Union match reports

Preseason recap: Union 2-4 Fire

Philadelphia Union fell behind twice in the first half and never recovered, losing 4-2 to Chicago Fire in Clearwater Thursday afternoon. David Accam opened the scoring from the penalty spot after a Vincent Nogueira handball, but Fabian Herbers tied the match with a deft backheel goal. Accam scored again before halftime, then Nick LaBrocca and Gilberto put Chicago up 4-1 in the second frame. Warren Creavalle tallied late for the Union off a Walter Restrepo cross.

The Fire started strong, playing through Accam on the left. Union rookie Keegan Rosenberry restrained the dangerous winger and Philly grew into the match. By the 15th minute, the Union were on the front foot, dominating possession through Tranquillo Barnetta and Nogueira. Rosenberry was a key contributor going forward, linking with Le Toux up the right and serving multiple crosses into good areas.

Accam’s penalty came after the ball struck Nogueira’s hand off a corner kick. The winger went left and Andre Blake couldn’t keep the ball out.

Fabian Herbers, starting alone up top, put in an exciting shift that peaked when he backheeled a ball from Le Toux into the Fire net. Herbers was mobile and strong on the ball all half, giving Philly a central point of attack.

Accam’s second goal was all speed. Off a counterattack, the Union gave up space in the middle. Accam raced up the left channel and isolated Marquez. When the pass came, he simply blew by the Union defender and slotted past a frozen Andre Blake.

Chicago made multiple halftime substitutions and began clogging the center of the pitch. Philly’s attack petered out and the Fire began looking for space behind the advancing Rosenberry. Chicago signaled their intent once, but the Union snuffed it out. Moments later, Gilberto broke into the same area, collected the ball and cut it back to Accam. Blake got down to save the shot but LaBrocca nodded the bouncing ball in for the Fire’s third.

A large round of Union subs in the 60th minute brought Joshua Yaro into defense. The number two overall pick was jumpy, however, and a loose back pass ended up on Gilberto’s feet. The striker was in alone and fired past the stranded Blake.

The Union rounded out the scoring when Restrepo slid out to the right side and crossed into the box for Creavalle to bundle home. [Editor’s note: The recap on the Union website credits Cole Missimo with the goal. The Chicago Fire recap credits Creavalle.]

Philly next plays Wednesday, February 17 against D.C. United. The Union have lost to Jacksonville Armada, defeated the US U-17 team, and lost to Chicago so far this preseason.

Quick Thoughts:

The Draft Picks

  • Okay, we see you Fabian Herbers. With the Union light in the striker department, it was reassuring to see the first round draft pick make a positive impact throughout the first half. His goal was well taken and a good bit of skill to backheel Sebastien Le Toux’s low cross. But it was more than that, his runs behind the Chicago backline were well timed and at good angles and he combined well as the Union held possession in the first half.
  • Joshua Yaro had a tough outing. His poor back pass was intercepted and turned in by Gilberto and the #2 pick had a few misplaced passes. It’s too early to pass judgement on the rookie, but it will be interesting to see how he responds as the preseason continues.
  • Keegan Rosenberry looked confident. The right back stroked the ball around with a fantastic range as the Union held possession in the first half. He threw in a beautiful cross at about the 10 minute mark that just missed Sebastien Le Toux. He did well to deal with David Accam for the most part, but he learned what MLS speed was on Chicago’s second goal.


We didn’t get to see if the chemistry of Tranquillo Barnetta, Roland Alberg, and Vincent Nogueira had developed any further with Alberg taking care of paperwork in Europe. But the Union midfield did extremely well to keep the ball in the first 45 minutes. For a team that rarely won out in the possession stats in 2015, it was good to see the ball cycled around in the manner that it was.

Barnetta looked sharp, outside of losing possession that Chicago turned into their second goal. He succeeded in driving the attack and the Union defenders found room to push into the attacking half frequently. The lack of a true defensive midfielder was missed at times though, notably on Chicago second and third goals.

The second half was a different story, with the Fire’s substitutions able to keep the ball and pressure the Union’s backline. The defense also won’t want to watch too many videos of the Fire’s second and third goals as they counterattacked too easily. While the Union’s subs came at the 60 minute mark, the second group was only responsible for giving up the one goal on Yaro’s bad pass.

