A Tale of Two

May 30, 2012 2 comments

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).
Shots!?  OMG
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).

Some Players that we used to know

May 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Parody. It’s stuck in my head. And I felt like changing some words.  And yes, this is multiple weeks delayed, as well with the anti-nowak sentiment… but it was an idea i had.  Sue me (please don’t)

Parody of Gotye – Somebody That I Used to Know

Now and then I think of when they were with us
Like when we all said “Union til I die”
Told ourselves to trust in you
The only hope you gave was doop.
But that was before and it’s an ache that we still go through

You can get addicted to a certain kind of losing
We stay there til the end,
Always the end
So when we realized you do not make sense
All we could do was bang our heads
We all think it will be better when its over

You didn’t have to sell them off
Destroy the team and act like nothing had ever happened
we don’t even need you though
and you treat us like morons and it feels so rough
you didn’t have to stoop so low
have your trainers tell them on their way to practice
guess they didn’t need to know.
selling off some players that we used to know

Now and then I think of all the times you talk of money
Making us believe that we will get something out of it
What happened to the game we play
Sick of hearing every word you say
You say that things are coming slow
And you wouldn’t want us hung up on some captain that we used to know

Preview: Philadelphia Union @ Toronto FC

May 25, 2012 Leave a comment

When: Saturday 5/26 at 4:30
Where: BMO Field

If the Union don’t fucking win…. (click here)

Link: ZWR.

Philadelphia Union Vs the New York (Jersey) Energy Drinks

May 10, 2012 1 comment

When: Sunday 12:30 pm – mother’s day brunch time… (remind me to call mother)
Where: PPL Park
Weather: High of 79 with a mix of sun and clouds.

Here comes a time when, in normal circumstances, Nick would take over this blog and post a hysterical post about the upcoming match… but, in light of circumstances, that can’t happen.  Not only because of the terrible way the Union have been playing, but also Nick is currently at a funeral – also no picks to be made this week.

RIP.

If you want funny click here – as we will always reference this post when we play NY, it’s sort of our “can’t get any better than that” post.  Took 40 minutes to come up with the post, and we (read: I) was laughing at during every second of it.  It’s not as relevant anymore (kind of is though), but what the hell.

NY – 2nd in the eastern standings. 20 goals forward, 14 against. 6 wins, 3 loss, 1 tie.

Union … we all know the story.

The one redeeming factor currently is that we are tied for 4th in the least amount of goals allowed (Seattle, SKC, and Vancouver are ahead, in respective order).  Tied with us are Chicago, and Houston.  Not too shabby one would think.  But, we are tied with the least amount of goals forward – only Chivas has as few goals as us… Yes, we’re tied with Chivas.  My little quip about Chivas east is coming true… crud.

NY’s tied for 5th with most goals allowed (15 – tied with LA) and tied for 2nd with DC with the most goals (20, SJE has 21).

Why is this important?  I don’t really know.

Rookie GK Ryan Meara for NY is someone we should fully take advantage of scoring on when given the chance.  That is of course hoping that there’s a completely open defense with NY (is Rafa Marquez still suspended? I mean, he did get off light… as in i can’t believe it’s not raping light).  But, being able to take advantage of a still fairly green keeper and possibly mismatched defense – requires actual offense.

Random side note on Meara, he went to high school with my girlfriends brother at Fordham… not really relevant, but I find it an interesting tidbit.

So what should we expect this Sunday at the game?

Expect to be sober (early time = short tailgate)

Expect Pajoy to play.

Expect us to be pissed off.

Expect missed shots.

Expect untaken shots.

Expect a game that we long for more.

Categories: Uncategorized

All we are is dust in the wind

May 7, 2012 4 comments

At this point, we’re Chivas East.  Okay okay, I’m emotionalizing the season so far too quickly – and we’re not TFC, but that’s the only team we’re currently better than.  The panic button is being pushed, now if Nowak would only stop sitting on it, this team could possibly do something.

So, what have we seen (and haven’t seen) this season:

THUS FAR
5 Goals
– yes, i looked it up, I don’t even believe it myself. 3 by Gomez (1 pk), 1 by Adu, and 1 by Pajoy… yes, we all forgot about that one.  5 goals in 8 games, this sounds like last year!  Shocking isn’t it.  Only problem is … well 1) We’re not the same team as last year. 2) we’re on the losing side of the “let’s hope to eek this one out” mentality.

