Union match reports

Match report: Montreal Impact 5-1 Philadelphia Union

Montreal Impact administered a comprehensive, team-wide beatdown on Philadelphia Union on Saturday night at Stade Saputo, sending an an off-the-pace Union side to a 5-1 defeat — their worst loss of the season.

Didier Drogba notched his second MLS hat trick with goals in the 19th, 42nd, and 52nd minutes, each time the beneficiary of outstanding work by Ignacio Piatti and friends.  The Union pulled one back off a classy header by Chris Pontius in the 72nd minute, but Piatti answered with a blasted finish from 17 yards in the 86th minute. Matteo Mancosu put the capper on Philadelphia’s humiliation with a goal in stoppage time.

From the first minute, the Union looked lethargic. Whether the cause was fatigue from the 120 minute U.S. Open Cup match midweek, a poor tactical plan, or players out of form the result was a disastrous outing from the blue and gold.

First half

Returning to action off a grueling Wednesday night loss to New England Revolution in the U.S. Open Cup, Jim Curtin shuffled his deck. Keegan Rosenberry returned to the right back spot, with Ray Gaddis moving to the left and Fabinho dropping to the bench. Josh Yaro replaced Ken Tribbett in the center of defense, while Brian Carroll took Warren Creavalle’s defensive midfield spot. Finally, Sebastien Le Toux started on the right for the suspended Ilsinho.

The Union began brightly, pushing into the Impact box. There was little end product, however, and once the home side collected themselves, Philly was content to sit deeper than usual and forego their usual high-pressing style. Though presumably a tactical response to Montreal’s speed, the net effect was to embolden the Canadian side and relieve pressure on their makeshift backline.

Just like in the first meeting between these two teams in May, the Ivorian legend Didier Drogba broke the deadlock early in the first half. A terrific give and go from Ignacio Piatti sprung Ambroise Oyongo through three Union defenders down the left side. His cross, fired right into the six yard box, found the feet of Drogba after Marquez whiffed wildly, and the All-Star made no mistake with the first time finish.

The game settled into a chippy period, in the same sense that the Thirty Years’ War was “a chippy period” of European history. Gaddis fouled Drogba just outside the box, leading to a dangerous but ultimately harmless free kick. On a subsequent breakaway, Michael Salazar was forced to haul down Le Toux and picked up a yellow card for his effort. Just a moment later, Tranquillo Barnetta acquired a yellow card of his own — one which will lead to a one-game suspension against Real Salt Lake.

The All-Star tag team of Drogba and Piatti wreaked havoc against the Union’s splintery backline and fractured midfield. Piatti presented a constant danger in and around the box, and Rosenberry required a picture-perfect tackle inside the six-yard-box to snuff out one dangerous assault in the 37th minute.

Shortly before halftime, Drogba doubled the Montreal advantage. In the 42nd minute, Patrice Bernier intercepted a loose ball from Rosenberry, springing Piatti in on goal. Andre Blake got down quickly to stone the striker’s one-on-one attempt, but the ball fell to the unmarked form of Drogba. The veteran had little to do but put it on frame, and he made no mistake. Blake was rightfully furious at the defensive collapse.

The halftime whistle couldn’t come soon enough for the Union, who were a step too slow and short of ideas for the duration of the half. The Impact registered 14 shots to the Union’s one soft attempt; some might call 2-0 a flattering scoreline.

Second half

It did not take very long for Didier Drogba to defenestrate the Union for good. In the 53rd minute, the Union’s disorganized midfield offered the hosts far too much time in the build up, and the ball came to Piatti driving at the backline. His ball split Marquez and Gaddis, neither of whom stepped to Drogba. The Ivorian easily fired past Blake with his third first-time finish of the game. The goal capped the second MLS hat trick for Drogba and effectively ended the match.

Shortly thereafter, Jim Curtin introduced Fabian Herbers and Walter Restrepo for the ineffective Sebastien Le Toux and Roland Alberg. Though, to be fair to the two of them, “ineffective” is about the best you could say for the performance of every Union player except for Andre Blake.

As with most comprehensive beatdowns, things became incredibly boring after Drogba’s third goal. The Union were a little bit more active in the offensive end, in the sense that there was “a little bit” less bloodshed in the final years of the Thirty Years’ War. In other words, not that much more was happening.

Out of nowhere, however, the Union pulled one goal back through leading goal-scorer Chris Pontius. Streaking down the wing, Restrepo fired a deep cross toward Pontius at the back post. Falling away from the play, Pontius placed a classy, cushioned header over Evan Bush and into the far corner of the net. It was the 8th goal for Pontius this season and the first MLS assist for Restrepo.

The Union were unable to convert the goal into any momentum, and Piatti would restore the three goal margin 14 minutes later. A cross from Oyongo at the edge of the box found an unmarked Piatti 17 yards from goal. He brilliantly controlled the ball with an outstretched leg then made no mistake with a left-footed finish past Blake. It was Oyongo’s second assist of the game, and capped an outstanding showing from Piatti.

The substitute Matteo Mancosu completed the Union’s capitulation in stoppage time, with Bernier slipping him past the defense and the Italian smacking one low past Blake. The Peace of Westphalia could not come soon enough for Philadelphia.

