Union / Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-0 D.C. United

Richie Marquez scored the game’s only goal — the first of his career — in second half stoppage time as Philadelphia Union defeated D.C. United 1-0 on Friday night in Chester.

Marquez swept in Sebastien Le Toux’s lofted cross at the back post just before the final whistle to earn three points in a dour match that saw few chances for either side.

First half

Jim Curtin made two changes to the team that drew in Montreal last Saturday, with Fabinho replacing Ray Gaddis at left back and Brian Carroll stepping in for Vincent Nogueira, who missed out with an oblique strain.

Philadelphia had the first chance of the game in the seventh minute. C.J. Sapong showed great strength holding off two United defenders as he charged down the right side of the field. The striker’s cutback found Tranquillo Barnetta on the edge of the box, but the midfielder couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and his shot was blocked wide of goal.

D.C. would have their first chance in the 11th minute. Alvaro Saborio latched onto a partially cleared ball 25 yards out and fired a low shot just wide of goal as Andre Blake dove to cover his post.

United had their next good look in the 17th minute when the Union failed to clear a corner kick. Luciano Acosta drove a hard shot straight at Blake from 25 yards away, with the big keeper up to the challenge.

The Union had a great chance to take the lead in the 27th minute. Fabinho nutmegged Patrick Nyarko on the left side and earned a dangerous free kick just off the corner of the box. Barnetta’s free kick was well placed and just needed a touch to be goalbound, but that touch was not coming as the ball missed everyone and curled off the far post and out.

Second half

In the 49th minute, Nyarko found space and drove a ball from the right side that Saborio couldn’t connect with as he slid in at the far post.

Philadelphia would stormed back down at the other end for a great chance of their own in the 51st minute. Sapong did ever so well to hold the ball and wait for Fabinho to break on the left side. The defender’s hard cross was punched away by Travis Worra, but the rebound fell to Le Toux six yards out, where it looked like the Frenchman would bury it into an open net. But two poor touches proved costly as the eventual shot was blocked and pushed wide by a recovering Worra.

United were almost able to take the lead in spectacular fashion in the 63rd minute. Alvaro Saborio made great contact on an overhead kick after a D.C. corner but Blake was up to the task and beat away the shot so Philadelphia could clear.

After a stretch of even play, Sapong had a great chance to break the deadlock in the 76th minute. Driving at the United backline from 30 yards, he worked a yard of space to shoot from just inside the box and Worra had to push the fierce shot to the side.

With the game looking certain to be a scoreless draw, the Union finally broke through in stoppage time.

Josh Yaro did well to recycle a ball cleared out by United, and his long pass found Le Toux open on the right side. The midfielder lofted a cross toward the back post that found Richie Marquez, who had stayed forward. The defender did well to make good contact as he slid in and swept the ball past Worra for his first career goal.

Philadelphia is in action again on Wednesday when they travel to face Orlando City SC.

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry, Josh Yaro, Richie Marquez, Fabinho (Ray Gaddis 71′), Warren Creavalle (Roland Alberg 87′), Brian Carroll, Tranquillo Barnetta, Chris Pontius (Fabian Herbers 64′), Sebastien Le Toux, C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: Matt Jones, Ken Tribbett, Leo Fernandes, Walter Restrepo

D.C. United
Travis Worra, Steve Birnbaum, Bobby Boswell, Taylor Kemp, Sean Franklin, Marcelo Sarvas, Nick DeLeon, Lamar Neagle (Jared Jeffrey 81′), Patrick Nyarko, Luciano Acosta (Julian Buescher 61′), Alvaro Saborio (Fabian Espindola 77′)
Unused Subs: Tally Hall, Rob Vincent, Luke Mishu, Kofi Opare

Scoring Summary
PHL: Richie Marquez (Sebastien Le Toux, Josh Yaro) – 90+1′

Disciplinary Summary
DC: Patrick Nyarko (dangerous play) – 45+1′
DC: Steve Birnbaum (unsporting behavior) – 53′
PHL: Tranquillo Barnetta (unsporting behavior) – 80′
PHL: Ray Gaddis (unsporting behavior) – 83′
PHL: Richie Marquez (unsporting behavior) – 90+2′


