Union match reports

Preseason Recap: Philadelphia Union 0-0 New York Red Bulls

Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls played out a feisty 0-0 draw at Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex in Clearwater, Fla. on Wednesday night. Both teams had good chances to break the deadlock, and John McCarthy was the busier of the two goalkeepers, but neither side could find the finish in the scoreless game

The first half was the edgier of the two halves, with eight cards given out, including two yellow cards and a red card to Ilsinho.

First half

The first quarter of an hour was certainly dictated by the Red Bulls, with the Union’s midfield three of Brian Carroll, Vincent Nogueira, and Chris Pontius looking disjointed. John McCarthy was forced into a number of saves and required to come off his line to smother dangerous Red Bulls attacks on more than one occasion.

Despite the Red Bulls early dominance, the Union had three quality chances to take the lead. Signed officially earlier in the day, Ilsinho fired a strong half volley that Luis Robles pushed aside in the 25th minute. Fabian Herbers had his shot sail high over the bar in the 33rd minute after a good passage of play from Pontius and Nogueira set the striker up at the top of the box. Nogueira himself fired just over after Herbers did well to hold up play and cut back for the midfielder.

Ilsinho appeared to come in late on a few occasions in the first half, earning a first yellow card in the 28th minute. After a second very late challenge just before the stroke of halftime, the Brazilian received his marching orders, and angry scenes ensued. Ilsinho was confronted by a number of Red Bulls players, and Fabinho became involved as a scrum broke out. Even Jim Curtin appeared to get into a minor scrap on the sideline with the Red Bulls bench as the teams separated.

Second half

Even down to ten men, the Union put in a resolute performance in the second half. C.J. Sapong and Leo Fernandes did well to hold up play and relieve pressure when the ball was played into them. Wholesale substitutions for both teams — the Union at the half, and the Red Bulls around the 60th minute — kept much of the play disjointed and uneven throughout the second frame.

McCarthy was again called into action to make a number of saves throughout the half. Bradley Wright-Phillips, Felipe, and Anatole Abang all had chances but could not beat the Union goalkeeper, who’s shot-stopping looked to be in midseason form.

The Union’s best second half chances came through substitutes Sapong and Roland Alberg. Sapong fired just high after a bad giveaway in the Red Bull’s backline in the 81st minute. Alberg had two quality chances from free kicks, his closest into the side netting in the 84th minute.

While the Red Bulls certainly did well to hold the ball and carve out a few decent chances, Philadelphia will look at the draw as a positive, keeping a clean sheet despite playing down a man for 45 minutes.

Quick thoughts

He’ll be the player everyone is talking about after this one. Signed earlier in the day, the Brazilian turned in a quite feisty performance in his first matchup with the Red Bulls. He had a quality scoring chance saved by Robles (I also think he could have cut back for Herbers), but more notably, he made his presence felt through a string of lazy challenges.

His first yellow card in the 29th minute was an extremely late challenge that upset the Red Bulls players and drew an immediate retaliatory tackle from Sacha Kljestan. He was involved in a few physical tussles after that and given his second yellow for a late challenge on Gideon Baah that set off a minor scrum just before the half. The Brazilian will take some time to settle in the league, despite his strong preseason, and hopefully the timing of his challenges improves as he settles. Another few games like that first half will have most Union fans completely forgetting about his preseason assists, though.

John McCarthy
The undisputed Man of the Match, the Union goalkeeper made a number of strong saves going the full 90 minutes. He was quick off his line and controlled his box better than he did in many of his starts last season. But even better than that was his shot stopping. He batted looping balls over the bar, did well getting down both to his left and right, and even showed evidence of better distribution with his kicks out of the back. With Matt Jones now on the roster, it might be easy to assume McCarthy will get plenty of game time with Bethlehem Steel this season, but the goalkeeper appears ready if the Union do turn to him at all in 2016.

Not a bad showing with 10 men
After both teams made almost wholesale line changes in the second half the game never really regained the frenetic pace of the 45 minutes. This probably suited the shorthanded Union fine. But the Union also did well to carve out chances and maintain periods of possession playing down a man. Leo Fernandes did well on a number of mazy dribbles, drawing free kicks on a few occasions. Sapong also looked strong posting up and holding the ball up and allowing the Union midfield to move further up the pitch.

