Union match reports

Match Report: Columbus Crew 1-2 Philadelphia Union

Keegan Rosenberry scored in the 74th minute to lead Philadelphia Union to a 2-1 over the Crew in Columbus on Wednesday night. Fabian Herbers opened the scoring for the Union in the 60th minute, but Adam Jahn scored a controversial equalizer for the Crew in the 73rd.

Rosenberry made sure of the points with a composed finish just one minute after Columbus had tied the game.

First Half

Jim Curtin made two changes to the team that lost to Toronto on Saturday. Josh Yaro started in place of Ken Tribbett and Fabian Herbers came in on the right as Ilsinho missed out  with a foot injury.

The opening half was a dour one. Tranquillo Barnetta hit a dipping shot just wide of Steve Clark’s goal after 10 minutes. Andre Blake was called into action to make a save on Ethan Finlay from close range after a good cross from Justin Meram shortly after that.

The Union’s best chance of the half came from a well worked possession play in the 31st minute. Richie Marquez won the ball with a signature slide tackle just inside the Union half. Alejandro Bedoya was patient on the ball and split two Columbus defenders with a clever move before moving the ball to Barnetta centrally in the Crew half. The Union captain sprayed a pass out to the right for Rosenberry to cross from the endline and Herbers was able to turn the ball goalbound, but it was straight at Steve Clark.

Second Half

Columbus had a good chance to open the scoring in the 50th minute. Harrison Afful found space down the Crew right side and crossed to the top of the box. Federico Higuain met the cross first time, but could not keep his shot down, firing well over Blake’s goal.

Philadelphia would draw first blood in the 60th minute through Herbers. Another great build up started with Bedoya sliding to win the ball and keep the Union in possession. A give and go that saw a deft flick from Barnetta near midfield gave Pontius space to run into on the left at full tilt with the ball. The winger did well to find Sapong at the top of the box, who slid a pass into an open Herbers on the right side of the box. The rookie’s first shot was blocked but the ball fell back to him and he made no mistake with the rebound, sliding in to finish from 8 yards.

The Crew would equalize in controversial fashion in the 73rd minute. Blake couldn’t find the handle on a bouncing ball after a Columbus corner kick and substitute Adam Jahn was on hand from close range to flick the ball goalbound. Replays were unclear, but no view showed the ball completely crossing the line as the Union tried to clear but a goal was awarded.

Philadelphia would answer right back though, scoring less than a minute later through Rosenberry. Clever passing around the Crew box from Alberg and then Barnetta found the rookie cutting in from the right and he did ever so well to control Barnetta’s pass with his first touch and finish with his left foot on his second touch. Clark had no chance at the shot from 10 yards.

Columbus would push players forward in search of a late equalizer but some good last gasp defending and confident goalkeeping from Blake saw the Union see out their second win in Columbus this season.

Philadelphia completes a season sweep over Columbus having won all three meetings in 2016. The Union return home to host Sporting Kansas City on Saturday (7 p.m.) at Talen Energy Stadium.

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Joshua Yaro, Keegan Rosenberry, Warren Creavalle, Alejandro Bedoya, Tranquillo Barnetta, Fabian Herbers (Roland Alberg 66′), Chris Pontius (Charlie Davies 81′), C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Ray Gaddis, Walter Restrepo, Ken Tribbett, Leo Fernandes

Columbus Crew
Steve Clark, Nicolai Naess, Michael Parkhurst, Hector Jimenez (Corey Ashe 83′), Harrison Afful, Federico Higuain, Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp, Ola Kamara (Adam Jahn 63′), Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay (Dilly Duka 63′)
Unused subs: Tyson Wahl, Brad Stuver, Chad Barson, Mohammed Saeid

Scoring Summary
PHI: Fabian Herbers — 60′
CLB: Adam Jahn — 73′
PHI: Keegan Rosenberry (Tranquillo Barnetta) — 74′

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: Alejandro Bedoya (unsporting behavior) — 78′

Philadelphia Union Columbus Crew
10 Shots 13
 5 Shots on Target  4
 3 Shots off Target  6
 2 Blocked Shots  3
 3 Corner Kicks  4
8 Crosses 25
1 Offsides  0
 11 Fouls  11
 0 Yellow Cards  1
 0 Red Cards  0
512 Total Passes  374
 83% Passing Accuracy  78%
 41.7% Possession  58.3%
 56 Duels Won 43
 56% Duels Won % 43%
 13 Tackles Won 9
 3 Saves  3
 24 Clearances  7



    • He’s now an instant villain in Columbus for that “SHHHHHHH”. Had a great game on the defensive end too.