Philadelphia Union D.C. United
 11 Shots  14
 4 Shots on Target 2
 4 Shots off Target 8
 3 Blocked Shots  4
 7 Corner Kicks  4
 25 Crosses 19
2 Offsides  3
12 Fouls 17
 3 Yellow Cards 2
 0 Red Cards 0
 363 Total Passes  357
 71% Passing Accuracy  67%
 51% Possession  49%
 61 Duels Won 57
 51.70% Duels Won %  48.30%
 8 Tackles Won  12
 2 Saves 3
 23 Clearances  30


  1. Andy Muenz says:

    1st place!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. 90 minutes of blah for one, beautiful build up and quality finish.
    Nice to be in first. Nice for Richie. Nice for Seba. Still much to be done but a win, and home win, are very welcomed.

  3. Look, whether your holding a deck of cards made by Hoyle or Bicycle or if they have a picture of Spongebob and Squidward, a spade is a spade and I will always be the elephant in the room calling it as such…
    …take the 3 points and revel, celebrate first place and a goalkeeper that is stunningly agile, a CB capable of delivering a 40M dead vertical ball to the feet… but beyond these things….that game was abysmal and if this is professional soccer – where the ball spends more time in the air than on the ground just because your engine is missing— ….. I don’t want it nor the manager managing it.
    With no Vincent Noguiera this team, as mentioned on Twitter multiple times is Frank Ocean’s, “Lost. Lost. Lost.”
    NO WAY. Has to be better. Has to be. Unacceptable… and now a run of mediocrity not separating itself —despite the standings which say otherwise but are my second metric for improvement.
    Play BETTER.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      It definitely showed how badly Noguiera is needed, especially when Creavalle was not having his best game.

    • I make a similar argument when I watch the USMNT. But the difference is the Union has a LONG season to fix what isn’t working, while in international play getting lucky or winning while playing poorly will only get you so far. What the team is doing right now is working so long as they are playing in the East. Come playoffs and having to travel west may be a another story but that is a long way off. Good teams find ways to win even when they play poorly. Right now the Union is finding a way. Would you agree the play is not pretty but it is better than last year?

      • The only time we would see a western team in the playoffs is the championship

      • And that is pretty much my point. More needs to be done to be able to beat those teams, especially on the road. And, the season should be spent improving on what is currently working. Is it good enough to win it all? Probably not, but enjoy it for what it is.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Okay I’ve cooled off a bit… they are unbeaten in five games with a +3 gol diff- they are averaging roughly 76% passing completion and near 50% possession.
      Progress is being made in the micro (standings) and the macro (style- though tonight was a regression to the Onion mean)… They played LA well enough, once settled in against Montreal, they played well enough….I just can’t take Route 1 soccer under any circumstances and sending C+C Music Factory out there meant Route 1 was only option and I need the manager to come up with something better… there were points in the game that screamed panic and punt —– literally not remaining calm and literally punting the ball up the field —- and this is unacceptable…
      That said… Please Vincent…day to day?
      Hey Mo? It’s almost June…. Hey Mo?

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I don’t know, I think a lot of people really wanted Blake to punt the ball downfield a lot quicker on the last free kick for DC United when Worra was all the way downfield 🙂

      • Zizouisgod says:

        I did, but that’s just because I wanted to see something special on a distinctly average night, but Blake did the right thing.

      • After reading adam’s preview, it seemed almost painfully clear what needed to happeb. since nick DeLeon is prone to switching off, we could gain very serious possession and create lots of space using a deep lying playmaker, especially when barnetta dragged sarvas elsewhere with a run. Ideal nogs game really, so of course he’s hurt. but why then wouldn’t we try alberg at the 8? Anything besides the double pivot? It’s a great late game shut down tactic, but Im with El P that I want nothing to do with that for 90 minutes.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      You kinda knew it was going to be one of those games when the 3rd pass was a hopeless ball forward by Carroll. I know that it got windy, but some of those balls hit forward were just ridiculous. I understand making sure to clear the ball out of danger, but come on. It was ugly and if I wasn’t a Union fan, I would have left the stadium. If I were a DC fan, I would have abandoned this team a long time ago as they’re just awful to watch.