Other quick notes

  • Josh Yaro turned in a decent performance. While he appeared to struggle with the speed of the Red Bulls attack in the first half, he seemed to rebound in the second half and was much stronger defensively. He continues to look extremely comfortable with the ball at his feet, doing well to maintain possession and in trying to start the attack out of the back.
  • Fabian Herbers again got himself into decent positions. He fired over after a corner kick was half-cleared early on and again failed to hit the target after Nogueira did well to pick him out on the top of the box. He probably could have settled the second attempt, but he again turned up in the right places throughout his time on the field.
  • Keegan Rosenberry, much like Yaro, struggled with the pace of the Red Bulls attack to start the match but grew into the game more as the half wore on. Ray Gaddis made his second appearance of the preseason and got forward more than usual, despite the Union playing down a man.
  • Roland Alberg didn’t feature much in the second half, but his free kicks were promising. He just missed scoring at the near post with a tricky shot in the 84th minute.
  • Walter Restrepo continued to look uneven. With the Union midfield having more wide options than ever, the first year man will have to find some consistency if he is to feature regularly in the regular season.

Philadelphia Union
John McCarthy; Fabinho (Taylor Washington, 46′), Ken Tribbett (Anderson, 46′), Joshua Yaro, Keegan Rosenberry (Ray Gaddis, 61′); Brian Carroll (Roland Alberg, 46′), Vincent Nogueira (Warren Crevalle, 46′); Chris Pontius (Walter Restrepo, 46′), Ilsinho, Sebastien Le Toux (Leo Fernandes, 46′); Fabian Herbers (C.J. Sapong, 61′)

New York Red Bulls
Luis Robles; Sal Zizzo (Chris Duvall, 61′), Gideon Baah (Zach Carroll, 61′), Ronald Zubar, (Karl Ouimette, 46′), Kemar Lawrence (Connor Lade, 61′), Dax McCarty © (Sean Davis, 46′), Felipe (Tyler Adams, 61′), Sacha Kljestan (Alex Muyl, 56′), Lloyd Sam (Vincent Bezecourt, 61′), Mike Grella (Bradley Wright-Phillips, 46′), Gonzalo Veron (Anatole Abang, 46′)

Scoring Summary

Discipline Summary
PHI – Sebastien LeToux (caution, foul) 28′
PHI – Ilsinho (caution, foul) 29′
NY – Sacha Kljestan (caution, foul) 31′
PHI – Brian Carroll (caution, foul) 32′
PHI – Vincent Nogueira (caution, foul) 42′
PHI – Ilsinho (ejection, second yellow) 44′
PHI – Roland Alberg (caution, foul) 74′


  1. It was certainly less than a first choice lineup for the Union, but that first half was bad. Credit to NYRB because they really know how to pressure. All that nice on the ground passing the Union were showing went out the window pretty quick unfortunately.

  2. old soccer coach says:

    Ilsinho getting sent off meant that Barnetta did not get his 45 minutes, I assume. Resting a midfielder who is over thirty is not a bad thing if he is in game shape and has been working hard in practice..
    I agree with Mike’s choice as man of the match, but would suggest that Mc Carthy buy Warren Creavalle dinner with his prize money. Creavalle was highly energetic, offensively more creative and technical than I had any idea, and showed real pace in his recovery runs to defend intervening critically more than once. in those circumstances. I am guessing he illustrates the benefit of being involved in the building of the team from the beginning of the season. He is not just a temporary patch while Edu heals, he has convinced me he belongs on merit.
    My last impression, the evaluation of which I seek from the collective Wisdom of PSP readers, is that Philadelpjia’s bench seemed better than NYRB’s bench. BWP aside, we we not dominant, but we seemed to have to advantage more often than not once our subs were matched to their subs. Red Bulls signed all those HGPs to their first team roster. injuries and suspensions could make them vulnerable.

    • Creavalle was an eye opener for me. He was so active that for a period of time, I had forgotten that the Unin were down a man.

      Regarding the subs bench, so much of NY’s success last year was because they had a pretty steady core group of players and aside from right back, their starting XI was a constant throughout the year. If you’re gong to play a high tempo pressing style, you need subs who can step without a noticeable drop off in player and I don’t see that on NY’s bench. However, it still is the preseason so it’s hard to get a definitive read yet.

      Nice to Geddis get a run out.

