Union match reports

Match report: Sporting KC 2-0 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Peter Andrews

In a poor performance compounded by rotten luck, Philadelphia Union picked up their second straight loss to start the 2019 season, falling 2-0 to Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park.

Ilie Sanchez put the hosts in front with a first-half penalty, while Marco Fabian had his first-half penalty saved by Tim Melia. Fabian saw straight red in the 60th minute after putting his boot into Johnny Russell’s chest, and the game fell out of reach when Jack Elliott put the ball in his own net.

Union manager Jim Curtin made just one change to the lineup that underwhelmed in the home opener. True to his preseason promise to roll out a more defensively stable lineup on the road, veteran mainstay Warren Creavalle replaced Ilsinho in the XI. On the substitutes bench, Derrick Jones replaced David Accam, while Aurelien Collin filled in for Mark McKenzie, who suffered a concussion in training last week.

After a feeling-out period in front of a raucous Kansas crowd, Philadelphia found themselves down a goal in the 11th minute. The hosts smashed a long ball into space for Johnny Russell, which Auston Trusty just missed intercepting. Russell barged in on goal and found Krisztian Nemeth, who had the ball knocked away at point-blank range by Ray Gaddis.

However, as the ball fell toward Gianluca Busio, Trusty barged over the young midfielder, and Chris Penso pointed to the spot. The call might have been a touch harsh, though replays caught Trusty admitting that he pushed Busio.

Ilie Sanchez stepped up and blasted an unstoppable penalty kick past the diving fingertips of Andre Blake.

The first half proceeded in choppy fashion, with both teams putting in a physical shift. Kansas City found success attacking down both flanks, while the Union’s possession in the attacking half was insufficiently incisive. Frustration boiled over at times from the Union, most notably in a moment where captain Alejandro Bedoya stopped on the ball to gesticulate wildly in the direction of both the referee and Fafa Picault. Picault responded with angry gestures of his own.

The Union couldn’t capitalize on their own penalty kick opportunity in the 41st minute. A botched clearance by KC off a corner kick saw the ball hit Seth Sinovic’s hand, but it took a trip to VAR for Penso to give Philadelphia the call. Marco Fabian, who’d notched a PK goal last week against Toronto, stepped up to take again. But he didn’t put enough power on the shot, and Melia guessed right to smack the ball away.

Sporting controlled the remainder of the half. In stoppage time, the Union failed to clear the ball out of their box, and KC had several chances to blast in the ball from close range. Philadelphia did well to get their bodies in front of the home side’s chances to keep the scoreline at 1-0. But the Union went into halftime a frustrated side nonetheless.

Neither side left the locker room with any changes in personnel, but Kansas City ran rampant in the early portions of the first half. The hosts consistently got the ball into dangerous areas and forced Union defenders into difficult clearances.

Things went from bad to worse for Fabian when he saw a straight red card in the 60th minute. After Wagner made an excellent tackle in the Union box, Fabian came together with Johnny Russell. Though Fabian appeared to win the ball, he came down with his studs straight into Russell’s chest. After a VAR review, Penso issued a red card to the Mexican international. Making matters worse, Graham Zusi almost sent the resulting free kick into the back of the net, with only the corner of the woodwork keeping the Union within a goal.

With a man advantage, Kansas City toyed with the Union. The second goal, long coming, arrived in unlucky circumstances in the 80th minutes. Gerso put a cross in from the right wing, which found the boot of Jack Elliott. The defender attempted to get a clearance, but instead he sliced the ball directly into his own goal.

Late substitutes Sergio Santos, Derrick Jones, and Ilsinho made no impact on the match.

The Union are winless after two matches for the first time since the 2012 season. They travel to Atlanta next weekend to take on the defending MLS champions. Kickoff from Mercedes-Benz Stadium is on Sunday, March 17 at 7:15 p.m.

Three points
  • A tale of two penalties. A make-and-miss league. Whatever cliche you want to use, the gap in the first half was between an unstoppable penalty taken by Ilie Sanchez and a stoppable penalty taken by Marco Fabian. Fabian will want that attempt back.
  • Close calls. Another questionable afternoon of refereeing in MLS. Though the penalty on Trusty was correctly given, it was certainly soft. And even after a VAR review, the straight red to Fabian seems harsh.
  • Another poor performance. That being said, Philadelphia did nowhere near the amount required to earn a result. They generated almost no danger in the final third, and the much-vaunted pressing style largely failed to materialize. It doesn’t look like this team has any confidence right now.
Lineups

Philadelphia: Andre Blake, Ray Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Auston Trusty, Kai Wagner, Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Warren Creavalle (Derrick Jones 78′), Marco Fabian, Fafa Picault (Sergio Santos 73′), Cory Burke (Ilsinho 79′).