      That Yaro pass though…beautiful. And it was nice to see him run to the bench with the coaching staff.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I am not smart enough to discern the balance between our not playing as well and DC’s midfield doing an excellent job closely pressuring our midfielders. The balance did shift as the game went on, and it shifted in our favor. Our passing out of the back four was off if you judge by the results. Almost never did body language and emotional affect suggest we were merely banging it out of there with no thought of trying to connect, except in clear emergencies. I saw a disconnect between the center backs anticipation and Creavalle’s actual movement. Creavalle’s passes were also “felt” to me as though they were rushed and poor because he was not relaxed and confident on the ball, which I attribute in part to DC working hard to see that he wasn’t.
      I appreciate the mighty elephant’s desire for aesthetic pleasure from his football as well as victory. When you have enough of a pace advantage to exploit a defense, and both Sapong and Le Toux did, not using it is foolish. Use all the tools in the box. Jim Curtin knows he will be judged on points in the table, not aesthetics.
      For me the issue needing careful analysis stems from the technical staff’s clear judgment that Creavalle at #8 was a better option than Alberg. Creavalle has superior pace and range. Alberg labored a little recovering on defense in his cameo. A fit Maurice Edu with Brian Carroll behind him would have been a better option than either. Perhaps Alberg’s game is not as adaptable to MLS as MLS’s pace of play accelerates through its mid season level towards its end of year acme.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Tactically, we need to remember that with our flank midfielders being pushed forward more this season, their four middies would sometimes outnumber our central trio, contributing to our lesser play in that region.

      • It sounds good in theory, but since our trio tends to stay more central while United actually tends to vacate that space with the diamond they prefer, we should have been able to possess in the middle of the park. we really missed Nogs to exploit that.

    • alicat215 says:

      I have to think Alberg is still a better option at CDM, I hate the look on his face when he comes on in the 87th minute..or the 83rd. He’s better than Craeville or Carroll. Having said that, I understand it’s hard to crack a first eleven that keeps putting up results, I get that. I hope he’s still not being punished for the red……I think he, as a professional, would learn the MLS’s parameters on what’s card able after that. Hell, Isinho in Florida bladed someone…got a red….said, “that’s not even a foul in the Ukraine!”…..and we haven’t heard since. Lastly, I think this was the first time in a long time, that I thought we would still get a result at the end….instead of cough one up!

  4. Good for Richie! Was it Nogs’absence that explains how much this game resembled the old style of play? No build up from the back. Long balls, crosses and too few in the box?

    • pragmatist says:

      His absence was certainly a factor, but this was a systemic collapse on all parts.
      There will be hiccups this year. Let’s hope that’s all this was.

    • Noguiera’s absence, combined with the skating rink for a pitch. The grounds crew really needs to consider conditions before they turn on the sprinklers.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        My impression is that watering the pitch is a league rule. Don’t remember why I think so.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Nogs is so important to linking play and keeping possession.

      What’s odd is that I noticed vs LA, Blake started hitting goal kicks long rather than distributing short to one of his defenders as we had been doing previously. Not sure if this is a tactical adjustment by Curtin as teams have started to make adjustments to our style of play.

      Perhaps someone with more of a trained eye (OSC?) can answer this question.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Thanks for the compliment but it is undeserved. I had not thought of that, Zizouisgod. We should ask Adam Cann for his thoughts.
        At lower levels, when keepers have known their strikers have clear pace advantages over the defense, those keepers have been known to play for the home run excessively.
        Distribution is not the pinnacle of Andre Blake’s game, yet. (Thank goodness, because it means he may stay with us a little longer than otherwise.). He may lack confidence in the short game out of the back, either his own reading of it or his execution thereof.
        Certainly DC was pressuring him when they had the chance, witness Nyarko’s yellow card. But I did not notice Saborit putting undue pressure on our CBs. Their flank attackers were paying closer attention to Rosenberry, and, less effectively, to Fabinho.

  5. I’m drunk. This team is awesome. This year is fun. So happy. 1st place! Loving life!! That’s all I got 🙂

  6. Good win. At some point you just have to not care how it happens

    • Drhammerheel says:


    • Zizouisgod says:

      Like in other aspects of life, sometimes you don’t need to be exceptional to succeed, just being good enough will get the job done. Like 2 people being chased by a bear, you don’t need to outrun the bear, just the other person.