      • First let me just say THANK YOU Zizou, for pointing out Geddis. And how about Kliessgens. Or Kervall. The nephew of whoever, that was calling that game, needs a refresher course with the alphabet. It was like an icepick in my brain whenever one of those three touched the ball.
        Ok now that I got my bitching out of the way…Yes the Union bench seems much deeper than the Red Bulls’. But what passed for Union starters, seemed barely able to keep up. NY had trios of players working in conjunction. While the Union just seemed disjointed. What is clear, is that the Red Bulls are a team that played together most of last year. While the Union are newly forged and need time to jell.

      • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

        I picked up on that mispronunciation as well, seems like a fairly straight forward name to get right

      • E is not A. Basic kindergarten stuff.

    • I missed the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half and it took me a long time to figure out we were playing down a man. Creavalle was all over the place. I thought his decision making on passes was a little slow (could also be a function of having 1 less option) but the dude was breaking up plays and then getting into good attacking support positions. There’s your CDM depth.
      That said, Leo looked to be the best player to me. He’s on a mission and is going to get a lot of playing time this year even with all the additions to his positions.
      Maybe McCarthy should play every game against the red bulls.

  3. So much running…it is exhausting just watching… this is the Union I remember coupled copiously with the stuff I just don’t get…
    …very interesting to me that with a game or two before camp breaks its fiddle fiddle fiddle… you already know Brian Carroll and Noguiera can hold down the fort… you already know this will completely bog down play… you already know if Carroll is seeing any amount of game action its park the bus because his presence takes a technician off the field… No problem with Brian Carroll..at all… he is a stop gap worst case scenario spot starter… you needed to see Barnetta. Alberg. Noguiera in the midfield to see if against the heavily pressing NYRB…they could pass muster…and now we still do not know… is Barnetta hurt? Did I miss something?
    So what does the manager do? Starts Brian Carroll and Vincent Noguiera against a team known to press the hell out of you.
    for those of you who think/thought Barnetta has been poor this preseason… his absence single handedly ended any chance of building play through the lines. HE is an absolute must on the field.
    Yaro starts?
    No Alberg to start?
    No Barnetta to start?
    No Sapong to start?
    fiddle fiddle fiddle.
    Three last things…. First::: wouldn’t it be nice if a guy could dribble in this league…just a little bit…without getting scythed… oh my I need an icepack after that egregious display of, yes, american soccer… 2nd:: can someone answer me why changing the point of attack is so hard to do…particularly with a flat ball that isn’t ballooning and spinning backwards allowing other team to get set…why oh why when the other team has the numerical advantage do our players try to JAM a railroad stake through a pinhole and play up the same side of field….this is ELEMENTARY…switch fields!
    3rd: It is possible Leo Fernandes is one of the best players on this team… and I will take credit for arguing that last season.
    That’s enough for today…. I’m tired of me…and I am sure you are tired of me.

    • I agree with your main point here, Pachy. It would be a shame to see this team revert to old, bad habits. I can, however, appreciate Curtin trying out his B lineup to further test those bench players. He knows what he’s going to get from CJ an from Barnetta. A scoreless draw is probably what you’re shooting for with a Brian Carrol lineup….
      And on switching the fields and dribbling…. Guys in MLS just don’t have the touch of players in the better leagues. It’s amazing to watch EPL games on Saturday morning and see guys hurl the ball across the field to have it trapped expertly by a midfielder who is probably 90 to 100 yards away. In MLS, those passes wind up in the stands. We don’t have players who can perform give and go passing in triangles. Or who can switch speeds with the ball at their feet. A few can, but it’s an exception not the norm. We can only hope it will get better. I think it will. But it will take time.

    • old soccer coach says:

      I saw what you call fiddle fiddle fiddle as testing his young defenders against the toughest opponent yet.
      Step back and look at the larger picture for a minute, perhaps. Plenty of changes on this team this season. There has been a lot of money invested in the midfield to create a better possession game. The formation has changed to keep veteran attackers closer to the 18 yard box to try to increase the scoring. There is more credible depth than there has been in the past. But from my perspective, the biggest change, biggest in part because it is the riskiest, is a complete overhaul of the defense using youngsters.
      Speculating quite boldly, I think he already knows his starting back four, has known them for some time. He is not “gel-ing” his starters; he is creating data to be analyzed to make the best judgments possible about how best to develop the kids, to do everything possible to confirm the assumption that they are ready to be given serious MLS minutes against significant MLS opposition and to build the confidence of each of the kids that they belong, that they can in fact play in this league, so that when they have to step in, they will have some experience and will not spend the first tens of minutes making panicky mistakes that will cost the team the game.
      to me, if he knows his starters, testing and proving his backups is sound coaching, especially with regard to his center backs. There will be injuries, there will be tiredness, there will be suspensions. I will have to check my participation data to check for one combination of the four possible among the CBs, whether Marquez and Anderson Conceicao have been on the field together, because I don’t remember. I am fairly sure that all the other combinations have been given at least forty-five minutes playing together.
      the preparation objective for the season is to create a unit of eight that are as close to Eli Whitney’s interchangeable parts as is possible. I believe he has been working on that, and I am guessing that he has been practicing that way.

