Union / Union match reports

Match Report: Philadelphia Union 0-2 Orlando City SC

Carlos Rivas and Julio Baptista were on target as Orlando defeated Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Sunday afternoon in Chester. Hosting their biggest regular season game in five seasons, the Union turned in a completely flat performance that left those remaining at full time booing the team off the pitch.

A David Accam goal for Chicago Fire all but eliminated the New England Revolution from playoff contention with the Fire winning 2-1. The Revs now have to overturn a 12 goal differential to edge Philadelphia for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference next week.

First Half

Jim Curtin made two changes to the team that lost to New York Red Bulls two weeks ago, with Brian Carroll replacing Warren Creavalle and Ken Tribbett coming in for the injured Josh Yaro. Maurice Edu was named to the bench.

An uneven first half saw few chances for either side. Carlos Rivas fired wide of Andre Blake’s goal from 12 yards in the 11th minute after Ken Tribbett slipped with Orlando in attack.

Fabian Herbers had Philadelphia’s best chance to score in the 30th minute. Fabinho found Tranquillo Barnetta in the center of the park, who moved the ball to Herbers out on the right with a chance to shoot first time from 17 yards. But the rookie got under the bouncing ball and fired high over the crossbar.

Orlando almost took the lead in the 42nd minute when a cross ricocheted off of Ken Tribbett six yards from the Union goal, only to hit the left post and fall safely into the hands of Blake.

Second Half

Orlando would take the lead in the 59th minute through Carlos Rivas. Fabinho was tentative moving to the ball after Orlando cleared a Union corner kick and Rivas broke in alone against Blake from close to 80 yards. The Union goalkeeper almost came up with a huge save on the striker but the ball rebounded off of Rivas after the initial save and a retreating Keegan Rosenberry could only push the ball into his own net as he tried to clear.

C.J. Sapong had a chance to equalize in the 66th minute after Fabinho found him in the box with a well placed cross, but the big striker could only head straight at Joe Bendik from 10 yards out.

Chris Pontius would have a good chance to get the Union back on level terms just a minute later after Herbers advanced up the right and floated a cross to the back post, but the veteran’s header was cleared off the line by Bendik.

Ilsinho and Roland Alberg were introduced for Pontius and Carroll as the Union pushed for an equalizer. Ilsinho almost made an immediate impact, crossing for Sapong in the 69th minute, but again the striker could not turn his effort on goal from close range.

Andre Blake made a tremendous diving save to his right to deny Matias Perez Garcia in the 79th minute after the Orlando midfielder found time and space to shoot inside the Union box.

Barnetta would have a great chance to equalize in stoppage time, flicking a header just wide after Alejandro Bedoya picked him out with a good cross near the penalty spot.

Julio Baptista would assure Orlando the points deep into stoppage time, powering a half volley past Blake from near the top of the box with the Union pushing high looking for the tying goal.

Philadelphia will end the regular season next Sunday when they host New York Red Bulls at Talen Energy Stadium (3 p.m.).

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Ken Tribbett, Keegan Rosenberry, Brian Carroll (Roland Alberg 71′), Alejandro Bedoya, Tranquillo Barnetta, Fabian Herbers (Charlie Davies 81′), Chris Pontius (Ilsinho 68′), C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Ray Gaddis, Maurice Edu, Warren Creavalle,

Orlando City FC
Joe Bendik, Rafael Ramos, Seb Hines, Mikey Ambrose, Jose Aja, Matias Perez Garcia (Servando Carrasco 87′), Antonio Nocerino, Cristian Higuita, Kaka, Cyle Larin (Julio Baptista 71′), Carlos Rivas (Kevin Molino 81′)
Unused subs: Earl Edwards, Tommy Redding, Kevin Alston, Hadji Barry

Scoring Summary
ORL: Carlos Rivas — 59′
ORL: Julio Baptista — 90+5′

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: Richie Marquez (unsporting behavior) — 38′
PHI: Fabian Herbers (unsporting behavior) — 44′
ORL: Jose Aja (unsporting behavior) –57′
PHI: Tranquillo Barnetta (unsporting behavior) –67′

Philadelphia Union Orlando City SC
10 Shots 12
4 Shots on Target  4
6 Shots off Target  6
 0 Blocked Shots  2
 9 Corner Kicks  5
 28 Crosses  12
1 Offsides  1
14 Fouls 9
 3 Yellow Cards 1
 0 Red Cards  0
 367 Total Passes  292
75% Passing Accuracy  66%
 56.6% Possession  43.4%
52 Duels Won  51
 51% Duels Won % 49%
 15 Tackles Won  17
 2 Saves  5
 15 Clearances  23


  1. So disappointing. Not sure if it’s missing Yaro, but our offense became a lumping one most of the time.

    • Its missing Nogs.

