In yet another match where the Union had a late lead but couldn’t hang on, the Union blew a 2-1 lead at the death in San Jose on Saturday night.
Union first XI: McCarthy; Wijnaldum, Elliot, Yaro, Gaddis; Medunjanin, Bedoya; Picault, Alberg, Pontius; Sapong
Quakes first XI: Tarbell; Affolter, Bernardez, Jungwirth; Sarkodie, Ceren, Godoy, Thompson, Salinas; Qazaishvili, Wondolowski
It didn’t take long for the Quakes to get on the right foot. In the third minute, Qazaishvili found the ball near the top of the box and with no less than six Union players around him, threaded a shot through the ball-watching defense to the far post, where a diving McCarthy could do nothing but watch from the ground as it hit the back of the net.
The Union offense eventually found some life as they started generating corners and shots, and in the 35th minute, on a corner and a scramble in the box, defender Jack Elliot (who had a monster match in every regard) hit a right-footed shot into the upper corner from a couple yards out to equalize, and that’s how the half ended.
The second half saw the Union start brightly, and in the 55th minute, on a ball outside the top of the box off of the head of Elliot, Roland Alberg pounded a shot home from distance into the lower left corner to give the Union a 2-1 lead. Alberg, starting as the 10 for an injured Ilsinho, wasn’t really a part of the Union offense in the first half but found a bit more of a role later in the match.
The Quakes, already in a 3-5-2, sent numbers forward, flooding the box and generating chance after chance. It looked like the Union would hold on until Joshua Yaro conceded a penalty with just seconds left in the match, a penalty which veteran forward Chris Wondolowski coolly converted for his tenth goal of the MLS season, good enough to deny the Union all three points they so desperately needed.
Notes: Andre Blake is slated to come back this Wednesday against Toronto. His return will be welcome but his absence isn’t the reason the Union have struggled. John McCarthy has been a fine substitute in net for Blake the last eight matches.
Fafa Picault had another banger of a chance from C.J. Sapong and Roland Alberg in the box today and hit it high and wide. His pace is great and he can cause problems on the wing but there’s not a huge market for a man who gets forward that much and can’t hit the target and isn’t the best passer.
Keegan Rosenberry appeared for the first time since May as a late substitute to help sure up the Union defense.
Mo Edu will be available for selections for Bethlehem Steel’s next match. His last match for the Union was in 2015.