Monday, April 30, 2012

Phildelphia vs. San Jose Recap

So I had to work during this match. I'm 15 minutes into the 1st half, and I've noticed 2 things. I know the outcome of the match, but without Zack MacMath, the first 15 minutes could have been ugly. He has made some spectacular saves. After his first couple games, he has turned his season around and is on his way to becoming the goalie we need him to be. And Lionard Pajoy looks disinterested. Giving up in balls before they hit the ground, not running towards passes, he just looks bored with the game. He's beginning to look like a certain striker from last season, just minus the scoring.

I'm sorry, wrong picture, my mistake, completely the same, I mean different player.

There's our guy.

This could be a problem. The offense has been anemic, any union fan can admit that. But one thing Philly fans hate is a player who gives up. And that's what I'm seeing from Pajoy. Yes, some of the balls directed his way were way out of reach. But other balls seemed to be 50/50. And any ball that is 50/50, i expect to see some fight for it. And instead, Pajoy would slow up, and just let the Quakes deal with it. And i don't like seeing that.

Now I know the Union tend to leave Pajoy out to dry. He's seems to be the lone striker up top. And that's not easy to do. But he needs to fight a little harder. Or else the fan base is going to turn on him just like they turned on Carlos Ruiz. Quicker even, since at least Ruiz scored every once in a while. Pajoy can't even find a way into the back of the net. But enough of the bad, let's talk about the good.

 This guy has turned into one helluva pic. With the injury to Califf and the suspension of Garfan, Gaddis has seen more playing time early on than most people expected. And he has taken advantage of his time on the field. He has shown a lot of grit playing in the field, and he has played against some top level talent. He faced off against 2nd leading goal scored in the MLS this season, Chris Wonodolowski, and held his own against him. And all this is in his rookie season. He can only go up from here. I know there has been a lot of buzz around the first pick for the Union, Chandler Hoffman, but Gaddis has outshown his fellow draftpick so far this season.

And finally Zac MacMath. Yes he let in 2 goals. But the 'Quakes should have had more, and the reason they didn't is MacMath. He made some superman saves, especially in the first 15 minutes of this game. The goalless streak had to end at some point, and  it ended in a loss. That's unfortunate. But MacMath is the reason it was only a one goal loss, and he is the reason the Union picked up the 2 victories that they have. For the first month of the season, MacMath was a liability for the Union, but for the last 4 games, MacMath has been one of the strongest players on the field for the Union.

On the whole, this is a fixable team. The defense and goal tending are playing well right now. The midfield has flashes of brilliance, but can't play consistently well. And the strikers? They need work. A lot of work. And just a little bit more hustle.

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