      • What you say is valid OSC. My concern is, watching Red Bulls, it looked they their first team was mostly starters. And they looked it. They understood each other. They knew where, when, how, the players around them would play. The Union don’t. Unless the starters play a full 90 in the last preseason game, they will have had very limited time to gain understanding. I’m worried they will start the season behind the eight ball.

      • Edit: “My concern is, watching Red Bulls, it looked like* their first team…”

      • Sound and Fury OSC…well stated and argued… and quite likely possible… for my tastes NYRB were the team to first team last night in the first 45 then idly wonder and test your multiple hypothesis in the final game but I’m not the coach that is for sure.

  4. In defense of Ilsinho–looked like a heavy dose of embellishment from the RB player combined with a game atmosphere that was getting increasingly tense. Perhaps he should have been more conservative while playing on one yellow but its the preseason and we are Philly. Its too bad it limited a chance for a team mate to get some minutes.

  5. Alright, I’m back with some more sideline observations from Clearwater. This one wasn’t nearly as interesting because I wasn’t seated next to any of the top brass, but there were a couple interesting points that probably didn’t make it on the streaming broadcast. Once again, Edu was wearing a walking boot and not participating in any of the pre-game warm ups. Tonight’s strange observation of inactivity was Richie Marquez, who sat on the bench the entire evening with zero participation. I haven’t heard of any injury for him, so maybe a scheduled rest day? I believe Barnetta was supposed to play the 2nd half but couldn’t after Ilsinho’s red card. He worked out pregame with the other nine guys who were 2nd half subs, so I think it’s safe to assume he would have been one of them if we weren’t down a man. I don’t think tonight’s internet broadcast really picked up the level of anger Jesse Marsch displayed toward the Union’s physical play, or “cheap shots” as he called it, specifically Ilsinho. His scream of “that’s f**king bulls**t” after the challenge that earned Ilsinho’s first yellow echoed through the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex. For the rest of the half he paced the sideline almost constantly yelling at whichever official was closest. Things got interesting at halftime when Curtin went out to talk to the ref (probably to say ‘seriously dude, preseason red card?!?’). Earnie Stewart ended up on the field as well and he started to get into it with Marsch, to the point where one of the referee’s assistance had to hold back Earnie and direct him back to the sideline. 2nd half was less chippy, so the benches settled down a bit, but at one point after one of the nastier fouls of the 2nd half, Marsch paced the sideline for a solid minute, all the while staring at the Union bench and shaking his head. I was fairly surprised by the cordial postgame interactions between the coaches given how the previous 90 minutes played out. That’s all I got for this one. Not sure if I’ll make it down to St Pete for Saturday’s game, but if I do, I’ll be sure to report back with any interesting observations.

    • I enjoy reading these
      Keep ’em coming

    • Appreciate the insight – thanks for sharing!

    • Jesse Marsch is famous for that shit. They don’t call him the Swiss Volcano for nothing.

    • How certain are you that it’s Edu in the walking boot? It’s curious that nobody else is talking about it, anywhere.

      • Yeah I’ve been curious about this too. Correct me if I’m wrong but he had surgery for a sports hernia, I believe in his groin? A sports hernia is defined as a tear or strain in any part of the groin or lower abdomen, so that makes sense (thanks Google!). So….why the heck is he wearing a boot? From experience (and the fact that my wife is a podiatrist, and I just asked her), walking boots are usually meant to immobilize your foot or ankle for healing while still letting you get around: you might wear one for a tendon tear, a stress fracture, or to recover from surgery, but that would all be in the foot, ankle or proximal tibia/fibula area. So if it’s Edu walking around in a boot, either his doctor’s an idiot or he has some other injury that nobody is talking about.

        Or did I just miss something here? I usually check this site once a day, but I’m not always on the ball…

      • I don’t know. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. Just saw the news roundup for today and they are sticking to the slow-recovery-from-sports-hernia-surgery so maybe its just meant to keep pressure off his leg or something.