After the most disappointing week of the season, the Union now enjoy eight sorely needed days off. They will host Real Salt Lake next Sunday, at 7 p.m. in Chester.

In the interim, Andre Blake and Keegan Rosenberry will be off to San Jose for the MLS All-Star Game on Thursday night. Full coverage of the match against Arsenal will be provided from Avaya Stadium by Philly Soccer Page.

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Ray Gaddis, Richie Marquez, Josh Yaro, Keegan Rosenberry, Brian Carroll, Tranquillo Barnetta, Chris Pontius, Roland Alberg (Fabian Herbers 57′), Sebastien Le Toux (Walter Restrepo 57′), C.J. Sapong (Leo Fernandes 78′)
Subs not used: John McCarthy, Fabinho, Ken Tribbett, Warren Creavalle

Montreal Impact
Evan Bush, Donny Toia, Hassoun Camara, Victor Cabrera, Ambroise Oyongo, Patrice Benier, Calum Mallace (Marco Donadel 67′), Michael Salazar, Ignacio Piatti (Lucas Ontivero 89′), Harry Shipp, Didier Drogba (Matteo Mancosu 79′)
Subs not used: Eric Kronberg, Amadou Dia, Kyle Bekker, Dominic Oduro

Scoring Summary
MTL: Didier Drogba (Ambroise Oyongo, Ignacio Piatti) — 19′
MTL: Didier Drogba — 42′
MTL: Didier Drogba (Ignacio Piatti) — 52′
PHI: Chris Pontius (Walter Restrepo, Fabian Herbers) — 72′
MTL: Ignacio Piatti (Ambroise Oyongo) — 72′
MTL: Matteo Mancosu (Patrice Bernier) — 90 + 1′

Disicplinary Summary
MTL: Michael Salazar (Unsporting Behavior) — 26′
PHI: Tranquillo Barnetta (Unsporting Behavior) — 27′
MTL: Calum Mallace (Unsporting Behavior) — 50′
PHI: Ray Gaddis (Unsporting Behavior) — 76′
MTL: Patrice Bernier (Unsporting Behavior) — 76′

Philadelphia Union Montreal Impact
9 Shots 22
4 Shots on Target 7
 3 Shots off Target 8
2 Blocked Shots 7
 4 Corner Kicks 6
 16 Crosses 15
 0 Offsides 1
13 Fouls 16
 2 Yellow Cards 3
 0 Red Cards 0
 367 Total Passes 325
 78% Passing Accuracy 78%
 47% Possession 53%
 66 Duels Won 54
 55% Duels Won % 45%
 15 Tackles Won 16
4 Saves 2


  1. you could have saved yourself a lot of typing by just writing

  2. Lucky Striker says:

    Dear Mr. Doyle:

    How can anyone be “the coach of the first half ”
    when their team never seems to show up for one ?
    I’ll hang up and listen………..

    • Well, they’re working with a rookie right fullback, rotating rookie and 2nd year center backs, and a less than defensive left fullback. 3 games in 12 days and then running into Drogba and Piatti at their best…can’t blame the coach there. Mo should be back soon (played 7v7 last week and looked great), and they need to focus on acquiring a veteran center back in the transfer window. Just way too much miscommunication back there, which is mostly attributable to youth and inexperience. And remember, as spectacular as Blake is, this is also his 1st full year starting at a level higher than college…so his communication probably isn’t the greatest at this point.

      • well the y do have a Center back in Edu. They need a box to box guy to restore order to the kingdom. Edu is not that player.

  3. MikeRSoccer says:

    If they maintain the same PPG as they have over the last 5, making the playoffs becomes a serious question.
    The odd thing about the current defensive struggles is that they are boneheaded individual errors. Rosenberry’s back pass, Tribbett losing the ball to Wright-Phillips, Marquez missing the clearance that Drogba put away.
    Given how organized and individually brilliant our defense was during the spring, you have to wonder: is it a coincidence that numerous players are making individual errors, or are the unique two-a-days that the Union are running leading to tired minds and bodies?

    • el Pachyderm says:

      The team is not good enough right now. They are falling back to the mean. they miss Noguiera. They have a striker everyone just loves but isn’t good enough. They have a goaltender responsible, singlehandedly for 1/3 of the points they have.
      Looking for improvement over the long haul of the season— that was my goal. Losing Noguiera crushed this team… and has set their improvement arc back significantly— IMO.

      • I agree about sapong. When he doesnt win headers all the time hes invisible.

        Yes….he plays defense blah blah blah. But the “he tracks back!” Is up there with “he runs hard!” In terms of most worthless soccer compliments.

        Notice how no one mentions drogbas defensive tendencies? Or giovincos? Or keanes? Because the do what great strikers do – score goals and be dangerous as hell when their team has possession.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        You sir are an erudite. Sapong Sapong Sapong…middling and average…at best.
        Kinda like some of the folks who thought Ray Ray was so good two seasons ago… when it was terrifyingly obvious how limited he was.
        I can find the quotes if need be.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Sapong is an above average striker in this league. It’s not a matter of “run hard” or “tracks back” – comments I’m one of the first to bash. He understands a counter pressure system. The issue is that this team does not distribute the ball well from deep unless Barnetta is on his game and isn’t chasing shadows in the midfield. Alberg needs to show himself more in the midfield and the team needs to stop launching balls to the corners or directly to Sapong’s head every. damn. time.

