Union match reports

Match report: New York Red Bulls 3-2 Philadelphia Union

With a chance to secure their first playoff appearance in five years, Philadelphia Union came up small against New York Red Bulls, dropping a wild, back-and-forth affair 3-2.

An early strike by Fabian Herbers was cancelled out just before halftime by Sacha Kljestan, and the Red Bulls seized the lead right after the break on a rocket from Bradley Wright-Phillips. Against the run of play, Chris Pontius deposited a Fabinho cross into the goal to even the honors. But Dax McCarty scored the winning blow for the hosts with an unmarked header on a free kick midway through the second half.

As the playoffs approach, the Union are stumbling. Philadelphia has two points from their last five games, and has dropped eight points from winning or tied positions in that span. In addition, injuries to Josh Yaro and Alejandro Bedoya sound a further bell of alarm as the Union reset before their final two matches of the season.

First half

Jim Curtin made two changes to the side that earned a draw in Toronto last Saturday. Tranquillo Barnetta returned from a minor injury, displacing Brian Carroll from the side and sliding Alejandro Bedoya back to the no. 8 role. Suspended last week, rookie center back Josh Yaro replaced Ken Tribbett at one of the two center back spots. Missing from the 18 were Ilsinho and Maurice Edu, the latter of whom traveled to New York but was not selected for the match.

The game started at a frenetic pace, as two high-pressing teams sought to establish an early edge. The tackles came crunching in all around the park, followed by wild gesticulating by a Red Bulls squad that set out to intimidate the officials from minute 1.

The first goal, though, would go to one of Philadelphia’s lively rookies before the 15th minute. Against New York’s high press, the Union back four rotated the ball from right to left with three sharp passes, and Fabinho drove at the defense. He fizzed a ball to Chris Pontius, who forced the home team’s back line to retreat before pinging a pass to the top of the 18. Waiting for the ball was Fabian Herbers, who smartly fired the ball at goal with his first touch, where it slipped past Luis Robles and into the corner.

Thrown off balance by conceding, the Red Bulls lashed out, leading to a wide-open patch of play. For the Union, Barnetta and Herbers attacked the defense, enjoying some open space. On the counterattack, Bradley Wright-Phillips found himself 30 yards from goal against Andre Blake. Blake, caught in no-man’s land, made a smart tackle with feet to poke the ball away from the dangerous striker.

Emboldened by the pace of the game, New York attacked in waves. Off a set piece, Mike Grella should have scored from a ferocious volley inside the six-yard box. But Andre Blake — perhaps feeling disrespected by MSG announcer Shep Messing declaring that Luis Robles is the keeper he’d want with the MLS Cup on the line — produced one of his trademark spectacular saves to ice Grella.

Moments later, a scary collision forced Yaro from the match. A ball played into the box saw Blake, Aurelien Collin, and Yaro go up for the ball, with the rookie defender’s head getting crunched between the taller players’ hips. Yaro appeared to lose consciousness and left the field on a stretcher, as Ken Tribbett came in to replace him.

Rattled by the atmosphere and the scary injury to Yaro, the Union failed to settle down and soon paid the price. Blake went to full-extension to deny Grella just before halftime, but on the ensuing corner someone finally beat Blake. Felipe, kept onside by a lagging C.J. Sapong, received the ball on the wing in acres of space and crossed it to Sacha Kljestan, unmarked at the penalty spot. His one-time finish gave Blake no chance.

The sides went into halftime even, as the crowd of 22,731 took a deep, gasping breath after the exhilarating first half.

Second half

The Red Bulls took the lead before many in the crowd could exhale. A simple ball over the top from Dax McCarty found Wright-Phillips splitting the Union defense with ease, leaving both centerbacks in his dust. The Golden Boot candidate made no mistake, ripping an unstoppable ball past Blake and into the goal.

Shellshocked, the Union suffered another blow when a knock forced Alejandro Bedoya from the match. Injured from a Kljestan challenge in the first half, the Union summoned Brian Carroll to replace him in the 52nd minute.

