Today the Philadelphia Union took on the San Jose Earthquakes and tied 1-1.
After this game, I’m able to use a word that I’m not used to using to describe the Philadelphia Union’s performance, clinical, sort of.
The first half started off at a tepid pace with the Philadelphia Union looking scared to make a mistake but they began to grow into the game as time wore on with the score 0-0. San Jose also looked sloppy to start so they weren’t able to take advantage of the Philadelphia Union’s weakest point of the game (slow starts are becoming an issue worth addressing with this team.
The tide of the game changed in the 30th minute when Tranquillo Barnetta took a corner kick that was won by Chris Pontius. Barnetta floated in the corner kick that found the head of an unmarked Pontius for a goal to put the Philadelphia Union up 1-0.
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After the goal things began to get chippy, Fatai Alashe was shown the yellow card directly after the corner kick for a foul during the build up play prior to it. CJ Sapong then missed an open chance off of a pass from Sebastian LeToux that would come back to haunt the Philadelphia Union later. In the 35th minute, Anibal Godoy was shown a yellow card for a bad tackle (yes this was all in a five-minute span).
The Philadelphia Union then looked content to ride the 1-0 lead into the locker room for half. In the 59th minute Anibal Godoy was sent off for his second reckless challenge (he was lucky to not be sent off earlier in the half) and CJ Sapong had another crucial miss off of a set piece delivery from Tranquillo Barnetta.
It was as if going down to 10 men flipped a switch for San Jose as they were much more dangerous for the next 30 minutes of the game. Chris Wondolowski forced a great save out of Andre Blake in the 61st minute and that seemed to give San Jose the belief that they could equalize against the Philadelphia Union.
In the 73rd minute, Ilsinho came on to replace Chris Pontius for the Philadelphia Union and San Jose countered by bringing on Matías Pérez Garcia for Alberto Quintero. That chain of subs gave the advantage to San Jose as they created three successive chances while pushing for a goal. In the 83rd minute, the equaliser came for San Jose courtesy of Simon Dawkins.
The Philadelphia Union tried to pull out a winner but the San Jose defence was too stout for them to break through.
Key takeaways from the game.
- Joshua Yaro is forging a solid partnership with Richie Marquez on the back line. Yaro is growing into a role for the Philadelphia Union now that he has taken over for Ken Tribbet. He looks more comfortable on the ball and his pace allows him some room for error because he can catch up to attackers when he makes a mistake. Yaro is also making Keegan Rosenberry better because of their nonverbal communication.
- CJ Sapong needs to work on finishing. The Philadelphia Union should have won this game today but they were let down by Sapong’s finishing. He had two clear chances at goal but missed them both.
- Overall the Philadelphia Union looked organized in this game and were let down by the result. Tranquillo is almost back to full match fitness and at points, he took over the game. The Union are getting back to full strength and that should be a scary site for the league with them sitting in second place behind the Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference.
The Philadelphia Union will be off this upcoming weekend. Next up for the Philadelphia Union is a matchup with the LA Galaxy on May 11th at Talen Energy Stadium.