April is earning its moniker as the cruelest month as another well below average cold, but not too windy night at Talen Energy Stadium chilled the 14,795 announced phans as the Philadelphia Union (1-1-1, 4 Pts, 7th Place Eastern Conference) hosted the San Jose Earthquakes (1-2-0, 3 Pts, 10th Place Western Conference).
The night certainly seemed cruel to the phans and the team, who all thought that this was one of those draws where even though they rallied to tie the game, they should have had two more points.
As Head Coach Jim Curtin said post game:
“With the entire 90 minutes, really proud of the team, uh but obviously disappointed not to get all three points, on a night where we did create a ton of chances, a lot of opportunities, a lot of hard work. It was just a night where the ball didn’t seem like it was gonna go in.”
Earthquakes Starting XI: 4-4-2
G: Andrew Tarbell; Ds: Nick Lima, Yeferson Quintana, Harold Cummings, Joel Qwiberg MFs: Magnus Eriksson, Anibal Godoy, Florian Jungwirth, Vako QazaishviliFs: Chris Wondolowski, Danny Hoesen
Union Starting XI: 4-2-3-1
G Andre Blake; Ds Matt Real, Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott, Keegan Rosenberry; MFs Alejandro Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, David Accam, Borek Dockal, Fafa Picault; F CJ Sapong
First Half: Union win everything but the score
The Union won every stat in the first half except the one that counted, as the Earthquakes netted the only goal of the stanza. In the 37′ after the U were playing their usual high press, they got caught in a 5 on 3 counter attack. Hosen found Eriksson all alone and he easily chipped it past Blake for the first goal given up at home this season.
The Quakes G Tarbell kept them in the lead with two great saves on the returning Fafa’s headers in 43′
It was really more of the same witth the U dominating play for the most part. It finally paid off when they got the equalizer in the 64′ after a cross by Dockal to Fafa, playing in his first match of the season, on the left side of the box. Picault then found Bedoya for the header that beat Tarbell.
The U had numerous good chances in the final 3′ of regulation and announced 3′ of stoppage time, but just could not finish as the Final Whistle heralded a 1-1 draw, which elicited more than a few boos from the crowd.
Shea Salinas for Qwiberg 58′
Fatai Alashe in for Eriksson 78′
Quincy Amarikwa for Qazaishvili 88′
Ilsinho for Accam 63′
Raymon Gaddis for Real 71′
Cory Burke for Dockal 86′
Yefferson Quintana 56′
Chris Wondolowski 81′
Red card given to Harold Cummings post game after a VAR review for “violent conduct” on a dirty foul on Trusty in stoppage time as the Union were trying hard to get the go ahead goal.
David Accam 23′
Curtin was especially peeved after the game that the red card was not given during stoppage time so they could have had the extra man as they were pressing hard to get the go ahead goal. He also risked a fine and the ire of MLS when he called the three minutes of stoppage time “a bit embarrassing, to be honest. ” He noted the 6 subs which officially added 30 seconds each and at least 5 “injuries and pseudo injuries” which should have added more time.
As noted above the U led in all the statistical categories in this match, 61.1 – 38.9 TOP, 22 – 9 Shots, 8-5 on target, etc. It will take some time for all these new players to still learn how to play together. There was at least one instance where two players were right next to each other in the box with the ball right in front of them to cross, and neither was sure who should do what, and San Jose dispossessed them easily. It is early and they do at least have a result in three out of their four matches, so there are positives to be seen, and another month or two will tell whether this team is a contender or a pretender.
Meanwhile kudos to our lead editor Jay Davenport for calling this result in his preview.
The home stand continues as Orlando City SC (1-2-1, 4 Pts, 8th place Eastern conference) before their match against the Portland Timbers tomorrow, visits on Friday April 13th at 8:00 PM, broadcast nationally on ESPN.