Unused subs: Carlos Miguel Coronel, Aurelien Collin, Olivier Mbaizo, Brenden Aaronson

Sporting: Tim Melia, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic, Botond Barath, Graham Zusi, Ilie Sanchez (Yohan Croizet 84′), Gianluca Busio (Kelyn Rowe 78′), Felipe Gutierrez, Johnny Russell (Daniel Salloi 82′), Gerso, Krisztian Nemeth

Unused subs: Abdul Rwatubyaye, Erik Hurtado, Adrian Zendejas, Rodney Wallace

Scoring summary

SKC — Ilie Sanchez (pen) 11′
SKC — Jack Elliott (OG) 80′

Misconduct summary

SKC — Graham Zusi (unsporting behavior) 22′
PHI — Marco Fabian (unsporting behavior) 31′
SKC — Gianluca Busio (unsporting behavior) 37′
PHI — Marco Fabian (serious foul play) 60′

68 Comments

  1. That centerback pairing is beautiful.

    One gives up penalty…

    The other one pots an own goal…

    If they could have somehow injured Blake it would have been a hat trick…

  2. Two games in I know but the union are playing like a serious contender for worst team in the league. I think the competition will be New England and Cincinnati and San Jose. Two games, no open play goals, two pk fouls, an own goal and a red card. I think their first chance at points might be against Montreal towards the end of April.

  3. OneManWolfpack says:

    I didn’t think the Union were all that bad. The effort was way better this game than last week. Should’ve scored the PK, obviously. Created 4-5 good chances. I don’t think they played great by any means, but Sporting wasn’t that great either. The red card was a joke and ruined the game. Wagner was good today and better than last week.
    .
    This team can’t score, period. Fafa’s first touch was horrible today. Santos needs to start. Creavalle was worthless and I would’ve taken him off earlier but I understand Curtin is programmed to only sub after the 70th.
    .
    They’re obviously going to lose next week at Atlanta, especially without Fabián. If they don’t win at home vs Columbus you have to fire Curtin, if not for nothing but to shake things up, so the season isn’t lost before April Fools Day.

    • It was a red card. He stomped player in the kidney when he could have easily jumped over him. It is not that hard of a call.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Couldn’t disagree more. He clearly did not stomp. He had no where to land and the way he came down was one legged. Not saying it’s not a foul. I just don’t see it as a card, let alone a straight red. He was already on a yellow. I don’t think a guy of his caliber is that stupid.

      • He jumped to avoid Russell, who slid in studs up (also worthy of RC if Fabian was guilty). Where was Fabian supposed to land? If Fabian was intent on stomping him, it would have been much worse. The situation was of Russell’s making, not Fabian’s. Also of note that no KC players reacted as if it was anything more than a routine foul, and they historically overly dramatize everything. Poor call by Penso, I expect it will get overturned.

      • Totally agree, Pat. It was absolutely intentional.

        After seeing both Russell and Fabian tangle with opponents all game to that point, it was pretty clear on the replay that Fabian did it intentionally and hoped he’d get away with it. He didn’t count on VAR.

      • Trying to discern intent on a play like that is really tough. His leg comes down quickly but he also does not put his weight into it, buckling over pretty quickly. I think some benefit of the doubt should go to players on these 50/50 calls. It’s not as if he went out of his way for a stomp. At the most, I think a second yellow would be more reasonable.

        The more I think about it, the more I feel officiating had far too much influence on this match. It was a spectacle in the worst way.

      • Wolfpack……no one ever taught you that when you were 12? It’s part of the game and every player who played at a decent level knows….that if someone comes studs up at you……you land right on them or graze them with your studs……code of the footballer….he knows it’s coming too! Totally intentional!

      • Kip Leitner says:

        Everyone who never played soccer doesn’t realize that what Fabian did was intentional. He just needs to improve on making it not look so much like it’s on purpose. He should study more La Liga or UEFA Champions league film to see how the pros really do this.

        In order to deliberately stomp on someone but make it look like it’s not on purpose, you must (1) make a mental map in your mind of where the player under you is likely to be, so you’ll know where your target is. (2) never look down at the player because then on replay the ref will see you targeting the player under you. (3) Because many referees have played the sport, after you begin your stomp, you have to make a concerted fake attempt to withdraw your boot from the player to make is seem that you don’t want to stomp the player. This is where the real skill comes in at pretending you’re not doing the stomp on purpose. By all means act like it was an accident and quickly pull off some of your weight to make it look like you just noticed. Appear concerned on your face, that will help.

        See here the perfect execution of this technique by Pepe against Lionel Messi in La Liga:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4TYvNVrVZ4

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      So confused… but assuming sarcasm?! I mean I’m an idiot in general, but I’m pretty confident on my Creavalle statement. I don’t remember hearing the dudes name for the first 20 mins of the game

    • The late subbing continues to baffle me. He will take that method to the grave with him

  4. I Choose Optimism! At least they didn’t give up 3 goals!

  5. If I’m a player, I’m taking note that Haris gives very little defensive effort and plays 90′. Isnt this is horrible message to send to the team, and all our young players?

    This is where a “players coach” meets his downfall. Loyalty to his players to a fault.

    • The continued starting of Burke and Picault as a pair over Santos and Haris at 6 is such a Curtin thing to do. Doesn’t matter that neither has worked, he’ll do the same next week.

  6. Worst part about that match — aside from the officiating, which has been an absolute horror show, to be honest — was that the Union were not outclassed. They somehow managed to just throw away a match against a team in Kansas City that I don’t think showed very much.

    As for officiating. I have not watched any other MLS matches, but these two Union games have featured appalling referreeing. The officials in both barely had any control. It feels like VAR has done absolutely nothing to help. If anything it has further eroded the ref’s authority and made it perfectly fine to allow dozens of players to surround and harass him on nearly every iffy call. It does not make for good viewing, that’s for sure.

    • I thought the same thing, I feel like there is way more complaining than ever before. Anything that happens takes 2 mins now and has 8 people around the ref

      • It’s such a easy thing to fix. Just give a card to any player who’s not the captain who talks to the ref. That will shut them all up real quick.

  7. Penso was once again a joke of a ref. That being said, if the Union want to run a “high press” 4-4-2 diamond formation they need to get younger, quicker legs on the field. Their midfield as Curtin chooses them are just too slow. I turned the game off in the 65th minute. #ClosetheCurtin.

    • It’s a lot more than just being young and speed. …….

      • I’d ask you to elaborate, but you’ve pretty much proved no one should give your thoughts any consideration. Feel free to not comment on anything I say, as this will be the last thing you ever see me type to you. Have a nice evening.

  8. el Pachyderm says:

    The weak back pass volley to nowhere by Haris on second goal was inexcusable.
    .
    5 goals against in 2 games and he’s directly responsible for 3 of them. fans… this team has given up FIVE GOALS in 2 games.
    .
    tough to see Austin compound error on first goal by committing another error on Busio push that led to PK.
    .
    Speaking of Busio. He’s 16. Our midfield is a combined 120 years old.
    .
    In other news… Phillies Opening Day looms. And the long long cool shadow begins to move over Talen Stadium.
    .
    tough to be forced yet again into a substandard Union start to the season after waiting from November for this to begin.

    • I kept thinking that, I waited months and months to see so little effort and creativity. The team looks bored and the coach looks like he knows his time is limited. I try to bring on friends and family to join in for soccer here and it’s getting near impossible to be taken seriously.

    • Totally agree about potential threat of phillies draw diminishing union attendance–noted same two years ago when Rhys appeared.
      Regarding busio, for every busio or pulisic there’s at least two or three adu or besagno that likely would have benefited from more usl before making that leap to mls.
      Personally this push for literal kids aged 15-17 to play pro leaves me both excited to see them play but also very uncomfortable. Most athletes have short careers and many are ill-prepared when that day comes. Basketball and football players typically have college degrees as preparation plus they make much more than average mls soccer player. Most players in our other sports are at least 18 and legal adults.

      Add tremendous pressure of not just competing but dealing with media and fans, many who are incredibly critical with a few bordering on psychotic throwing bottles or bananas on field, stalking their social media, harassing during and outside games with racist and homophobic slurs, etc. Do we really expect high school age kids to handle that mental pressure just because Kobe or LeBron or Christian just happened to do so?
      That worries me that we as fans throw these kids in the arena with lions and discard them just as easily showing total disregard for their welfare as long as we are entertained.
      Sorry for the rant as I realize my take is a minority view or maybe I am only one who views it this way. Feel free to flame away–i’m not that young anymore and can handle it.
      UnionGoal

      • Chris Gibbons says:

        I’m with you on this. Play the kids, absolutely, and make sure they’re enrolled in a degree program either locally or online. It’s their only long-term outcome.