      • While I agree that Sapong is a middling striker…my feeling is that part of the issue is Alberg…he has clear skill in on the ball, but he plays too high, often like second striker and therefore no connection through the midfield and no balls being played to Sapong’s feet to let him hold it up and others to run off of him. Alberg is obviously skilled but he’s not bringing what we need right now. The thing is…you saw him doing this all the way back to the beginning of the season, I don’t know why he hasn’t been coached to be dropping a little deeper to combine and connect the midfield to Sapong and wingers getting forward.

      • Alicat215 says:

        Remember, in the 4-2-3-1, the role of Alberg is not an offensive midfielder…….it’s a withdrawn striker. The middle position in the set of three is called a withdrawn striker. Their job is to flip with the target striker, particularly when, CJ in this case, checks back to get the ball and hold up play…..the withdrawn striker changes positions and stretches the pitch. Alberg was playing the position textbook………..just wasn’t productive. Part of these comments that crack me up, people don’t know what a 4-2-3-1 actually is!

      • I’m not going to argue tactics as one can make arguments for any of the formations at times in the game. The game is fluid. My point was that Alberg sits too high too often. But watching the game again…my complaint is more that he just sits…too much.

      • Alicat215 says:

        But it’s all fluidity and transitions…..out of a 4-2-3-1!!!!!!!! Nice pivot though…..and we do agree that Alberg has been pretty non-existent the last two matches…..

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Please stop devaluing defense, dear friends.
        Chaco Maidana was ineffective defending as a #10, thus pinning the #8, Vince Nogueira to his defensive responsibilities at the expense of his offense. Alberg is similar, with fewer key passes but more goals.
        CJ Sapong is defensive striker. Look how the absence of one limited both Curtin and Hackworth before him, because as much as he tried, Conor Casey was too slow.
        Barnetta is both and offensive and a defensive #10. But an offensive-defensive #8 is more important because without one you leak more goals.
        Herbers for Alberg might be worth an experiment. If nothing else it would message the Dutchman that what he’s doing isn’t good enough.

      • No one did, of course your defensive shape starts with the striker……that’s a big plus side for CJ……and a major reason they like the 4-2-3-1. Again, there is no traditional OMID in a 4-2-3-1……or a traditional #10 if you will……he’s another forward really

      • This was the team I’ve been expecting since Nogs left. He was the engine, the heart, of the team. The team has been lucky, fooling others into thinking the body was still alive with spasms and twitching. Last night we saw the truth…without a heart…the body withers. We need a transplant.

      • You nailed it in your first two sentences dude. They are falling back to the mean……because the confidence they once had is pretty non-existent……I place it on Nogs not being here and youth, the young bucks could be hitting a wall physically as the season grinds on. Yaro and Rosenberry looked liked deer in headlights last night! As for Sapong, I think he’s inconsistent……..capable of putting in a man of the match performance…..and capable of being completely non existent.

  4. el Pachyderm says:

    How you all feeling about that Open Cup exit now Union rationalizers?
    A Philadelphia Union parody in about 100 words.
    Scene: Dog Days of MLB summer rather MLS summer, a fine Canadian Kentucky bluegrass field, the Stade Saputo, following Portland’s introduction of Amobi Okugo in the Rose City tidily around 230 PM PST.. and the screen pans to Lloyd Bridges as Steve McCloskey from Airplane pondering who is this, “Striker Striker Striker”
    His name is Didier Drogba and he destroyed you. Poor Richie M and Ray G – both with the same, yet different smirk like the plastic fellatio blow up doll in the cock pit.
    Damn, seems I “picked a bad day to quit sniffing glue.”
    … go Okugo yourself tonight Jim cause Richie Marquez is a back up compared to my dearly departed Ray Gaddis barely serviceable RB against a long in the tooth World Class player… your team sucked tonight.

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    Union needs to play smarter. They didn’t learn from last week’s game and kept making poor pass after poor pass, this time against a team that could finish. They also seemed to forget that goal differential is a tiebreaker and gave up their lead there.
    Now they have 1 point in the last 2 games and are playing a team they have never beaten without Barnetta and with Blake and Rosenberry flying back and forth across the country in the interim.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      I love what Barnetta brings to the table (he’s the hub of the side now) but he looks like he needs a week off. He looked dead on his feet at times last night. To be fair to him and others, it was a physically taxing week with a rivalry match where we had to make a huge comeback and then play a man down, lose to NE on the road on PKs and then travel to MTL for key match. That’s on top of a busy schedule coming in. Not an excuse, but that is a brutal stretch in the heart of the summer heat.

      Our circumstances for Sun are not ideal, but we have to remind ourselves of two things:

      1) These ups and downs happen over a long season. This is where Curtin can make a huge difference by both challenging and encouraging players this week. It’s a delicate dance as you can lose the team if you lean too much one way or the other.

      2) We’re still outperforming original expectations for the season. However, Stewart is not going to make a panicked, short term move to help the squad unless it makes sense in the context of his longer range plan (unlike you know who).

      Last night’s match and some of our recent form has been discouraging, no doubt about it, but you can’t lose sight of the bigger picture. We’re in the playoff hunt and that’s a very good thing. However, we need to deliver a good performance on Sun which thankfully is a whole week away and gives us time to get away from last night’s mess.