    • Such a savvy read to exploit that exact moment in the ebb and flow of the match, and hit that exact seam in the Crew’s defense. You can’t spell ROOKIE without the K and the R, but o-O-I-E! is KR one in statistics only.
      … and durable, too: kid don’t even need two functioning nostrils to dispatch one of the prettiest outside back scoring sequences we’ll see in a while.
      All aboard the #12 train, y’all!

  2. el Pachyderm says:

    Well they won so that’s good.
    Absolute snooze fest – for 70 minutes – good grief. Any wonder nobody was there or is it because it’s a school night.
    Wait a minute….
    …. hey in all seriousness can someone answer me a question.. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Columbus in the final game of the season last year?
    See friends the reason nobody was at the game is because Columbus sucks! They traded away the best goal scorer in MLS.
    And everybody in a 100 mile radius doesn’t give a fuck to watch a team that sucks and has nothing to risk over it because if it did —- there’s no way the best goal scorer in MLS gets traded.
    If Columbus was in danger ~like real danger ~ the stands would be packed with people emploring the team to survive in first division.
    Just the truth. Not much else to talk about in that sleepwalk poor passing and receiving of a game… I know I know…. elitist. The truth though too.

    • In fairness to the new Kamara, I think he’s been far from Columbus’s biggest problem. He’s got talent and he can be fun to watch. I’m slogging through a Houston game on MLS live right now which is somehow even more boring. And they just brought on Andrew Wenger to really kill the creativity. Never forget, it could always be worse.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      if the best goal scorer is a prima donna who is a poor team-mate and breaks an ironclad team rule, if you don’t suspend him as a coach, you have only a limited time before you are yourself ineffective and gone.
      If you choose to have ironclad rules, you have to enforce them justly, for the best and biggest and the worst and smallest, especially in a culture raised on “We hold these truths to be self-evident, … .” Justice is an unresolvable dynamic tension between comparable treatment for comparable action and consideration of individual circumstances.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Suspension sends a worthwhile message does it not? Kai Kamari could sleep walk to 15 goals and still serve a favorable ban.
        Course if you know there is no real risk to what you are doing in a league where all over the world every game is steeped in risk and reward…maybe you just trade the headache away.
        See friends ‘you’ can all tell me to stop and go away and ‘get over it’ and I’m a eurosnob but that changes nothing about the veracity of the position.
        Therefore I bang on.

      • Lucky Striker says:

        Is this about the crusade, or Kai?

        ’cause I could’ve sworn I just watched C-bus paste the Revs recently……

      • This is about shit attendance.

      • +1. And well said, OSC. I love Kai Kamara as a soccer player. But it’s a team sport, and apparently his contribution to the team’s chemistry was approximately equal to Rais M’Bolhi’s contribution to the Union’s.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        You’re not comparing the leading scorer of a league who helped his team to MLS Cup with a player who single handedly destroyed his teams playoff hopes — to not incidentally…… the same team.
        Appreciate the POV – but gotta do better my friend.

      • Jim Presti says:

        Not even a close analogy. Kamara was Columbus last season. He buried and created goals. Their defense has been sub-par for 2+ years. They won matches 3-2 etc.

      • Agreed. He’s a pretty terrible locker room guy, something that many teams have made a priority. A team should be greater than the sum of its parts, and for as great a talent as Kamara is, it’s not clear he was a net positive anymore in Columbus.
        On an unrelated note, I just saw Wenger rip a goal from a sharp angle shot that gives me the need to apologize for my earlier comment about him. this game got interesting.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Does that French Algerian guy, what’s his name- still play for Real Madrid.
        Benzema is it?
        I hear he’s a swell guy.

      • Point taken. Think it might be a little strong to compare Kei Kamara to Benzema tho. Every situation is unique

      • Idk Kamara might have wanted out. Greg berhalter seems like a terrible coach after reading about how he as a coach tends to give up after a team goes down a goal.
        And I’m not sure a team whose coach and sporting director are one in the same is a good thing. There’s arguments for both sides but I can’t imagine one person having to deal with coaching AND finding and dealing with the business side of signing new players. Seems like too much for one person to handle effectively.

    • 100% agree. Just about meaningless for Columbus fans tonight.