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake (Matt Jones 60), Fabinho (Taylor Washington 60), Ken Tribbett, Richie Marquez (Joshua Yaro 60), Keegan Rosenberry, Vincent Noguiera (Warren Creavalle 60), Leo Fernandes (Bolu Akinyode 60), Chris Pontius (Cole Missimo 60), Tranquillo Barnetta (Capt.; Brian Carroll 60), Sebastien Le Toux (Walter Restrepo 60), Fabian Herbers (Eric Ayuk 60)

Chicago Fire
Patrick McLain (Sean Johnson 46); Joey Calistri (Brandon Vincent 46, Patrick Doody 86), Vincent Keller* (Joao Meira 75), Jonathan Campbell (Drew Conner 75), Michael Harrington (Mauricio Pineda 55); Arturo Alvarez^ (Collin Fernandez 46, Vincent Mitchell* 74), John Goossens^ (Nick LaBrocca 46, Parker Maher 86), Razvan Cocis (Capt.; Michael Stephens 46), Harry Shipp (Matt Polster 46), David Accam (Alex Morrell* 55, Kingsley Bryce 86); Kennedy Igboananike (Gilberto 46)

*Unsigned 2016 MLS SuperDraft pick
# Chicago Fire Academy player

Scoring Summary
CHI – David Accam (penalty kick) 14’
PHI – Fabian Herbers (Sebastien Le Toux) 16’
CHI – David Accam (John Goossens) 40’
CHI – Nick LaBrocca (unassisted) 60’
CHI – Gilberto (unassisted) 64’
PHI – Warren Creavalle (Walter Restrepo) 83’

Misconduct Summary


  1. I’ve been hearing for a few weeks how we need to address a need for a number 9. If I was worried before, I’m not nearly as much now. Herbers looked good, and he saw some of Chicago’s first team. I’m now more concerned that our young defense won’t gel together and we’ll let up more 4 goal games like this. (although it seems Rosenberry will be a viable alternative to Gaddis)

  2. Lucky Striker says:

    Union’s #1 problem is that they leak goals like a sieve.

    #2 problem is that their staff has no idea how to fix problem #1.

    2 games into preseason, and their defense is in mid-season form.

    Fixing the roster is a great idea, but it solves only half the issue…….

  3. This game was pretty much a wash for me. I really didn’t get a feel of the starting line up or the system they are going to use.
    And I am reeeaaaaal curious about the system.

  4. I hope our next coach has a clue. Barnetta looked slow and not all that effective. Curtin’s replacement will likely use him as a sub.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Phew. Mid season form is called mid season form for a reason. It’ll be okay Ben.
      And we agree to agree about the manager. Nice man… like him very much but I’ll roll on him in a heartbeat this season.

    • Barnetta was played out of position at DCM. And as far as I know, that’s the first time he’s played there. It’s also only the second preseason game. While in the first game everybody got 30 mins. Not going to be in 90 minute shape after that.

  5. Preseason.
    Brace yourself friends…this team is not likely to get off to a quick start.
    We need to give The Deal time.
    Rosenberry already looks a better player than Gaddis. The midfield looks pretty solid for not playing together at all. We had some pace to get behind the defense with guile.
    Gave up too many goals and this has to be better but at this point it’s not an issue.. they’ve only played 2.5 games.
    If 14- 18 games into the season the team is not improving I won’t be blaming the Sporting Director and his VPP – it will be verifiable proof the manager is unable to implement it. Until then let them work out the kinks and figure some shit out while we just sit and observe and be grateful for a nearing season… which then signifies the end of 20 degree ball shriveling weather.

    • This is no different than watching the Phils get schnockered 16-3 in the first week of spring training because the pitching staff is working the rust out of its curveballs and throwing them in goofy situations.
      Doesn’t mean a thing.
      (And the first goal was a silly handball penalty, can’t get too upset about that.)

    • I just read recently about the low probability of using the cross to manufacture goals. Wish I could remember where it was from but it was decidedly argued against as a usable primary offensive tactic. I hope beyond hope to show some sophistication this season.
      Constant improvement. Aesthetic please. Those are my metrics.

      • I wouldn’t call half the passes Rosenberry made “crosses”. He had maybe 3 during his 60 mins. The rest were accurate passes into the middle (outside the box), where he found players. I wouldn’t call it their primary tactic.

      • Yup… I was just talking about crossing in general…should have been more specific.
        Watching this club lump ball after ball into the middle of, well, nowhere- has been draining the last few seasons, well, since inception really -save the cross-sections when Roger Torres saw lots of minutes….
        To me it is part of a philosophy that says we are unable to do anything else with the ball.