      • I agree with this outlook. These games happen in a season. My expectations were that this team would battle for the middle of the table, get a playoff berth and compete for at least one knockout round win. At the beginning of the season, I would have been happy to hear this team would finish fourth or fifth. That’s still as possible now as it was before this loss. I trust that Stewart will be shrewd in the transfer market, not moving with a win now attitude but with an eye to steadily improve.

  6. Terrible performance. It was so comprehensively bad that it had to be fatigue wrought by…who knows?

    Piatti embarrassed people OFF the ball, ON the ball…He embarrassed the midfield on the flight home from Montreal, likely.

    Wow. You have to feel great if you are an Impact fan. The Union were spinning like a top all game.

    Is Edu done for the season? I don’t even know what’s ailing him.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      The disjointed dissonant nature of this post speaks well tonight…Couldn’t have said it better and I tried tried tried.

  7. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Montreal has the class and the speed in two or three key players to strike quickly on the counter and score.
    We miss Vince.
    We cannot play a stretched-out-of-shape game with Brian Carroll because he is a poor individual man marker these days. That said in the first half, he was one of the more effective distributors of the ball.
    Barnetta began to get back to his old self as the humiliation began to eat at him in the second half. Who will play the #8 a week from tomorrow?
    There are only six home games total in the rest of July, all of August, all of September, and the portion of October that finishes the season.
    The playoffs are not a guarantee. Our chances are better than Chicago’s. But we will have to win on the road, not draw.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      When Brian Carroll is one of your more effective distributors of the ball there is no reason to ponder any further…

    • OSC—I love your posts usually as you are the calm, sober voice of reason.
      But wow you sound depressed! “Playoffs are not a guarantee”
      Snap out of it—dig deep into that wonderful fount of historical knowledge and give us some inspirational Churchillian or Shakespearean quotes or maybe Chesty Puller, advancing in the other direction!
      After all this loss was just Dieppe, Borodino, Pearl Harbor…pull yourself together, man!
      Don’t give up the ship!
      Thanks, OSC.


      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        I was expecting them to lose.
        I was not expecting them to make me wish for the Dallas game by comparison.
        Right now Jim Curtin needs to read up on Sir Arthur Wellesley in India at Assaye, or perhaps Oda Nobunaga in his first battle, when he was outnumbered 1:10 and won decisively. [He asked a priest to predict the outcome; nobody else knew the coin he flipped was double headed.}
        As I said earlier, who will play #8 against Real Salt Lake? That’s my depression. Leo Fernandes will have to play the game of his life.

      • Jim Presti says:

        It will probably be the C&C double pivot

  8. Well at least we know one thing…Pontius is not part of the problem. Honestly, there’s less you can take away from a game like this than a close game. We were super tired from two long trips within 4 days of each other, and honesty just sucked. It’s not the end of the world. I don’t see us winning MLS cup, but we will make the playoffs and that’s improvement enough for one year for me

  9. Lazlo Hollyfeld says:

    Needed Vinny Nogs.

    Still only one win on the road with many road games left.

  10. Reaults aside, what is with the total radio silence when it comes to transfers? We ARE going to get somone, right?

    • +1. in earnie i trust but i see the end of the window coming like the end of a runway and our wheels are still on the ground…

  11. Have been saying the same as above all year. Curtin in over his head. Stewart hasnt accomplished anything yet though I’m a Union fan so I have faith against all reason. Barnetta hardly an average MLS player much have less “the calm.” More like “the average.” The roster has been mismanaged. No DP’s bc Edu will never play for this team again. The ONLY reason they were in playoff position was BLAKE. They will be overtaken by the end of the season and there will be no playoffs. I hope I’m wrong but most of the contributors to this page have drunken the coolaid and are in for a real disappointment.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      With all due respect, for a poster I can’t recall tracing back that far, you have a bit of moxy to suggest ‘most’ here have drunk the ‘coolaid’.
      Most here have their eyes wide open- posting through it all… mostly for bad… often for hopefulness… often when it is clear the direction is better or right. The team sucked tonight. S.U.C.K.E.D. This team has overachieved. It also lost is arguably two best players this season. Sometimes a player, The Calm (which is a play on his name as well as his levelheadedness) is only as good as the saps he’s on the field and tonight was a sappy team.
      Stick around or go away, either is fine, but only I am allowed to be condescending.

    • Let’s not get outta control here. Barnetta is a fantastic player who has had great international success while Blake has not even drawn attention from Europe yet. To say Blake is our only bright spot is oversimplifying it, especially when I’ve see him give up some darn soft goals. We have key players playing out of position and not enough depth at certain areas

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        We can only pray Blake has not draw outside attention yet. I find it extremely unlikely.
        I would counter suggest that MLS and the Union are asking for the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and a striker, with a good central midfielder thrown in.
        Earnie knows his value and will not budge, I suspect.

    • I Love Kool-Aid!
      Anyway, one bad game. No excuses but just saying everyone has a bad game.
      Whereas what you are implying is that the 30 points they have earned were a fluke. With all due respect…that’s a chicken little exaggeration. Union has 35 goals for, and until tonight’s blowout they had maintained a good goal differential this season. Rest, some tactical adjustments, and who knows, a new striker or CB, and they’ll bounce back.