  7. UnionGoal says:

    1. Congrats to the Union.
    2. Andrew Worra impressive and close to hometown boy–Lancaster. Fun to watch in second half.
    3. Gaddis never should have received that yellow. That dive by the dc player–stuff like that really disgusts me when it comes to soccer.
    4. Why the #$$%(#)*#$#* did Comcast air this only on Unimas? Freaking Comcast showing nothing but reruns of “wide world of fights”. Wonderful way to build hometown support by doing crap like that.


    • Andy Muenz says:

      As far as point 4, I’m pretty sure that’s an MLS decision rather than a Comcast call.

    • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

      Unimas has the league rights to broadcast Friday night MLS games, has nothing to do with Comcast….. Now I’m going to go rock myself in the corner since I just defended Comcast

      • UnionGoal says:

        MLS is unable to negotiate both a Spanish and an English language broadcast of Friday night games?
        And sorry for making you defend Comcast—just frustrating. Oftentimes we end up streaming soccer (where quality is typically poor) while sports channels provided by Comcast are showing pingpong or poker or fishing, etc.
        Hard to believe they actually get more people watching those than a USWNT qualifier or NCAA college playoffs or a freaking MLS game!


      • Fat Uncle Phil from Urkel says:

        MLS did negotiate an English and Spanish broadcast. Unimas does both. Hit the SAP button on your Comcast remote and an English language commentary plays.

      • UnionGoal says:


      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Sometimes it works, and is wonderful; sometimes not, and not so much.
        Apropos of defending or criticizing Comcast, subject them to the scrutinity of fairly documented truth. They behave like the monopoly that they are.

      • i have found that if you toggle back and forth between the two language options a few times it will change over to english. it usually doesn’t switch on the first try

      • UnionGoal says:

        Thanks Phil, OSC, Kyle and Dan.
        My bigger frustration with Comcast(or MLS) is that they have two of their own sports channels, yet can’t show the games? ESPN, Fox, can’t watch USWNT or NCAA soccer championship games through cable but have to stream them over the net (with hit or miss quality) while the “sports” channels show fishing and poker, or reruns of ordinary (not classic) games/fights etc. Find it very hard to believe there is more of an audience for those than for Soccer games.
        Just personally upsetting because American soccer has such an uphill battle for audiences to begin with in this country and cable sports make it that much more difficult.
        Thanks for hearing my rant.

  8. Andy Muenz says:

    Although the Union only have the 5th most points in the league, the are actually 3rd behind LA and Colorado in goal differential. And they are second behind Colorado in goals against average.

  9. For a coach who said we needed all the points, he had them playing to a draw. Blake was told to launch 50-50 balls. Moving your only hold up player to the wing? I get that DC was going to mug us, but beat that with ball movement, not a defensive crouch. And a silly yellow.

    • It seemed like they wereplaying for a tie the whole 2nd half. If you want to win Alberg should come on for Crevalle in the 70th minute, not the 86th

      • Couldn’t agree more. I hate that alberg continues to sit on the bench for long stretches of the game and is given no chance to start to mesh. This year, as much as we all want to see wins, progress in style is more important. I’ll forgive a loss while going for it and trying something to make the game more enjoyable to watch.

  10. Buccistick says:

    Missed one in the Disciplinary Summary: Marquez’s yellow after his goal. mlssoccer.com (http://matchcenter.mlssoccer.com/matchcenter/2016-05-20-philadelphia-union-vs-dc-united/boxscore) describes it as a 92nd minute caution for “delaying the restart of play.”
    That would be a wardrobe male-function 🙂
    In conclusion, doopDOOPdoop-doo-doo-doopDOOPdoop!

  11. I was planning on leaving after that dour performance, but wisely thought better. A win is a win, and for a long time we’d be on the other side of this so I’m very happy….but…..creavalle was awful. The Union will only beat the bottom feeders playing like that. Question, how bad is Alberg if he wasn’t subbed in during that poor game until the 85th minute? Vincent Nogueira’s agent should be calling Earnie tomorrow demanding more money.

  12. New transfer target – backup midfield engine. Because without Nogs in the middle we are back looking like the Union of old.

