A night to forget, Union fans endure defeat on two fronts

Posted on 07 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Courtesy PhiladelphiaUnion.com

It’s a double “DOOP” week but for all Union fans, last night was a double dose of defeat. The Union, after a dramatic Brian Carroll equalizer in extra time, fell 4-2 in penalty kicks to DC United to bow out early in Open Cup qualification. To make matters worse, less than an hour or so later, Amobi Okugo and Zac MacMath – on international duty with the US U-20s, fell to a resilient Guatemala. Arguably one of the most talented youth national teams in American history will be missing this summer’s World Cup in Colombia.

The silver lining? Okugo and MacMath return to club action as the Union gear up for the New York Red Bulls on Saturday at PPL Park. Piotr Nowak will be working with some tired players all around, however, as they went in to win this game.

The Union started (anyone that was there, please feel free to correct the opening tactical set-up):

——————————–Mondragon————————————

Williams————-Califf——————Valdes——————Harvey

———————–Carroll—————-M. Farfan———————–

Le Toux————————-Nakazawa—————————-Daniel

————————————–Ruiz—————————————-

Bench: Holder, McInerney, Pfeffer, Richter, Agorsor, Torres, Mwanga

The only starters rested were Stefani Miglioranzi and Danny Mwanga. It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the first half with each side having chances. It wasn’t until a dangerous Sheanon Williams long throw-in fell to Carlos Ruiz on the back post in that the fun started. It was a 18th minute put back that started the Union off on the right foot. It wasn’t to be, however. Josh Wolff equalized right before halftime and then Valdes, right before the end of regulation, snapped up his second yellow card leaving the Union a man down and with 30 minutes of extra time. A defensive lapse in the 111th minute gifted a goal to Daniel Woolard of United, seemingly sealing the Union’s defeat and keeping them winless in USOC qualification. Brian Carroll made sure that wasn’t the case, at least extending the action a little longer with a last gasp strike that mirrored Danny Mwanga’s equalizer vs. FC Dallas last season. Highlights all here.

Into penalties it went and it didn’t take the Union long to concede defeat. Both Jack McInerney and Roger Torres failed

Courtesy MLSSoccer.com

to convert their penalty kicks, United went four for four, and the Union now had another season to concentrate solely on the regular season. Meanwhile, in Guatemala, Amobi Okugo and Zac MacMath were fighting for a World Cup berth. A win over hosts Guatemala in the quarterfinals would seal the deal. Unfortunately, the hosts weren’t fazed by the American favorites taking the early lead. Okugo showed some real impressive stuff, delivering a picture perfect throughball to Conor Doyle to equalize midway through the second half. Guatemala responded almost immediately and in spite of an American edge in scoring chances and close calls, they bowed out – becoming the first U-20 squad to miss World Cup qualification since 1995.

So, all in all, not a great day for Union fans but the prospect of redemption awaits. Saturday will be a marquee showdown between – as it stands now – two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Will tired legs play a part on Saturday or will a supercharged PPL Park rally the boys to three points? Preview of that match-up to come.

Sidenote: Both a local product (Stephen King, Shawnee HS, Medford, NJ) and a former Union player Fred started for United. Fred played after welcoming his second child into the world earlier that day. Also, for those that were there, please feel free to comment on individual player performances. We particularly would like to hear about Keon Daniel’s second appearance for the club and Michael Farfan, who operated in several positions throughout the game.

SCORING SUMMARY

Philadelphia Union – Carlos Ruiz 18′ (Williams)

D.C. United – Josh Wolff 45′ (Ngwenya)

D.C. United – Daniel Woolard 111′

Philadelphia Union – Brian Carroll 118′

Penalty Kicks:

  • Philadelphia Union – Le Toux – made
  • D.C. United – Pontius – made
  • Philadelphia Union – McInerney – miss
  • D.C. United – Barklage – made
  • Philadelphia Union – Torres – saved
  • D.C. United – Najar – made
  • Philadelphia Union – Nakazawa – made
  • D.C. Uniited – Boskovic – made

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Rick Says:

    Keon Daniel looked like a completely different player from the one we saw against LA. Poor possession, and off target passes. He killed any forward momentum they had in the first half.

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