      Perhaps it’s the Kool-Aid but they have good odds to win 5 of their 6 home games, and probably 3 of the 7 away games should be outright 3 points. If they can get a couple of points out of the other 4 road games, puts them over the 50 point mark even if I am off a game and they finish with 15 wins instead of 16.

      Just added ice to the pitcher if anyone wants a glass!

      PS…My name Ain’t JONES.

      • Agreed. Are they punching above their weight… sure! But the sky is not falling. We have time to add a piece or two. We have a decent team. Just cause they might not end 1st doesn’t mean they aren’t decent. Now see my post below for thoughts from the other half of my brain 🙂

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I think three points from the remaining 7 road games is more likely… their road record is pretty abysmal.
        …that said, well reasoned Union Goal, all is not lost- tonight was terrible but there are points out there to be won.

      • UnionGoal says:

        See we do agree on things occasionally, EL P.
        I don’t pick on you all the time–just you and I differ on ideas the USMNT and youth development. Wouldn’t say you are condescending there, but instead paint in way too broad and pessimistic brush. And I usually only can respond on weekends or late nights, so not “running away” from your posts.
        On positive note and keep you optimistic–US Basketball just beat down Argentina to make up for the Copa rout and restore our national dignity against the South Americans.
        Use your imagination a bit–since Futsal usually compared to basketball, and your belief that Futsal is our hope for future, replace USMNT team with NBA players (and Odell Beckham when he is available during NFL suspensions) and we can kick Argentinian butt any day of the week!

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        Basketball does nothing to restore and/or improve national dignity, end of story. 🙂

      • Good one, Der Fussballzucshauer.
        Question–what’s scuttlebutt on McCarthy and the Steel? Is he done with them now?

      • No, but there are a ton of similarities between the sports……more so than probably any other…….

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        it would seem that in the Union’s weekly goalkeeper rankings, McCarthy lies #2 in the table, with Matt Jones looking rustier and more in need of sharpening up.

      • And Mcarthy is still not a professional keeper!

      • Agree with UG. I started the year predicting 45 points.
        This year one of a rebuild and it has been a very good year based on that IF…You stick to the long term view.
        However…It’s is SO easy for fans of any team in any sport to get caught up in THIS season and THIS game and lose all sight of the bigger persepective. It happens all the time. (Understandably, of course.)
        If we go back and look at the comments made far and wide at the beginning of the season, and we asked folks “Would you be happy if the Union were in this position at this point of the season”, I think the vast majority (including myself) would have overjoyed that the season would have some serious relevance. Persepctive.
        We knew the season would start with a bunch of unknowns and be full of discoveries both good and bad. We knew there would some serious bumps in the (what we thought would an completely unpaved) road. Well…Bump.
        It wasn’t fun to watch last night, but I have the bigger picture in mind and in Earnie and Jim I trust.

      • The kook aid was best in Palo Alto in the mid sixties….hasn’t had the same quality since!

  12. Watching Blake last Sunday, thought maybe he should have had night off after that game–and even more so surprised he played open cup AND tonight–we are risking serious injury to him with no rest. So McCarthy traveled as his backup both road games–any of our Steel gurus have insight on this they’d like to share?
    Otherwise, tough road game.
    Still missing a few pieces but not ready to jump off the band wagon just yet.
    OSC has point only 6 home games left but plenty of season left to make some adjustments and get some rest.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      McCarthy got the first two games of the current home stand for the Steel after the away match in Toronto, and Jones has had the next two of the six. It will be interesting to see if Samir Badr gets the last two.
      A factor in Steel goal keeping is the availability of Academy keepers, first with the Development Academy “Nationals” and then end-of-season break time. Andrew Verdi is probably off to Michigan at the beginning of August, but CJ Dos Santos should be around whenever the Academy resumes.

  13. Oh, one last point–another sign of Nogs departure having major negative impact on Union—really tough to order food in Montreal restaurants without knowing French! He probably ordered for the team every time they were there…

  14. Please don’t fall apart… please don’t collapse… please don’t fall apart… please don’t collapse… and so forth and so on…

    • This is when we see if Curtin has what it takes as a coach.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I am on record… just a week or so ago I think, of claiming Curtin has been a revelation this year… and proved he can hang. Let’s hope I am correct.

  15. At least a step slow. Mental mistakes (not to pick on Ray, but his foul on DD from behind leading to harmless PK just outside box top was unnecessary – Richie was there). A team whose limited talent is stretched too thin to keep up the pace against speed at the end of a 3-game week. This is where Curtin fails. Tribbett for Yaro against NJ because of his game v. a slower, poorer finishing DC? Gaddis at unfamiliar LB after 120 mins on turf in USOC 3 nites ago? Barnetta & Sapong were spent. A week like this is where the manager decides when to play his best hand and when to fold. Last night his bluff was called and it was embarrassing.
    For this team to hang on and make the playoffs, they need help – will Edu be enough? – & Curtin has to play Fabian, Leo, Walter and others more.
    RSL a week from tonight without The Calm is daunting.

    • Andy Muenz says:

      Gaddis was in to counterattack the speed of Oduro (who it turned out didn’t play).