        No rational person wants to be a professional athlete because no rational read of percentages assumes any one kid ever becomes a professional athlete.

      • Richie Graham and Nooha Ahmed-Lee at the Academy work hard to see that the Academy kids and any Union players interested are equipped for life after soccer.
        .
        See Tanner’s comments on signing Issa Rayyan, and comments by both Selmir Miscic and Brenden Aaronson on the importance of the post-secondary support available in their decisions to go pro as teens.

      • Teen footballers deal with this in the rest of the world fine………they know the gamble they are taking to live a dream. Yes, most will end up in lower leagues or not playing at all….but that is the sacrifice and gamble one must take to be a pro-footballer. Of course most of them are taking corses online. I’m a Gooner……Bellerin got his degree from Penn last year while playing in the Prem…….

    • Thank you dude, I see Sporting has no problem putting a 16 year old in the middle of the park!

  9. Chris Straub-Wallace says:

    Team even plays like it’s coached by a CB. Everything is straight forward. 0 creativity in the build up.

    It’s time to move on from curtin. The tactics are worn out.

    Ray Gaddis is a good man and probably doesn’t lose us games, but he never wins one. Gaddis/Ilsinho should never be playing more than Aaronson/Mbaizo.

    #playthekids

  10. Atomic Spartan says:

    At this rate, they’ll be discounting that Columbus game 20%.

  11. Thinking positive:
    . Other than unlucky own goal Elliot looked decent.
    . Ilsino used as sub to add fresh legs instead of starting.
    . Jones not only on bench but subbed in albeit rather late.
    . Man down and until second goal Union still attacking rather than parking the bus–until last October had not seen that in a Curtin team.
    . Possession numbers skewed by 13 minutes of rondo at the end. Numbers looked better before 80 minute mark.
    . Curtin sporting glasses means new kit sponsorship from Warby-parker?
    . On that note Bimbo logo didn’t look as atrocious as usual in New kit. Kudos to designer in minimizing that as much as possible. If Bimbo bakeries objects to my objections then add word “bakeries” or ideally use the other brand names. Our family knows and loves Thomas, Stroehman Entenmanns and Sara lee products and those have philly connection–bimbo only has negative connotation in this area. Not difficult to change and would boost jersey sales.
    . CJ scored twice now including one when fire down to 10 men–fun watching the clasped hand head bow on the highlights. I know y’all despised his and cheered his leaving but I thought he was a class act and loved his Fresh Prince video

    And last note of positivity– union will adjust, look better and win against Atlanta.

    UnionGoal

  12. I predicted preseason that this club would struggle like hell in March and into April. Once again, I am sorry to be proven right.

    This is very reminiscent of last season. Eventually Fabiàn and the forwards will start learning each other and combining well, and we’ll start scoring. Eventually Jim — or his replacement — will figure our that Haris cannot start at the 6 (and probably can’t start at all). Once those two things happen, this will start to look like a real team.

    Meanwhile, I will take one good thing from this match: we may have finally found our LB. Wagner really looked quite good. Especially for a young kid, in a new league, with new teammates, and a very tough assignment.

  13. el Pachyderm says:

    To those of you dropping F-Bombs AT people and calling others idiots… the Eagles post game on Philly.com starts up in a few months.
    .
    go let the angst ridden-ness fester somewhere else. please. and thank you.

  14. John Harris says:

    This is a hostage situation and we all suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.

  15. A different year, different place, different week, different team…same crap. Rinse and repeat until May.

    In brighter news, the Steel won today, so maybe go watch some promising kids play instead of the Union for a couple months.

  16. Phil in Wilmington says:

    I have to wonder what is Jones not showing in practice that merits his not starting as a 6? Putting Haris in as one of the shuttlers across from Bedoya seems like an absolute no brainer. I refuse to believe that a man who makes his living as a soccer coach can’t see that. There HAS to be reason.

    Right?

    • I also wonder about Jones until he subs on and we see him in action. Jones is a destroyer but is inconsistent in his decision making when it comes to playing passes forward. So, he defends well, but still makes a hash when distributing. One of his first touches was a weak back pass,that launched an attack on our goal.