      • el pachyderm says:

        been the problem since the day he departed. sum total. alpha and omega.
        we saw it EVERY time he missed a game or a string of them… the frenchman in me begs for aesthetic. there is none and certainly none provided by maurice edu or alejandro bedoya and if no body is capable of proper movement for The Calm he’s just barnetta.and heaven knows cj sapong is not the striker capable of doing it.

      • Sorry I got to harp on this cause I can’t stand it anymore. CJ is not a striker and never will be. Strikers score. Strikers make plays. Many strikers across multiple leagues have had a double digit scoring year. CJ is a big body to take up space and a hardworker, but he is no striker.

  2. Lucky Striker says:

    popcorn’s ready. Don’t disappoint me……….

  3. Curtin out

  4. Bleh
    This is a team fighting for their playoff life at home in October?

  5. el Pachyderm says:

    My spirit is ruptured tonight. Total failure to accomplish the mission.
    An uninspired, insipid, loose game with minimal technique and touch – totally unable to even build any type of play or string three or five passes together– never mind the panicky defenders….. &ohhhh a fuck up so royal by Fabinho it is on Union Rushmore with The M’Bohli.
    ….then Dellacamera insulting me talking about scoring at the end and still qualifying for the playoffs…. and Tommy complimenting everything with ZERO insight ever and his contract renewed for next year…. ohhh Woe not more if him….though no contract for Noguiera and no The Calm. And Edu…. as my friend Ken Kweeder sings, “Alice? Alice? Where the fuck is Alice.” I can’t take it.
    ….then not one (null set) (zero) (squat) (not one) creative idea in 90 minutes and when Barnetta did finally have a ball in the workshop wanting to create …. CJ Sapong runs the wrong damn way. The WRONG damn way cause well…. he sucks in this format.
    I’m not disappointed in the result, I’m disappointed in the total lack of quality. The abject failure to just play well. This one.simple.request. Give me air to breath and room to expand…. let me bounce clouds in expectancy like an electron.
    To hell with playoffs. I repeat… to hell with playoffs…. cause a last minute goal and you all would have rejoiced …. no way- there is bay cannot be joy. I am the elephant in the room and that was just one more disgrace. ~ it has to be better than this.
    ~~~~~ dear Sporting Director do you see? Please tell me you see. Please make it swift and final- the one remaining tie to the past- the manager…. he survived The Ides but shouldn’t survive Hallow’s Eve.
    My spirit is ruptured tonight.
    It’s my phrase. I coined it….. and here it comes-
    …. SO UNION

    • Pretty sure a last minute goal would have been a one goal loss, so maybe not as much rejoicing

    • Man on the Moon says:

      This made me think of Kweeder’s Man on the Moon

      “Now what good is this information?
      We all know what happened.
      What good is the information?
      We only lost the captain

      Now it’s gonna be soon,
      Six feet in the moon
      Too bad his Panasonic
      Went out of tune.
      Went out of tune, the man on the moon,
      Went out of tune.
      Now what did you say
      The Man on the moon
      Now what did you say
      The man on the moon
      Now what did you say
      The man on the moon,
      We’d better take him away. “

  6. Curtin sucks.

    Herbers should start at striker and illsinho on the wing.

  7. Lucky Striker says:

    Ain’t no sunshine (pumpers) ’til he’s gone……….
    only darkness every day……..
    Ain’t NO SUNSHINE ’til he’s gone !
    and Talen just ain’t no home-

    Closin’ time…. U’ll lose away……….

    and I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know I know I know I KNOW:

    Ain’t never gonna LEAVE THIS THING ALONE !

    AIN’T no sunshine ’til he’s gone………..

  8. Amazing. After all of that impotence, the Union will still likely make the playoffs. Will any of us even care? No need for existential crisis. This teams identity is clear.

    I’m no Jurgen Klopp, but this team can’t play a pressing 4 2 3 1. It doesnt have the talent to break down even a mediocre defense. It doesnt have the defense to put out fires when it gices the ball away during g a press. Should be a 4 4 2, two banks of 4 on defense and look for the counter.

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      Show me a team that has enough talent to stop a goal when gift wrapped as well as Fab’s giveaway was. I don’t know of many. Credit Blake for his bravery, but that was a goal as soon as Fabs mishandled the ball.

      • Its not Blakes fault it was a goal, but had he not hesitated Blake could’ve beat Rivas to the ball it was a bad touch and he should’ve been moving at full sprint towards him once it left his foot cause Blake had the speed to make that save he was just a step slow.

  9. Pathetic. The team needs someone who at least thinks they can put the ball in the net.

  10. This kind of play has turned me from a perpetual STH & SOB into fully indifferent and very nearly disinterested ‘check score on phone and scowl in disgust’ type of fan.

  11. Section 114(formerly) says:

    Is there some room on the Cliff of Playoff Race Apathy?