  6. So your sayin’ we are a long shot for the MLS Fair Play award for the 3rd year in a row?

  7. It seemed like the Union had about as many opportunities as the Cows, but that Philly was loathe to pull the trigger and shoot and, when they did shoot, they were off target. Both of those are worrisome and point towards “same old Union”.

    • I’d give everyone some time to find their goal scoring form. Frequently that’s one of the last things to come back after time off.

      On a more positive note, the fact that we were able to generate chances against the run of play points to progress. Last year we’d have one or two good looks per game (and one would go to wenger, leaving us with one good shot to score). Simply adding chances should result in goals. Not to mention, games won’t be boring. I’ve watched these preseason games more intently than many of our regular season games last year.

    • Going to be hard for Sapong to score 20 gols if he blasts it over the net from point blank range… I would have loved to see him bury that shot…not gonna lie.

  8. New guy here. Slowly adjusting from LaLiga levels to MLS and not very familiar with Union, yet.

    To me, this was an enjoyable performance. For a bottom rung team to hold their own against the top team, while a man short, is impressive.

    I thought Ilsinho was all over the place, in a good way. I liked Alberg taking shots at goal, with what may or may not turn into something consistent (minus missing the net!). I loved Yaro in the second half. Goalie was superb and I even forgot about the head gear after a while.

    I don’t think many excuses have to be made for Union’s performance last night. Sure, it is no European premier team, but clearly there is talent and potential.

    Looking forward to the season opener!


    • Thanks for weighing in. Great to read good new voices in the Comments section. It’s a great group already, and that’s a big part of what makes this site good.

    • It’s not the first time the Union have more than held their own against their rivals despite being a man down. Last year in the US Open Cup they went a man down a few minutes earlier than last night. The Union scored first and it was only a goal deep into stoppage time that tied it up and sent it to overtime followed by PK’s. McCarthy was Man of the Match in goal (even before making the save in the PK’s). Oh, and that game was an afternoon game in the middle of July so quite a bit hotter!

      • Just Rob f/k/a Rob127 says:

        Good point Andy but it speaks to your comment above about the “same old Union”. Traditionally, they hold their own with very little to show for it. They go toe to toe with just about anybody, only to give up the winning or equalizing goal late. It has happened so often that it feels inevitable. I, like everyone else, am hoping this trend stops in 2016.

    • Welcome, Gary. You’ll find this is one of the best sports blogs around. The outstanding writers set the tone for the comments section, which is also highly intelligent (and, when things get bad for the U., highly humorous as well).

  9. I already love Ilsinho!! We need a hard man! Tired of all this fair play BS.

  10. So, Ilsinho, to celebrate the signing of his new contract that very morning, gets red carded in the first half for multiple hard challenges against our arch-rivals in a pre-season friendly??? I think I’m gonna like this guy. :o)

  11. Ok so only got a chance to see the first 50 minutes so some of my comments could be off, but here goes. First Ilsinho looked awful flat out awful. With 5 questionable fouls within 20 minutes he needed that first yellow card and by the time he got the second he was clearing somewhere between 10-15 fouls thats just not acceptable anyway you look at it. Pontius looked pretty good he seems to actually like working with Fabi. El P I agree how come this team can’t learn to switch the field. My guess is other then the touch to trap the ball from Rosenberry no one on this team has the skills to bring the ball down on the right side. First half the right side looked basically empty most of the half. I like Rosenberry and Tribbet both very confident on the ball sometimes to much, but rather to much then no confidence. Yaro on the other hand this is the 3rd game I’ve seen snippets of his play and what did any MLS team see in him. He is small, shy on the ball, has gotten beat for speed 6 times in the games I’ve seen and he does not seem to get the system at all. It’s early to say this but he does not seem to be what I thought he would. I would loan him for a year no problem at this point cause I do not think he is worth it. Now maybe he had a better second half I didn’t see, but him in the back just scares the hell out of me. I right now vote Anderson Tribbet backline with Marquez backing up both and let Yaro learn at BSFC.

    Oh, also forgot to mention cause I harp on him all the time when he doesn’t have a good game, but McCarthy had a very good game he is learning and hopefully will continue to improve.

    • Yaro has trepidation going forward with his play at the moment…lays it off a lot (a lot)…but then BooM- he’s cat like in closing someone down or he threads a 30M ball on a dead stick right to the feet and you’re like, “Oh shit.”