      • Yes, Andy. And Fabi went the distance Wed. We’re not 2 deep at LB. Or #8. Or #10. Only Nogs’ departure was unexpected – the other blanks were known on January.
        Jim said MTL was bigger than USOC quarter, but – from what I saw – his roster decisions don’t match that claim. Knowing MTL would be gunning for U to avenge home loss to NYC, we needed energy, focus & organization to slow Didiet & Piatti. There was none. A close loss, fine. This was a drubbing & may dent the all-important player confidence Jim touts. If it does, that’s on him.

      • We are certainly 2 deep at #10 with Alberg and Barnetta. The problem with the team currently is we are 0 deep at the #8 position.

        If we don’t make a signing or Edu isn’t up to the challenge (he has been out nearly a whole year. Even if healthy, will he be ready to play?) it’s going to be a frustrating finish to the season.

    • der Fussballzuschauer says:

      NASL refugees Fernandes and Restrepo were major underachievers for Bethlehem Steel FC at the third tier United Soccer League level. This pair has been and will continue to be noticeable non-factors for the Philadelphia Union at the top tier Major League Soccer level, as well. Exactly how many times have we all heard the time-honored “It’s Not A Light Switch” and “You Play The Way You Practice” lectures and why?

      • I thought Restrepo looked pretty decent in his few minutes last night. Also had the best cross of the game.

      • Enough is enough, der Fuss. If you want to continue complaining about how players have performed with Bethlehem Steel, then go to the BSFC board (if there is one). The focus in a Union game report should be on how those players are actually doing with the big club.
        Did you not notice that Restrepo had an assist on the only Union goal Saturday night?

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        Say, why ISN’T there a Bethlehem Steel FC board — is it because the BSFC team plays boring, junk soccer or is it because the entire USL third division plays boring, junk soccer? … Is it because people know that the first tier MLS is boring, junk soccer compared to the Bundesliga, etc., and I’m the only idiot who is really dumb enough to waste their time watching BSFC’s trainwreck? … Please, enlighten me at your earliest convenience.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Mein Herr,
        I presume to disagree. Your observations are spot on, for play as it was in February, March and April. They are less so for more recent months.
        Restrepo has played his way out of the Steel roster picture, to the Steel’s credit.
        Fernandes’s contributions have been inconsistent. I say he played well against Riverhounds, and not because of the irrelevant last play of the game penalty kick. He was part of the scoring threat at the end of the Washington-Missimo-center mid delivery system that, basically, Pittsburgh could not stop.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        I will see you both with the MLS stats for Fernandes and Restrepo at the end of the year. We will discuss their overall contributions to the Philadelphia Union’s success in MLS this season, or lack thereof, at that time. In the meantime, if you both are happy with these two players then more power to you.

  16. I did not watch this match — and I’m glad — but maybe that gives me a little more perspective. Has everyone here forgotten the comprehensive, first-to-last-whistle beat down we gave DC just a couple of weeks ago??? Or the huge heart to come through with a blazing second half when down 2-0 against NYRB, including looking like they were up a man while actually playing with 10???
    It’s not like everything or perfect in Unionland, but people have got to get past Last Gamism. I see way too much of it here.

    • UnionGoal says:

      Agreed. 3 games in 7 days, on the road most of week, tough opponents, Blake in all 3. Having to order food in Montreal restaurants without Nogs there to translate…
      Bigger point to be grateful–they escaped without serious injury.
      Give them 8 days rest, a real Cheesesteak, and they’ll bounce back.
      Back half of schedule is usually less hectic and even that stretch August 20-September 3rd, SHOULD be relatively less daunting against a couple bottom feeders aka cannonfodder, plus home 2 of the 3 games.

      And if Blake actually plays ANY minutes against Arsenal, PLEASE JC, give him RSL off.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Yeah and it’s been a lot of 3 games in 7 days over the past month or so. Let’s see what ES does in the window, and let’s see if they straighten out, now that they have 1 game a week for about the next month.

      • Andy Muenz says:

        I disagree. If you give Blake a game off, do it on the road where you don’t need the 3 points as desperately. It would be a shame to lose points against RSL because Blake wasn’t in there.
        He was hung out to dry last night. The goals were not his fault, especially on the 2nd where he made a great save only to find no one thought Drogba was worth marking.

      • I see your point, Andy, and respect it but…have to disagree. My preference would have been to sit Blake either Open Cup or Montreal. Since we didn’t, we need to give him RSL off especially if he sees minutes in the all star game.
        Rather see him rested and back to full strength. A few times last Sunday at the game and again last night I cringed watching the shocks to his body and seeing him move a bit gingerly after a save or kick.
        Even superman needs some R&R and we still have tons of season and playoffs remaining.


      • Yeah, I think it was the Open Cup he should have gotten a break. When he went up and banged with Drogz and came down limping in the second half…..how many “oh shit”s went up in Unionland?

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        “a real cheesesteak”!!
        LOL, literally, thanks UG!
        My mother-in-law would’ve appreciated the business. She’s a retired cardiologist.