    Yes, we backed in. And yes, the team scuffled without Edu and Nogs.

    But let’s see a scorer and a coach. Burden is on Earnie.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Cynicism Corner has beer on tap but no Victory…
      It is however offering Schlitz’s shit.

      • Atomic Spartan says:

        Hey, let’s not demean Schlitz here. Compared to the pisswater we saw on the field yesterday, Schlitz was craft beer.

  12. The Little Fish says:

    Are you friggin kidding me? Ugh. That sucked! CJ needs to come off the bench for the last twenty minutes when he can overpower tired defenders. We. Need. A. Striker. Now. And for all of you claiming it’s all about Nogs departure um, well, no argument from me. We clearly miss him. Clearly it’s not going to ever be Edu so Big Earn has to find someone overseas to replace Nogs or we’re totally screwed. Personally, I don’t think our defense is that bad. They are young but will be better next year. We simply do not have the offensive threat to keep opposing defenses honest. We don’t hold the ball particularly well, and let’s face it nobody fears CJ up front. Earnie is watching all this. He’ll fix it.

  13. I want Wynalda says:

    We have waited patiently. Have observed closely. Have conferred with minds greater than ours- and it is time. This the eve of a bullshit playoff backheel which means nothing. It is time tonight to make the first of many public pushes to reach for the stars and argue for one of the biggest US badasses to come coach this team cause he could and he would bring attitude and sophistication. He’s comfy in California. He has a popular radio show. He has more kids than many, they are all school aged. He has grit. Pedigree. He has been ostracized by MLS. He has a bone to pick. He is a winner and we want him. The Chorus wants him. The Chorus wants him.

    • Atomic Spartan says:

      Are you talking Chorus as in Greek Tragedy here? Like gouging your eyes out in agony and grief? (Wait a minute, after yesterday…)
      To quote the immortal press conference line rendered by Jim Mora:
      “Playoffs? Don’t talk about—playoffs?! You kidding me? Playoffs?! I just hope we can win a game! Another game!”

      • Atomic Spartan says:

        I meant:”Wynalda? Don’t talk about – Wynalda?! You kidding me?” Wynalda?! I just hope we can find a real coach! A real coach!”

    • Not happening. ES knows Wynalda from their playing days on the national team, and it seems like he has too big an ego to work for ES. Besides, there is no way he could coexiste with Bedoya after their latest spat, and ES has already securely hitched his wagon to Bedoya.

  14. Curtin must go. Most positions must be upgraded including the manager. Not all Curtins fault for sure but I am tired of the same old same old. He’s limited. It’s proven. We qualify for the playoffs so what. We have several positions of need and I am excited to see what ES does this off season. The playoffs mean nothing to me right now.
    Today was “just so Union”. So depressing. So sad.
    And for the love of GOD… enough of Sapong. Jesus Christ.

    • His complete inability to evolve or adapt or change his sub planning shows that despite him being young, he didn’t learn a thing.

      Predictable subs. Same players, some time, without regard to the flow of the game.

      Playing Sapong for way too long – why not throw Herbers up top for a few games since he is playing so well?

      For being a former defender and talking about Philly tough, all we saw all season was multiple defensive lapses and an inability to defend set pieces.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Who else would you sub? Fernandez? Restreppo is hurt, groin from three weeks ago in Bethlehem? Ayuk has had not a minute with the first team this season. He used every offensive player he dressed. They had no effect aside from Ilsinho.

      • Atomic Spartan says:

        Too true. Based on the shallow pool of talent, you could have written down the subs and times last week, mailed it to Curtin, and he would not have disagreed.

      • I agree that he hasn’t rotated subs and probably should have earlier in the season, but this roster drops off very quickly and with players hurt there has been even more stress on it. Part of that is the way MLS is set up. Part of it is we gutted the team last year and the players we brought in/kept weren’t good enough (Restrepo, Fernandez, etc).

      • Why not start Alberg-CJ
        Gaddis-Marquez-Tribbett-Rosenberry (4-4-2)? Or flip Herbers and Alberg. Then you have Carroll, Creavalle, Davies, Edu & Ilsinho depending on whether you’re protecting a lead or need another goal. The plan was to run the offense from our left side – which exposes Fabi on the counter! Curtin has trotted out the same tired (literally – Pontius’s hammy finally gave out & Barnetta’s touch shows the signs of the grueling season; & CJ has been a hair to slow in finishing for months) lineup that has lacked possession and goals in run of play for 2/3 of the season.

    • Only fire Curtin if you have someone else to bring in. Don’t fire Curtin and promote Sorber or you’re just in the same old merry-go-round.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I agree. ES has to bring someone in from the outside with proven manager experience. Again, I don’t solely blame Curtin for yesterday, the players have to play… Bedoya was invisible… but at some point he has to TRY something, ANYTHING, that might change the result.
        Tell me again – What’s the definition of insanity…

      • I’ve found that in the software I work with daily that definition is no longer valid. If something fails the first time, try rerunning because it will probably complete successfully the next time (unless you can determine the exact reason it didn’t work the first time and it wasn’t just a random glitch).