Red Bull-killer Chris Pontius restored balance to the force with his 12th goal of the campaign. Rampaging down the left side, Fabinho launched a delicious cross into the six-yard box, where Pontius met the ball with a spectacular leap and pinpoint header. Rain fell on the grass pitch of Red Bull Arena as Pontius celebrated before a silenced crowd in the 55th minute..

The game showed no signs of slowing down. Damien Perrinelle and Herbers picked up matching yellow cards within a minute of each other, and the Union struggled to contain the pressure posed by Wright-Phillips.

It was New York’s captain who restored their side’s advantage in minute 66. After Barnetta fouled Felipe, Kljestan fired a free-kick into the box where an unmarked McCarty was waiting. Both Carroll and Sapong deserve the blame for losing McCarty, who found it far too easy to fire home.

Facing a road crowd and a difficult substitute hand, the Union looked for a moment of magic. Roland Alberg entered the match in the 79th minute for Herbers, looking for a clean sight of goal.

Chris Pontius nearly broke the Bulls a second time, ripping a clean bicycle kick destined for goal in the 82nd minute. But Luis Robles did well to get down and keep the game level. In the other direction, Wright-Phillips had a chance to put the game away, but in the face of a charging Blake he blasted his shot over the bar.

Assaults by the Union on the Red Bulls goal in the last 10 minutes came to naught, and the visitors went back to Pennsylvania without any points.

The final two games in the regular season are both at Talen Energy Stadium, after a week off for the international break. Kickoff on Sunday, October 16 against Orlando City is at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Joshua Yaro (Ken Tribbett 31′), Keegan Rosenberry, Warren Creavalle, Alejandro Bedoya (Brian Carroll 52′), Tranquillo Barnetta, Fabian Herbers (Roland Alberg 80′), Chris Pontius, C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Ray Gaddis, Leo Fernandes, Brian Carroll, Roland Alberg, Charlie Davies.

New York Red Bulls
Luis Robles, Chris Duvall, Damien Perrinelle, Aurelien Collin, Kemar Lawrence, Felipe, Dax McCarty, Alex Muyl, Sacha Kljestan, Mike Grella (Gonzalo Veron 80′), Bradley Wright-Phillips
Unused subs: Kyle Reynish, Aaron Long, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Sal Zizzo, Sean Davis, Omer Damari

Scoring Summary
PHI: Fabian Herbers (Chris Pontius) — 15′
NYRB: Sacha Kljestan (Felipe) — 44′
NYRB: Bradley Wright-Phillips (Dax McCarty) — 47′
PHI: Chris Pontius (Fabinho) — 55′
NYRB: Dax McCarty (Sacha Kljestan) — 70′

Disciplinary Summary
NYRB: Damien Perrinelle (unsporting behavior) — 58′
PHI: Fabian Herbers (entering field) — 59′
PHI: Tranquillo Barnetta (unsporting behavior) — 72′
PHI: Chris Pontius (dissent) — 88′

New York Red Bulls Philadelphia Union
11 Shots 6
8 Shots on Target 4
3 Shots off Target 1
 0 Blocked Shots 1
 4 Corner Kicks 2
 19 Crosses 11
6 Offsides 2
14 Fouls 13
 1 Yellow Cards 3
 0 Red Cards  0
 464 Total Passes 292
78% Passing Accuracy  64%
 61.6% Possession 38.4%
51 Duels Won 50
 50.5% Duels Won % 46.3%
 14 Tackles Won 7
 2 Saves 5
 12 Clearances 24


  1. MikeRSoccer says:

    I’m not sure if I even want playoffs at this point. Chances of a home game are virtually gone now and we’re not winning on the road.
    I genuinely believe we would have won this game if we had not lost Yaro and Bedoya. Creavalle had an excellent game. It is simply unacceptable for CJ Sapong to be starting at this point. It’s honestly more likely that Blake scores a goal at this point than Sapong.

    • But then we have no one to take Sapong’s place. That’s the problem. We have no depth at striker. Hence the reason he plays all 90 every game.

      • kingkowboys says:

        I agree with this, but why did the Union get Davies then? Last game was the chance to let Davies get a start. The only reasonable reason not to is health.

