Union / Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-1 Montreal Impact

Matteo Mancosu equalized one minute from time to give Montreal a share of the points as the Union and Impact drew 1-1 in Chester on Saturday night.

Tranquillo Barnetta gave the Union the lead just before halftime with a fantastic finish from distance, but Philadelphia could not find a second goal to see the game out.

First half

Jim Curtin made three changes to the team that lost in Chicago last weekend, with Andre Blake, Josh Yaro, and Alejandro Bedoya replacing John McCarthy, Ken Tribbett, and Roland Alberg respectively.

Montreal started the brighter of the two teams and had the first two chances of the match. Ignacio Piatti was at the center of both chances, first crossing for Lucas Ontivero, who couldn’t turn in from five yards and then finding Patrice Bernier who shot wide from close range as well.

The Union’s first chance would come in the 27th minute through C.J. Sapong. Laurent Ciman misjudged a long ball, and it bounced over his head for Sapong to latch onto 30 yards from the Montreal goal. Sapong was able to round the onrushing Eric Kronberg, but Ciman recovered in time to poke the ball away.

Philadelphia would take the lead through Barnetta in the 45th minute. Josh Yaro won the ball back inside the Montreal half and found Barnetta 35 yards from goal. The Union captain advanced at the Impact backline and fired a shot with his left foot against the grain from 25 yards into the lower right corner past the outstretched arms of Kronberg.

Second half

The Union would have a good chance to increase their lead in the 50th minute. Sapong led the attack down the center of the pitch picking up the ball 40 yards from the Impact goal. With the Montreal defense dropping off, the striker advanced into the space and fired a shot from 30 yards that was well over Kronberg’s goal when passing to Fabian Herbers on the right looked to be a better option.

The Impact would have a great chance to equalize in the 62nd minute. A brilliant pass from Piatti found Mancosu behind the Union backline, but Blake was off his line quickly to smother the opportunity.

Fabian Herbers would have two good chances to increase the Philadelphia lead in the 65th and 68th minutes. Chris Pontius did well down the left to create the first chance, with the ball falling to Herbers near the penalty spot, but the rookie’s shot on the turnaround was straight at Kronberg. Minutes later, Barnetta led the charge down the center of the pitch for the second chance, laying off to Herbers on the right side just inside the Montreal box, but the winger’s shot was well over the bar.

Mancosu would equalize in the 89th minute. Montreal would work a short corner kick routine that ended with Donny Toia serving the ball from the corner of the box on the right side. The ball would bounce inside the Union box and Mancosu was quickest to react at the back post, heading home from close range over the stretching Andre Blake.

Announced attendance at Talen Energy Stadium was 18,500. The Union are next in action when they travel to Portland to face the Timbers next Saturday at 6 p.m.

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Joshua Yaro, Keegan Rosenberry, Warren Creavalle, Alejandro Bedoya, Tranquillo Barnetta, Fabian Herbers (Ilsinho 70′), Chris Pontius (Roland Alberg 82′), C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Ray Gaddis, Walter Restrepo, Ken Tribbett, Brian Carroll, Charlie Davies

Montreal Impact
Eric Kronberg, Ambroise Oyongo, Laurent Ciman, Hassoun Camara, Donny Toia, Marco Donadel (Harry Shipp 80′), Ignacio Piatti, Lucas Ontivero (Dominic Oduro 70′), Patrice Bernier (Didier Drogba 61′), Hernan Bernadello, Matteo Mancosu
Unused subs: Maxime Crepeau, Victor Cabrera, Kyle Bekker, Calum Mallace

Scoring Summary
PHI: Tranquillo Barnetta (Fabian Herbers, Alejandro Bedoya) — 45′
PHI: Matteo Mancosu (Donny Toia, Hernán Bernardello) — 89′

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: Chris Pontius (unsporting behavior) — 20′
MTL: Laurent Ciman (unsporting behavior) — 34′
PHI: C.J. Sapong (unsporting behavior) –54′
MTL: Hassoun Camara (unsporting behavior) –60′

Philadelphia Union Montreal Impact
9 Shots 14
3 Shots on Target  5
5 Shots off Target  6
 1 Blocked Shots  3
 2 Corner Kicks  4
 14 Crosses  12
0 Offsides  0
14 Fouls 8
 2 Yellow Cards 2
 0 Red Cards  0
 452 Total Passes  404
81% Passing Accuracy  75%
 53.1% Possession  46.9%
43 Duels Won  44
 49% Duels Won % 51%
 11 Tackles Won  14
 4 Saves  2
 13 Clearances  13


  1. I get that using your substitutes late or not at all is Curtin’s thing. I don’t like that thing.
    If Blake broke his tailbone on that goal, we’re done for.