9 goals against us – only 3 of our 5 losses were results of multi-goal losses. Portland (away), Colorado (home), San Jose (home).  Aside from the San Jose ‘can’t play a repeated play worth a shit’ defensive lapse, Portland and Colorado when you think about it – we would be expected to be scored on multiple times.  It’s just the team and the arena that come into play where the league aware fan expects certain scores, just because they know what the other team is capable of… and the hope (at this point only hope) that our own team can combat against it.

And as an aside, fuck Lenhart, seriously.

18 Shots on Goal – we are currently averaging 2.25 shots per game… ON goal.. that’s not even counting total shots.  Fairly pathetic.  69 (woot) shots total by the statistic count.  That’s 1 out of every 4 shots is hitting the keeper (or just about).  It’s not too shabby, but you would expect a better result out of it.  Downside, we’re getting shot on close to double the amount of times we shoot.

Youth and future of the team – what of it?  Me and JH were discussing, and due to possibly coming off as racist I refused to post the “joke” picture (of yet he said I have the ultimate trump card, but we’re not gonna get into that) – but what did Mwanga do?  I mean, really.  Did he commit warcrimes?  Acts of atrition against Nowak?  There has got to be some reason  – and match fitness really can’t be an excuse – as to why Mwanga is barely getting ANY time on the field.  Yes, I do believe the kid is over-rated, but apparently Nowak is over-rating Pajoy.  Something has to change, and Mwanga is long over due for his shot at it – as well as Martinez.  Seriously.

Possession – lack of it.  San Jose gave me flashbacks of points in my life where the older kids would take my toys and just taunt me with them, never letting me get anywhere near them.  And I would then walk away defeated – much like what happened to the Union.  To see another team control the ball so much (multiple other teams mind you) to the point where watching is no fun anymore, really let’s the ‘eff’ bombs flow.  Cause at that point, we don’t know who to blame – players, the coach’s strategy, the other team actually being better than us?  It’s a conundrum for a fan, and it’s upsetting with the high potential and a possible fluke of a sophomore year.

Discipline – 1 game, 2 straight red cards, a coach suspension, and a sick feeling in your gut.  The red cards went to Keon Daniel – who has proven that not only has he overcome Dengue Fever, but he is one of our best players on the field, and an overzealous Garfan – who on a team that doesn’t do much, anything is noteworthy.  Garfan being suspended an extra 3 games is only arguable due to the fact that it is the same time of suspension for a brute like Rafa Marquez, otherwise, Gaddis is in the wings and not only shows promise, but that he can handle himself (as long as it’s not late in the game).

Nowak’s suspension came from trying to protect Garfan from an onslaught of non-penalized Chivas players literally attacking Garfan after his red carded challenge.  This is a plus – why?  It showed Nowak actually gives a shit about something.  What, we still don’t know.

Hackworth aptly named – As much as you tell the press you want an attacking team, and you want the team to shoot more, you’re still just a lacky for the strategies that Nowak wants to implement… and you confuse our players.  Sadly though, setting up what looks like an attack minded line up does not actually relate to the results on the field – note shots, as well as goals.  In the 2 games you were in charge of, San Jose and Seattle, there was only one goal (a retaliation goal no less) and a lack of possession and..well… shots.  Granted – the Union did make an effort against SJE… with 10 shots (attempts) total, versus the 6 that was at Seattle – the week after you say “you want them to shoot”.  Well done, well done indeed.

ADU-it – haters gonna hate.  Just like Ruiz, attempting to drive someone out with potential when they don’t see results (of which is the team’s fault).  Let’s face it, next to Keon, Adu is the next best player not counting defensive (he would be after Torres, but Torres is out for a bit).   You may think he’s over paid, or dribbles to much one-v-one, but you can’t deny he’s trying.

Pa-no-joy – I don’t know about you, but I’m glad we replaced a successful poacher like Ruiz with an unsuccessful poacher like Pajoy…

Potential – Remember, ever since this team started, it’s been a team full of potential.  And at the moment, that’s all we are.  A big stinking pile of potential where you have to stop and ask “What is it that will turn this ship around”.

