It was the worst of times. It was the best of times. It was a disgusting humid day. It was a stormy cool night. It was just regular south Philly. It was beautiful downtown Chester. It was the 2nd worst team in the MLS. It was a 3-0 USOC game.
If you didn’t go to the USOC match of the Philadelphia Union last night, well, our apologies. Why? Cause it was an awesome good time.
This is the 10th time total, and 1st time this year, that the Union have scored 3 or more goals in competition (preseason and friendlies don’t count… seriously). The last time we witnessed this was vs DC on September 29th where we won 3-2… I of course, don’t remember this game what so ever. Interesting stat (and a relative no shit) Union are currently 9 wins and 1 draw when scoring 3 or more goals over the passed 2 seasons – undefeated. What does that tell us? Well, score more, duh.
The game started off rocky with even less of a crowd than some were hoping for, but the SOB’s that were there came in strong for the crowd. Must say it was weird looking at the stands and river end as empty as they were. With the looming storm to come, and the recent results that have suffered the Union, it was an ominous feeling. Even though Rochester was a USL (considered lesser league) team, doesn’t mean they were to be taken lightly.
And for the first 2 minutes it seemed like that would have been the case as they pressed the ball offensively at the start of the game. Not many real chances as the majority of their play was forced out of bounds, but with how poorly the Union have appeared to play, it didn’t look like a great start to what many are hoping what will right the ship.
And then we got the ball.
I couldn’t see much from my perspective, other than we were pressing and shooting. We were making attempts on goal! Soon enough we then got a corner kick, and that once in a blue moon chance off a corner, the Union got a goal in the 5th minute. Goal … Josue Martinez? Wait what! Really, why he isn’t getting playing time is beyond me (and it looked like Mwanga is back to not getting playing time).
Needless to say, any ominous feelings we had left until the lightning delay of game came in the 22nd minute. There was no pouring rain or even sign of lightning (I was facing the river, so I couldn’t tell if there was) for another 5 to 10 minutes or so, but good call on the officials and stadium staff on ushering all ‘indoors’ before the worst of it came.
This lead some (ala me) to wonder if we could keep up the pressure on what appeared to be a mismatched Rochester Rhinos team – which by the way was their 3rd consecutive road game. Tough break. Well, soon enough Adu scored off an assist from Martinez – and all was right with the world once more. A PK in the 73rd minute helped cement our lead from any possible late counterattach by the Rhinos (this of course before hearing about New England’s extra time 3-0 lead, being tied with 9 minutes left… snicker).
Some remarks on the play:
Okugo is not a CB.
The Wonder twin powers pressing up the sides were a thing of beauty… meaning…it freaking worked for once.
Martinez, play him.
Marfan has skills.
Daniel was playing up to par.
Lahoud… was he on the field? Seriously.
With as many chances as Carroll had he should have gotten one on frame (and in net).
Konopka came through in goal, but scarily came close to giving the ball away on stupid played passes.
Highlights of the night:
“You’re just fat unicorns”
“We all laugh at the yellow soccer team, the yellow soccer team, the yellow soccer team”
“Who wears short shorts, keeper wears short shorts”
90% of the River End moving to Seaport Drive side.
Both SoB sections (those left in the river end and those opposite of them) chanting AT eachother “Not singing”, “empty seats” and so forth.
The 15 degree drop in temperature once it rained.
Even though we dominated, this was clearly a mismatched (and probably fatigued) Rochester team. We looked rather okay as a team, but I for one don’t feel comfortable with our level of play to match the likes of our next USOC opponent – DC United.
Which to note, DC is one of 3 teams where we have scored 3 or more goals in one game against TWICE. 4/10/10 and 9/29/11. Twice in five matches. Decent odds, don’t you think? It all likely depends on the team DC will field. (Other 2 teams with 3 or more goals in 2 games – New England, Chivas).