    • And I’m flying in from Tucson for the Orlando game. This team needs to get its act together.

  2. Lucky Striker says:

    U get what U pay for………

  3. In this form, the Union are a pretty sub par team. Shaky on defense, unable to hold posession, no creativity, a striker who spends more time face down on he pitch than lining up shots…. This is not a team with much of a pulse. We’re honestly lucky not to have lost 5-2.
    I still see this team falling below the red line. They’re going to need to turn the last two games around in a big way…. I’m not optimistic.

    • So turns out you were right pete. Maybe not fall below the red line bad, but bad. First round road game exit bad at least.

      • Not happy to be right. Still hoping I’m wrong. I just don’t see anything out of this team to give me much reason for hope. Ugh. Stinks. Was hoping for a little bit better.

      • I’m with you there. Still have 2 home games which should be a little better. Just much harder to be optimistic now.

  4. I’d personally like to take this moment to apologize to the cliff of union despair. I didn’t mean to end things the way I did. Will you take me back? I miss your free cookies.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Depends whether the cookies are oatmeal raisin.
      The three consecutive road trips against two top sides and across the continent could easily have given no points. It gave one.
      It was always going to come down to whether we could beat Orlando here and then beat Red Bulls here.
      The difference in the nature of our play after Yaro went off illustrates what he can bring. Doesn’t always do it, but the first 36 minutes were encouraging.
      If Yaro has suffered a second concussion – the report from the locker room said they were “monitoring” him which sounds suspiciously like what little I know about concussion protocols, then an investment for the future would be to shut him down for the rest of the season. Two in two weeks is a very bad thing. Risking a third, no thanks, for the person, please, soccer is only a game. The brain is fundamental.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Bedoya has two weeks to heal up if it is a soft tissue problem.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        True and if it’s a rib cage injury, it really is all pain management and rest.

      • Fair point OSC. This road trip was vicious and we knew we probably weren’t getting results. That said, what bothered me last night was the way the game played out. We know NYRB fade late since Jesse marsch basically runs them into the ground, so the tactics have to change. Absorb the initial punches and counter. Between the 60 and 70th minutes, they’ll exhaust, then go get your goal or 2, 3 points, let’s go home. It looked like we were totally unprepared for the early second half onslaught that wound up being the death bell.

  5. Andy Muenz says:

    All season long the Union haven’t learned to deal with a team that presses them. They make poor pass after poor pass. It was a poor pass from CJ Sapong that turned the ball over that eventually led to the goal at the end of the first half. It was a turnover that led to the quick counter at the start of the second half.
    Then the marking on defense is poor. Time after time there were energy drinks wide open in the box. This game could easily have been 6-2 if it weren’t for Blake coming up big on 3 occasions.
    They are already down to 5th and will likely drop to 6th by the end of the weekend. Hopefully they can turn it around for the Orlando game although it’s hard to see how Yaro will see the field again this season after repeated concussions.

  6. Happy to have left with a point, instead left McCarty all alone in the box to head home the winner on a free kick. BWO splitting Marquez & Tribbett to open the second half was equally poor.
    For all its flaws this team has taken rookies, a vet with a career year and an all-star keeper to a likely playoff game.
    But the fade is worrisome and it’s too late to change much. Sapong has not been the same since his injury in May but he has been run out there every game as if this is the one where he finally breaks through.
    Why did Edu not get any minutes since rejoining the team?
    Last week’s lineup showed imagination and we got a result but coaches have to adjust to make the most of who they have over a long season and I question whether Curtin has done a good job of that. With a few exceptions this team looks tired, slow, unable to possess with purpose, and just too predictable to win this half of the season.
    Yes, guys fighting hard is important, but it’s not enough, Jim. Anyone looking at the slide down the table the last month can see that.

    • Darth Harvey says:

      Sarong out…but replaced by… Charlie Davies??? I’m for it, but we can’t see it until we try it… the reason why we don’t see Edu is because he is too unprofessional to manage his injuries to help his team…he is far too selfish and overrated of a player…he would do us no good now nor will he do us any good in the future… He and his bloated contract should be shipped back to Scotland or whoever else is dumb enough to take him as soon as possible… all that said, hope the players who got injured from actually playing the game of soccer tonight are alright and make it back soon…as opposed to Edu who got a stress fracture while on crutches… Quick Philly poll… Bigger theif??? Andrew Bynum or Maurice Edu?