    • I guess we could all join hands and sing, “the sun’ll come out tomorrow tomorrow-betcha bottom dollar that tomorrow— there’ll be sun”
      But that would totally defeat the purpose of this place wouldn’t it?
      Treating each game as the single entity, pun intended, it is makes complete and total sense.
      This is our forum…. bitch away people. trumpet away people. lament away people.
      “clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow ’til there’s none”

  17. Dr. Union says:

    That was just flat out awful. Marquez stepping off everytime Drogba got the ball was mind boggling espically when he’s in the 18. Salazar turned Marquez inside out and fluffed the shot but he was done. Gaddis didn’t know which way to turn and obviously has now confused the left with the right as he looked like he was trying to cover both sides. Rosenberry will see Oyongo and Piatti tearing him apart in his dreams. And Yaro oh man were you even on the field what happened to his speed most players just flew by him as he stood still. 1 goal was on Blake for his poor attempt at getting down, but really come on. That was just awful.

  18. The Little Fish says:

    Okay we pitched a real stinker. No sin in that. But a few questions remain. 1)Are we going to try to add anyone during the transfer window which ends in a couple weeks? I feel like the Nogs money is burning a hole in my pocket! And 2)Why no updates on Mo Edu? Someone posted above that he looked great in 7vs7. Can anybody elaborate? Adding a nifty striker from the Eridivise AND getting Maurice Edu back would be a big help for our stretch run to the playoffs, no?

  19. The Oenophile says:

    Any thoughts on the color commentator who replaced Peter Pappas?

    • Sorry, can’t say. Unless it is Ray Hudson, John Madden, Garry Matthews, or Charles Barkley, I watch most sports with sound pretty low, and deftly tune out commentators, a skill I learned early in life thanks to some very boring middle school English teachers.
      Most color commentators lack what those above have–ability to entertain.
      Most are bland and worst, Captain Obvious–yes, the team that scores the most goals wins, thanks for telling me that, genius. Wouldn’t have known otherwise. Ugh.

    • Sounded way more polished than Pappas ever got. But he talked way too much. He clearly wanted to show he did his homework. Once he dials it back a few notches, I think he’ll be above average.

    • He was good. My only complaint. That he’d get a little quiet and hard to hear. But he was ve fair, had plenty to say about what was going on. I thought he did a good job.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I enjoyed him, he did not over-simplify and knew his tactics and techniques.
      I think I saw he’s a radio guy, so diarrhea of the mouth is understandable.
      Just don’t take Adam Cann.

  20. 700 Chopper says:

    3 games in 7 days is tough but man did they look awful. Totally out played and Jim didn’t make the right corrections that being said the goal we did get was spectacular. I still love my Union but we need to make some signings and keep improving to play for the championship!!!
    Go Union Doop Doop

  21. Second goal was not a “loose ball” taken from Rosenberry…….he played a lazy, flat ball in the back third…….which in footy 101…..is a huge NO NO! Barneir then took it off Barnetta, who really made a half attempt to get the pass….then Barnetta just watched! He hardly chased at all…….that goal was awful from multiple people. Drogz’s third goal Ray pinched…..Marquez thought he had him covered and drifted……then Ray spun around, I shit you not, and ran back outside to cover the flank…….Drogz and Piatti made our backs look like high school ballers, completely out of their league. Drogz also knocked around Marquez like a rag doll………clearly overmatched……even Rosenberry looked in over his head last night. Hopefully it was a one off……….but two good forwards really exposed how shaky our back four can be. I quote Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinney, “don’t get me wrong, I could use a good ass kickin”…….helps put things in perspective!

    • Any Cousin Vinny quote is always welcome here!
      In fact anyone can feel free to borrow quote below in response to ANY of my posts–I’d be honored!

      Vinny Gambini: [opening statements] Uh… everything that guy just said is bullshit… Thank you.

      D.A. Jim Trotter: Objection. Counsel’s entire opening statement is argumentative.

      Judge Chamberlain Haller: Sustained. Counselor’s entire opening statement… with the exception of “thank you”… will be stricken from the record.

    • Alicat215 says:

      And the more I read this match repot……….what match were you watching? Classy finish by Pontius? He headed that back across the goal for CJ……and it went in. The breakdown on the first three goals is like a misinformation campaign………leaving out whole sequences that happened on the pitch!

      • Jim Presti says:

        Yup. Very clearly a header to the back post. Pontius didn’t even acknowledge the goal.

  22. der Fussballzuschauer says:

    RE: “John McCarthy” … Bethlehem Steel FC have really only started the La Salle University product twice in their last 10 USL matches since McCarthy was between the sticks when Harrisburg City Islanders smoked BSFC 3-1 at the end of May. McCarthy had back-to-back shutouts in those two USL games but really did not have much to do. One decent save versus Pittsburgh Riverhounds but not really tested versus Wilmington Hammerheads. The Hammerheads did put two balls off of the goal post. Once when McCarthy was beaten near post on a sharp-angle shot on the right and once when McCarthy flat out lost an aerial dual against a Wilmington player on a corner kick and I was a bit surprised by McCarthy getting beaten in the air like that because very seldom, at least for BSFC, does he not get a least a fist to the ball when he comes out for it. McCarthy usually does fairly well under pressure and has shown an ability to be able to catch and hold the ball as compared to punching it away. I think McCarthy went to punch against Wilmington (and rightly so) but just got beat by a strong leap from the Hammerheads player … McCarthy was on the bench in Montreal last night so I would expect either Matt Jones or Samir Badr to be in goal for Bethlehem Steel FC later this afternoon.

