in that stadium. By TWO GOALS. With a CLEAN SHEET.

      This team is crazily confounding sometimes.

  19. Old Soccer Coach says:

    I estimate the line-up at DC is Sylvestre; Williams, Fabinho, White, Marquez; Edu, Nogueira, Maidana, Le Toux, Wenger; Sapong. My guesses are heavily influenced by Jim Curtin’s tendencies to continue with as much of a winning line-up as possible. Arisigueta will backstop Sapong. Pfeffer will backstop the midfield generally, Ayuk will backstop the flank mids. Carroll will backstop Edu, who in turn will backstop the center backs.

    • I agree. Except that if Gaddis has recovered, then he starts, and probably Williams sits, because it would be hard to bench Fabinho after a great performance.

      And then there’s the issue of forward, where Aristeguieta and Sapong have both been beasts this year whenever they’ve been available. At some point you have to wonder whether we start both, especially given our extremely-lacking wing play. I know that they play a similar game, and might well get in each other’s spaces, but maybe they could work it out if given enough chance? And I know people say that we’d lack width in a 2-striker set, but Le Toux, Maidana, Nogueira, and Sapong are all capable of coming out wide if there’s space available.

  20. Good fight tonight…we were quite fortunate with the two posts, but all-in-all, the team on the field max’d out and that’s really all you can ask for.

    When injuries / suspensions are lifted, I think the following lineup probably shakes out. GK (whoever it is that week, although Sylvestre has been more than serviceable); Sheanon RB (I’m sorry…slow start or not this year, he’s just a better all-around player than Ray); Vitoria, Marquez CBs; depending on the strategy either Ray or Fabihno at LB; Nogs and Mo in the CM position; Chacho in the middle, CJ on the right, Pfeffer or Wenger on the left (depending on strategy…more defensive, Fabihno and Wenger, more attacking Ray and Pfeffer); Nando up front. Ethan will be your reserve central defender; Ray or Fabihno your reserve wing defender; Pfeffer or Carroll as your reserve CM; Seba, Pfeffer, Ayuk, Wenger as your reserve wings; Pfeffer as your reserve Chaco; Casey and CJ backing up Nando.

    We’ve had a nice two game stretch, now let’s put the best team on the field and build.

    • Dr. Union says:

      The problem with your supposed best team is you have Pfeffer backing up pretty much every position as well as possibly starting and to say you are going to bench Gaddis means you just haven’t been watching Union games this season. Williams has been awful, flat out awful. There are only 2 people who have been worse then Williams this year and thats M’bohli and Wenger.

  21. neatherprovidencepops says:

    That’s 2 in a row. We win the next one and it’s a winning streak.

  22. Hey ! Everyone wanting Edu at CDM, quit it ! he’s our CB now and is one of, and maybe the best CB we have. Putting him in the Midfield will only cause congestion. He would take away Nogs’s and Chaco’s space like we’ve seen before. He had his chance to be in the mid and has not done well In my opinion. He always presses high and never stays put as the CDM. Also, he’s lazy as F and does not move to create options or into space. Here’s my best back four.
    Fabinho, edu, marquez, Gaddis

    • Fabihno had a great game, but is a disaster as a wing defender as we’ve repeatedly witnessed. The U max’d out yesterday, but they also were very fortunate. RBNY controlled the pace of the game, were more accurate in their passing, had more quality opportunities, and got pretty unlucky all the way around. Our team needs goals to consistently compete; and the only way to do that is to involve the most highly skilled player on the team (Mo Edu) into the attack as a linkage piece like Nogs. Vitroia and Marquez will have to hold down the central defense, and Sheanon / Gaddis will have to do the job on the wings. Additionaly, if you start Fabihno at LB, that means Wenger has to start at LM in order to provide defensive support. No thanks. I’ll take Ray and Zach on that left side all day long. Sheanon and CJ on the right side, and now you have an effective outside wing defender-offensive midfield combo on both sides.

      • VDS, the whole back line has been a disaster except Marquez so far. So let’s not single out one defender when the whole back line has not been working as a unit until this match. Also, you couldn’t be more wrong about Edu in the midfield read my comment above about that situation.