    • Its not like it was 90 degrees tonight, why would Curtin sub early.

    • Most annoying thing about Curtin’s sub usage tonight: Brian Carroll. During the game, JP and Tommy seemed to think he was good for 45 minutes tonight and even noted him warming up when Creavalle appeared hurt in the first half. He’s what made the defense work early in the season. He’s a calming veteran influence on this young team. Creavalle is none of those things. BC is the guy I want seeing out these games.

      • Ordinarily I would agree with you, but the mercurial Creavalle had a very strong game tonight, and was playing well even late into the match. There really didn’t seem to be a strong reason to sub him.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Fully agree.

      • It pains me to challege you, OSC, but whom would you choose between them to protect that lead after 70 minutes in that sauna last night?
        The two people most responsible for the result are Villareal and Curtin. If it is insurance you want, sub Davies for Sapong at 60. Tonight were 3 points fof the taking after the Impact mussed two early chances. As the team slips down the table, Curtin’s job should be on the line.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        No infallibility here, philpill. Disagreement is very important. We saw, and value, different things. I have low expectations for Creavalle’s offensive distribution. He exceeded them several times, and fulfilled them a few others.

      • Also, Creavalle was cramping up.

      • Completely agree on Warren’s performance against Impact.

      • Completely disagree it was his man that scored he was often out of position chasing players causing Bedoya to drop further and further back. Positionally he was all over the place he had multiple turnovers again and slowed the pace of the game down when he didn’t distribute the ball. He should’ve been subbed out no later that 60 minutes if you ask me.

  2. 1) Sapong has looked horrendous these past few weeks.
    2) Herbers needs to hit the target more, both with shots and passes. Not even a question as to whether he drew a PK. Joke of a call.
    3) Curtin waiting on subs hurt us again. This was a tired Montreal. Use the bench to run them ragged, don’t wait until past the 80th minute to make your second sub.
    4) Bedoya had an off night and that is being kind.

    • So for the record…Bedoya had two off National team games and now another ‘off’ game… hmm- maybe that Eric Wynalda is on to something.
      about comment one… CJ is kinda—– well…
      at least there was a large box for our new midfielder to sign in the River End.

      • Good lord, its like 5 games in and we are already starting up the “See! Bedoya sucks!” bandwagaon?!?

        Anyway, what Wynalda is “on to” is the argument that for the NT there are better players than Bedoya wherever JK plays him.

        Luckily for us, Bedoya is competing with the likes of Derrick Jones and Craevalle And Barnetta-as-a-8. Not Michael Bradleys and Darlington Nagbes.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I agree I’m just stirring the pot. I have no ill will towards Alejandro.
        Though he has definetly not been up to par… course based on his interview – maybe it’s the 10,000 miles he’s travelled in the last week or so with no break in sight.
        You know I once took an on line religion studies class that was so ridiculously boring with handshaking and glad handeling that I took it upon myself to be derisive just for the fun of it.
        That’s my role here if you’re new…. talking points you know.
        My stances on US Soccer, MLS, our culture and vision philosophy plan are rudiments of being… All else is open season and an opportunity to sharpen writing instrument.
        Let’s have fun.
        Sincerely ,
        One Henny Penny Way

      • He’s got another 6000 miles to travel in the next week.

    • Regarding the end of point #2, there were times tonight when I wondered how much money Villarreal had bet on the game the way he would ignore a push from behind on Montreal and then make the call on the exact same push against the Union 20 seconds later.
      Montreal was also pretty classless all game with their random pulls and tugs after the Union players had played the ball away.

      • yeah, ref was a steaming pile of S*** all night. Refs in MLS always are. Not sure he was Geiger bad, but he was close. Really seemed to hate Pontius for some reason.

  3. This franchise has the uncanny ability these six years to take that which I want to feel good about….. and spraying it like urine along the back of a toilet… similar mind you, to my squinting calic haired boy of six-as he so often does at 5:00 in the morning- with his little unit sticking straight up in the air.
    Are you kidding me I think to myself —watching him as I just smile and lovingly guide the child back to bed.
    Please dear team… can you grow the fuck up.
    Thank God it’s just a game… or is it.

    • Patrick Knight says:

      I know, right? We wait all those years to get an MLS team in Philly, and right from the start our franchise creates an identity of snatching losses/ties from the jaws of victory. Is there anything more nerve-racking than the last 10 minutes of a Union game when they’re in the lead?

