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Hangover Analysis of the Vancouver riot

As I’m sitting at home watching the USA vs Jamaica match, I figured I might as well put up a post of the travesty that was last night.

Philadelphia Union lost to Vancouver Whitecraps… i mean Riot… i mean.. whatever.  1 nothing.  Vancouver’s goal, albeit nicely struck (easily a goal of the week candidate) was sour in every sense of the word, like sour gummi worms.

At first, I thought we were in for a good game.  I liked the referee prior to this game (Alex Prus), he was decent in the game at PPL so I figured it would be a well officiated game.  Union have been making decent lineups from the get go, so before the game I had a great feeling.

Then I saw Miglioranzi in the lineup.  Paunovic, our newly acquired 2 1/2 year retired, 33 year old serbian.

Being an away game i was on twitter with all the fellow union fans on their computers or smart phones.  I myself was at a computer… needing a new beer I came back to this tweet which my response started a craze:

Philly Soccer Page
Anyone have a good reason Mwanga shouldn’t start? Or anything official?
Unholy Union
@phillysoccerpg old serbian and old migz

Apparently my response of the fact we have an old serbian began a hashtag joke frenzy you can see here at brotherly game.  Again thanks for the credit.

This was a welcome distraction, as well as Andrew from The Union Dues coming up with #rememberthetimemigs comments that were painfully funny only because they were heartbreakingly true (“Remember the time when migs was taken off and mystified me as to why? i don’t” ).  Needless to say, a game where the majority of comments are heckling your own players doesn’t bode well for game reviews…

In between me yelling at Hassli to go back to Green Street and making jokes about anyone and everything, the refereeing was atrocious.  Plenty of hard tackles,scissor tackles from behind, and inconsistent calls that are consistent with the MLS officiating.  But sadly, we can’t blame this game on officiating alone.  So who can we blame it on?  Our defense? Offense? The other team?

Well, our defense was good.  Our offense had their own pressing moments, but hardly any shots on goal… and any shots on goal were by Carroll, so they are in the list of blame.  Vancouver played terribly, in every sense of the word – nothing pretty about their play, and they weren’t at all good.  So what could possibly be the problem?

Nowak.

Unless of course he’s on a coke binge and it’s his 5th day awake, what in god’s name makes you think the lineup last night is any good at all.  We have Paunovic who is new being paired up with Le Toux.  Okay, experienced striker who is 2 1/2 years rusty, with someone who is on a dry streak this year.  Experience may overcome the odds, if he played his position and not deep in the middle of midfielders… so we had Le Toux who runs all over, and Paunovic who is receeded, we clearly have no one to feed any counterattacks to.  Atrocious.

Not only that, we threw Miglioranzi back into the mix i suppose to say “Yes, you’re still on the team”.  He is as wanted in the lineup from fans as a colonoscopy.

So with a lineup that was destined for a come from behind game, the surprise appearance of a professional referee being an MLS referee, and members of Vancouver playing like they are prepping for a UFC match, it was an ugly game for everyone.  Very few chances created by the Union, we were set to fail from the beginning with another lineup scratching our heads, and a worse performance than we did in FC Dallas.

Only a few plays are worthy of comment:

Vancouver’s goal –
It’s hard to say, but our defense lapsed in thinking allowing Rochart to make a strike from outside the box into the far side out of Mondragon’s reach.  Someone on twitter asked if he was 5 years younger would he have made that save.  The answer is no – mostly because it was a good challenging strke and the only thing that could have allowed Mondragon to save it would have been his postioning on the angle, which was maybe only a step too far to the wrong side.

Mondragon on defense –
Twice this man ran out into the run of play on a ball, and twice left the net open scarily giving us all agita.  Luckily enough vancouver is that bad – once losing the ball before any threatening play, and the second time our defense collapsed into the box and proved their worth by blocking the shot out of bounds before it could get near the goal.

Most everything else could be summed up from other analyses – Migs gives up the ball too many times, bad passes. No offense, no shooting.  What is Nowak thinking.  ETC, ETC.  The only thing we can take away from this game is a bitter taste in our mouth, a feeling of being cheated, and wondering why we lost a 3 points that should have been a given.

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