Blogs > Union Tally

A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Without trying to do so, San Jose coach Frank Yallop diagnosed the Union's problems quite accurately Saturday night.

"Sometimes," Yallop said, "football is cruel."

Indeed it is. The Union (2-4-1) learned that the hard way, in falling to the Earthquakes (6-1-1), 2-1, behind a 93rd-minute goal from Steven Lenhart.

An argument can be made that the Union showed reluctance to push offensively until Lenhart, who had a brace, scored the first of his goals in the 76th minute.

“If you look at the amount we possessed the ball in comparison to San Jose tonight, it's not good enough,” said Danny Califf, the Union's captain who returned to the pitch after sitting the last two games. “When you defend for 75 to 80 percent of the game, you get tired and when you get tired, mistakes happen.

“There's no way around that. If we're going to get out of this up-and-down thing and be successful over the long haul of the season, we're going to have to establish better possession.”

"We were a little more reserved. We were dropped a little far off," said Union assistant coach John Hackworth. "We made adjustments in the locker room and came out and put them under a little pressure in the second half and changed the game."

And when two forwards were on in the later minutes?

"I liked our chances at that point," Hackworth said.

In summation, here are the opportunities the Union had prior to Lenhart's goal:
  • 34th minute: Freddy Adu takes a corner. Nothing.
  • 37th minute: Adu takes a restart. Nothing.
  • 55th minute: Kai Herdling heads Adu's corner. Wide right.
  • 72nd minute: Lionard Pajoy makes a good run. No shot.
"In the first half, really, I think we made life easier for them," said forward Danny Mwanga, who wasn't utilized until being subbed on for Pajoy in the 75th minute.

Aside from Gabriel Gomez's goal in the 83rd minute (pictured), the Union had nothing going.

Really, there was nothing there for the Union, which is a cause for concern for a team that harbors six strikers on its roster. How much longer can the Union allow their offensive woes, which include scoring only five goals in seven matches, be allowed to persist?

*   *   *   *   *

Fun fact: Kai Herdling doesn't speak English. Well, at least that's what he told reporters afterward. Here's how he described his performance: "Give me one, two weeks. I'll be OK." (If you can't write a story around that quote, you're just not trying hard enough.)

(Photo: Philadelphia Union/Greg Carroccio)

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