Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 2-2 Montreal Impact

Philadelphia Union battled Montreal Impact to a 2-2 draw at a rainy PPL Park on Saturday night. Eric Ayuk and Ignacio Piatti tallied in the first half before Jack McInerney and Maurice Edu traded goals in the second to leave each team with one point.

In a match played almost entirely in torrential rain, both teams finished with ten men as Patrice Bernier and Eric Ayuk earned second yellow cards and were sent off in the latter half.

First Half

Jim Curtin made two changes to the team that defeated Seattle on Wednesday with Ray Gaddis and Eric Ayuk replacing Sheanon Williams and Andrew Wenger respectively.

Riding the momentum from Wednesday’s win, Philadelphia got off to the perfect start by scoring in just the 8th minute of the match. Great build up play down the right side saw Chaco Maidana cut in off of the wing and loft a cross for CJ Sapong. The striker cushioned a soft ball back to Eric Ayuk who struck it first time on the half volley, sending a powerful shot into the top left corner of the goal.

Montreal would equalize in the 28th minute through Ignacio Piatti. Dilly Duka nodded down a soft header to Piatti 30 yards from goal. The Impact playmaker easily feinted past Maurice Edu at the top of the box and fired a low shot into the right corner of Brian Sylvestre’s goal.

The Union had a chance to retake the lead just before the half from a corner kick. Sapong rose highest to nod down Maidana’s corner, but the ball was flicked just wide of goal as the halftime whistle sounded.

Second Half

Zach Pfeffer nearly gave the Union the lead in the 52nd minute. Maidana was again the provider as he popped up on the right wing to place a perfectly weighted cross to the back post. Pfeffer was at the spot but scuffed his shot into the turf from six yards out and the ball trickled wide.

The Union went up a man when Patrice Bernier received his second yellow card of the game for a late tackle on Vincent Nogueira near the midfield line in the 67th minute. Bernier had already been booked in the first half and the decision was an easy one for Sorin Stoica.

Andrew Wenger and Jack McInerney, traded for each other last season, entered the fray around the hour mark.

The former Union man made a quick impact, scoring ten minutes after coming on. Maurice Edu was dispossessed 40 yards from the home goal by Andres Romero. The Impact midfielder played a quick pass forward into space for McInerney and the man who once scored 12 in a season for Philadelphia made no mistake for Montreal, smashing a high drive past Brian Sylvestre at the near post.

Montreal’s lead only lasted five minutes. Off a softly cleared corner kick, Fabinho smashed a low half volley first time from 25 yards that Evan Bush scrambled to block. Maurice Edu was on hand to tap in the rebound from close range, evening the score.

The Impact almost took the lead back when Ignacio Piatti found himself wide open from 10 yards out with the Union goal gaping. The Argentinian’s brace was prevented by a slip on the wet surface that disrupted his shot.

Philadelphia was reduced to ten men themselves in the 77th minute when Eric Ayuk received his second yellow card of the match for a clumsy sliding challenge directly in front of the Montreal bench. Again, it was an easy decision for Stoica, who waited patiently for Ayuk to rise to his feet before doling out the appropriate punishment.

Richie Marquez had the ball in the Montreal goal in the 82nd minute, sending looping a header over Evan Bush while sandwiched between defenders eight yards out. However, the flag was correctly raised for offsides.

The final minutes of the match played out with a few half chances for both sides, but neither team found the quality to add a winner in the slick conditions.

The Union are back in action on Tuesday night when they take on DC United in the US Open Cup (7 pm).

Philadelphia Union
Brian Sylvestre, Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Maurice Edu, Ray Gaddis, Brian Carroll (Fred 72′), Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana (Sheanon Williams 81′), Eric Ayuk, Zach Pfeffer (Andrew Wenger 57′), CJ Sapong
Unused Subs: Andre Blake, Ethan White, Dzenan Catic, Antoine Hoppenot

Montreal Impact
Evan Bush, Donny Toia, Ambroise Oyongo, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Patrice Bernier, Ignacio Piatti, Dilly Duka (Marco Donadel 62′), Andres Romero (Nigel Reo-Coker 86′), Calum Mallace, Dominic Oduro (Jack McInerney 60′)
Unused Subs: Eric Kronberg, Maxim Tissot, Bakaray Soumare, Wandrille Lefevre

Scoring Summary
PHI: Eric Ayuk (CJ Sapong) — 8
MTL: Ignacio Piatti (Dilly Duka) — 28
MTL: Jack McInerney (Andres Romero)— 70
PHI: Maurice Edu— 75

Disciplinary Summary
MTL: Andres Romero (foul) — 17
MTL: Patrice Bernier (foul) — 27
PHI: Maurice Edu (foul) — 40
PHI: Eric Ayuk (foul) — 62
MTL: Patrice Bernier (foul – second yellow) — 67
MTL: Donny Toia (foul) — 72
PHI: Eric Ayuk (foul – second yellow) — 77

Philadelphia Union Montreal Impact
10 Shots 6
4 Shots on Target 3
3 Shots off Target 2
3 Blocked Shots 1
 7 Corner Kicks 4
 23 Crosses  14
 3 Offsides 0
 16 Fouls 16
1 Yellow Cards 2
1 Red Cards  1
 352 Total Passes 413
 77% Passing Accuracy 83%
 47.1% Possession  52.9%
 55 Duels Won 48
 53% Duels Won %  47%
16 Tackles Won  18
1 Saves 2
11 Clearances 38


  1. el pachyderm says:

    Ode to the Philadelphia Union…. a homily in four parts.
    On a bleak and rainy evening this game was So Union. So Union how the congregants ask? Can I get a witness?
    Let the elephant explain……So Union to catch a break and go a man up and within one minute the converted midfielder you coveted now overzealous central defender gets caught up field as the arguably worst team in american history with a man advantage is exploited by the homegrown striker exchanged for the striker who now mans the cockpit in solo position on the Rocket Bound to the Sun is So Union how. Let us pray.
    The defense has rested in the case for Fabinho. The verdict is in: ladies and gentleman of the jury..most dynamic LB in MLS at present. Can I get a 2nd?
    The defense has rested in the case for Erik Ayuk…. save the 18 year old brain cramp suffered in part obviously to overwatering then standing in a puddle near a downed wire- plainly obvious the young boy is a sufficient source of wattage for PPL (Electric) Park going forward- mistakes and all. He lights the place up. Heidi Klum of Project Runway fame says….”Andrew, you’re out.”
    Let us pray – Our Father…

    • Excellent points. What a turnaround for Fabinho in the past month. Maybe sizing Wenger up for a seat in the sun rocket will be just the motivation he needs as well. Couldn’t agree more on Ayuk. Great find for this team – polish his game up a bit and he’ll be a great starter for this team in time.

  2. The what now??

  3. Anyone who says claims that Montreal didn’t get the better of the Mcinerney-Wenger trade after that game needs their head examined. Wenger and Pfeffer really don’t belong on an MLS team. I realize Curtin didn’t consummate the trade but he does keep playing a useless Wenger. And Pfeffer really isn’t much better.

  4. Wenger cannot start anymore. Gaddis had a solid game but we lost too much without Williams in there, bad decision from Jim. I think one of the central miss has to get a game off, though Nogs looked better than Wednesday. CJ had a lost game, Edu had a tough game as well as Marquez, compatibly to what he’s been doing.
    Jim better get the FB situation sorted out, we can’t just keep swapping at random.

    • Fat Uncle Phil from Urkel says:

      5 games in 15 days. Jim is doing the right thing. We will see Fabi on the left and Sheanon on the right vs DC.

      • Why does the midfield stay the same then? He’s rotating fullbacks be he likes Gaddis

      • pragmatist says:

        Because he has fullbacks. He doesn’t have midfielders.