      • Gotcha. I wasn’t really referring to you, more the article’s use of crossing. I was just trying to slow your roll and point out it wasn’t like the end of every Union game last year when they were down a goal. I.E. Put Casey in the middle. Drive the flanks and…cross…cross again…cross..cross. I agree I don’t want to see that every drive up the field. But I do think it’s good to use them to mix things up.

    • Not signing Paunovic to coach the team will be the biggest mistake Union made this offseason.

    • Agreed especially about Rosenberry. Confident on the ball with good movement and I loved the early shoulder challenge on Accam where he just bullied him off the ball.

  6. Watch for yourselves (or re-watch, if you have the stomach):

    Cheat sheet at http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/post/2016/02/11/match-roster-vs-chicago-fire?3434
    To extend Mike’s great write-up, beginning with …
    “… it was good to see the ball cycled around in the manner that it was.”
    I agree; and much more diagonally, up and back, back and up, probing … almost — dare I say — *thinking*.
    But it hurt to see Barnetta and Nogueira have to check back so deep to get most of their tastes in the first half. Rosenberry’s balance of tidiness and aggression (runs but especially passes) helped offset some of that impotence. Being one of only two to go the full 90 must mean something …
    Seeing Creavalle line up for a tap, and generally spearheading, left me with only one optimistic moonshot interpretation: Curtin wanted to see the second stringers get a run out under the game situation in which a lone striker had gotten red carded. ’cause after about minute 65, we certainly played like a man-down.
    Competition at all positions sounds promising. But when it comes time to actually play *together*, the bench did not seem to know how to work as anything resembling a unit.
    Between poor control and giveaways, Missimo had a particularly woeful outing. So if you’re reading this hot off the press, son … re-read it again five years from now, and enjoy the laugh. Because it will get better.
    I also expected far better from Blake. Forget the leadership or even the communication; just the angles he took on the various breakaways (and we gifted the Fire plenty!) disappointed. And I assume pre-seasonal thinking, rather than memories of his knee surgery, explains why Blake didn’t clean Accam’s clock on the 57th minute breakaway. Mad props to Tribbett for the recovery run and successful back clearance. Bail out your ‘keeper after this month, and he buys you the first round.
    Props to our videographer wielding the main midfield lens, who later in the match resorted to using his or her bare hand to shield us YouTube streamers from the Florida sun beaming almost directly into the camera.

    • You bring a consistent and steady hand with your commentary.

      • Thanks, el P. That’s what I get from years of both shooting and analyzing midfield cam game tape.
        Weirdly, my commentary has already fulfilled itself. From Ed’s official wrap-up of this morning: “The [second Union] goal appeared to be scored by Warren Creavalle but the recap at the Union website credits draft pick Cole Missimo.”
        Yasee, Cole? Your outing got better overnight! How’s that for rapid development 😉
        old soccer coach must have hacked into my first draft, which ended with the question, “Thoughts on Tribbett?” With only he and Rosenberry enjoying the full 90, Curtin has gifted us lots to think about with those two youngsters …

  7. The things that worried me the most were on the same play where Accam beat Marquez with pace. Which I never thought I’d see. And the save attempt by Blake, on the same play, was weak at best. Ball goes by his feet and he tried to make the save with his hand. I don’t get that. Maybe it’s the way he’s been taught, but his foot was inches away and his hand had to travel two feet to make that save, which he didn’t. Concerning.

    • Wasn’t a good look on Blake, but it’s still a hard save with his foot.

      Marquez was done for pace, but Accam is one of the fastest players in the league. However, Marquez should have realized it and put a challenge in immediately, even if it draws a card. This is the sort of thing one hopes is covered in the lead up to a competitive game, and perhaps displays a bit of naivety on the part of Marquez.

      Barnetta was more at fault than either of the two behind him.

      • old soccer coach says:

        I don’t remember Marquez having any cover once the ball was given up and he was isolated against Accam. Where was Tribett?

      • Tribett was on the inside and really didn’t have any fault in the goal for me. The goal was a direct result of Barnetta carelessly giving the ball away in midfield. He had Nogs open to his left for a simple ball, but tried to force it outside. Rosenberry was pushed high while the Union were in possession and Chicago countered quickly into the space left behind Rosenberry. Marquez showed Accam outside (which was the correct thing to do), but didn’t get his angles right and Accam blew right by him and poked by Blake. I blame Barnetta first and foremost for the goal and if we want to reach, we can also blame Marquez and Blake for not getting their angles right. Not sure Tribett or Rosenberry could have done anything else on that second goal.