    • Presumably Mo Edu will be playing this role when he returns

    • He plays for BSFC. I think they want to have Jones start getting time next year. I think they are very adamant about wanting to build with youth and start opening up a pipeline from the academy. We’re one of the few teams without a homegrown. I’d hunt the waiver wire for an MLS vet who could do it for the rest of the year because you are right, without Nogs we struggle, but long term I think they are really high on Jones.

  13. HopkinsMD says:

    Man, that was painful to watch. After enjoying what was starting to taste like the beautiful game from the Union, I now feel like Anton Ego, the food critic in Ratatouille:
    “If I don’t love it, I don’t swallow.”
    Glad they pulled out the win, though. Good on ya, Richie.

  14. Lucky Striker says:

    Worst performance since Dallas. Can’t wait for Wednesday. Should be a thrill a minute watching Fabinho on one leg.

    Stick a fork in Seba. If you believe he intended that cross for Richie Rich you also are convinced his box bungle was part of the plan.

    Hope Stewart sat through that crap and suffered like the rest of us who watched it.

    • We have 2 goals in out last two matches, and Seba has nice assists on both of them. So, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Yeah he blew a great chance, and yeah, Ilisinho will probably replace him as a starter when healthy, but saying that Le Toux is done is silly. He’s playing well this year.

      • Lucky Striker says:

        takes himself out of position constantly. would have had a multi-goal outing by ACCIDENT if he was where he was supposed to be. happens every game. wants to be a F. Leave him there, keep him on the bench while you’re at it.

        his legs were his game, and they are diminishing rapidly. Not playing well at all-by any standard.

        he’s done.

      • I’m with you… (( like my two youngest boys at 6.45pm, after driving me nuts all day, redeem themselves in the 11th our by doing something genuinely wonderful…)) please put him on the bench.

  15. Thank god they won, cause that 2nd half was not fun to watch. It seems like the U is playing to the level of their opponent the last few games, not a good sign

    Good for Richie, I thought he was the strongest Union player before the goal

    • This. They played Benie ball yesterday. I think DC was a factor. They just play ugly and seem to succeed at dragging other teams down. It was an ugly win, but a win is a win.

  16. Thank you so much for providing this authentic news so wonderfully… being a sport lover, I really like it!!!

  17. 700 chopper says:

    1st place 1st place 1st place that the is all go Union

  18. The late game Herbers sub is getting tired, Jim. Other teams bring in a fast strong striker when searching for a goal. Christ, last year we brought in Casey. Now all we have is an ineffectual rookie who’s never scored a goal in MLS. Earnie, do something about this. Please.

    • HopkinsMD says:

      Late? He came on at ’64.

      • Then just seemed like he came on late. Probably bc he didn’t do much.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Well, while it was unintentional, within half a minute he accidentally mugged Birnbaum for having beaten up so much on CJ. I know it wasn’t deliberate because both were looking at the ball, but I did consider it poetic justice.

      • +1

      • HopkinsMD says:

        You are correct in that he didn’t make much of an impact on the game, Birnbaum collision aside.
        Alberg came on late (again), though.

    • I’d hardly call Herbers ineffectual, good things happen on the offensive end when he is on the field. If anything, I’d like to see a lot more of him.
      The kid can and does make stuff happen.

      • 100% with you. If anything, I’m hoping his first goal will make people quiet down a little bit about the striker situation. Love the off ball movements he makes.

  19. It was not a pretty game, with a bunch of Union players having off nights — Pontius and Creavalle and Carroll especially. Other players were very good at times and not good at other times (Yaro, Le Toux). But that was a terrific play by 3 guys to get that goal in the end, and let’s not forget an unbelievable reaction save by Blake to keep the shutout.

    Even good teams have off-days. It’s pretty sweet to get 3 points when you have one of those days. #amoreperfectunion

  20. der Fussballzuschauer says:

    Tribbett, Ilsinho and Alberg all put on USL roster late Friday night ahead of Bethlehem Steel FC’s clash with City Islanders

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      No kidding?
      Wow. Tribett makes excellent sense, but Alberg and Ilsinho?
      Yes, both need minutes for game fitness. But there’s no player development component for either man. Woof.
      Definitely have to watch that one on You Tube at 6 pm on Sunday.