    • John P O'Donnell says:

      Imploring them to stay up? Come on Crew, you can finish 17th and be the best of the worst. Sorry, just can’t see it here in the good old U.S.A. as we adore winners or joining the bandwagon as a team makes a playoff run. But hey, keep wishing all you want but with plans to expand to 28, it’s not happening anytime soon.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I know sir….and I imagine my narrative is as maddening to you as yours is locked in the box to me.
        With respect.

      • pragmatist says:

        I don’t think the Kansas City Royals would be big fans of Pro/Rel, either.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        Don’t fret, El P. With 28 teams in its “first division”, the rest of the world won’t be taking American soccer seriously anytime soon. Furthermore, the watered-down American first division won’t be doing much to improve quality of the United States national team anytime soon, either. But, hey, look on the bright side, at least somebody is going to be stuffing their pockets with lots of cash thanks to those mind-boggling expansion fees.

  3. Steady, controlled game. I see Fabinho starting to shift too far into the middle, but boy oh boy was I more comfortable watching Yaro and Rosenberry back there together again. Yaro not listening too well to Blake yet, and Bedoya leaving some passes short and others to wrong foot. All that, and I was still happy with the result. Bedoya at point guard, Barnetta at off guard, this offense should start clicking. Did anybody see who Curtin was barking at after the weak goal award to the Crew? Camera stayed with hi until right before the Rosenberg goal.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Astute commentary. I am surprised by how many passes Bedoya made to the wrong foot. This is NO small thing.

      • Word. I accosted the television no less than thrice. Franchise players should know what color they’re passing to.

      • Easy to both Philly fans there, give Bedo a break, his new team mates don’t know his moves/passing lanes, etc… I was quite taken by his missed passes, but it occurred when he had little option available and in big boy leagues(where he has been playing) you have zero time to wipe your ass after you shit so give them at least more than a game or two to gel before you dump… How’s that for a shitty analogy, HA!

      • So form is temporary class is forever type thing? — guess we will see.

      • Thanks for the reassurance. I know that there will be communication and/or expectation errors with new teammates, but I was watching some being left short as well. I do look forward to him working with Barnetta on distribution; I also look forward to consistency from those that are receiving that distribution.

  4. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Usually the possession percentages add to 100%. Not tonight. Chaos had 4.5% possession.
    I actually enjoyed the first half and would encourage us that the Union were emerging with a sense of playing defense collectively and playing offense on an overall general pattern of reasonable success, especially as time passed.
    A highlight was that Herbers was busting his tail to cover for Rosenberry several times when Rosen berry was all the way forward to the endline. That effort by a teammate is what has to occur if Rosenberry is going to be that aggressive.
    In the second half Alberg clearly had been sent a message about defending at the No. 10. And late Bedoya dropped to the No. 6 and sent Creavalle forward to the No. 8 where his tendency to range around was useful, not detrimental. All credit for Tranquillo Barnetta for switching out to Herbers spot and doing his best to do the dirty running. Same for CJ Sapong when Charlie Davies came on.

    Fabinho was having some trouble with their right back Afful in the second half.

    • Yes he was. I was wondering if Curtin was going to pull him for Gaddis.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Have to admit watching Alberg sprint to position on defense a couple times was funny.

    • Excellent points, OSC — and at this stage in a very long season, so encouraging to see starters and subs working hard *for each other*, working smart for the good of a *team* result.

      • Why is this a revelation? Our offense is predicated on the fullbacks providing width, overlapping and knocking in crosses or making runs with the ball. Of course the winger should cover, God knows Crevalle won’t.

      • Creavalle actually put in a strong shift last night IMO. offensively his decision making was spotty, but ultimately very good screening the back 4. Higuain was a non-factor in large part due to warren’s work.

      • +1 re: Creavalle

      • The Little Fish says:

        Creavalle was a BEAST last night. I’ve knocked him in the past but he was excellent. His passing was sharp as well. Maybe his extended minutes are giving him some ‘seasoning’ because he looked strong and extinguished quite a few Columbus rushes last night. Go Warren…!!!

      • Buccistick says:

        Precisely *not* a revelation. Sorry to give that impression, McMohanski, particularly since … I never used the term?
        Rather, to repeat, encouraging: encouraging to see on the road … in the middle of yet another stretch of three matches in eight days … on the heels of an embarrassing reversal at home … as a recent signing, plugged directly into the center of the park, gels with his new teammates … while the little nicks and dings really start to add up … all in affirmation of buy-in to a *system* or dare we dream something greater than the sum of its parts.
        Lest we wade into the pro-rel debate: it is during this final third of the season that so many players on so many teams lack the lungs, vision, or plain ol’ desire to sacrifice for their teammates and hence the greater good of the team.