      • Barnetta with an awful giveaway, Marquez not immediately recognizing his own top speed was a full notch lower than Accam’s, Blake probably expecting Marquez to tackle. It was a series of errors I can’t blame on anyone specifically. That goal looked bad but also looked very preseason. Accam is a stud, of course he’d net a couple this game.

    • It’s like Blake overcommitted to covering the near post on Accam’s first half breakaway and gave him more of the goal to shoot at.

      • old soccer coach says:

        yes, I wonder if Accam somehow faked him with his eyes, because he had committed to his right and the shot went left. It was awfully close quarters, so had he gotten it it would been an excellent save.

    • I wasn’t really trying to blame Marquez. I was more shocked than anything. My point was really, that if they are going to play the outside backs so far up the wings and have the CB’s stretched too, this is something the Coach and CB’s need to be aware of. I.E. wingers/forwards with pace. So as someone else said, take a foul early before he gets past. Or even taking a better angle.
      As for Blake, it just seemed odd to me he didn’t kick his leg out instead of trying to bend to the side for the save. Maybe the camera angle made it seem closer than it was. Hard to tell.
      Neither of these things, to me anyway, are excessively damning. They are just things that need working on.

  8. For me, this game may have highlighted Edu’s importance to this squad. If he is manning the CDM spot (with discipline, a large caveat), Accam’s breakaway goal may not come down to Accam vs. Marquez..
    I know people aren’t necessarily in love with Edu, but if he can maintain positional discipline, his speed, athleticism, and confidence will be a massive assist to the backline, as well as a very important link in the chain. His presence frees up Nogs and Barnetta to move back to their natural positions, and allows Marquez/Anderson/Yaro to play with more confidence.
    Yaro had a rough outing. But aside from him, we have to be pleased with the display from the young guys. Rosenberry and Herbers looks like MLS starters already. Any combination of that leads to 2 out of those 3 draft picks panning out is a good thing for us.
    I’m ignoring the score. Goal 1 was a fluky play. Goal 2 was a bad turnover…60 yards away. It was finished by one of the best and fastest strikers in the league against 2 of our youngest players. Goal 3 was CHI taking advantage of a rookie’s aggressiveness and knocking in a deflected save.
    All of this can be corrected.
    Focus on the control and ball movement of the first half. Now think of the possibilities of adding Alberg, Sapong, and possibly Ilsinho to the mix.
    The sky is not falling. There were strong positives to take from this game. Correct some of the mistakes of youth (which will see this year, no matter who the manager is), and we’ll be on the right path.

    • +1. Add in that Edu is one of the strongest players in the league with exceptional balance and you have the making of a stud CDM. If only, as you say, the can maintain that positional discipline.

    • (Just re-read this comment. I did not have enough coffee before typing. Believe it or not, English is my first language, just not without caffeine.)

      • I re-read after this comment and was like”oh it’s not that bad…a run-on sentence” then I got to the Yaro paragraph.
        Prag it’s all good. I tend to be a grammar/spelling Nazi and I totally missed it the first time around ( my caffeine hadn’t kicked in yet either). But thanks for providing a morning laugh and being man enough to take a poke at yourself first.
        It just points out we are all in preseason form ;).

      • el Pachyderm says:


    • Right. Not only was Edu not on the pitch, but our current starting #9 didn’t play. I watched the first half and saw what I thought was a team that was primarily focused on trying to keep possession, build from the back and move the ball forward. Yes. Mistakes were made. But I don’t think the score means a whole lot. The game was about evaluating players. Curtin and Co. are clearly still trying to figure out who makes this roster. And who gets sent to Bethlehem (or who get sent packing).

  9. The system has officially changed. Yes we got crushed in this game, but we knew it was probable results would not look great right away (although anyone worrying about preseason should remember back to Sam Bradford’s preseason hype). The amount of possession and movement is night a day from last year. As the team inserts the full roster and they gel the beautiful game will finally make an appearance in Philly.
    Rosenberry and Herbers are making me feel better about our depth already (preseaon qualification again).

  10. WestmontUnion says:

    I didn’t watch the game, but having watched every match last season as a reluctant STH, can I get a consensus on the following –

    Is Rosenberry talented enough to push Gaddis to the bench where he belongs (as a viable depth piece; a back up at both RB LB)?

    Is the lack of a DP attacking signing a vote of confidence that Stewart truly beleives that he can take the core of the team (basically last years team) and improve them through implementing a top level ‘player development’ environment, thus improving the team via organic talent growth? Or should we be utterly disappointed that the ownership hasn’t gotten the memo that to be a member of MLS 2.0 you need to be spending on more talented players than Fab, Gaddis, Pontius to be competitive in this league…

    • On the Rosenberry/Gaddis question – yes. Expect Ray to become a backup by the All-Start break, at the latest.
      As for the DP, I believe Stewart believes we have players who are capable of doing the job. And it’s my belief that they are not in the mix to sign anyone who will make a large enough difference to show a big ROI. CJ and Herbers have tons of talent, and at a fraction of the cost of a DP (even with CJ’s new contract).
      I’m of the mindset that ES will sign a DP when he finds someone he values at that price, and not before. He won’t be pressured into buying someone simply to satiate the masses. If a difference-maker isn’t available, he’ll roll with the current roster, at least for a year. Personally, I’m completely content with that. Don’t kill your cap to keep up with the Joneses.
      I’ve pointed out before, Dallas, Portland, NYRB, and Columbus did fairly well last year without that big international DP on their roster.

      • old soccer coach says:

        technically you are correct that Columbus did not have a big international DP, so what follows is called a quibble. Columbus did bring in Kei Kamara, a Sierra Leone national teamer, who is asking to be paid more at the moment, who had some effect last season on Columbus’s level of success.
        You might say that Gregg Berghalter, in Earnie Stewart like fashion, got an international DP striker effect on his club’s season without either the international or the DP. Good management, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

      • Completely agree. And in a perfect world, Sapong (age 27) develops into Kamara 2.0 (Kamara is 31).
        There is time to determine this is already in progress.
        Also, I continue think that Higuain’s importance to that team is understated by most fans. My hope is that Barnetta becomes our answer to Higuain.

      • On Dallas weren’t Diaz and Texeria DPs, on NYRB might not be internationals but Sasha Klejstan and BWP were DPs, Portland has Adi, Valeri, and Ridgewell as DPs, Columbus has Higuain and Kei Kamara as DPs. Yeah all these teams did well but they do have DPs. Not that I think they are needed I am just pointing out everyone of these teams had or has at least 2 DPs.

    • Regarding your last point – again, I think Stewart is taking a longer term perspective, and in that framework, it’s possible/probable (dare I say…pragmatic?) that they wait until mid-season to make a big DP signing, in order to figure out where they best need one. If Herbers and Sapong are both healthy and lighting up the back of the net in a 1-striker system (one as a sub, obviously), signing a big-name striker now for a few mil would seem foolish in hindsight. Maybe Fabinho goes back into sun-rocket form and it makes more sense to spend that money on a LB. Or maybe the team coalesces but not in the way the coaching staff expects, and that affects the type of striker the Union pick up. The pieces just aren’t in place yet, and we won’t know which ones we don’t have until the team starts to gel a little bit and we see where the weak links are. Especially for the amount of money a DP signing would take. I’d rather have a mediocre season this year and then 5 great seasons, over a quick improvement this season but a low ceiling because we didn’t pick up the pieces that fit best together.

    • I also agree with Prag, Rosenbery should press Gaddis for a starting role by mid-season if not before. I think he looks really good, but I’m trying to temper my excitement. It is only preseason after all. And he’s played all of 90 minutes +.
      As for the DP and spending…I agree again with Prag. What was it last year…the top three teams had the lowest payroll? Spending cash in MLS does not equal a trophy. Team have to spend smartly. Which I have a hard time faulting. The people that clamor for the Union to bust the budget, I just don’t get. Spending, just to spend, doesn’t work. Ask the Eagles and their two iterations of “Dream Teams”. For all the money LA spends every year, they don’t always win. Toronto has a huge amount of money invested in three players (granted that I’d love to have Giovinco here), but that leaves them short in other positions and hasn’t worked too well so far.
      Smart spending, developing through the draft, USL team, and the academy is how to build for the future. It’s most likely going to be a slow process but entirely worth it in the end.