  7. el Pachyderm says:

    When my $1,000,000 player received the opening kick and instead of building play patiently through his teammates and leading by example turned and booted the ball up the fucking field giving it right back to NY…..I knew….
    And guess what- the rest of the game was a disgrace and I’m sad this is what the game is in this country….. literally the ball was in the air for the first 15 minutes getting punted over the field and set the tone for total shit the rest of the way.
    Headless thoughtless disgusting frenetic play….. EARNIE!!!!!!!!!!!! Fix it.
    Oh and I’m sad we lost but really…. am I. What was to be won?

    • The style of play always begins with the manager.
      From there, the manager must hold the players accountable. If the players are unable or unwilling to execute it, the accountability can happen WITHIN the season (reduced playing time; not selected for the 18) or AFTER the season (no longer on the team).
      We will learn a lot in the off-season about Earnie’s evaluation.

      • I feel like making the playoffs will buy Jimbo another year -and that’s OK – but the bar will be raised for his weaknesses – style of play & adjustments. This is not the way Earnie wants to play. He brought in Alberg but can’t be haopy with hiw he’s been deployed. Nogs & The Calm must be replaced. And whither Edu?

    • Wasn’t Barnetta a big meh through his first few games last year?

      Mid year signings always seem to take a while to mesh.

      So Im not worried about Bedoya.

      • Id argue people thought Barnett was ‘meh’ through the first few games….I saw a bit differently.
        Save his immediate cards I recall, which were funny.

  8. LeToux starts and scores for Colorado tonight. Adding insult to injury.

  9. Rewinding to last December, most of us looked at the 2016 season as the start of the rebuild. 2016 has been better than 2015. Trajectory. Long view.
    With another off-season coming, Earnie will certainly make additional moves having seen it all up close and personal.
    We should expect this team to be better in 2017 than in 2016. The same can be said for Steel and the Academy results.
    “There was no miracle moment. Instead, a down-to-earth, pragmatic, committed-to-excellence process—a framework—kept each company, its leaders, and its people on track for the long haul. In each case, it was the triumph of the Flywheel Effect over the Doom Loop, the victory of steadfast discipline over the quick fix.” (Jim Collins in ‘Good to Great’)
    Keep turning the flywheel Earnie.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Appreciate this commentary. Well done. I’m still dismayed by the quality of lack there of in sophistication. Tonight was troubling.

      • You call it like you see it and I cannot disagree about the quality.
        The academy is the key for the flywheel momentum to overtake the short term buying of enough sophistication to make it consistently palatable.
        The hard part is waiting while the mostly unseen process works–and it is significant work, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year–to get to the point of tangible momentum that shows up on the first team.
        This is especially hard for those who have already tasted unmistakable goodness from what is displayed on other pitches around the world.
        Earlier in the day, my 9-year old daughter and I were watching Arsenal v. Basel. Take the 10 best segments from that game and the 10 best segments from PHI/NY (or do the opposite and compare the “worst” segments of play from each game) and we have still have “miles to go before we sleep” with a blissful smile after a Union game.
        Having said that, I’m in this for the long haul. This is my team. I applaud the effort. They are leaving it on the pitch every game.
        Even so, we have seen them play beautifully. We know it is possible. I know, Nogs is gone and Barnetta is departing. Let me finish. 😉
        This leads me back to my 11:00pm comment about style of play and where that begins. And there I stop.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        You can make a plough horse a faster plough horse, but you cannot make him an Arabian.
        The next thing to observe is whether any of the current Academy kids earn promotion from practicing with the U-18s to practicing with the Steel.
        Derrick Jones got that promotion last November when the Steel signed him.
        Auston Trusty got his – I am guessing – when Ken Tribbett made the varsity.

      • Good horse analogy.
        As for the academy and steel, it takes time. There are some signs, but it will take time to see the consistent results. I’m okay with that.