    • As Jay prowled the sidelines during warmups, he watched 2 young all-stars, a USMNT starter, a new forward who has everything to prove about his future, a rock solid left winger who has not succumbed to injury despite his history, his defensive MVP recovered from a nagging foot injury; meanwhile his DP was getting a full start for his new USL affiliate and will be back soon.
      Then his manager mailed in the same substitutions he has used all season and BC’s replacement could not keep the ball away from Mancosu – who finally beat Superman after losing to him twice earlier.
      As heartbreaking as the result was, I offer that the future is indeed bright for the 2016 edition of this franchise. So much brighter than it was a year ago, I hafta wear shades. But it’s ok to throw some shade – especially at Curtin. And the perennial pathetic joke that is MLS officiating, Don Garber.

      • Well stated. I continue to stand by my original position from mid january 2015 to first kick in early spring.
        first we have to play well and…
        …Vision. Philosophy. Plan. Trust the Process.

      • If you watch MTL’s goal, the play starts with Yaro marking Mancosu with Sapong on Camara and Creavalle on back post. Yaro was ball watching and Mancosu drifted to the back post. Not sure what system the Union were playing as but hard to lay the blame for this missed mark solely at Creavalle’s feet. No doubt he should have done better as the play developed, but those flick ons in the box are tough to defend.

      • Darth Harvey says:

        The two sitters that MTL missed in the first half were created by Creavalle’s ball watching.

  4. So if a player is not put in the starting XI because he’s not good defensively, why would you sub him in for a better defender when protecting a one goal lead in pretty much a must-win match? How about if you have already subbed in a defensively suspect player for another good defender already and have a terrific holding mid on your bench ready for action?

    I’ve always been a defender of Curtin, but this match realty made me question his managerial chops. Seemed so naive with his subs, especially when MTL brings on Drogba.

    • To bring Ina defensive player means you are going to bunker and counterattack. Bunkering means giving possession to Montreal.
      So you want to have Drogba hanging around you half for 20+ minutes? No matter how well hunkered you are he is still Drogba. I have no major problem with Curtins decision.

      • You’re assuming that bringing on Carroll doesn’t help you with possession which it does. There are more than two choices of tactical approach to take than you suggested.

      • I don’t know whats goig on. I don’t know how fit Carroll is. People seem to think Crevalle was having a game. So who do you take off and still push for a win?

      • For me, I would have subbed Carroll on for Pontius and moved Bedoya out to the left. Alberg is essentially a second striker who is always going to look to attack and go for goal. He’s not a build up or patient player, especially when coming on late.

        There must be a good reason for not doing this, but judging from Curtin’s post game quote, it sounded like he felt that attacking was the best way to kill a game off. I’ve said before that he knows his team better than any of us, but it was an odd decision by him given this team’s struggles in seeing out matches, especially with such a young back five.

      • The Union have a much longer history of struggling to finish out matched when they bunker.
        If they bunkered and MTL scores comments here would probably be even more apocalyptic. There is only so much a coach can do. It’s up to the players to execute.

      • I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but again, I wasn’t advocating a bunker mentality. You can still play on the front foot if you had brought on Carroll instead of Alberg.

        After the 80th min, you need to be pragmatic and smart. You also need leaders on the pitch who help others get organized and stay composed. It’s all about grinding the match down and bleeding the clock. You only commit numbers forward when you have proper defensive cover and are not putting yourself at risk.

        The manager always gets the blame when the team doesn’t get a result. That’s part and parcel of the job, but the manager needs to put the team in the best position to get a result and I don’t think that he did that with that late sub.

        I’m always amazed when people decide to leave a tight match early, but last night as I walked out, I realized that perhaps those people don’t want to deal with the nervous emotions of seeing the team trying to close out a match.

    • I can live with bringing Alberg and Ilsinho on. Fresh legs are better defenders than tired ones virtually regardless of who they’re attached to. What irks me is not using Carroll. We should want him playing instead of Creavalle whenever possible. That’s been proven time and time again.

      • Creavalle played great, you couldn’t take him off. He was putting out fires all night.

        I’m fine with Ilsinho coming on as he’s so good on the ball that helps with possession and teams really have to work to get the ball from him. I didn’t think that Alberg was the right call as it was essentially bringing on a 2nd striker and he should opted for Carroll there

  5. Just completely unacceptable. Where was Brian Carroll to help see out the game? Once it was tied, where was Charlie Davies? There is no reason not to use one or the other. (Personally, I told my wife once Montreal brought Drgoba on that the first sub should be Carroll for Herbers and slide Bedoya out wide.)

  6. Bedoya’s not very good huh?

  7. Patrick Knight says:

    The ref tonight sucked ass. Great job missing an OBVIOUS PK call that would have iced the win for the Union.
    That said, these late-minute goals against have been a problem since Day One of the Union franchise. Until they stop doing that regularly, they’ll never contend.