      • Its almost like he is a youngish player who would do wel lto get more playing time to iron out these mistakes

  17. The manager sucks, the squad isn’t good enough, the stadium isn’t accessible to city folks, straight red, PK miss, 0-2 to start the season for the first time since 2012.
    /
    Can you imagine the clamor for #CloseTheCurtin will be if ATL shuts out the Union when FC Cincy holds the champs to a draw – at the Georgia Thunderdome?

  18. Curtin is going to stick with his guys and his methods until the bitter end. I don’t know how anyone can still give him the benefit of the doubt. He is consistently out coached within the game and makes no adjustmnets until it’s too late. These are things that he has direct control over. Need a miracle the next 2 weeks to not have the season feel like it’s ended early.

  19. Zizouisgod says:

    The Union just don’t have the right personnel to play this way as the starting XI showed. You could see the effects on Bedoya and Creavalle as they not only had to pinch in to help cover Medujanin, they also had to try to help defend the balls to the wing. Creavalle did better with it as he and Wagner generally meshed pretty well. The right side struggled a little more as Gaddis was isolated vs Gerso which he has tended to get a little jittery in those situations. Several times, Bedoya was played around as he tried to balance those two defensive responsibilities. There were a few sequences where he was just a step slow in being able to cut out the pass. This only further highlights how much of a burden it is having a fairly stationary 6 in Medujanin.

    While I don’t think that this is the Union’s only problem, the ripple effect of this one becomes pretty glaring especially when the team is scoreless from the run of play so far. The attack will likely mesh as it did last year, but the Union will still be vulnerable defensively, especially in transition if they continue with the current personnel in this set-up. Monteiro will help, but I’m assuming that he will be playing a shuttler role rather than the 6.

    • I was jus checking th USL site for stats from the Steel game. Did the steel roll out the old 4-2-3-1 formation?

      • No. They played the 4-4-2, but not in a diamond in the mf. 2ndcms side-by-side, and two cms side-by-side.
        .
        Explained last Thursday in the article on th Steel specifically.

    • I think it’s a big assumption to make that Curtin plays Monteiro. What if he just Decides he’s not one of his guys, or god forbid he’s doesnt practice well?

      • For what a fact may be worth, Bethlehem signed Steve Kingue January 25. He made it into the country in time for practice in Pittsburgh February 23.
        .
        Visas.
        .

  20. If you need the width to come from your flank backs…..what the hell is Ray, God love him, being rolled out every week? Your not going to get any attacking width from him. You cannot run a pressing midfield with Harris and Craeville, I’m starting to think that it maybe too much even for Bedoya and Fabián You need young,athletic, mobile, and technical players to run around in there. When I used to coach…..you had a plan and a vision on how you wanted to set up a shape and deploy your tactics. Every now and again, early in the season……you take a hit and you learn that your players don’t match that vision….your forcing tactics that your players can’t execute…..kind of like I see here. The press sounds sexy and ideally works….but if you don’t have the horses to do it…….you get broken down easy. I don’t understand why a 6’4 athletic as all get out kid who just started for the U-20’s can’t fit into this from the start…..it was made for him! It’s almost like Jim saw the press and said “f—k you all” “ I know what I’m doing!!!!!”

    • You don’t need young players for the press. You need high stamina, smarts, and desire. You don’t need burners although more speed helps. I’d love to see Jones out there but maybe he’s missing something. That said, Medunjanin is missing something too. And Ilsinho shouldn’t be starting.
      .
      Gaddis I agree on. His lack of O kills the formation more than anyone else.

      • You need fit players with engines……our aging ballers do not have it…….youth certainly helps. Fact.

      • I have to agree with Ali here. Yes you may not need young players, but the older experienced players the Union have don’t have the motors to get this done.
        .
        I also think the players are having trouble with their spacing and when to go with the press. Too many times Fafa/Burke/Fabian were basically on an island by themselves. They were up pressing and the space behind them was not condensed, leaving major gaps. Now sometimes the Union got lucky and someone else was able to pick off a KC pass. But other times KC players were left wide open. Right now this is definitely not a team all on the same page. I don’t see the growing pains stopping anytime soon.

      • I agree. I’m just saying youth doesn’t equal stamina. In fact I think players in the 24-29 age range generally have more stamina than younger players. That said, Ilsinho and Medunjanin without a doubt do not have the legs for it.
        .
        The spacing is an issue because we have 2 insanely 1 dimensional players starting In Gaddis and Medunjanin. Our RM basically have to cover all 3 spots and that’s impossible. Maybe he could cheat a little for 1. Personally I would have Mbazio starting and honestly if he’s not healthy I’d rather Fafa or Accam over Gaddis. In the middle I want Bedoya + 2 of any of Jones/Fontana/Aaronson/Creavalle.

      • I’ll agree with spacing as well. That’s a risk you run with pressing…..they play out of it…..it can be wide open. Clubs of the world that excel at this…..the Athleti’s, Liverpool’s, Barca’s, Dortmunds’s, Lyon’s….where that next level is there to close immediately……look at how high of a line they play. They crunch all 20 players into 30 yards of space and swarm like bees….CBs 5 to 10 yards in the oppositions half.

      • A., honestly I’m not sure Bedoya has the legs for it anymore either. At least not the way the players are spaced out now. Yesterday he was running back and forth from the center of the pitch to the wing, trying to cover Ray, and Haris at the same time. Maybe with Monteiro, a replacement for Haris, and tightening up the spacing it helps. I’m just not sure where the fix is at this point. Things look so bad to my eyes. The Union may pay for the switch to a 4-4-2 diamond shape for a good portion of the season. So much so, that making the playoffs may be in doubt this year.

      • I wonder how much fitness prep went into running this system. Klopp is legendary for beating the snot out of his players the first month of training to get them ready for the pressing game. He writes MISERABLE on the whiteboard…..that’s it. He then tells them that they will feel this way for a few weeks……your opponents will feel this every time they step on the pitch with you……

      • I think the team was constantly talking about how much more running they were doing this offseason so they did plan to get in better shape. If it was enough I guess we will see.
        .
        I agree that Bedoya doesn’t have the legs for the current personnel that’s starting, but then again I’m not sure anyone does. I meant more in agreement with you that once we get Monteiro, Jones/Creavalle, Mbazio out there starting Beodya will be just fine. But right now we are killing him.

    • I noticed that Picault or Burke — more often Picault –were frequently with the ball wide of the box. Probably shouldn’t be the job of your chief goal scorers to be providing that width. That should be the fullbacks. Wagner is up there sometimes, but I’m not sure Gaddis ever got into the attacking third.

      For all the focus on the refs and the bungled defensive plays, I’m not seeing right now where the Union’s goals are going to come from. The attack is moving the ball around, but doesn’t pose much of a threat.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Agreed. If you can’t break teams down with your attack, you need to turn them over in the middle/final thirds and take advantage of those transition opportunities to generate your goals.

  21. Goats (not GOATS):

    1.) Haris

    2 years ago the Haris – Barnetta pairing with a strong back four worked, last year (at least the last 1/2 of the year) he was awful with turnovers, distribution, plus his set piece delivery tanked. Going into the year it seemed obvious that he was going to be a major liability in the new system as he’s not shown a consistent willingness to support defensively. I recall a game last year where he pointed twice at different times to others instead of working back to help out. Positionally, he was better yesterday but still tanked the back pass – just a brutal play. I would start DJ or Creavalle at the back of the diamond. I differ with the comment that Creavalle was bad yesterday, I thought he played fairly well, though not exceptional.

    2.) Fafa – Burke – Midfield

    There is very little interplay or chemistry between Fafa and Burke so far. The midfield is not connecting with the strikers consistently beyond the long ball and with the two of them acting as islands the chances are very low quality. When the (2) in your 4-4-2 are both ineffective you have 0 shot at winning. It’s actually painful to watch how uncreative they have been in the attacking 1/3. Also, how can the two of them not execute beyond the 40 yd mark on a counter with their speed? Maybe the team was just gassed yesterday but their counters fizzled faster than a damp sparkler in the rain.

    3.) Fabian

    You’re getting paid major money to hit big shots. The shank off of Creavalle’s fantastic pass in the box, the flat miss, the poorly struck PK … ugh. Despite how ugly the game was, if you hit the shots you’re supposed to hit we still manage a point.

    3 Winners

    1. Wagner

    I thought Wagner showed passion and ability yesterday. Positioning was good, tackles were executed well, showed some good movement on the few chances he played the wingback. Strong game and a big step up from last week.

    2.) Elliot-Gaddis combo

    They attacked the left side of the Union pretty regularly and Elliot and Gaddis did a good job of communicating and covering for each other.

    3.) CJ Sapong

    Header in the 94th minute to tie the game. Was very happy for him.

    Crazy to see but at the end of the day the shot totals were (16 / 4) KC and (15/4) Union. Sure didn’t feel that way.

  22. Was away visiting a new baby in the family and missed this disaster. Thankful on all accounts. Onto next week, ladies and gents.

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