      • I thought this season was just about progress…taking the long view.

    • Grounding words.

  10. John P O'Donnell says:

    Can’t see us winning a game in the last two. When a striker can’t strike, what’s the point of running him out there? It’s time to send him to Oz to see if the wizard can help him find a heart. CJ might be moving to Atlanta or Minnesota next year.

    Truthfully if we somehow were to get a home playoff game, I couldn’t see many people showing up for it. This team hasn’t looked the same since Nog’s packed his bags and went home.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      I remember an article that essentially argued for the ‘carry on’ mentality after Vincent left and I remember arguing pretty vehemently that all was probably lost. Caught some flak for it from various angles but it made for fun banter.
      It’s pretty clear Noguiera is/was an irreplaceable piece of the machine…. which was easily evidenced each time he missed a game or a stretch of games…. the team would play with no continuity, well unwatchable to be true.
      I’m not gonna beat up on the new DP who probably still needs to settle in and all… my first comment above summates the thoughts there.
      I look forward, as ever to the post match comments from Skipper… which will sound about like the post match comments from Skipper the last 2 months or so.
      Anyway…. it’s a good place to come get the weight off the chest… ease the angst…so bang on I say.
      My goal for 2016 was play well and that goal sunk the minute… the minute Vincent Noguiera skipped town.

    • Nogs was great and one of my favorite players, but lets not pretend he was more than he was. We won plenty of games without him this year. He was constantly in and out of the line-up. In my mind he was one of those players that requires better players around to be consistently great. I wish he was still here as we are a better team with him, but lets not exaggerate.

      • There is and has been no cohesion of play in his absence save an occasional blip. I’m surprised by this comment.
        You alternately mention he was great but then ask us not to pretend he was more than he was. Which is it.
        Regarding still sinning games…I’d argue we actually haven’t really won too many of them since he left…

      • We also won a bunch when he was on the team and out injured. We also lost Le Toux and added Davies and Beodya plus have had a bunch of injuries. Lots of change in the middle of the season. Hard to point to 1 thing as say that’s the smoking gun.

  11. Against a desperate Orlando and cruising NYRB, we’ll be lucky to get 4 pts. We should competently earn at least 2. How this team is playing, and against this same RB team, all I see is the limp into irrelevancy.

  12. Yep. I too said a couple months ago that’d we’d likely miss the playoffs. And if we do Curtin needs to go. I’m happy now that Barnetta’s gone at the end of the season. If we can’t win with him then his petulance is embarrassing.

  13. Oh yeah, and if the Union doesn’t make the playoffs I’ll laugh at their emphasis on and excitement at selling potential playoff ticket packages. Earnie needs to watch the tape of Toronto, NJRB, NYCFC games: a DP striker like Giovinco, BWP, or Villa makes a huge difference in MLS. I’m not saying you can’t win without one, but it’s getting harder…

    • Very true. Much harder.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Oh? On word suffices in response.
        For a moment, don’t think about wins. Think about profits.
        Profit is what Earnie will be judged on.
        Remember what Sugarman said about the nature of Sakiewicz’s “shares” in ownership. [They became meaningful only when Sak raised the valuation of the club past a certain level.]

      • Well said. Best team in the league in my opinion, built from the ground up by an organization with a plan. They’re currently using a guy I rate about the same as Sapong as their main striker in Urruti. He was a reclamation project that went right this year. this of course isn’t to say that Sapong is good, rather I thought heading into the year that urruti was complete garbage.

      • I’m a fan. Not a shareholder. I don’t care about profits. And Ernie is the sporting director not the cfo. WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, I think you’re confused, OSC.

      • This may be true, that Sugarman will judge him on profits. To make a profit, one must have a product worth selling, be it players or style of play or results.

  14. We were outplayed for much of the match. It’s rough losing 2 men to injury, but I’m not sure there would have been a huge difference. This was not the right type of game for Carroll, too frantic and fast. I’m not even sure where the blame goes, the players? Manager? SD? Who knows, what I do know is that even if we make the playoffs, we cannot survive in the coming years with the current system/manager. We need to see if someone will bite on CJ in the offseason. I love the guy as much as the next person, but honestly, can anyone on here still try and defend a single striker who hasn’t scored in months?