  15. Cant wait to see the redbulls game. Should be pure football on view. No pressure. Just play, boys, show’em what you got. Time for Curtin to show some creativity, some daring. Could this be a team you face in the playoffs? Put some fear into them right now.

    • I’ll tell you right now what the game will look like you saw it a few weeks ago when the played NYRB it will not be different. It will not be creative and it will not be daring because none of those things describe this team or the manager.

  16. I only go to a few games and I picked this one for all the obvious reasons.
    Two weeks to prepare for a team whose season is over. And we’re served the same old gruel that starved us for the last 6 games?
    The XI should have been all about getting on the board in the first 20. Bedoya at 6. Herbers witb Sapong up top. Alberg at right wing. And Gaddis, not the automatic crossing machine wbo always gets caught from behind on tbe counter.
    Then BC for Pontius & shuffle guys to protect the lead.
    Don’t blame it on #5! He’s long gone and if the style of play must change as a result, the staff has had 4 months to figure it out. But hasn’t.
    At the same time, #13 has been a gift beyond all reasonable expectation.
    So we take the good with the bad.
    Also #10 had a heavy first touch all match that led to turnovers and missed shots.
    If Curtin returns (because we finally make the playoffs), he must change and he must be given more help in strategy and game management.
    The talent on this team – albeit raw – is better than our record to date.
    I for one expect the Energy Drinks to take the points here and for this club to limp into a road play-in loss.
    Prove me wrong, boys.

  17. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Twice the Union had two week layoff this season, as far as i I can discern. Twice they have laid eggs. First, to NYCFC on June 18th, the second half restored some respectability, but the first half was extremely poor if my memory has any accuracy to it.
    Second, was earlier today. Passing was not sharp from people who are supposed to be sharp. Also, it was effectively a playoff game and we seemed increasingly tentative, a little scared maybe?
    Need to revise the template for restoring game intensity after a lay-off.
    Carlos Rivas is going to be a force, speed and power. He was scary against our backs. The individual development plans for all of them just got a serious dose of strength training added. He’s always been pacey. Now he looks like a linebacker.
    Orlando contested the midfield effectively, especially in the second half.
    Ilsinho provided some energy and creativity off the bench. Otherwise, what did the subs add?
    That Pontius went off with a hamstring is not good for the future. When he sat himself down he tapped the back of his left thigh. Wasn’t that the problem in DC?
    CJ Sapong, with the ball under control at his feet and facing his defender simply does not try to take him on on the dribble. He plays striker as though there is a dribbling prohibition. That’s one dimensional from a striker.
    Final thought, besides Nogueira, the early season advantage of being in better condition from two a days during preseason is completely gone by the end of the season.
    In hindsight, exchanging Charlie Davies for Le Toux turns out to have been a move for the future, not this season.That may not have been the original intent, but that looks like it is the actual effect.
    Think cariefully about how weak the organization as a whole is in the central channel in the midfield right now. The closest thing to a true number eight is Derrick Jones. Brian Carroll is the top number six. Edu remains uncertain and unproven and may stay so until 2017. Bedoya will be the number 10. Earnie has some serious work to do, serious.

    • As usual, insight and thoughtfulness, OSC. I repeat: 2016 is a great year for the organization across the board and I for one expect it will prove to be a turning point. Honestly the next biggest move at the first team will be wisely spending the net transfer fee when Superman flies across the pond after 2017, methinks. I believe in Earnie & ownership and that we can play Moneyball with the Academy/YSC & BSFC for years to come.
      El P: It’s ugly MLS but it’s taken 50 years and many false starts since I sat in the cavernous Cotton Bowl watching Kyle Rote, Jr play for Lamar Hunt’s Dallas Tornado to the league’s “success.”:Beauty will come in time, like Jordan followed the two-handed set shot.

    • Excellent thoughts, OSC. This roster has options, but all of them are fraught with deficiencies which severely limit how this team can play so late in the year.

      The size, strength and speed of ORL’s players was quite evident yesterday. They were huge in comparison to the Union, but that seems to always be the case. Since Day 1, the Union players are always smaller than their opponent. I know that alone is not a defining trait for success, but it we have always been an outlier in this category compared to other teams in MLS.

      Regarding Sapong’s reluctance to dribble, there was a sequence in the first half where Sapong found himself about 40 yds from goal and at least 10 yds of open space all around him. Instead of taking that space and forcing the central defenders to have to close him down/make a decision, he played it out wide to Fabinho and then tried to get in the box for a cross which (spoiler alert) was not successful. It was a poor decision as he took a situation where he had the advantage and then just gave it right back to his opponent. It was one made by a striker severely lacking in confidence.