      • Edu is needed for many reasons in the defensive MF. You don’t take your most talented player and play him out of position in the central defense when you don’t need to. If the Marquez / Vitoria combination works defensively, then Mo Edu should not be back there. Nogs presence is irrespective to that fact. You’re looking at the result only yesterday…look at the stats, look at the flow. Horrid passing accuracy, 2-1 possession disadvantage, etc. A player of Mo Edu’s quality provides both a legitimate conduit and an attacking threat; it also opens up (not congests) opportunities for others because of the attention he draws from opposing defenses. Mo Edu / Nogs CDM with wingers like Pfeffer and CJ is by far the better option to feed Chaco and Nando / Casey up front. The problem is having wings like LeToux and Wenger, who have limited ball skill and are routinely out of position.

      • Dr. Union says:

        Alright you said it twice so I have to point it out but Mo Edu is by far not the most talented player on this team. Nogs is clearly way more talented and consistent the Edu any day.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Agreed. Pfeffer might be more talented, as well.

      • Normally I’d agree about Fabinho. But Williams was horrid yesterday. He was getting pulled out of position all over the place. I don’t know what’s happened to Sheanon, but he looks more like bad Fabinho every match. The one play he gets suckered into following a Red Bull player into midfield, only to leave a Red Bull player wide open on his right. What is he thinking? Is he thinking. Give me Fabinho till Williams gets his head on straight.

  23. At one point they flashed onto the screen all the goals the Union has given up in the 2nd half this year, which makes the 2 shut outs in a row so remarkable. It is like watching a different team play! It helps when opposite players hit posts and whiffle crosses but the key to the wins are the more effective counter attacking plays.

  24. GK is for real. Make that loan a transfer please!

  25. The Black Hand says:

    Incredibly unexpected result. Hats off the the manager and his club. I didn’t think they had it in them.

  26. UnionGoal says:

    Keep Sylvestre—we’ve found our Keeper!
    Trade McCarthy and Mbohli and Blake, wait for Zac to finish loan–Sylvestre and MacMath—the new dynamic duo!

    • If Blake is healthy and overcome his injury issues, he is clearly the GK of the future. No question. Sylvestre would be a nice backup option.

    • Jim Presti says:

      Lol MacMath is not a starting caliber keeper in this league. He can’t even break through in Colorado when Irwin was struggling.

  27. Tom Corey says:

    Its a little early to jump on the Sylvestre bandwagon, he still has a lot of work to do on his distribution. That said, he certainly is more sure-handed and composed than anyone we’ve run out there but Faryd. I think Sylvestre and Zac, Steffan that is, could be the GKs of the future. I do believe Steffan is a home grown product. Either way no McMath, I’ve seen enough.

    • Jim Presti says:

      Pipe dream. Steffen is playing for Freiburg in Germany.

    • Dr. Union says:

      Steffan is not a homegrown player like below left for Germany and has no Union contract they don’t even have his rights I believe if he were to come back.

  28. Well played all around, from the Coach, thru the entire team effort… that’s how you win, keep the effort going, we’re getting healthier, and with card suspensions releasing our needed players, this is how you turn around a season. Yes we got some good fortune (for a change) with Mr. Post helping us out, but how many posts denied us all season long?! TOO MANY! So the soccer gods have smiled down upon us lately compared to being their whipping boy, GOOD FOR US!!! GO UNION, WHAT A PLEASURE TO CHEER THAT HARD FOR THE TEAM I LOVE, GO UNION!!! WELL EARNED, WELL DESERVED!!! WOW!!!

  29. So happy for the players. Will support them and appreciate their effort. The ownership/CEO and front office are another thing! It’s about damn time they(we) got some breaks. Enjoyed the back and forth I had with the pink cow supports heading back to Manhattan. Of course they were all on about how lucky the Union were and went on and on about the what ifs. The friends I attended the game with were all pink cow fans. They proceeded with the usual Philly put downs and how much better NY is than Philadelphia blah, blah, blah! They shut up as soon as I pointed out several times that the only pro soccer teams representing NYC and NY state were NYCFC and the Cosmos not the North Jersey Pink Cows. I also pointed out that the pink cows were the only MLS team not in the city or state they represent and even their cartoonish shield was just a crass advertisement for an energy drink and lacked originality. Guess the learned even 5 against 1 a Philly supporter can handle a pink cow pretending to be a NY supporter. We all went out for drinks in Hell’s Kitchen:)


  30. Well that was fun!! How can we keep Sylvestre?? Someone please make this happen…really nice to see this group pull together for a win. You could see the commitment in their play. Nice to see how Sapong took up right where Casey left off. He was just “cow tippin” out there! Also…Fabinho ?? WOW!….MOER COOKIES PLEASE!