Week 9 MLS Picks – give me a goal

May 4, 2012 Leave a comment

NY:  I’m mailing this week in.  I’m employing the coin-flip technique.  I don’t know how draw is going to factor in to this.  F*ck it, I just won’t pick a draw then.

DK: Isn’t that what we always do? Mail it in.  to make it simpler (cause of timing) I’m going to match up with your matches.

NY:  Chivas USA v Chicago Fire:  I guess home team is heads, road team is tails, so here goes:  Damn it, I don’t even have a quarter so I’m flipping a nickel, but anyway: Tails = Chicago wins.  I like this method.

DK: Even though Chicago sucks, so does Chivas.  It’s going to be sad that this game is close in any aspect, but Oduro is likely going to notch a goal in this one, it’s harder to tell what Chivas will do – but east conference teams always fail miserably on the west coast. 1-1 tie.

NY:  Toronto FC v DC United:  Flip #2:  Tails, again.  That makes sense.  TFC doesn’t seem to play as well in league play as they have in their inter, and intra, national tournaments.

DK: TFC still can’t buy a point, and DC is on a tear, DC 2-0.

NY:  Vancouver Whitecaps v San Jose Earthquakes:  Flippity Flippity #3:  Damn it, i dropped on the floor and rolled under my desk.  Re-do:  Tails, AGAIN!  Eh, San Jose HAS been playing well.  They scored 2 in beating Union Saturday, then come out mid-week and put a 5-spot on the board to get another 3 points.  Sure, why not another win?

DK: I don’t like this match up only because I’m clearly picking San Jose… they’re good, who the hell knew. 1-0

 NY:  LA Galaxy v New Jersey Pink Cows:  Flippity Floppity Floop #4:  Heads!  That means that this early war-of-attrition will be won by the home side!  Sure!  Why not?!?!?

DK: Weirdly, I dislike LA more than RBNY, and they’ve been doing much better than LA so far (only by one game).   I’ll go with a 2-2 tie.  Think NY could HANDle it?  No, it never gets old.

 NY:  Seattle Sounders v Philadelphia Union:  Dare I coin flip this?  Sure, it seems to be working so well… Heads!  This means that Union will take their second straight defeat.  I guess I can believe that.  That turf is weird, it’s an odd time (1:30pm local), and Freddy Montero might be too much for the Union to deal with.  If these picks are correct, I’m keeping this nickel and flipping it every week, but if these are wrong, I’m going to melt the damn thing down so it’s no longer a coin.  There’s a lot at stake for this coin, isn’t there?

DK: Yes we beat Seattle last year… Yes that field is atrocious.  Yes my retinas burn while watching games in Seattle.  No nothing good will come from this.  Last year’s team was vastly different than this year’s team, and sadly enough – only one of those variations included Stefani Miglioranzi.  The only upside to this weekend for me is seeing the Avengers movie after the game, I fully expect a loss of 2-1.  I hope to god though that something FINALLY f***ing clicks with this team….

…Because it’s Been a While…

May 4, 2012 1 comment

I’m convinced that Arjen Robben bares more resemblance to former U.S. MNT coach and current Egypt MNT coach Bob Bradley than Bradley’s actual son, Michael.  And, I can’t be the only one that thinks this.

Manchester City won the Manchester Derby to go even on points with United, ahead on season’s goal differential.  Wonderful.  This just gives Mario Balotelli another opportunity to completely f*ck City’s season up.

Real Madrid captured their league title this week.  Congratulations!  How’d your Champions League season go?  Anyway, here’s a team with a manager who is very set in his ways, some of his players don’t like him and disagree with his tactics.  Yet, they go through with the game plan like professionals.  And their leading goal-scorer is a midfielder.  Is THIS where Nowak gets his ideas from?  Because I totally buy the parallel that Freddy Adu = Mesut Ozil and Michael Farfan = Cristiano Ronaldo.  Yeah.  Sure.

I don’t even know why I just made that Union-Real Madrid comparison

Union play a 1pm PST match in a stadium full of people who tailgate with lattes.  And they’re owned by Drew Carey.  All they do is purchase the right to host the US Open Cup final every year to give them the advantage in winning a tournament that most of MLS doesn’t care about.  I’m still pissed about the Flyers being down 2-1 to the Devils.  I need a Union win tomorrow.

-Nick Y., the other .5 of Unholy Union