  15. They’ve got a 3 point lead on the Revs. NE needs 4 points from @CHI and MTL AND needs the Union to lose out. A draw for the U cements a spot.
    This assumes MTL gets at least a point today. If they lose we have more breathing room. Again, this is just to qualify.
    If the Union lose out, Curtin has to go. No, I don’t want to hear he doesn’t have the resources of the rich teams or injuries or whatever. This team was in FIRST at the end of June. We are now below .500 and way off the pace.
    Also, some of you who believe that there is year to year momentum and they can build off this need your heads checked. This team will experience massive roster turnover in January. Don’t think Andre Blake breaks camp with the U in March. He’s gone for MLS magic beans and cash.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Yes they were in first, If you recall the nasty pesky details, they were four points ahead of the team in EIGHTH place.
      It will be very informative to see whom they protect with the expansion draft. Very.
      While I agree there will be roster turnover, and that it may well be significant, there is no free hand. The salary cap restricts what can be done.
      Barnetta will free the 2017 equivalent of 2016’s $457,500, no more.
      If you want massive turnover you need to clear massive cap space.

      • Edu’s $750k albatross will be off the books 12/31. Pontius and his $400k were a one year deal and no way a guy who quiets the injury critics and bags a dozen goals takes a pay cut. Carroll is off. So yeah, cap space, I guess, is a thing. But with 3-4 players representing 40% of your cap, room makes itself. Add in the real $ of a Blake bake sale (after MLS’ cut ballpark $2-2.5M?), Earnie will have some flexibility.
        Now he just needs the right manager.

      • Agree Curtin gets fired if the team finds a way to miss the playoffs. One and done will be interesting to see what Earnie does, if he somehow wins a round we’ve got him next year. For better or worse, that will go a long way into determining who comes back. Keeping Curtin likely means keeping most everyone.

      • Lucky Striker says:

        really struggling to understand this statement. This team is going to be gutted, and Stewart will have little to say about it.

  16. Zizouisgod says:

    Tough loss, but let’s keep in mind, Red Bull hasn’t lost in league play since 7/3 and are excellent at Red Bull Arena. They have been playing very well and punished us for the mistakes that the Union made (eg – poor marking on set pieces, sitting too deep, etc) and continue to make in recent matches. Feel like we need three points versus ORL to feel confident about making the playoffs as I would hate to need three points in that last match with RB going for the top spot in the East.

    I’m not going to spend the time to critique which player should start or get traded/not protected/transferred for next year as it’s not relevant without having a longer term viewpoint. We’ve been on a slide and viewing players solely through the prism of short term results leads to making poor decisions and is, quite frankly, something that the previous regime would have done.

    • The Little Fish says:

      Agree with your post. Being honest I wasn’t expecting points at NYRB last night. They are a superior side right now. Period. But without Andre’s heroics we caugh up at least 5 goals and that just isn’t good enough. And CJ again shows he needs more help up top. I have nothing but praise for Chris Pontius and Fabian Herbers so is it the formation? Please tell me.
      Long term I cannot help focusing on next years vacancies caused by the departures of Barnetta, Nogeira, and potentially Edu. What is our engine room going to look like next year?!? It’s like “try-outs” for 2017 as far as I’m concerned. Anything we get out of the post season this year is GRAVY. That said lets thrash RBNY at Talen.

  17. If the Union had the slightest bit of pace, quickness, and skill to finish from Sapong, they would have won so many more games. This game cried out for a Striker who possessed those traits from a Union standpoint. If Alberg wasn’t so painfully slow he’d be a star in this league. I feel so bad for Yaro and pray he’ll be ok not just to return to the team but to not have any continuous concussion issues. Why is this team the one that can never have their best players performing at the same time. The situation with Edu is a joke. Curtin needs to go. ‘IF” the Union make the playoffs they will need both Edu and Yaro starting if their going to have any chance. However with Curtin at the helm I don’t expect much.

  18. The more things change the more they stay the same. That about sums up this organization. It’s true that the loss of Nogs was the turning point toward our demise whether its related to him directly or not.