      Blake continues to struggle with his distribution. His shanked goal kicks have become worse and worse. It’s only a matter of time before it costs us a goal.

    • I still trust in Earnie, but I have yet o see any of his standalone acquisitions produce results, and honestly getting rid of Le Toux was bad business for this season. I hope with a year watching/dealing with the league he is better prepared for the next transfer window because so far I am not impressed.

  18. For the first time EVER I left the game before the final whistle… As a founding member I can NOT stand behind that horrific shit show I witnessed today. Disgraceful, just fuckin disgraceful… ES should pull the trigger even BEFORE next weekend/game…

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      That would be mildly unfair to replacements and survivors.
      You have seven days and then two more to make a difference?
      That would be a move worthy of Sakiewicz.

  19. Cliff of Union Despair says:

    Welcome all my friends to the shitshow that never ends.

    AHHHHHhhhhh Yessssss….your sadness is funding our renovations in the eastern wing of our facility. Please continue to deliver your quashed aspirations, your crushed hopes, your destroyed dreams, and obliterated beliefs of success. This is our currency.

    It is good to have you all back. We experienced a leaner than usual May through September here at the CUD, but although we know our business is seasonal, it will always be consistent.

    While you were off gallivanting and visiting silly places like the Plains of Cautious Union Optimism, and Prague, we were always here awaiting your return. And we have some great new additions to our staff and services too!

    Jimmy- my boy – we have a room all prepped and ready for you. It is a room that is nothing but curtains for you. Get used to the pun, we aren’t forgetting it any time soon.

    Alejandro – we heard that you arrived, but none of us have seen you actually check in at the front desk yet. Are you just lying on the luxurious Chester beaches? We noticed $1M out of our wallets, but the only sign of your appearance here has been Sasquatch-like sightings of a younger Brian Carroll clone wandering the pitch from time to time. The only other sign of you is that when the Union play… you can hear a Jurgen… in the distance…yelling something in German.

    2014 Fabinho – welcome back! You found the flux capacitor and generated the 1.21 Gigahertz necessary to come back to the present and bone up another game for the Union. The interesting conundrum about your performance today was pondering what direction the time travel paradox actually works. Was your performance today a sign of the future, or just a painful reminder of why we started building a sun rocket for you in the first place? (There is a much more involved time-travel joke here, but I, like Fabian Herbers after the 70th minute, am far too tired to give a shit.)

    Andre – I don’t think that we have been formally introduced! You.are.an.amazing.shot.stopper. We know that you are destined for things much greater than we here at the cliff and would like to offer you all the cookies we have in stock for the short time we still have you in our presence. But if we are all being truly honest, we do relish in the fact that every shanked and sliced punt you take, makes the scouts in the foreign leagues reserve their “go ahead” stamp by another week. Keep stubbing your toes on those punts and we’ll have you until 2018! (There’s another joke here about tying in the detriment of not selling Andre until 2018 will only hurt the team further, but much like Ilsinho after 5 minutes in the game, I am much too tired)

    CJ…We would like to offer our help. We have our Anti-Venom sanatorium completely prepared to extract the poison from whatever snake it was that bit you in July. Also, we have to apologize for the entrance to your bedroom we set aside for you. The doorway is in the shape of a goalmouth…we know you’ll never go inside. Our apologies, we will relocate you to the “Andrew Wenger Building for strikers who don’t soccer good” as soon as we possibly we can.

    We are so glad to have you all back at the Cliff of Union Despair where, like our Chief Marketing Puppet Maurice Edu always says, “Why try when they are still paying you.”

    • The General Manager of the CUD says:

      Just to be clear….I don’t like writing these press releases….its’ just cathartic…I hope the Union do resemble a futbol team at some point, and the CUD can be shut down permanently. But the rage needs to go somewhere, and PSP is as good a place as any.

    • On the subject of Mo, I believe it significant that Big Ern appears not to have pushed hard for him to play since rejoining the team. I see him on a Western team next year.

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Please evaluate organizational depth at the position following such a move.
        Emotionally, you anger has resurrected the exploding basalt flutes of a volcano in full spate.
        Rationally, without Eu in 2017 they have neither DCM nor CM. (bedoya is an ACM.)

    • Lucky Striker says:

      awesome sauce.

    • +1 so good

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      This was so good… always enjoy the CUD…

  20. Every fan on this board who is all about “Fire Curtin now” and “Earnie, kill the holdover from the previous regime” should just get off the bus. Go away, you’re not needed. If you had an ounce of soccer knowledge in you and just weren’t on this board to bitch and moan, you’d look at the FACTS objectively.
    1. From a team totaling 37 points last year, we have lost 2 of our top 3 players. Mo Edu has not played a game this year; Vincent Noguiera picked up and bailed.
    2. The Union starts one of the worst defensive left backs in the league…has been for years. As for the other 3 back line starters: an overachieving USLer who should be the 2nd center back not the primary, a rookie 1st round pick who has played pretty much every minute of every game, and a free agent backup from Drexel. That is their STARTING back 4. Not the backups, the starters.
    3. Let’s look at CDM. Either Warren Creavalle or Brian Carroll at the 6. Neither is an MLS starter at this point in their career.
    4. A rookie outside wing, who like our rookie outside back, has never experienced essentially playoff soccer at this level.
    5. A striker who has played over 2,500 league minutes and has 7 goals.
    6. “Why don’t we start Alberg?” Because he plays no defense. “Why doesn’t Ilsihno play more?” Because he’s out of shape, kills the flow of the game, and plays no defense. “Start Davies.” Don’t you think Curtin would start Charlie if he was showing even a shred of evidence that he could produce?
    Finally, let’s look at the top players on the team. Pontius, Barnetta, Bedoya. Guess who signed (or traded for) 2 of those 3 players? Bedoya? Who worked that for over a year? Keegan, Yaro, and Herbers…you think Earnie knew the college soccer landscape after a month? Did he make the call to go with Keegan over Vincent? I don’t think so. Want to go deeper into the organization? Before this year, the Academy structure was already there, the training center opened in April and was already under construction, and the USL franchise was already awarded. Guess who had a huge hand in all of that?
    So all of you fans out there who want to do nothing more than bitch and pout instead of looking at the whole picture and progression OBJECTIVELY, be very careful for what you wish for. Removing an up-and-coming hometown coach who is only going to keep improving year over year, knows the league, and has been a massively influential force in driving this organization in the right direction, would be a horrible, horrible move.
    Oh wait, and we made the playoffs for the first time since 2011? Put a sock in it.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      You dropt what?
      Well sure and to your logic let’s just absolve the manager altogether.
      again….to your logic based on the final comment,s you intend to blame Ernie Stewart? who has been here for a wink of an eye and yet of the two is the only one with chops and a resume to prove he knows what he is doing. What over the last three years in the most important games this guy has managed tells you… he is a difference maker? Or are you one of the arguers that managers do not actually affect outcomes. JC good upstanding young manager. Fine. You win. His team sucked nuthatch today and you dare to tell people they have to bend over and take it… that we lack objectivity?
      Forgive me… as well who signed CJ Sapong as the single striker in this 4-2-3-1. I suppose you absolve the manager of that one too, but Union score plenty of goals and that makes it all fine.
      So while I respect and admire your vim and vigor to defend the manager tonight- really I do- the team…his team has been on a slide for months culminating in a total sulphur egg yesterday… which gives a good and wide berth for people to come to this site and do what the site is for…. bitch and moan. the entire fucking organization tonight is culpable VDS… just so happens I’d like the manager’s head to roll and have been on board with it for two years.
      ….damn your condescending tone pisses me off more than that disgrace of a performance I chose to sit through as a Union fan…and that’s saying something.

      • See, there’s the difference between us. I am not blaming anyone. While the last 6 weeks haven’t been good, it has still been a very successful year and progression in my opinion, overall.
        So here’s the measuring stick for the 1st team…If you had asked anyone on this board before the season that we would trade Chaco, have Edu injured for the season, have Nogs leave in May for good, have 4 rookies combine for 7,200+ minutes played, and have CJ score 7 goals in 2,500+ minutes…and that we would finish with 5-8 more points than last year and make the playoffs for the 1st time since 2011…would you have taken that scenario? I know that I would have been ecstatic, and my guess is that if we polled everyone on here that is calling for Curtin’s head now, they would have taken that result too.
        That was the point of my original post…look at the whole body of work, not just the reactionary last 6 weeks when the team has been a walking M.A.S.H unit and has encountered a much tougher schedule. Other than tonight, we generally beat the teams we should beat this year, and lost to the teams we should have lost to. And who knows, maybe we even steal a playoff game to get to the 2nd round. Either way, I think the season (and the organizational improvement as a whole) has been a resounding success. And Curtin has been a huge part of that…makes zero sense to fire a key cog in the wheel during a period of overall uptrend.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Chippy on the board tonight. With good reason IMO.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        I see your points but my point about Curtin is that he does nothing to influence a game. He has done nothing to get this team out of the horrific slide it has been in for 6 weeks now. Again, players still have to play, but this inability to do ANYTHING shows me how limited he is. The team still needs to be upgraded in multiple areas, I feel like the manager is one of them.

    • Dear Venereal Disease Steve,
      This season is a “success” because of MLS welfare. If the red line was still 5th, we’re not in. The league lowered the bar and we tripped over it. We successfully have a losing season guaranteed. We successfully have gone two months without a win.

      These things didn’t just happen to Curtin, he’s the architect. We know ES didn’t scout the draft deeply. I’m also happy to give Hackworth credit for Andre Blake. Speaking of ol’ Hack, did you know his U career PPG was 1.22? Did you know Jimmy’s up and coming always improving PPG is 1.25? Some of us may take you up on going away but the wish is for Jim to precede us before we do.

    • VDS argue all you want for the manager that he must be kept is the architect and holds things together. I would have agreed with you at the beginning of the season. But what is the managers role? You say he lost players, he doesn’t have what he needs in bench options, etc. Are these not the things a manager is there to do? You work with what you have build a team, tactics, and creativity through what you have.If players leave get transfered you have to adapt make changes.

      To some of your points above:
      1. Lost 2 of our top 3 players. I would argue we lost our top player in Nogs. Edu never will be one of the top players on this team, plus no one could even be sure he could play midfield in this system.
      2.As for your backline options you argue that our backline is awful yet Curtin kept Fabi protected in expansion drafts, Curtin promoted Marquez and Tribbet, and as you so clearly pointed out he drafted Rosenberry. While I don’t think the players on the backline are the problem you seem to argue differently, but they were brought in by the very manager you defend.

      3. Brian Carroll has been stellar most of the season and could easily start on many teams. While he shouldn’t have to be a starter he has been one of the most consitent player this year. Your great manager should have been looking for a replacement 2 years ago but he was not. Creavalle I can’t defend.

      4. Is what it is.

      5. Sapong is no Striker and this could have been predicted as Sapong has never in his career scored in double digits.

      6. You say why start Alberg. I argue why not he has more goals than Sapong, put him at striker he can score and doesn’t need to play as much defense there problem solved with his lack of defensive effort. Alberg has pace, positioning, awareness, an eye for goal and make more movement and space than Sapong ever could.

      While I think you have some valid points I think we also need to look at the fact that 5 points while improved is a pretty poor improvement given the options Curtin has. There is no creativity there is no tactical in game adjustments there is nothing unexpected.

  21. I raise my hand as one such fan to apologize for my comparative ignorance in the face of your immense knowledge and superior insight into the sport – which only complement your gifts of tact and circumspection!
    Ill fortune befalls all, VDS, but the successful find ways to compensate. The robotic instincts and stubborn nature of your exhalted manager have hurt the cause, but I credit him for recognizing that the table tells the tale. Here it is a team in a tailspin since May but no one can avert the crash ahead
    I did as you command but I also have that other sock. So please open your mouth that I may put it to its best use at the moment for the sake of the entire PSP family. Good night.

    • Maybe you missed the overriding fact of the 1st team…missed the playoffs last year, in the playoffs this year. First time in the playoffs since 2011. Better by 5-8 points. Here’s your other sock back.

      • Don’t think so. And I’ve commended the organization for enormous strides in 2016, too. That does not gainsay the obvious: the first team has slid down the table since before Nogs departed. Without Blake, our record is no better than the Fire. We lose thw play-in at MTL. Keep the sock -you need it more than I do.

      • VDS argue all you want for the manager that he must be kept is the architect and holds things together. I would have agreed with you at the beginning of the season. But what is the managers role? You say he lost players, he doesn’t have what he needs in bench options, etc. Are these not the things a manager is there to do? you work with what you have build a team, tactics, and creativity through what you have.If players leave get transfered you have to adapt make changes.

        To some of your points above:
        1. Lost our 2 of our top 3 players. I would argue we lost our top player in Nogs. Edu was and never will be one of the top players on this team, plus no one could even be sure he could play midfield in this system.
        2.As for your backline options you argue that our backline is awful yet Curtin kept Fabi protected in expansion drafts, Curtin promoted Marquez and Tribbet, and as you so clearly pointed out he drafted Rosenberry. While I don’t think the players on the backline are the problem you seem to argue differently, but they were brought in by the very manager you defend.

        3. Brian Carroll has been stellar most of the season and could easily start on many teams. While he shouldn’t have to be a starter he has been one of the most consitent player this year. Your great manager should have been looking for a replacement 2 years ago but he was not. Creavalle I can’t defend.

        4. Is what it is.

        5. Sapong is no Striker and this could have been predicted as Sapong has never in his career scored in double digits.

        6. You say why start Alberg. I argue why not he has more goals than Sapong, put him at striker he can score and doesn’t need to play as much defense there problem solved with his lack of defensive effort. Alberg has pace, positioning, awareness, an eye for goal and make more movement and space than Sapong ever could.

        While I think you have some valid points I think we also need to look at the fact that 5 points while improved is a pretty poor improvement given the options Curtin has. There is no creativity there is no tactical in game adjustments there is nothing unexpected.

      • sorry this got reposted

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        Was thinking it sounded eerily familiar.

  22. Likely will be playing Giovinco in Toronto in play-in game. Union have no chance if that’s the matchup. Remember the point we earned in Toronto a few weeks ago was without Giovinco playing. Tribbet still having nightmares about getting abused the prior Toronto game. Union can’t compete for hardware in MLS with slow pedestrian players when they face legitimate stars with pace and skill. Our best player ever is now playing in the 2nd division in France. By choice. Depressing.

    • Toronto has a long history of gagging in front of their home fans so if that’s who we end up playing, we’ll have no pressure on us. The Union will still need to play well to have a chance at getting something out of this match, but it always helps to have the home side feeling that extra pressure.

  23. “Default. The two sweetest words in the English language!”

    Homer Simpson

  24. I am a fanatical ‘crazed’ Union fan and founding member, watching Curtin repeat his same subs at the same time (clock) every game over and over again getting the SAME negative results is the definition of insanity. In the last 6 games the club has acquired ‘ONE’ point out of 18 available… “ONE POINT”… you CAN NOT support the decisions being made from the coach!!! End of discussion!!! IN ES WE TRUST!!

  25. I’m going to go against what appears to be conventional wisdom here and support Curtin. I don’t think a managerial change gets any more out of this squad. In other words, the problem is more roster than it is management. The pieces on this roster are either (a) inexperienced) or (b) don’t fit well together. Let’s take out of the equation who is responsible for building the roster for the sake of this argument. Roster building is now Stewart’s responsibility.

    The biggest issue, bar none, is the black hole of production that is our central forward. If Curtin bears any responsibility it may be for his refusal to try something different. One could argue that his options are limited. Our second string striker has had to play the right wing. The third string striker has recently battled cancer and his 10-minute sub appearances have produced barely even a touch on the ball, let alone a scoring threat.

    If I were fantasy manager of this team for a game, I would really love to see Alberg in that 9 role. He seems to have a selfishness, petulance and drive (all of those are meant as complimentary) that could make him the MLS Diego Costa. There was a moment yesterday when the ball fell to his feet at the edge of the box and he did the thing that our striker never does, he took shot. Who gives a shit if my #9 doesn’t play much defense. I don’t think I’ve ever seen BWP play defense.

    • As a coda, one other thing Curtin could deserve blame for is that this team seems to have lost belief in itself. It’s not up for these games. Just isn’t. I tend to think managers are only really responsible to be leaders and to motivate. The rest is on the players. If you believe this squad has talent, it’s the manager’s fault when they lose. … I tend to think the talent is lacking in key areas (goal scoring).

  26. U-g-l-y, we have no reasonable alibi. I foresee no further points or positive results in this 2016 campaign. Very excited for this off season and a fresh start in 2017.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Agreed. I hope we do win in the playoffs… I will always support my team, but I am very excited for the changes and additions for 2017

  27. I don’t get it its the same thing week after week. Coaching staff needs to step it up and change it up. If I’m Earnie I’m firing Curtin. I’ve had enough the team is in a scoring drought and what does he do throw out the same tired old lineup out there. CJ like I said two weeks ago couldn’t put the ball in an open net given 10 minutes. CJ is late to EVERYTHING he doesn’t see the play develop, he does make space, he doesn’t win balls in the air anymore, WHY IS HE ON THE FIELD? I really don’t get it. Subs once again were to late (after the goal as per usual with Curtin). And he took off the wrong players in my opinion unless Pontius was hurt he never should have came off. Best player in the first half was Carroll I get that you needed offense, but he was supplying more offense by intercepting passes and distributing from a deep role then Bedoya was. Best players in the second half were Alberg and Ilsinho, but they didn’t have enough time to work. When nothing is flowing and its a must win game I say you make a change early in the second half to push the issue. I understand the subs, but they were all to scripted as usual. Dropping Barnetta to the 8 never helps the game it hurts it because his skills lie in running at players and making space can’t do that as well from the back. To me the subs to make this game were Alberg and Ilsinho same time for Sapong and Herbers. Then Davies for Tribbet at 75 minutes if your still down. If not if your winning you bring off Pontius for any defensive option Gaddis or Creavalle just to break up plays.

    They will likely make the playoffs since NE lost, but this team is no playoff team. They look awful right now and are likely going to play Toronto in the first round so say goodbye to the playoffs.

  28. I’m of the opinion that the coach matters little in most sports. That stated, Curtin’s game day approach is frustrating in lack of creativity with substitutions and/or formations, which is what most armchair coaches think can “change” the outcome of the game. I thought Barnetta looked flat yesterday, and as everyone has stated they don’t have a scorer. Bedoya hasn’t shown much either, and that might change in time. I hope they win a playoff game, and add 2-3 players for next year. Who would you add? Need replacements for 2-3 spots to compete.
    It was also a beautiful day on the river yesterday. We came early and stayed late, tailgating and kicking it around in Lot A. Lastly, thanks for the comment section, it’s a fun read.

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