      • Weird decision given that we have 2 more games coming up next week, both on the road. The weather in Orlando right now is just a hot humid mess, and playing Colorado at altitude is going to be equally, if not more draining. We need rested players for this.

      • Section 114 (Formerly) says:

        Suspect Ilsinho won’t travel and they want him fit for Columbus. Alberg could be there to go 20 so he’s still game fit to go 60-90 in Orlando.

  21. der Fussballzuschauer says:

    Was fuer ein schreckliches MLS-Fussballspiel gestern Abend … Having said that, I do think Blake could do well in the Bundesliga. German clubs have always primarily concerned about having a good shot-stopper and the Jamaican has all the right tools to do just that. English clubs are the ones traditionally obsessed with finding tall trees to claim high balls. There are a few German clubs out there who would do well to sign Blake – how much does he cost?

  22. does this mean he gets a shave?
    JK! Congratulations Richie!

  23. 1) I am happy to see some attempts to do more than cross and finish; 2) I thought the U had much the better opportunities, and Seba’s inability to pull that chance from between his feet was both unfortunate and frustrating. Glad he could recover with that assist;3) it seems that the building from the back works well on both sides now, and both Rosenberry and Fabinho are looking to do it. I would prefer to see some pinching in toward Sapong and Le2 before the box, instead of after the field has been shrunk for the only opportunity to be a cross to a crowded box;4) all that said, they won, I am happy, and the only goal was scored directly contrary to everything I just wrote. I will still take it. Thanks, guys for an exciting win.

  24. What the hell is wrong with you people..the union is unbeaten at home this year, in first place in the east , off to their best start in their short history..and nothin but bitching from most of you..yea the game was ugly most are its fuckin mls not epl or la liga..like what the hell does this team have to do to please you..me on the other hand, I’m enjoying watching a team finally win games for a change and actually fight to stay at the top of the division..leave your exceptionally standards at home next time you come to a game and realize your not in Europe

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      a quote that I cannot remember well is hazily floating into my mind, from Horatio, Lord Nelson, the victor of Trafalgar who died there in 1805. It goes something to the general effect that capturing two or three of the enemy fleet when it was possible to have taken them all should not be called well done.

      • UnionGoal says:

        You mean they didn’t do their utmost?
        Well perhaps better quote of his in answer to you might be:
        “First gain the victory and then make the best use of it you can.”

    • der Fussballzuschauer says:

      “you are not in Europe”

      • O sry grammar police I meant you’re

      • Joe Schmo says:

        I agree with you, Kmax. For the last four years, the Union often played ugly and usually lost. This season, they have mostly won/tied and occasionally played ugly soccer. The turnaround (so far…it’s still early, of course) took one offseason. So, what’s the problem, exactly? The Union are winning games that they would have given away in 2015, 2014, 2013….

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Feel free to criticize those who criticize.
      you are correct in nearly all your assertions…. course so are those who look beyond standings and being undefeated at home as their mere metrics to success.
      Comments like yours are likely as irritating to you as yours are to me.
      If you want Utopia try Utopia … won’t find it here nor should you..

      • John P O'Donnell says:

        Me thinks what you’re criticizing is that you don’t have utopia, just a win.”\_(‘~’)_/”

    • Look, for most of us it was never about this year. This team hasn’t just been bad in the standings, they’ve been appalling to watch in years past. When the Earnie Stewart era started, we had the hope we could build a club from the ground up that has an identity and can compete every year. Consistency is key. When I’m watching the games and I’m seeing the wins, this is all well and good. But what I want is the ability to replicate those wins, week in and week out, year after year. This game did not feel repeatable. An ugly game at home against what is really a not very good DC team, we could have easily scored 4. Most other teams in the league give us our first home loss, or at least see out the draw. We’ve had year of consistent losing. I (and the rest of us too probably) will jump on the “at least we got the points” bandwagon when I believe in our ability to sustain success. 11 games, as awesome as they have been at times, does not prove that.
      I should clarify now that I’ve been overwhelmingly pleased up to this point, and that I do expect road bumps. I’m hoping its one of those and we’ll be back to form soon. And no more double pivot please.

      • HopkinsMD says:

        +1… Yes, I came into this season with modest expectations.
        But now that I’ve seen what the U is capable of over the course of multiple games…playing with aesthetic for 90 minutes and winning… I simply found this game hard to watch.
        And that’s a good thing. It means the team’s overall trend-line is moving in a positive direction and that’s what we all (should) want.
        While this team is not in Europe, fans of the game should not settle simply because it is MLS. If that were the case, we’d still be satisfied with “MLS 1.0” style of play.

      • Too right. The game in our country has come a long way since 96, and I’m not OK with MLS resting on its laurels saying “Good enough”. We as fans should continue to push for better, even as we’re winning. The grass is always greener on the other side.

    • Dan Walsh says:


  25. Apparently the consensus was this was a bad game to take my dad and little sister. I must say I didn’t feel that it was during the game. However, I spent most of the game having myriads of children and parents going up and down and past me, blocking the view for what seemed like half the game. Which I guess I should have expected as I choose seats away from the River End for the sake of my little sister. Pontius was quiet, which is unfortunate, because for most of the game DC looked like they were trying to force play through Marquez by covering Yaro/Rosenberry. For all his postives, Marquez is not confident in his passing and tends to boot the ball long. Without Nogs ability to switch fields quickly or make penetrating passes the ball was either sent long or Fabi was left trying to move it upfield without a good outlet. All in all, I am so glad we got a winner as that would have been a tough draw to take.

  26. This team knows no fear. They can play it anyway you wan’t. Two weeks in a row Le Toux with the deadly cross!

  27. K-Max gets it. What the hell is wrong with you people? Every time
    in any sport, you take what the opponent gives you unless you’re a powerhouse and can impose your will and do what you want, regardless of the opponent. The Union are very good but far from a powerhouse. They are taking everything they are given.

    • So when you receive the ball off a keen header by your center back into space and instead of settling the ball and either dealing it to the other pivot to your right who is open or out to the winger just moving into position for you and punt laces up like Sav Rocca 85 meters down field over the head of not only your midfield but then your forward…..and over the touch line of the other goal line to nobody at all while the other teams goalie applauds…… we are all supposed to remember ——this is not La Liga or the BPL?
      Guess what, I have an apropos word.

      • When I was playing youth soccer, my coach benched players who played the route 1 ball too often. His own son rode the pine several times for it (as did I once or twice), because he wanted us to play the game intelligently, not mindlessly blasting the ball up the pitch and hoping our striker can outrun or outmuscle the center backs. If he can do that to a bunch of 10-15 year olds, we can certainly be critical of our professionals when they do it. I’m still happy they won, still think this team is improving, still think they’ve got work left to do.

  28. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! says:

    Yes, by all means, please by happy with sub-standard soccer. The rest of the world is extremely content with Major League Soccer settling for a big bloated mess of mediocre. Can’t wait until MLS has around 35-40 teams, then quality of play will really improve. Yes, very happy to watch the United States national team never go anywhere important at the World Cup. And thank you so much, too.

    • UnionGoal says:

      El P,
      Respectfully, this is tiresome.
      Points I see you making over and over:
      1. MLS sucks compared to European leagues
      2. MLS sucks because of no pro/rel
      3. Americans suck at soccer.

      Points 1 and 2:
      To be honest, I think MLS has better chance to grow in America because they are different from European soccer. Last 20 years MLS has 12 teams win and only this past year did we have 20 teams in the league.
      Premier League there were only 4 teams in last 20 years that won…and that includes far more than 20 teams because you have pro/rel teams in there. This is why Leicester is such a huge story this year.
      Bundesliga? Serie A? La Liga?
      Similar stories—and I think MLS would fail if LA Galaxy or Seattle Sounders had combined to win 18 of the last 20 years like La Liga mainly because Americans have other more developed sports.
      You want to see level of play get better? It will–MLS is beginning to attract eyeballs, American and International. Better American athletes are developing because more are choosing soccer over football and baseball. Pulisic and many others to follow.

      Is Pro/Rel the answer? Not yet and probably not for another decade. The sport isn’t mature enough to have that. You have indicated you are familiar with PA East youth travel soccer so use this analogy—we have luxury of travel teams of each birth year falling over each other so ICSL and DelCo have many different divisions/levels. Go out to western PA or Kentucky or parts of Ohio and they only have 1 division usually covering 3-4 birth years–one friend’s son plays for a U16 team and he just turned 12==not because he is good but because they have no local U12-U15 teams.
      Europe is like PA East–teams falling over each other, you have multiple divisions, ability to have pro/rel. US is like rural western PA or KY–we just have a relatively young MLS, an NASL that has 9 shaky teams, and a USL that is half propped up by MLS with “minor league” teams.
      You can’t have pro/rel in such a system.