      • Bingo…Jim has options at wing back, so he’s doing the right thing here. He has zero options at outside mid. If either Nando or Casey was healthy, he could opt to run CJ outside right and give himself some depth there, but he has no depth at forward and none at outside mid. No choice.

      • Unless you want Fred or…um…Fred starting, it’s Chaco and Nogueira show above Carroll. Fullback is literally the only depth position.

      • My point is that you don’t have to switch guys at random just bc that’s the only place of depth. And yes there are other ways of rotating the mids, and if we don’t figure it out then they will be completely spent.
        Ultimately though we all are basically saying the roster and depth suck

      • Yes to the second part.

      • pragmatist says:

        Bingo. (Part 2)

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    Curtin should have taken Ayuk off as soon as the Union went up a man. There was no reason to risk a second yellow with his style of play.

  6. I cannot believe HOPPENOT did not sub in this game. Fred and Shannon as attacking best options ???

    • Fred has good, smart movement, with the ability to possess the ball. Williams can hold and drive with the ball, and make good crosses. Hoppenot does none of that.

    • Hoppenot is not an MLS level player. Period. I’m sick of hearing about him on this board. If Curtin had even the least bit of confidence in him, he’d have been on the field already. He’s a 2nd division player, nothing more.

      • el pachyderm says:

        It really not even his game as much as the man-bun. I can see that holding him back.

  7. The Chopper says:

    No Ayuk or Edu next game. Pfeffer may be out. Makes the roster even thinner.

  8. Atomic Spartan says:

    Horrible officiating again. No way Ayuk’s first yellow was legit. And now he’s lost to us for no good reason. That’s so Union!

    • Andy Muenz says:

      We didn’t think Bernier’s first should have been a yellow either. Looked like it was pretty much shoulder to shoulder.

    • I was actually thinking the officiating wasn’t that bad. Better than most weeks. It was at least close to even, and he was consistent all match.

    • It was a definite yellow. Ayuk got the ball, sure, but then planted his studs in the impact player’s leg. You can foul a guy after you get the ball.

      You can’t go studs up in this league, and Ayuk did it twice in one game.

      • el pachyderm says:

        The second yellow card foul was terrible and on video replay at home could easily have warranted a straight red. He literally was double studs up.

  9. It was at least entertaining to watch. Not so much in a quality way. More of a demolition derby way.
    We got very lucky walking away with a tie.
    The cynic in me knew going up a man was a kiss of death. It’s like the Flyers going into a shootout. We’re conditioned to expect these things.

    Each time I see Jack it stings less. Even this goal I was unphased. I was only distracted by his bad hair cut.

    • el pachyderm says:

      Yeah and he sure didn’t take the diplomatic Alvaro Morata route as evidenced when Morata scored for Juve in successive games against Real Madrid while Jack did his ‘best’ Ronaldo impersonation.
      Either way as it stands today, I’d take him back in a heartbeat over Andrew.

      • WORST TRADE EVER and I will say that until I die!!!

      • I’d cut them both. Because they both suck.

      • Why would you want Jack back?
        Jack doesn’t even play on this team if he is on the roster. Jack is slow, real slow, and we have Nando, Casey, CJ, and Le Tuex who can play a forward position.
        Jack is not a winger because he is painfully slow.
        The trade was speed for poaching. The reality is that both players are fringe MLS players at the moment.
        Neither player makes their team better right now. If the Union had a better LW then Wenger would see the bench. Jack isn’t starting for MTL either.

      • I don’t deny they are fringier players but based on current information, Jack has 4 goals as a sub which would tie him for the lead in Philadelphia which is exactly 4 goals more than Andrew Wenger the starter.
        If Jack is slow what than is The Venezuelan Striker?
        The Winger Wenger isn’t really a winger either is he?
        Maybe the Winger Wenger is really still a defender of fine ilk and just can’t seem to find his way back there.

      • You can’t assume he would have 4 goals for the Union.
        As for Wenger, I am not sure he’s a wing fullback either. Honestly, I am not sure he knows what he is anymore.
        Either way, Jack is a worse version of Nando, only smaller. Jack was / is over rated by a lot of philly fans who remember a brief 3 months of good play and forget the disappearing act he pulled before he was traded.
        I’m fine without both at this point.

      • Pachy, I gotta agree with Steve on this one. Yes, Nando is slow, but he has height. As Jimmy Lynam said, “You can’t teach height”. Jack is a poacher. Not good with pace. Not going to hold the ball up like Connor or Sapong. He’s gonna get the scraps. He’s basically a one dimensional player. Which, as an ESPN FC article I read this morning talking about Podolski, doesn’t really have a place any longer. Especially on this team. I agree Wenger is a one trick pony(who doesn’t even have that trick now). But Jack would also be a one trick pony, just in the middle.

      • Jack > Wenger
        Ayuk > Wenger

    • Why were the fans booing him when he came on? This is why Philly fans baffle me.

      • +1. Golf Clap. A tepid applause more appropriate I believe. .
        Maybe then he would have reacted differently upon scoring. Seems we walked right in to that one.

  10. That goal was a quality from McInerney. Not sure why you wouldn’t take a striker who can score that type of goal. Say he had an attitude problem. But he really did get no service and have no competent coaching while he was here. (Some things never change.) I’m sure that wore on him.

    • Poor guy still doesn’t have competent coaching up north! When will playing for L’Impact de Suck finally drive him nuts?

  11. 700 Chopper says:

    Wow at least we salvaged a draw

  12. John Ling says:

    Wenger had a real nice play shortly after he came on. He slowed down his dribble and sucked the defender in, then blew past him. He had a step on his defender when he got to the top of the 18. As I recall, he laid it across… to no one. After that moment it became the same old Andrew Wenger again.
    So that tells me a few things. First, he didn’t have his head up; he just assumed a teammate would be there. Second, he still can beat people on the dribble even though every defender knows that’s his schtick. Third, he’s not handling even a little bit of adversity well at this point.
    The last two tell me that having him come off the bench around 60-70 is good for him and good for the team. He can run at tired defenses and maybe make a positive play. One good bounce maybe helps restore a little bit of confidence.

  13. Jack is seldom injured. And he’s fast. Nando is always injured. And he’s slow. Those above who say McInerney for Wenger is a toss up are kidding yourselves. 4 goals in 1000 min vs no goals in 1300 min? Come on. Let’s not be silly here. Oh yeah, and I was at the game last night and stayed through to the end with 3 shivering soaked kids under 10, all of whom were happy to have stayed. But trotting Wenger out there game after game, as a starter or a sub, is an insult to the fans. He doesn’t try. And he’s not capable of that moment of brilliance that McInerney is.

    • Fat Uncle Phil from Urkel says:

      Again, I think they both suck. But he most certainly is capable of “brilliance.” That goal he had against San Jose last year was the goal of the year for the team, IMO.

    • I believe Jack has 18 goals now for Montreal versus Wenger’s how many since he’s been here?

      • I question quality of assists on those goals and say he’d not have half of them were he still here. Maybe *maybe* when things go right, and this team plays as a team and not individuals, would he have 8.

  14. I have never seen anything like this team. A red card for to other team causes immediate dread. It is like clockwork. The Union goes up a man and the short handed side scores. EVERY F’ING TIME!!!! How is it that this continues to happen. If I were coming to PPL, I swear I would only start 10. The guy in the row in front of me turned and asked if we were crazy. My honest answer was yes. He was talking about being there in the pouring rain but later, I thought, we my be crazy for being here at all.