    • From what I’ve seen, Yaro has early game jitters. Yes he can look shaky, but he tends to grow into the game. He did in the second half of this one too. I’ll also admit his size has been something that worries me. But last night I watched LA start Del La Garza at CB. He’s 5’9″. Surprising to me, he did really well. This gives me a bit of hope.

    • Watch the rest of the game to see Yaro grow into it. We have been spoiled by the play of the other young guys a little I think. Yaro is going to be fine, although some minutes at BSFC won’t hurt.

    • Not sure I agree with sending Yaro to BSFC. Too thin at CB to justify losing any of them. The only way that works is if Edu is coming back out of the midfield rotation. I’m ok with him being emergency cover as our 5th man up, but if we take one injury or a prolonged suspension (god forbid both) then he’s going to find himself in exactly the same spot as last year.

      • You start two CB’s and have one on the bench in case of injury. That’s pretty much the way it works. It’s rare to see two CB’s sitting on the bench as subs, unless the coach knows there’s a knock on one going into the match. Sending Yaro down to get experience isn’t a death sentence. Both teams will be practicing with each other anyway. And it’s not like Lehigh is in another state. It’s a safe bet that you won’t see Mo on the back line unless something catastrophic happens.

      • Agreed. I think Yaro goes down to get playing time – and, effectively, to replace Tribbett on their roster. If something disastrous happens, they can recall him. I’d also send Taylor down, and Rosenberry if he isn’t starting. If something happened in-game, they can patchwork with Crevalle, Le Toux, or Anderson and (again) recall one of the kids. And to add to my growing list, I’d also send Ayuk and Misimo – but I’d make those loans season-long, and possibly not with BSFC. Cosmos, Rowdies, Jacksonville, etc.
        All these kids need minutes, not sitting on a bench.

      • Good points. I’m in agreement. Though I would miss Ayuk. Really like that kid. Hope he keeps developing wherever he ends up playing.

      • I love Ayuk. But given the current roster, I’m just not seeing how he gets significant playing time. He’s only 19; the kid needs to play, not sit in the press box and watch.

      • Agreed. No argument from me.

      • I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of players bouncing up and down this year. Will probably even see players who make the union 18 but not get into the game or get small minutes play the next day for BSFC when they both have home games.

  12. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    I thought the biggest concern with Yaro was that he seemed to lose runners. There wasn’t a whole lot of communication between him, Tribbett and McCarthy. It looked like he was being beaten for speed because he was picking up his marks late, or identifying his marks late. Athleticly he is talented, just has to learn the position better and the whole back line will take time to gel with all the new faces

    • old soccer coach says:

      NYRB was doing something with diagonal runs from the flank into the center that we consistently did not pick up all night. It wasn’t just Yaro. I assume it is a coaching point that has being emphasized earlier this morning, and has been stolen for use by our offense, too, I hope.

  13. I can not fault Ilsinho for returning fire after watching the non-stop abuse the pink cows put upon him. How the guy calling the game got his license is beyond belief. I can only think Ilsinho was thinking what did I get myself into here, my career in the MLS will end the first game I play after signing my contract. The late tackle early on was unfortunate, but the abuse he continued to take all the time he possessed the ball was un-called for & what was the ref watching allowing that to continue, EVERY time he possessed or ‘tried’ to possess the ball. The only thing worse than the constant 2 hand shoving in his back & body slaming on headball possessions or attempts at that, was the NASTY ankle slashes they continued to put upon him every time he possessed the ball. The MORON that allowed that hacking to go on was completely unqualified and allowed the game to decay into the mess we witnessed. Yes welcome to the physical MLS, but at the same time, once again, the officiating continues to EMBARESS this league non-stop. Stay positive and healthy Ilsinho, welcome to our club & get ready for the joke this league calls their Officials… Screw the Pink Cows, and did you see their new 2nd jersey with a striking resemblance to OUR COLORS… what a bunch of tools. Can’t wait for the next game against them… Pink Cows HA!!!!

    • *round of applause

    • ‘tried to possess’..– it is a HUGE knock I have against this league… have to stop playing the man and start playing the ball…and you are right —- from my POV this comes down as an edict from above because MLS wants the physical rugged AMERICAN frontier prowess of physicality… and the refs just Mr. Magoo it…. problem is the games degenerate into ridiculous affairs….. cynical fouls are fine on the break… the dive, well diving is just an integral part of the game… but not being able to move with the ball in possession is so hard to swallow.