    • Mike Servedio says:

      Chaos had some touches for sure. I mixed up the possession numbers when I was writing though. Fixed now!

    • I agree about the first half. There weren’t any huge offensive plays but it was really nice to watch the team play in a very composed organized way. I’ve seen a lot of really crummy boring scoreless halves that are just sloppy and mindlessly hectic. This wasn’t one of them

  5. MikeRSoccer says:

    Josh Yaro took this opportunity and owned it. He is the starter moving forward and Curtin is a nut if he switches back to Tribbett. His passing, speed, positioning, and physicality were excellent.
    Barnetta is being completely shafted by the referees and needs to be protected. The incident that preceded the Cbus ‘goal’ being the latest example. I’ve watched the replay twice now and Ashe does not even attempt to hide his initial contact – an elbow into Barnetta’s back – and then a blatant two handed push on Barnetta as he was trying to get up. Despite this, it appears Barnetta was called for simulation. Giovinco, Dempsey, Dos Santos, Keane, Kaka, etc. would never, not even in the Geiger-verse, be called for simulation in that situation. Totally absurd.
    Between the Orlando game and this game, we better have a goal coming to us in a critical situation that does not even get close to crossing the line, courtesy of PRO.
    Creavalle continues to be a serious liability at CDM. Because this is somehow a controversial issue, I direct people to the 9:40 mark for a perfect example of why Creavalle is awful for our tactical system. This is but one example of a routine problem that we are punished for nearly every game with him.
    The situation: Bedoya and Barnetta are both pushed high in an attacking situation. Creavalle is not obstructed and Bedoya/Barnetta are both in front of him. He is about 10 yards into the Columbus half. Following an attempted pass from Barnetta, Columbus regains possession. Meram is roughly 10-15 yards from Creavalle and can either make a run up the center or hit Higuain on the side with an easy pass that puts him in a position to run at the defense. Barnetta is in an excellent position to make sure that Meram cannot run up the center unchallenged and is arguably closer to Meram than Creavalle. Instead of falling back to cover the defense and play as a disciplined 6, Creavalle runs directly at Meram. The entire midfield is now caught high, the defense has no support, and the channel down the center is wide open. (Freeze frame at the 9:47 mark to see how caught we are and a view of a wide open Higuain.) Meram passes back instead of seeing Higuain open at the side, but this is the precise situation we harp on with Creavalle. Even worse, after Meram passes back, Creavalle continues his run and goes after Tchani – who thankfully hits an awful pass to Higuain and defuses the situation.
    However, this marauding run down the center despite seeing that everyone else is high is a play that a good team kills us on. Columbus is not a good team and we got away with it. This is precisely why so many of us think Creavalle is AWFUL for our team at the 6. I would rather see Tribbett out there at this point than Creavalle.
    Also, BC does not make that marauding run up the gut. He pulls back to cover the CBs and lets Barnetta make the challenge on Meram. This would ensure that there was ample cover in the center to allow Keegan to challenge Higuain on the sideline, Yaro to slide over to help, and not create an Ilsinho-after-a-free-buffet sized hole in the center of our defense.

    • Eh. I thought creavalle was all over the place. I can recall 3 solid slide tackles in a row in a 2 minute period. Plus many many many broken up passes. I agree needs to be upgraded and will be upgraded with edu. But I do not believe he is awful. Plus if we need to sell him might be smart to make him look as good as possible for some future transaction. You know basic asset trading 😉

      • MikeRSoccer says:

        Here is the thing: you can have some great defensive stats in terms of tackles by chasing, but if you miss one tackle that’s the ball game. I’d rather see a player drop back to cover the defense than go for a high risk tackle. Creavalle put his team in a 4-3 situation. If he drops, it’s a 5-2. It’s a basic principle in the 4-2-3-1 that if you are the last midfielder, you don’t chase the ball all the way to the opposing team’s 18 unless you have cover.

      • I don’t want to crucify him so severely as Mike but I think the issue is mostly mental with WC. He is physically capable (some of his tackles were crucially stellar) but his soccer IQ is plainly not on par with the rest of the midfield. At this point I don’t think anyone would’ve expected him to be racking up the minutes he has but Edu is still lost in Narnia and BC is mending his old bones. Soon WC will retire to the bench and serve the occasional ten minute defensive substitution role (a clearly define role most can handle). Unfortunately until then my confidence in the midfield rests solely on the guy who chases balls and leaves his backfield so wide open. I hear Mike, but I agree that he’s not awful. He is certainly a liability but our hands are tied. Quillo and Ale are telling WC what to do all game long and I’m sure Curtin has told him other things so in way, WC’s hands are tied too. Curious to see how he’s rated on the night, I think I’d give him an adequate 5/10.