    • Let’s keep in mind the off-set calendars. If Earnie has an eye towards the future more than this season, it makes great sense to wait at least until the summer. At that point, you’ll have more international players who are out of contract (since their season will be over), meaning you could save money on transfer fees.
      There is also a deeper pool of talent available in the Summer window, due to international clubs reassessing their own goals at that time. This leaves a larger number of players available (albeit with transfer fees attached).
      This may all be completely irrelevant for the Union, but it is a hindering dynamic for MLS as a whole. The biggest difference-makers don’t typically join until mid-season, and then don’t actually make a difference until the following year, after they have had a pre-season to settle in with their team.
      It’s annoying when you want your team to come out firing, but it’s one of the (few) downsides of not matching up with the international calendar.

  11. old soccer coach says:

    Many of us have analyzed Rosenberry’s play. None of us have given much time to Tribett. None of us have wondered why those two started and played the entire 90.
    Here is my take. They let Mitchell Lurie go, so depth for LCB is one their minds for both the Union and BSFC. My judgment here is that Anderson is the starter. The question is can Ken Tribett hold up in an MLS game in case of injury or suspension? This scrimmage was a good chance to find out. I read Tribett as having a case of nerves at the beginning of the game, not surprising and quite forgiveable, a kid one season plus two weeks removed from Drexel on the field against one of the more lethal speed counterattacks in MLS last season. He made mistakes in the first half, but probably got some instruction at halftime and seemed to benefit. He was the experienced CB after the 60th minute and was trying to respond to the responsibility. It’s a big decision whether they rely on Tribett as one of the twenty-two, or go out and get someone more experienced and expensive.

    Rosenberry and Herbers made cases that they can serve as backups in the twenty-two already. Herbers is not yet match fit for ninety, so if Sapong is unavailable early in the season, someone from elsewhere in the twenty-two will have to slot in, Alberg for example. But he has shown better than other previous Union rookie strikers. Wouldn’t it be nice if we never had to find out who the number 3 striker is.
    After halftime, the starting group was playing for conditioning, and Paunovic subbed to regain control of the midfield. That change exposed the green-ness of that particular back line in controlling the aforementioned lethal speed counterattack. That specific combination has work in front of it to become a cohesive defensive unit rather than individuals trying to make a team. So far, only Rosenberry seems to be asking serious questions of his competition, and I expect that Ray Gaddis will be given substantive opportunities to answer them before any change in the ranking order is made (for reasons of fairness and team morale) as my very limited sample of data does not suggest that a change is overwhelmingly obvious to all.
    Another observed phenomenon not mentioned above is that Leo Fernandes seemed to integrate effectively with Nogueira and Barnetta in the midfield in the first half. I do not know the Chicago team, so I cannot interpret the moves made in the midfield at half time easily. I have the impression from the chicago commentator on the live stream that two of the Fire mids in the first half were trialists. If the subs at halftime were the regular starters, that worries me some, but I do not know whether it was purely personnel, whether it was a combination of personnel and tactics, or whatever else. I do suspect that Union midfield fatigue played a role, as it was the first time they had gone 60. Yes, they went 45 against the U-17s, but I get the impression we were not pushed much by the 16 year-olds. I suspect that the fluid, dynamic “match-up press” with which they are defending in the midfield places significant stress on conditioning.
    Since Ibrahima Diaby was on the game roster but did not see the field, I am assuming the 20 year old is a prospect for BSFC, especially since Taylor Washington looked quite competent offensively at left back after Fabinho subbed off.
    No further read on where Yosef Samuels will end up as he was held out injured. No idea why Ilsinho was held out, but I am avoiding reading too much into it because there are several opportunities to see him against legitimate MLS sides later in preseason, and those opportunities will be more useful because those sides will be further along in fitness and defensive coordination. The best evaluative test is to start him with the known first teamers who would surround him were he part of a first eleven. Herbers got that opportunity against Chicago; had they added Ilsinho, there would have been too many new variables simultaneously for it to have been a useful fair test. (I just reinforced my earlier conclusion that Leo Fernandes did alright, didn’t I.)

    • I had the opposite feeling in regards to Leo. I thought he didn’t affect the game well at all. It reminded me of before he got loaned to the Cosmos when he would just disappear. He and Pontius seemed like the were just not involved well.
      As for Tribett, I thought he played well considering. I like your take on finding out whether he can come into the side as relief.
      As for Washington, I also thought he played well. He looked willing to take a man on and made some forward runs towards the box, taking a man with him to open space. I liked his effort and want to see more.

