Monday, April 23, 2012

Philadelphia Union vs. Chivas U.S.A. Recap

So they've won two straight. It's a 3 game undefeated streak. And Union fans can now see a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel. Not only is it 2 wins in a row, its 3 straight shutouts. Zac MacMath has been stellar in net. And the Union backline, even without Captain Danny Califf, has returned to its 2011 form. A fearsome foursome that offenses need to respect. And speaking of offenses...

The Union have finally scored another goal from the run of play. And it was a beauty. Michael Farfan had some of the best footwork I've seen from a Union player all year to set up Freddy Adu's nifty backheel goal. And what a relief it was. The Union have really needed 2 things. A goal from the run of play, and for Freddy Adu to step up and play like the player we've expected him to become.

The only problem for the Union was possession. Part of that could be due to the 2 men the Union had sent off. Gabe Farfan and Keon Daniel were both shown red. And Peter Nowak was ejected for entering the field of play. Both cards were easily avoidable, and both cards were deserved. But it brought the Union down to 9 men, and that seriously hampered the Union ability to hold on to the ball. But again, the defense stepped it up, and MacMath stopped shots, and kept the Union in the lead.

This victory was important for a number of reasons. The Union have not been able to reliably pick up points on the West Coast, and 3 points from Chivas is exactly what the Union needed. It also allowed them to move up in the standings, picking us up out of the basement. Are the Union a top team in the East? They are no match for Kansas City, that's for sure, but they are not a cellar dweller either. And if they continue to gel as a team, they can continue to climb in the standings. And finally, it let the offense know that they can score through the run of play. And if they weren't down men in the second half, who knows what could have happened. All I know, is I'm a lot more excited for the coming matches than I have been in a long time.

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