      • Question: If players want the game to be called in a way more akin to the “world’s” game, should we see more diving, flailing, rolling around in screams of agony? Would this not push the bar back a little? I would like to add that I’m generally against this. But if it leads to a more tactical, technical, and fairly called product, them I’m all for it.

      • You will severely limit the scope of the American audience if you allow more diving. It is the most un-American of sporting techniques.

      • I agree with it being the “most un-American of sporting techniques”. Which, I point to “…I’m generally against this.” That being said, I think the biggest obstacle to making the MLS game more appealing to watch, or a closer version of “the beautiful game” is the way it’s refereed. The difference I see between MLS and other leagues is in the way players are defended. In MLS there’s an acceptance of hacking, slashing, in your face, body to body defending that would be unacceptable in other leagues. The space between defender and attacker is mere inches, where in European leagues it’s feet, or yards. Players are less likely to dive in for a ball they know they are unlikely to get. In MLS, players go in hard, knowing that unless they steamroll the player, a foul won’t be called. So is this the lack of technical ability and close ball keeping ability, or does the fouling prevent said ability to shine through? Chicken vs. egg, coming first.

      • Just to be clear, I think the officiating in MLS is absolutely appalling. You don’t need to dive to improve the aesthetic. You need to improve the quality of the officiating.
        All of that being said, the NFL and NBA (looking at your, Dwayne Wade) are getting worse with diving each year. It’s becoming more prevalent in all major sports and it’s infuriating.
        Personally, I’d be happy to take a red card after a guy took a dive against me. But maybe that’s why it’s a good thing my career ended after high school. 🙂

      • In truth perceived ‘diving’ is also a part of NBA basketball to illicit ‘proper’ officiating (egregious flops to get the charge called)… notice also over the years how the NBA has cracked down on hand checking in order to maintain space on the court for the ballet to be less impeded. Art cannot exist in the shackles of maniacal defense…
        Regarding the MLS version of defense I also argue that one reason players do not just dive into the tackle in other leagues is because the ball carrier has the chops to ALWAYS elude the first defender…. this one magical skill demands the defender to first check his positioning relative to his teammates before running headlong into a tackle…
        MLS tackling is as much a problem of skill coupled with an absolute desire from headquarters to be a different and more brooding game…. Make no mistake the NFL model is at work here and it is all part of the PLAN.

      • Thanks guys, for the contributions. Just so I beat this to death, I’m just not convinced that it’s more the poor referees, vs. a directive from MLS. Either way, it hurts our game.

      • I will point to Fabinho beating Zusi every 5 seconds in the Open Cup final and getting hacked like crazy as an example. Barely any fouls called and if I remember correctly he didn’t go into the book until late in the second half and I remember counting at least 4 times he should have seen a yellow before then.
        I would actually like to see MLS try something different with the refs, maybe add another 1 or 2 roving refs to get better angles or give the line judges more power. Something has to change and honestly it’s not only a MLS problem.

    • standing O

    • Wasn’t that ref the guy who got his card torn up by Dempsey in the US Open Cup?

  14. I don’t understand why Ilsinho was left in after his yellow and a couple more close calls. It’s preseason with unlimited subs. Letting him continue to be an idiot like that reflects poorly on the managers decision making. Was the idea to get practice with 10 men!? It just doesn’t make sense to leave him in like that.
    Creavalle played very well IMO. All over the place.
    Yaro reminds me of White from last year in that he tries to be too cute as a CB. K.I.S.S.
    McCarthy was fantastic. Good performance from him.

  15. old soccer coach says:

    for what it’s worth, I just read a Dave Zeitlin article on the MLS website posted 6:30 last night that refers to him being “unexpectedly slowed by soreness in other areas” in his rehab from the sports hernia surgery. Also of interest, Zeitlin says Edu arrived in Florida “on Saturday,” which I take to mean Saturday February 20th, so our colleague above who spotted him in the boot at the game vs. Tampa Bay saw him on his first day in FL.
    By my eyeballs there was no boot at YSC when Jim Curtin called him out to the opening of practice huddle on the morning of the open practice, in late January.
    “Soreness in other areas” plus a walking boot, sighted now twice. What are the logical possibilities? What forms of soreness in a lower extremity are treated by being immobilized and comprehensively supported? Anybody on this site an athletic trainer?

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