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Posted by on Sep 29, 2012 in Columbus Crew, MLS, Philadelphia Union, Recent | 2 comments

Match Review: Union vs Crew


Philadelphia Union:


 Zac MacMath

Ray Gaddis, Carlos Valdes (c), Amobi Okugo, Sheanon Williams

Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud,

Danny Cruz (Roger Torres 81st), Michael Farfan, Gabriel Farfan (Jack McInerney 66th)

Josue Martinez (Antoine Hoppenot 57th)

Columbus Crew


Andy Gruenebaum

Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James (Eric Gehrig 86th), Josh Williams

Danny O’Rourke, Milovan Mirosevic

Chris Birchall, Federico Higuaín, Eddie Gaven (Justin Meram 86th)

Jairo Arrieta (Emilio Renteria 66th)


Union – Crew

2 – Goals – 3

15 – Shots – 17

3 – Shots on Goal –11

8– Corner Kicks – 2

11– Fouls – 14

433 – Total Passes – 388

79% – Passing Accuracy – 74%

57% – Possession – 43%

Game Review:

The Union still had it’s own fate in their own…..well not really but you get the point. Lose against the Crew and the playoffs are gone, mathematically. There is absolutely no coming back from that. The Crew looked stable and unhurried on the ball, up until the first goal. Jairo Arrieta scored twice in the first half, the first beating MacMath on his now exposed weak right side. The second MacMath looked to be overcompensating to cover the near post and Arrieta simply went far post. This by no means come from nowhere. The Crew were by far the better team in possession, with approx 3 times the amount of positive forward possessions ending in a shot or a cross.

The 21st and 29th minutes were portends for the remainder of the match. The 21st saw the Union go Keystone Cops  in the back with MacMath charging out and then seemingly changing his mind, all while not getting the ball and losing possession in the box. The 29th minute saw the Crew and Union exchange chances within a minute of each other. Birchall was denied by MacMath , approximately one minute before Michael Farfan was denied a decent chance by Gruenebaum. The half ended at approximately 51:00:30 due to added time, and the Crew looked to be cruising.

The break gave me a few things to ponder:

  1. What exactly is it that Michael Lahoud does?: Michael adds nothing to the Union for me. Not exactly that anyone is really putting in a good shift on any consistent basis lately, but…
  2. Eddie Gaven is having a banner year: Eddie has not played less than 20 games in an MLS season since his rookie year in 2003, he is always one of the most important players on the pitch.
  3. Man for man the Union is noticeably smaller than the Crew: The Union is a very undersized team, and it affects their game negatively.

The second Half started with the Crew sitting back, and holding possession  A typical tactic employed by a team in a winning position the world over. However, the Crew employed this tactic way too early. When you take your foot of the gas, you allow space for the other team to “grow” into. The Union did just that, substituting Josue Martinez for Antoine Hoppenot. Hoppenot was immediately involved in the match and drew a foul from keeper Gruenebaum which Danny Cruz buried to haul one back. Hoppenot was also denied a foul in the box and one couldn’t help but think it a karmic repayment for the many times this season a referee pointed to the spot on his behalf wrongly.

Crew boss Robert Warzycha pulled Jairo Arrieta in favor of  Emilio Renteria in the 66th minute, and Hackworth pulled Gabriel Farfan in favor of Jack McInerney. In the 85th minute fellow substitute Roger Torres pulled of a trademark chip over the top to set up McInerney with honestly, very little, but very little in exactly the right place. McInerney toe poked it over the keeper and in for 2-2. Painfully, an 87th minute Mirosevic goal was wrongly allowed to stand because the line referee incorrectly ruled him onside. Okugo was also booked for interference.

All in all it was a dismal match. Columbus looked decent but certainly like they will crash out of the postseason early. but at least they will have a postseason to crash out from.


  1. You got the stat recap wrong

    • Thanks for pointing it out, all fixed now!