    What’s also true is that all the top teams in the league have prolific strikers/goal scorers which we do not. Until we do, we will not be able to compete in this league in any meaningful way. I agree Sapong doesn’t make the grade at this point.

    We have a motley crew assembled on a shoe string budget. We are pretenders not contenders and will either miss the playoffs entirely or be eliminated in the first round. We simply lack the resources to be a championship caliber team.

  19. Two goals surrendered from set pieces. Too many years with the same problem. Practice with me: “Everybody grab a shirt!” I simply don’t understand how this simple concept is forgotten every single game. The ghosts of corner kicks past seem to haunt this team, and the solution is never found. Kljestan and McCarty both were in their own zip codes when they received the services that they finished. Frankly, it seems like having everybody in blue stand in the goal mouth would be as effective as the system that is being used now.

    From the beginning of this game, the defenders were positioned narrowly, and the successful runs up the sidelines that had carried the Union through the early part of the season seemed to be missing. I do agree with several of the comments above about CJ Sapong seeming like he was missing last night; for all of the problems that the back line of NYRB reportedly carry with them, and knowing that I have not seen too many of their games, is it possible that there was some overconfidence about them? They haven’t lost in forever, and they haven’t lost at home since April. No team carries those streaks without a minimally functional fullback line.

    All of that being said, last night was a disaster in the officiating department. I am not sure that the hypertechnical enforcement of the throw in rules and the return entry rules were supposed to trump the body bag count, but that seemed like the focus of the evening. “As long as everybody is wearing shin pads, we don’t need to worry about protecting the rest of the players.” There was such a disregard for obvious foul play early on that I was worried that somebody would be hurt. The fact that it was Josh Yaro on a clean play does not excuse the failure to enforce the rules. Those cards tht were shown were way too little, way too late. Now, a kid has a second head injury after a concussion. Nicely done.

  20. Ich heisse Rolf says:

    When I go to a restaurant, the last thing I give a damn about is the owner’s profits. I expect a quality meal at a price that I am willing to pay. And I get to decide whether or not I am satisfied with the food, quality of service, etc. — not the owner or anybody else like the local newspaper’s food critic.

  21. The fact that little ass Dax McCarty can win a header, and is completely unmarked goes back to Curtin’s failure as a manager. He was a defender in MLS for years and a decent one at that. This team is still clueless on how to mark on set pieces, and it’s a total disgrace. I would fire Curtin on this premise alone. I am just so tired of the same defensive mistakes week after week
    We’ll make the playoffs and lose on the road. It’s fine. I’m reserved to it. But ES a better address our needs in the offseason. I trust he will.
    Sapong cannot start anymore. He just can’t.

  22. And there we go. Union in the sixth spot, only three points ahead of New England who play Chicago next week.

    • Noguiera left. Barnett leaving. Ship out Edu. Bedoya a defensive minded midfielder meh, but he’s still settling in… CJ a striker in a single striker formation who doesn’t score, but we score plenty of goals… yet are sliding down the table… and simply missing the metric for success… playing well.
      I’m riveted to the seat to see how this all plays out over time.
      “it wears me out it wears me out”

  23. For those lamenting the “close loss”, that game was not really 3-2. It was 5-2, but Andre Blake took 2 goals back with saves that maybe only one or two other GK in this league could make on a good day. Two completely crap-ass defending open goals in the box surrendered and BWP rocket that was in even if Neuer AND DeGea were in the goal at the same time.

    If there was anything that this game showed me, it was that Blake is superhuman – maybe he’s an X-Man; maybe Ben Affleck is searching him out to join the Justice League..

    If Blake is not here next season, I think we are in for a rude awakening in the standings…

    • I agree. There was nothing close about how well NY dominated the Union in possession. If Union had managed a draw, it would have been blown points for NY.

      I do think that scoring goals and not playing from behind would help somewhat in the counter attack goals that the Union can’t defend as well. these goals that come late are typically the result of the Union chasing a game.

      The set piece defense is another story altogether. Just poor all around.

    • Under your metric, shouldn’t it have been 5-3 considering Robles save?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *