Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 4-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

photo: Earl Gardner

The Union cruised to victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0 on Saturday night. Borek Dockal scored in either half and Ilsinho and Fafa Picault both added penalty kick goals. Jose Aja was given a straight red for the clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity in the 74th minute.

Sebastien Le Toux became the Union’s first inductee into their Ring of Honor during a ceremony at halftime.

There were few surprises in Jim Curtin’s lineup. Ray Gaddis started at left back, preferred over Fabinho, Warren Creavalle came in to replace the suspended Haris Medunjanin, Ilsinho started on the right wing and C.J. Sapong the lone striker.

The Union were on the front foot early. Ilsinho danced into the box but couldn’t get a clear shot on goal in the 4th minute. Borek Dockal forced Brian Rowe into a save in the 9th minute with a shot from the right side.

Philadelphia would open the scoring in the 24th minute through Dockal. Ilsinho won the ball near the corner of the box on the right side and it fell to Dockal. The midfielder tried to return the pass to Ilsinho but instead set himself up beautifully to fire in a left footed shot from 9 yards out.

Vancouver started the second half strongly and could have equalized in the 54th minute. Substitute Nicolás Mezquida looked certain to score as the ball was rolled to him near the penalty spot, but a sliding Ray Gaddis snuffed out the shot and pushed it wide of Andre Blake’s goal.

Dockal would score his second to double the Union lead in the 70th minute. After a clever entry pass from Alejandro Bedoya into the box, the midfielder did ever so well with his first touch to avoid a tackle, before beating another defender and firing a shot in with his left foot.

The Union would add a third just four minutes later. Substitute Cory Burke was hauled down from behind by Jose Aja after being put through on goal by Ilsinho.  The Vancouver defender was shown a straight red for the clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity. Ilsinho stepped up to take the spot kick and fired high into the net past Rowe.

Philadelphia would add a fourth with a second penalty kick late in stoppage time. Fafa Picault was brought down by Yordy Reyna near the end line. Reyna received a second yellow card for the foul. Picault dusted himself off and fired the penalty into the corner to complete a dominant performance.

Philadelphia Union are next in action on Saturday, June 30 when they travel to Los Angeles to take on LAFC (8 p.m.)

Three Points
  • Domination – The Union were dominant from the outset and probably could have been up by more than one at halftime. They were good value for the four goals by full time.
  • Dockal – Fantastic performance from the Union #10. Was involved in numerous attacks and scored two goals with his weaker left foot.
  • Sapong still ice cold – Not much from the Union’s starting striker. Cory Burke earned his third penalty of the season coming on in the second half.

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry, Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty, Ray Gaddis, Warren Creavalle, Alejandro Bedoya, Borek Dockal (Derrick Jones 86′), Ilsinho (Marcus Epps 75′), C.J. Sapong (Cory Burke 66′)
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Fabinho, Jack Elliott, David Accam

Vancouver Whitecaps

Brian Rowe, Jose Aja, Doneil Henry, Jakob Nerwinski, Brek Shea, Felipe, Alphonso Davies (Jordon Mutch 45′), Aly Ghazal (Anthony Blondell 71′), Cristian Techera (Nicolas Mezquida 45′), Yordy Reyna, Kei Kamara
Unused Subs: Sean Franklin, Sean Melvin, Efrain Juarez, Aaron Maund

Scoring summary

PHI: Borek Dockal — 24′ (Ilsinho)
PHI: Borek Dockal — 70′ (Alejandro Bedoya)
PHI: Ilsinho – 74′ (PK)
PHI: Fafa Picault – 90+4′ (PK)

Disciplinary summary

PHI: Fafa Picault — 31′ (unsporting behavior)
VAN: Jose Aja – 72′ (red card – clear denial of goal scoring opportunity)
VAN: Yordy Renya – 82′ (unsporting behavior)
VAN: Anthony Blondell – 83′ (unsporting behavior)
VAN: Yordy Renya – 90′ (second yellow ejection – unsporting behavior)

Philadelphia Union Vancouver Whitecaps
25 Shots 2
11 Shots on Target 0
6 Shots off Target 0
8 Blocked Shots 2
9 Corner Kicks 6
21 Crosses 15
0 Offsides 1
10 Fouls 10
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 2
606 Total Passes 410
90% Passing Accuracy 82%
59.3% Possession 40.7%
65 Duels Won 55
54% Duels Won % 46%
13 Tackles Won 13
0 Saves 7
11 Clearances 24


  1. pragmatist says:

    That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.
    Seriously, I still have no idea how good this team is. If we can avoid getting horrendous officiating against us in LA, maybe we’ll get a better gauge.
    But Dockal is certainly finding his footing.

  2. Dockal! As Tiffany Haddish would say “He ready!”
    This team has been jelling for a while now. Great performance and great way to honor Seba. Now if only Curtain would stop playing nursemaid to Sapong and start Burke. Oh well. Great performance.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      HE gave Sapong 60 Minutes. That’s loyalty to a starter.
      He gave Burke 25 Minutes, and when Burke is one the field, there were 3 goals. Now, the Caps were tired by the end, but still.

  3. John Harris says:

    How much of this turn around comes from Dick Schrueder? The team seems better organized. Certainly much of the turn around comes from Dockal.

  4. Andy Muenz says:

    Although they only had one goal, that first half was one of the best I’ve seen the Union play. 15 shots to 0. I heard 68% possession and 92% passing accuracy at the half. Those are Real Madrid type numbers. Even final numbers of 59.4% possession and 90% passing accuracy aren’t bad.
    Only real down note was Ilshino taking the first PK rather than
    Dockal. A hat trick would have been fitting on Merci Seba night. (and it was great that they got Kyle Nakazawa to speak during the video!)

  5. el Pachyderm says:

    It is impossible for me to comment on an MLS team playing a game during the world cup when the USMNT is sitting at home allowing MLS to operate undeterred.
    enjoy the weekend.

  6. OneManWolfpack says:

    Can’t complain about anything I saw tonight. This team can be this good and they can be horrible. So like it was said above, it’s tough to get a real read, but they are playing better more consistently than they aren’t so I’ll take that.
    Burke must start. Period. Nothing personal CJ, but dude makes things happen.
    Dockal was a star and Crevalle was solid as hell, also.
    MERĆI SEBA!! Great ceremony. Well deserved.

    • Tim Jones says:

      In re: “Burke must start.”
      Two disclaimers – i’m No mathematician and I’m a Cory Burke supporter after watching him two years with the Steel.
      Correlation – two things happen at the same time. AND. Causality – the second thing happens because of the first.
      There is a correlation between the Union scoring three more goals and Burke entering the match. How strong it is will be for the data scientists to determine.
      But Causality is inot proven.
      To me, team management requires respect and loyalty to those players with track records of success. The group as a whole needs to be able to accept that change is necessary, and that takes time. The change needs to be applied in incremental gentle steps.
      Seems to me Jim Curtin is doing that in this case. Burke is no longer getting cameos, but meaningful opportunities to influence the game while Sapong is getting chances to find what he has lost.
      And Derrick Jones got a bit of recognition for an excellent run with Bethlehem.. it was a cameo only. But it had one significant vignette. Casually, confidently, almost dismissively he had the ball at his feet and side-stepped his marker while keeping possession..
      So what, say you.?
      Two years ago and at a lower level of game speed and mental pressure he could not do that.

      • That Cory Burke keeps winning pks and has scored proves some level of causality

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Agree with “nict”… he comes into games and more often than not, makes something happen. If you watched CJ yesterday, he is not making runs… he’s a half or full step late to every cross. It’s almost like he is playing as if he is in a 4-4-2 and he is just holding the ball up. Burke has earned a run of 2-3 games where he starts and should get 65-70 mins before CJ comes in (if necessary, of course). It’s getting very difficult to make the case that CJ needs to continue to start, cause “loyalty”

      • SOMETHING must be going on (or not going on) in training during the week because this no longer makes a lot of sense if we are to believe the lineup on the field is the BEST opportunity for the team to win 3 points.
        CJ was a statue between the two centerbacks during his time on the field and his lack of movement limited the offensive possibilities and creativity of his teamates.
        Burke is in the game for 8 mins and he makes a run FROM center that opens space for Dockal’s score and he draws a penalty because he can run more than one step with the ball still in his control.
        I love CJ, but his time should largely be spent watching from the bench.

  7. The Chopper says:

    Very solid effort. While the ability of Medanjunin is undeniable, I do like how this team plays when Creavalle is alongside Bedoya. With Dockal now firmly in control of his game and the attack, having more of a true defensive mid in front of the D may make the team better rounded.

    And yes, sit C.J. now..

  8. Loved this game, and the Seba tribute as well. Here’s my bone to pick: in a game like this, where there doing well at home, the body language from the leadership was still petulant. Is that something to be disappointed about when the result is there? I feel like ‘celebrate the good times and encourage the kids in the rough times’ is a basic leadership concept I’d like to have seen from Bedoya, Dockal & Crevalle here. It wss a fun game to watch, my first time in park this year…

  9. Great game all around!
    I agree with most commenting here – please sit Sapong and play Burke. At least until CJ gets his confidence back. He looks lost on the field.
    Finally – why did Ilsinho take that PK? I know he played well and worked hard tonight, but in my humble opinion, I believe that Dockel should have been given the chance to take it. And by the sounds of it – most people in the stadium thought that too.
    Loved the LeToux tribute at halftime. I have 1 Question – there was supposed to be poster given at the entrance. What I got was a postcard! Seriously Union? You could have at least put his stats on the card or something! SMH

    • I agree! Could have done without the sunglasses and gotten something better to commemorate Le Toux. Great game though!

  10. Fun to watch, and everybody seemed involved, except CJ who must be pressing too hard. The midfield controlled the pace of play, distributed well and used their overlaps better than we have seen in forever. The passing seemed purposeful, for creative and aggressive reasons, not just to maintain possession. Well played all around, boys. Nicely done. Next step is to get the striker back in the game.

  11. This was the first game i went to this season and it was fun as hell

  12. Really don’t need to see CJ starting for a few games. He just seems lost. The rest of the team was very good tonight. Nice to see Jones get some minutes. Also agree Dockal should have taken the penalty.

Leave a Reply

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


%d bloggers like this: