On a clear, calm and seasonal Saturday night in Chester, PA., the Philadelphia Union welcomed the Vancouver Whitecaps FC for a cross conference match-up – see my preview here. Unfortunately the 17k+ crowd would see the Union Defense let the side down in 3-2 loss as they just don’t seem to be able to beat a Western Conference team so far this season.
Philadelphia Union Starting XI:
1 Andre Blake GK 33 Fabinho (DF) 16 Richie Marquez (DF) 15 Josh Yaro (DF) 12 Keegan Rosenberry (DF) 10 Tranquillo Barnetta (MF) 7 Brian Carroll(C) (MF) 9 Sebastien Le Toux (FW) 6 Roland Alberg (MF) 25 Ilsinho (MF) 11 Fabian Herbers (MF)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI:
1 David Ousted (GK) 2 Jordan Harvey (DF) 26 Tim Parker (DF) 17 Andrew Jacobson (MF) 6 Jordan Smith (DF) 77 Pedro Morales(C) (MF) 15 Matias Laba (MF) 23 Kekuta Manneh (FW) 11 Nicolas Mezquida (MF) 7 Christian Bolanos (MF) 19 Erik Hurtado (FW)
Both sides started the game in a 4-2-3-1
In the 1st 10′ the U had the better chances including a close in shot in the 4′ by Barnetta, muffled by the Vancouver GK, Ousted.
Roland Alberg (5) got the U on the board in the 14′ on a rebound after Hebers hit the post. He had now scored the last 4 Union goals after being a part time player earlier in the season.
In the 19′ though Vancouver tied it up on a header by Jacobson – his 1st of the season- after Blake could not handle the 1st shot on a corner, and they would never look back.
It was then good back and forth action but no real threats except in the 25′ when Blake made a fantastic save on a blast by Mezquida from just outside the box.
But right at the 36′ mark Barnetta got the 1st yellow card of the night on a frustration sliding tackle after a bad misplay. Things would only get worse as he had another bad touch in the 41′ minute that lead to the go ahead goal by Manneh (5) on which Blake had no chance. That was the way the 1st half ended. The U had the better stat on shots 7-4, but only one was on goal, and they trailed slightly in possession 51.2 – 48.8, but once again it was the defensive play that really lead to the half time deficit where it counted.
There were no lineup changes to start the 2nd half.
51′ saw the 1st Yellow for Vancouver to Manneh which lead to a good chance by Marquez but saved nicely by Ousted.
1st subs of the match for both teams came in the 64′ as Morales left for Russell Teibert and Chris Pontius came on for Ilsinho.
Best chance of the 2nd half to tie it back up was in the 72′ as the bicycle kick by Pontius went just over the bar.
75′ and 76′ minute saw Blas Perez come on for Nicolas Mezquida and Walter Restrepo come on for Herbers. Final sub for Vancouver in the 79′ Christian Techera on for Kekuta Manneh, and the U make their final sub in the 91′ as Fabinho went off for Leo Fernandes.
The Whitecaps put this one out of reach as Christian Bolanos (5) scored in the 84′ which brought an end to the 10 game home lossless streak as well. In the too little too late category Pontius did score in the 5′ of stoppage time, but that served only to make the game seem closer than it was, as at the Final Whistle it was still 3-2 in favor of Vancouver. The U fall to 7-5-5 on the season, still in 1st place, and 6-1-2 at home, while the Whitecaps move to 7-7-3.
Some Post Game excerpts:
Vancouver coach Robinson: Character win especially since did not take care of business at home last week and never won here.
Keegan Rosenberry: Counter goals were preventable
Curtin: Guys are dissapointed and frustrated by 1st loss at home.
Curtin: The Team never quit..3 young guys on field…team will grow and learn.
Curtin: Team D is problem not back 4
Curtin :Fabian (Herbers) has done good job in C. J. (Sapong) absence. C. J. willl be back soon.
..and to end on an upbeat note that even though the guys are not happy about losing at home Overall Curtin is still happy with his team.
There are plenty of big games to come in which to bounce back, including the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup round of 16 match here on Wednesday @ 7:00 against the NY Red Bulls to add another story to this burgeoning rivalry.