  31. I had a family function and couldn’t watch but was elated and in shock at seeing the updates on my phone. Now I felt so strangely happy at watching a replay and being excited for the minute when the U scored but not knowing how the goal was scored. First half was rough but hey I’ll take it! I thought they were going to lose by 2 so I’m very happy. Now lets see it translate for the rest of the season.

    They have a great opportunity to get the fanbase behind them again (which is what we all want, lets be honest) please guys, don’t blow this up in our faces, please play with that passion from here on out!!!!!

  32. Old Soccer Coach says:

    I’d worry abut Maidana’s ability to cover enough ground fast enough in a set with only four in the midfield. He and Nogueira have to be close enough to lay off each other. If we played two strikers I would think it would have to be one high on the enemy centerbacks and one underneath rather than side by side.

  33. Interestingly, all three of our wins came when Nando was NOT on the pitch. What’s up with that?

    • That’s obviously because teams have to plan their defensive strategy with Nando in mind because he can hurt them if left unmarked. Teams don’t really see the Union as much of a threat when he’s out of the lineup. Teams will start adjusting accordingly. If the Union ever have their best 18 available with Sapong in the starting 11 and Wenger and Le Toux start scoring coming off the bench or starting, teams will have to concentrate on more the just Nando making him more dangerous. Then Union will hopefully have depth and more options.


  34. The Little Fish says:

    Great win. Loved it. Nogs was brilliant. He and Chaco were so much fun to watch as they tick-tack passed it around the pitch. THAT is soccer! And the backheel was lovely. Pure quality. Let’s do more of that please….and honorable mention has to go out to our goal posts!

  35. Dr. Union says:

    Finally a decent game to watch. I was shocked as were many people here I am sure. However, still got the same front office problems and Meola pointed out all first half the Union defensive problems. I’ve been saying all year no organization for positioning and to much space between the outside backs. Williams was getting beat bad luckily it didn’t burn the Union. Also, Wenger still needs to sit on that bench. When Gaddis gets back you start Fabinho on the wing. In a day where most of the team played up to their potential Wenger was still bad. Anyone notice that the midfield was more free flowing minus Edu with Carrol just sitting there breaking things up….I’m just saying. Nogs pushed up way more playing with Carrol and seemed to feel okay leaving the back by itself. Now yes Carrol clearly needed to be subbed at the 75 minute or so, but he put in good work on the day and has had 2 decent games breaking up plays in the midfield which is the only reason to have him in there. Overall a nice thing to see them winning however still need changes at the terrible FO.
    My Lineup for next week would be
    Gaddis Edu Marquez Williams
    Carrol Nogs
    Ayuk Maidana Sapong

    • The Black Hand says:

      I have a real hard time getting behind Carroll’s inclusion in the XI, but you have touched on a good point; Noguiera works better with a simple CDM. (The real beauty of Amobi Okugo was his simplicity. He never tried to be “the man”. He knew his role and he played it…allowing Noguiera to be the focal point of the central midfield.) Edu tries to be “the man” and chokes the shit out of Noguiera’s game. Too much time on the ball, from Mo. We need a CDM that COMPLEMENTS our best player, not one who keeps the ball off of his boot…and, right now, that #6 is Brian Carroll (I cannot believe that I just typed that).
      The downside to Carroll is; we will be thoroughly out-possessed every time he is on the pitch…not that possession has really helped us.

      • Dr. Union says:

        Agreed, but until there is an alternative Edu and Nogs can’t pair in the middle it just doesn’t work from what I have seen. Plus Edu is better suited with for CB since he does have some recovery speed he just has to learn to stay home at CB unless there is a dire need to push up a CB. Okugo would have fit Nogs style however he is gone so the question is where to look for someone like him to replace Carroll. Lahoud was working, but still out to long need someone else in that spot cause Carroll has no back up and he clearly can’t go 90.

      • WestmontUnion says:

        Carroll has to start until we sign a new cdm. In a league where there are plenty of talented cdm’s, I hope that Sak is making getting one in a priority. Even he can’t f’ck that task up (nervous vote of confidence).

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