    • Jim Presti says:

      There was also a point where WC was in the offensive third with the ball on his foot, not a CLB player around. Guys in the box, guys on the wing. And he thinks and thinks and thinks… then passes back towards the CBs. Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

  6. Andy Muenz says:

    Is this the first time the Union have picked up 9 points against a team? I don’t remember that happening before.
    Definitely a little worrisome at the end as there were shades of the DC game where the Union were having trouble maintaining any possession for minutes at a time. Fortunately, Alberg and Davies were eventually able to help there.
    The Columbus goal was especially questionable given that the free kick that set it up could easily have gone the other way.
    Are the Union changing announcers every other game? Do you think we can get Adam Cann, Mike Servedio, Ed Farnsworth, or one of PSP commentators to try out? 🙂

  7. Good match, Rosenberry continues to impress and so does Herbers. Yaro has always been the better option than Tribbett. As stated above, Tribbett is great for depth and squad rotation. Lastly, and my only gripe about last night….when Barnetta conceded the corner, the play leading up to it….who rolled the ball back to Barnetta to hem him into the corner? That wasn’t smart…….

    • Andy Muenz says:

      If I recall correctly, the play started when Barnetta made a poor pass and the play after that was a struggle to control the ball.

      • Right, Barnetta played the ball to someone….and can’t recall who…..and then they rolled it back to him. The entire sequence was a cluster f)$k, but the rollback particularly didn’t need to happen…….Barnetta got himself into that, but that was needless to give it back to him there….

  8. Zizouisgod says:

    Amazing that only FOUR teams in the East have more than one road win this year (Union, Toronto, NYC and MTL).

    This match was ugly at times, but it seems like that’s always the case with mid-week matches. Don’t underestimate the value of getting three on the road no matter who we’re playing.

    Hopefully we can get back to winning ways at home on Sat. SKC is not very good on the road this year and has been leaking goals badly so I would expect them to play on the counter on Sat night.

    • I agree that it is amazing about the lack of road wins, and two on the road at the same place is apparently nothing to sneeze at. Looking at the Crew’s record, I cannot imagine that the number of draws that they have is satisfying for anybody. Let’s get KC!

  9. Le CJ
    Glad they won…but unconvincingly done. It took goals from 2 rookies.
    It hurts to write this because I think CJ is a great guy who works his tail off (which Philly fans always respect), but your striker has to score. Same problem we had with Le Toux up top.
    CJ could probably use a rest anyway.
    I think its time to try starting Davies, even if he is only good for 60min.
    Really liked Herbers in for Ilsinho.

  10. Not the most convincing win, but at least a win. I’m over CJ up top sure puts in the work, but this team needs goals not just work. Lets try Alberg up top clearly has no problem putting the ball in the net. Alberg knows how to keep possesion as we saw at the end of this game and we all know he only wants to track back so far so give it a go. Herbers on the right was a better move than Ilsinho I know he was injured, but I would keep Herbers on. Herbers had space time put in the work play continued and there was finally someone running back post if Fabi hit a cross there.

    • They are leading the league in goals (or at least tied with NYRB who would be behind except for 6 insurance goals at Yankee Stadium).

      • Yeah overall the team is up there leading the league in goals, but your not getting much from your number 9 striker you got to question then if he is worth it. If Pontius and Alberg don’t score where are the goals coming from. Yes tonight you got them from Rosenberry and Herbers, but they each only have 2. I remember a guy in the beginning of the season saying he was going to setup/score 25 goals this year. I’m not sure I see him getting double digits in goals or assists and you need double digits in at least goals from your solo number 9.

  11. The Rosenberry goal was stellar! Herbers was nice also .he showed composure to take the second swing at it. They got points on the road… always good.

  12. The Little Fish says:

    Herbie seemed more productive on the right side than Ilsinho in my opinion. No surprise there. Frankly, I’d also prefer Alberg on the right in lieu of Ilsinho. How can Coach Curtain say Alberg’s game (defensively) is not well suited for playing on the wing? But Ilsinho’s game is?!? Ilsinho couldn’t mark my grandma.

  13. The Little Fish says:

    I think Tommy Smyth was pretty great last night in the booth. I enjoyed his color commentary throughout the game. Especially enjoyed when he trotted out: “Yet another gilt-edged opportunity!” Love it!

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