      • The biggest questions I have so far is how a backup backline is going to shake out (Rosenberry-Yaro-Tribbett-Washington). That’s a insanely young backline. Are we ok with that going into the season. So far the answer may actually be yes.

      • Don’t gauge on initial production. If you can view this team as an Etch-a-Sketch that was just forcibly shaken, we need to look for potential foundations. Those 4 guys qualify.
        You obviously need some veteran stability. You don’t want confidences crushed because they don’t have proper support. But the book on Earnie is about building from within, and build with youth. With that comes some learning curves. But the young guys have great promise.

      • I’m actually becoming more and more ok with it as the preseason is progressing. The rest of the world plays kids, why shouldn’t we? They’ve got to learn sometime and why not learn from the better players in your league, rather than playing down to worse competition in a lower league.

      • I agree with this point, it’s just Tribbett and Washington scare me a little mainly because of where we got them. I’m fine with rolling the dice on Rosenberry and Yaro, although the team has known Tribbett for a while now too. Something to keep an eye on at least, especially since Gaddis can move over to the left if necessary.

      • Well how “scary” is it really (yes I realize “scary” may be a bit of an overstatement)? The team is in a rebuilding phase. We all know this. Is there any real expectation they will compete for anything more than a playoff spot? So if there are injuries and the kids are forced to play, what real harm is there? We lose a few more games(maybe more depending on lengths of injuries). Then we find out their worth against true MLS competition. If they fail horrendously, then we know they either need more time with BSFC or they need to be replaced. Either way, our true worry should be the teams development, not losing a few extra games next year. Right?

      • A completely valid argument which I have to agree with. The fact that all 4 haven’t looked out of place can be taken as nothing but a good sign.

      • I jump on the pile to bust Prag’s stones, and I end up goofing myself. “He and Pontius seemed like the (should be they) were just not involved.
        Well that’s what I get for opening my big mouth.
        The fourth cup of coffee was apparently not enough….It’s still preseason right?

      • Friday…preseason…winter…lack of caffeine…
        I’m happy to be upright today.

      • I’m happy to be upright any day 😮 .

      • Wasn’t it Fernandes who passed the ball out to LeToux leading to the first Union goal? Didn’t he also draw the foul that led to a free kick from just outside the box?
        I’m with OSC on this one. While he made a few errors and wasn’t a dominant force, I thought Leo played very well overall.

      • You are absolutely right MSG, it was Leo who passed the ball to LeToux. I stand corrected. I went back and started watching around the 11 min mark. At which time Leo actually makes a good defensive play to steal the ball. He apparently played better than I realized. Maybe I’ll go back and watch more if I get the chance. I retract my statement about Leo. I can only offer that I was more interested in watching Rosenberry play, as an excuse.

      • I certainly can’t blame you for focusing your attention on the new guys like Rosenberry. It will be exciting to see what KR and his draft mates can bring to the Union this summer (and in the years to come).

      • For whatever reason I specifically remember thinking “where was Leo today?”. What I should have been thinking was “why did I have a black hole where Leo was concerned?”. Maybe I was struck dumb trying to figure out who was playing DCM. And when I figured out it was Barnetta, I was left dumbfounded. I have no good answer. And apparently I need to pay better attention. Oops….

  12. Three things, (1)Herbie, (2)Herbie & (3)Herbie… With that said, it is preseason, but if Curtin can not fix the defense with the combined new players and the proper placement of these players, I hope ES tolerates it for maybe 3-4 games, then makes a move… how can such a defensive player, with a self proclaimed defensive coaching style continue to allow teams to dominate our defense at will… what is he coaching at practices??? WTF??? I know it’s pre-season, so he gets a mulligan for that shit show called a defensive effort… not all starting players on the pitch included, but it better change immediately and start complimenting the talent we have… IT IS ON CURTIN TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN… no more mullies from me, and I hope ES has just as little patience as I do… Make it right coach… but yes pre-season is pre-season, but that defensive effort was spot on a chapter from last years garbage we witnessed ‘ALL YEAR LONG’… does he not coach players to make sure you DO NOT LET THEM IN ALONE ON YOUR KEEPER? TAKE THE PROFESSIONAL FOUL ‘EVERYTIME’ WTF… Basic defense 101…

    • A little boy I was watching at YSC this past tuesday was beaten by pace down the left wing with the Golden Gol riding on everything and even he thought to pull the kid’s shirt and stop play.

Leave a Reply

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