    • There was another obvious PK call about two minutes in, when Fabinho tripped a guy in the box. No call then, either. Villarreal was letting stuff go all game. Montreal adapted, the Union didn’t.

  8. It seemed pretty good for awhile, until Drogba came on, then it just felt like a matter of time.

    I never understood all the Noguiera love on PSP, but I have to admit this team is not the same since Vincent left. Bedoya was such a non-factor.

  9. Lucky Striker says:

    Nog was a deep lying playmaker. Bedoya is an attacker with some versatility.

    They knew they had problems in the pivot before he left. They did nothing to address it.

    Adding filler doesn’t equate to solutions. It’s only a temporary band-aid.

  10. So after the game I’m sitting in section 117, lamenting the lost points, when I notice some dude heckling Jim Curtain while Curtain was applauding crowd.
    He was hollaring “hey Curtain, you blew it!!”
    And wouldn’t ya know Curtain starting walking over. He walked all the way to the advertising board directly in front of this guy and asked him what he said.
    The dude said again “you blew it…2 offensive subs with a 1-0 lead.”
    Curtain literally said: “You wouldn’t say that to my face.” And then Curtain turned around and walked away.
    I was left thinking..but he just did and did Curtain just call out a fan and then walk away?

  11. 1. Sapong. Just ugh.
    2. I thought Herbers had quietly put together a good game.
    3 this is the first time I have ever seen the Union frustrated. Not only frustrated but frustrated with each other. The look Barnetta gave Sapong when Sapong let a ball go off his foot in the final minute of stoppage time would have killed a baby Unicorn.
    4. Ilshino is my spirit animal. He didn’t do shit. He literally didn’t do shit but stroll about the field until he had the ball at his feet. Then he became pele or some shit. Any chances the Union had ere because of Ilshino Magic.
    5. That Barnetta goal was sweet.

    • Ever as in ever or ever as in this season cause ever as in ever means you didn’t watch hardly many of Vincent’s games here and Sieve! I’ve been watching you comment all along these years and regarding the ‘just let him settle in people’; I don’t recall that Vincent guy needing a similar settling in period with general dreck around him like dreck he was boss Alejandro isn’t boss he’s absent but maybe he will be boss soon when he shows up is he here?
      …long runon sentence is because I like alejandro… but he’s left me a bit flighty with ideas these last few games. I need more.
      safe to say he would agree?

      • yea you are gonna have to rephrase that.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        He would agree, I am confident.

        Vincent did not come in in mid-season. He came towards the end of preseason, a different integrating proposition than coming with only twelve or thirteen games left in a 34 game season.
        I seem to be on a punctuation kick tonight. You 18th century style run-on would be clarified by some commas and some quotation marks. 😉

      • Exactly El Pach……..let him settle in…….only in the MLS. 24 year old rookies we should let “develop”…….only in America. It’s laughable……Klinsmann even went on record and said only here that happens…….if it were anywhere else……they be playing 4th tier or conference ball trying to work their way back up. I thought the whole point of DP’s was they were the type of baller that made immediate impacts….true professionals

      • Lucky Striker says:

        + 1. Made sense.

    • The Barnetta goal was really special. What a finish.

  12. Curtin out.

  13. I have no idea what was going through Curtin’s mind with respect to late substitutions.

    Also, I believe in CJ Sapong, and I have been a proponent of his all year. But he’s in a huge slump, and it feels like it’s putting a ceiling on our performances. Not like it’s all his fault — it surely isn’t — but his decision-making and execution have been substandard for many weeks now. I don’t think that Alberg is cut out to be a solo striker, and Herbers surely isn’t. Maybe try Davies?

    • maybe try Davies. Yes.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Do recall the man’s recent medical history. Cancer therapy of whatever kind is no joke.
        I am no oncologist, and I know that specific treatments for specific cancers vary tremendously. But the basic idea is that you undergo controlled poisoning to kill all the bad stuff and some of the good stuff.
        A good friend is only now recovering from the nerve damage and the loss of balance and the utterly depressed energy levels. Totally different cancer, totally different cocktail of poisons undoubtedly. Still, keep Charlie Davies in mind.

  14. Can someone please tell me what happened with the 1st corner kick? in the 88th minute. I saw that crossed to center, headed down by a Montreal player and cross the end line. I am looking for the re-start to be a 6 yard kick coming out. Instead: a second corner is given. WHAT happened???
    Was there a deflection off a Union player????

