Match Review: Philadelphia Union vs. Chicago Fire
3 points is 3 points.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Union got an important win against a lowly, outmatched Chicago Fire squad. For the second time in eight days, the Union was able to defeat the Fire 1-0 behind a goal from Jack McInerney. Despite having three games in eight days, the Union deployed the same lineup except for Michael Farfan replacing Keon Daniel in the midfield. The defense and forwards were the same from the match against Los Angeles.
Gaddis, Soumare, Okugo, Williams
Cruz (Daniel), Carroll, Kleberson (Casey), Farfan
McInerney (Fernandes), Le Toux
Anibaba, Thompson, Segares, Berry
Pause, Duka (Amarikwa), Larentowicz, Lindpere (Alex)
Rolfe (MacDonald), Nyarko
The Union got on the board early with a third minute goal from MLS goal scoring leader Jack McInerney. Following a scramble after a corner kick, Sebastien Le Toux sent in a nice cross that was headed home by McInerney for his eighth goal of the season.
Unfortunately that was the only goal of the evening and the rest of the game was filled by sloppy play with neither midfield able to control the game. Throughout the game (and certainly in the first half) the Fire seemed to be in control, out possessing the Union. However Chicago was really never able to get many great opportunities, especially after Wells Thompson picked up his second yellow card after a hard foul on Danny Cruz in the 63rd minute and the Fire were down to ten men. Zac MacMath had a few key saves early on, but was never really threatened after that.
The speedy Patrick Nyarko, who gave the Union problems all last week, was neutralized thanks to consistent play form the backline. Bakary Soumare improved upon his performance from earlier this week and repeatedly disrupted the Fire attack. He was very good in the air and worked well with Amobi Okugo in directing the defense. He isn’t there yet as far as match fitness and still needs some more game time, but a completely healthy Soumare could be a big boost for this team.
- Has Keon Daniel fallen out of favor? He was removed from the starting lineup, but did play as a sub. He played poorly on Wednesday and did not look much better last night. Something to monitor moving forward.
- Kleberson can play. He is very creative and skilled on the ball. However, and this is a big however, I think there could be a motor issue with him. He is definitely a defensive liability, but when the ball is not at his feet, he seems a little disinterested.
- I’m still trying to figure out Zac MacMath. There are times in a game where he looks stellar, absolutely stellar, then there are other times, he makes boneheaded plays. 20 minutes into the game he sent a low punt directly to a Fire player, and they come back down the field and he’s forced into making a great save. Consistency is what he needs moving forward
- JACK CAN SCORE!
- The banishment of Roger Torres continues. I really wonder what he has done to not see any minutes thus far. He is young, talented, one of the most creative players on the team, yet he does not play. I thought last night was the perfect opportunity; we were up a goal and Fire down to 10 men. Perfect, I’m going to be screaming “GET HIM ROGER!” any minute. Wrong! Instead Leo Fernandes makes his debut. Nothing against him, he’s a young talented player that needs time to show what he can do. BUT I WANT TO SEE ROGER!
Overall, the Union looked much better then on Wednesday night and when they played the Fire last Saturday. The Union had the better opportunities of the night, but was never able to control the game. Even though they were a man up for nearly a third of the game, the Union midfield still struggled to out possess the Fire.
There is nothing to cheer about with this win. Chicago is bad, we were at home, and we were a man up. That should be a win, and we should have had a few more goals.
3 points is 3 points.
Let me know what you think @Quincy1214
Ad Finem Fidelis