  15. OneManWolfpack says:

    Everyone forgets Wenger last year and how well he played. He was literally the exact opposite of the player he is this year. He is having a completely disastrous season. He’s still young and showed last year he has it in him. That said, he should not be starting for a few games, and he needs to figure it out. But to say that we got hosed in that trade is a total over statement. If Wenger throws up this kind of year again next season, I will say we lost the trade. But until then, let’s just relax a bit.
    I have no clue what to make of the game last night. The weather pretty much killed any chance of a real game. Ayuk’s goal was quite impressive though. Nice to see that kid has some skill.

    • The Chopper says:

      The only thing I can take away from the game is that this is the kind of contest they normally lose. Under the circumstances of a thin tired roster playing in a monsoon, I will take the point.

      • Agreed. I sat in that Chivas monsoon years ago and was happy with the result. Anyone who attended last night deserves respect.
        Like, the front office should call every season ticket holder and thank them for showing up.

  16. Love Edu but he’s being a selfish jerk! Along with that I think Curtin sucks as a coach and is perfect for this organization.

    Sell this franchise to a competent and financially competitive ownership!


    • “Edu is a selfish jerk.” How’s that? He’s playing out of position at CD because the team needs him there. From a purely selfish standpoint, it’s a massive step back for his career progression because his natural position and the position where he’s had the most success is CDM. The U’s technical staff depended on White and Vitoria to man the middle and have Nogs / Edu at the CDM position. And when Vitoria went down (and wasn’t very good) and White imploded, Mo did the unselfish thing and played back at CD. So, you can’t get mad at the guy for making scoring runs every once in a while, especially when our team is goal-challenged (and that’s putting it nicely).

      • I’m the one who usually defends Edu on this sight. But I’m not going to pretend and wax philosophical when he knows what he is working with on this team. So he has to keep it simple on the Philadelphia Union. I’ve followed him his entire career and I know when he is trying to force the play. That was his trouble with Stoke and that was his issue when he was left off of the USMNT before. Knowing when to dictate the play and when not to particularly at CB. There is a difference!

  17. No love for Maidana in the comments?
    None at all? He did great work delivering the penultimate or final pass all night. If the Union could finish this game would have never been close. Player of the week by far.

    • No. He was what he should be consistently: decent. There were many decent performances on the field last night, under the circumstances.

  18. All in all we picked up 4 points outta 9 this week. Although it doesn’t really feel like it, that is a continuation of the improved form. I am very hyped on Marquez. Nogs and Chaco have proven they know the game. Williams is MLS quality. I am a believer in Sapong (nice job answering adversity). unless Edu is willing to take a serious pay cut we need to part ways and reinvest

  19. The Black Hand says:

    Fare Thee Well

  20. First off I want to remind everyone Jack was traded mostly because he wanted more money for a new contract. The Union in typical fashion were not willing to pay more to keep him. Who won the trade is ultimately irrelevant because neither Jack or Wenger should be the star player on this team (and as has been said neither of them would be)(as was said fringe players/ capable bench players at best). Now on to the game. EDU HAS GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. He looked like an 8 year old who didn’t want to get hit with the ball on that Piatti play. How do you turn your back as a defender when you think the guy is shooting? You sir got schooled. A pathetic display of defense by Edu, leaving Marquez out to dry as usual. I’m telling you for the money I would love to trade Edu and pick up some other capable players to fill out this roster. As far as Wenger goes great job finally not starting him. Bringing Wenger off the bench though questionable. While there are limited options let him sit and stew for awhile. There is no quality in Wenger right now. By far the best option is to bench Wenger or not even have him on the 18 from time to time until he gets his act together. People say Williams should have played over Gaddis I like the fact there is finally some rotation. However, I think for the future you consider Gaddis Edu Marquez Fabinho the back four, Nogs and Carroll, Ayuk Maidana Williams and Sapong up top. This may actually be the best defensive and offensive lineup at the moment. Although, I guess with Ayuk out next game you can’t try this but I think its got possibilities if they continue to want to run out in a 4231.

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