  15. Old Soccer Coach says:

    I would comment of the criticism of the two substitutions. I had the same reactions as many above when each of them came on.
    Alberg seems like the usual Alberg. But Ilsinho was much improved. In my opinion his shift was the best soccer he has ever played for the Union because he did not keep dribbling until he lost possession. He dribbled and combined to maintain it and did so.
    And Warren Creavalle had what was for him a strong offensive game. Teams have been encouraging us to play through him. This game he made some nice passes, one beaut of a through ball behind a defender’s back to someone running on from the left flank in the second half in particular, but it wasn’t the only one.

    • Agreed. That may have been Creavalle’s best game for the Union, he was tremendous. I remember that pass as well. It wasn’t a short one either and showed great vision to play it.

      Fabinho was very good defensively as well. So many times he made a great step forward to break up a pass.

      • Listening to Tommy gush over Fabinho was a bit overboard … come to think of it Tommy as a commentator is a bit overboard.
        I’m over him already… a close second is the “Phenomenal” commentary of Bob Rigby which I tired of after just as quickly.
        Still lamenting two lost points folks, forgive me- this is the forum for venting, right?… I’ll be more positive tomorrow…. maybe.

      • Thankfully I was at the match so I didn’t have to listen to Tommy. However, if he was complimenting Fabi, he was right to do so.

    • You have a point, but we don’t need Creavalle to have an offensive game. That last goal was his fault. If you notice, he tried to kick the ball instead of challenging the person. This should be Creavalle’s last game. Carrol needs to come back and quick. Curtin blew this game.

  16. How Blake stayed in, I don’t know. Serious damage to that part of his body and; as some guy used to warble late on MNF, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over,” (With apologies,to the great Willie Nelson.)

  17. I’m sure someone more erudite has already said this, but the problem with Curtin’s subs is that they’re always the same. His tactical understanding is limited to the 4-2-3-1 and his game management is limited to Ilsinho and Alberg for Pontius and Herbers, or some variation on that tired theme. Maybe you can’t blame him for the loss last night but then you can’t really give him credit for wins resulting from subs either. He’s just following some doofy script. Also, WHY IN THE WORLD did we give up so much for Davies on such a high salary if we aren’t going to play him? We knew he was recovering from cancer. Seems that Earnie is a little too impressed with USMNT players, maybe because he was one?

  18. I would have preferred 3 subs not 2, but the MTL goal came on a corner kick. It was a failure of man marking, not tactics. That’s so Union. Both teams had plenty of missed chances. The result was fair.
    You Suck Asshole isn’t funny, it’s boring. Stop it.
    Hey Ref Suck On My Balls isn’t funny, and during a match when one of the assistant referees is a woman, it has the potential to become a serious embarrassment for the club and the city. Stop it.

    • No truer words ever written.
      Last time I commented on it a river ender took it a bit personally. Said I was soft…. I of the absolute love for all things irreverent as evidenced by my posts.

    • Agreed, both on your game comment and the stupid chants.
      I dont know if they ever served a purpose other than simple frustration-venting, but they certainly dont now.

  19. Can anyone Tell me if the entire team was defending the last 2 corners when Montreal scored ? Every Union player should have been marking someone like they were their bitch. No one should have had an inch between their opponent. Instead we let the roam at the far post and paid for it. On the subject of Creavalle and Carrol, all Creavalle had to do is just disrupt his opponent I don’t see Carrol doing much better with that play, he’s horrendous in the air. If I’m Curtin I’m putting Marquez or Sapong at the back post.

  20. OneManWolfpack says:

    I’ve killed Curtin and I’ve praised him… but I think his inability to impact the game with his subs last night was the reason we didn’t win. No way was one goal going to win that game, so I guess I see why he went with Alberg and Ilsinho. But why not bring on Carroll too? Even for 5-10 minutes. Not saying the fact that he didn’t come on, lost them the game… just saying he would help in possession and defending and maybe the sequences to the goal don’t happen.
    I am just tired of the same the subs and no creativity from Curtin regarding lineups.
    It’s becoming more obvious that Curtin is limited and a better manager might be able to take this team to the next level.

    • Let’s give him a chance he’s young and inexperienced… why it was just a few years ago, I believe, he was working with 12 year olds.
      Or were they younger?
      Yep still a bit salty.
      Be better tomorrow, me thinks.
      Sincerely, Henny Penny, the elitist.

  21. Just watched NYRB cough up another 2 goal lead in extra time. It’s fun watching them suffer. Red Bull Arena looks half empty.

  22. Lastly, Herbers has to give that ball to Bedoya on that one scoring chance……..

  23. OneManWolfpack says:

    Edu went 90 for Bethlehem. That is good

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