      As far Point 3, your fervent oft-expressed belief that Americans suck at soccer…well current USMNT coach(plus his staff) doesn’t appear to be the best judge of American homegrown talent and his roster makes it a bit difficult for you to lay that claim specifically at ALL American soccer players.

      Yes, soccer currently doesn’t consistently draw the best American athletes that least 5 other sports do. Nor do existing soccer players who are good, see it as a career path. They have to overcome much bias in Europe to make it over in Europe and unless you are drafted by MLS, there is very little salary draw.
      While you despise MLS, it is MLS success, and its eventual salary increases, that will attract those athletes and better coaching and better development.

      What’s more, much of the development is taking place now–give it a few more years and a different USMNT coach and you will see it even on the US team.

      I am sorry this is a long-winded reply and probably much more that I could say, but probably just wasted my time in any hopes of getting you to lay off a little.

      The Union are in first place. Ugly playing? Probably. But they have added many moments of enjoyment this season for the Union fans–from Blake to Barnetta to Rosenberry to Pontius, etc. Not every Barcelona or Manchester United or Bayern Munich win has been the most beautiful, and in many cases the competition they face has often been subpar.
      Union look ugly but each game this season would have been hard to predict results. Can you say that about all your European games?
      Enjoy the game, keep criticizing but throw in some compliments for job well done once in awhile, or you will become one of those people who criticized even the works of Oscar Wilde or Michelangelo or Beethoven from jealousy. If you could play consistently the “beautiful” game you exult, you wouldn’t be posting on this board.

      GO UNION!


      • el Pachyderm says:

        With respect as well UnionGoal… I do not think americans suck at soccer— quite the contrary actually- But this is neither here nor there… and I do believe I offer balanced POV regarding the Union- but certainly NOT the state of the game in the US… which has far more to do with The Gatekeepers of the game stateside than some health care worker on the Main Line. Once again … anybody who reads here for any length understands the asthetics of the game carry more weight for me than the result of the game…
        ——— this game is a moving meditation for me and when that meditative state is disrupted I tend to be quite critical ::: win, lose, draw, playoffs, Supporters Shield, MLS Cup, US Open Cup matter not…..this is not new and I’m well within limits to probe and prod over the reasons behind that….
        You have called me to task before, which is fine, I welcome it actually- at which point I spent the time to organize thoughts and rebut — only to have no further discussion from you (as though calling my positions tiresome was the end game in checkmate) even after respectfully posing questions regarding your POV.
        Feel free to disagree. Feel free as I’ve said before to be uncomfortable with my POV… my gols on this page are as follows:
        1. Sharpen the writing instrument which when in full flow can be wicked, biting, emotional and congratulatory.
        2. Make ‘you’ uncomfortable.
        3. Provide geniune and honest criticism of soccer: locally, professionally, nationally and internationally.
        Here are your choices: engage and skulk away – which has happened before, reengage, ignore altogether, read and shake your head mumbling something about paradigms and worldviews.
        I choose not to engage the specifics of your POV this time as I am uncertain in the reciprocity- either way, let it be known this is now the second time you have come at me with a stronger than necessary chess opening.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        By the way…. I did not make the comment you are replying to above… I post as el Pachyderm and occasionally Mickey Goldmill.
        seems I’m not the only one.

      • U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! says:

        Is that you using an alias, Don?

  29. We definitely are a different team without Noguiera on the field. That sucks. But Creavalle also had a shit game from an offensive standpoint. However, there were some positives to draw: Yaro and Keegan are getting better every game and it is a joy to watch. They are fueling or change of style and tactics. Speaking of tactics, no team this year has rendered Acosta as totally ineffective as the Union did last night. Every time he got a sniff of the ball Carroll or Creavalle were in his shorts.

  30. Section 114 (Formerly) says:

    Don’t forget Fabinho. He did a lot of Fabinho things all over the field.

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