    • Alicat215 says:

      He always had holes in his game going all the way back to his days at NC………..saw it up close and taught players how to exploit him. Also, him getting beat in the air is not surprising……while brave, he’s not an imposing presence in the box. He goes down to early, never has his feet set….always shuffling like a chicken with its head cut off, and doesn’t know when to leave the box…..anything I miss?

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        Aside from “often resembles a tree which has just been chopped down when diving from left to right”, no. It’s very bad form to bash the local boy, I can assure you. But quality entertainment is watching McCarthy come off his line for BSFC on New York Red Bulls’ final goal in the 4-0 beat down earlier this spring.

      • Alicat215 says:

        No it’s not, if you are local….have met him as opposition…and dispatched his squad accordingly, finding these weaknesses along the way……it’s not bashing…..it’s fact. I’m not emotional about rating players…….you either got it….or you don’t. The last bastion of Darwinism if you will…..I don’t care if I’m related to you……you have to tell it like it is……local boy or not. I think while people get pissed…it’s better to be up front…even if you don’t want to hear it! Lol, I need to see the goal you are referring to now!

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        You Tube video entitled “New York Red Bulls II vs Bethlehem Steel FC 4-10-16” … 71st minute of match (start at 70:15 mark on game clock shown on broadcast, which is the 1:41:22 mark on You Tube tape) … Talk about not knowing exactly WHEN to come off your line and exactly WHAT NOT TO DO once the no-turning-back-now decision has been made! … Enjoy

      • Alicat215 says:

        Thanks brother! I will check it tonight and get back to you…..

  23. der Fussballzuschauer says:

    RE : “Is McCarthy Done With Steel?” … I think it’s very hard to say for sure who is the Philadelphia Union’s “real” # 2 goalkeeper but, either way, I definitely do not understand why the Union do not let the 23-year-old McCarthy continue to develop by getting valuable game experience in the USL with Bethlehem Steel FC. I certainly do not think that the 30-year-old Jones is a bad goalkeeper by any stretch. If I had to choose between Jones and McCarthy for a game I have to win, I will probably pick the Englishman by virtue of his professional pedigree. That said, I also have to question exactly what kind of long-term future Jones has with the Philadelphia Union organization … Old Soccer Coach had it all figured out from the very beginning. The veteran Jones should be sitting the Union bench week in and week out because he would not be a great liability if he had to suddenly go into an MLS game. And, aside from a Union appearance here and there, the youngster McCarthy should be honing his skills week in and week out with BSFC … From what I’ve gathered, I do think that the Ghanaian defender Josh Yaro and the German midfielder Fabian Herbers have formally graduated from the Bethlehem Steel FC Academy … PS – Samir Badr is definitely not Major League Soccer material.

    • Alicat215 says:

      I like Herbers…….I’m wondering if he gets the start at some point in the withdrawn forward spot in the 4-2-3-1, considering Alberg was non existent the last two matches. I’m not calling for it, but you have to question it considering the shifts that Herbers is putting in…….and producing. Especially if Alberg turns out to be hot and cold from match to match. Just seems to me, we were more dangerous with him introduced……now is that him…or is it the opposition had their lead and was absorbing pressure? Makes me go hmmmmmmm though………and lastly, if you replace him for CJ…..your really playing a 4-6-0…..

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      I need to see more Badr before I draw that conclusion. As I have written somewhere else [don’t ask ’cause I don’t remember] each of his two bad errors seemed to me experience-based.
      Remember how bad Seitz was, and now he’s competent enough to get games in MLS.

      • I think what it really says is that, MLS is still fledgling enough that the pool isn’t deep enough…..and if you hang on long enough in the periphery of a club…or PDL……or NASL……..you can find a contract, like a Tribbett

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        With all due respect, OSC – who is “Seitz as I really have no clue.

      • Alicat215 says:

        Another schwag keeper……..

  24. If you are the winner you don’t make excuses. 3 games in a week or 1 game in a week.
    This team is not the winner yet. Next few games will show.

  25. The Truth says:

    Glad I didn’t watch this debacle. Highlights show tired legs, stupid decisions, and players who can’t continue to be in our starting XI. Lack of movement in the window is disheartening, radio silence on Edu is uncomfortable, Curtin’s reliance on adjustment as opposed to true planning is not championship quality. I wonder what the hell is gonna happen in the second half of this season.

  26. Referencing the Thirty Years War so describe a chippy period in the game and then using the word “defenestrate” a couple of paragraphs later in describing Drogba’s performance . . . I saw what you did there. 🙂

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      “The Defenestration of Montreal” would have been a good title for the Match Report. Instead of a dictionary refer to Game of Thrones, Season One, Bran Stark.
      Fortunately, we are not yet to the point of needing a title to read “The Sack of Magdeburg.”

  27. Jim Presti says:

    That was front to back the most unprofessional match I’ve seen all season. Plenty of blame to go around. I’m not sure there was a single bright spot on the pitch. Have faith they will turn it around because this current run of form sees them in the 5-7 spots in the conference by the end of the season. 6 & 6 home and road. Need to start playing away from Talen and picking up points.

  28. That was the worst I’ve seen Marquez play in quite awhile.

  29. The Little Fish says:

    What’s with Roland Alberg? He looked terrible.

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