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The Union overcome familiar adversity in ten man win over San Jose

Posted on 30 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Early afternoon Flyers and Phillies games didn’t dampen the support for the Union as PPL Park was rattling in anticipation of a showdown with a San Jose squad that was deep in the Western Conference doldrums. The Union faithful were treated to scrappy soccer, a rare ten-man shutout, and late heroics for their loyalty. A near sold-out crowd withstood a suspect red card call on Jordan Harvey to see their favorite Frenchman score his first goal of the season on a 77th minute penalty kick to retake the Eastern Conference lead.

San Jose’s Frank Yallop kept a promise after a disappointing 2-1 loss to Chivas USA last weekend, one he probably didn’t want to keep. He registered wholesale changes to the lineup starting against Philadelphia with numerous fringe players replacing the likes of Philadelphia native Bobby Convey, Ike Opara, Ramiro Corrales, and Sam Cronin. For the Union, a young midfield (save Sebastien Le Toux) earned the start in the Union’s eleven with Roger Torres, Amobi Okugo, and Keon Daniel. Starting lineup veterans Justin Mapp and Stefani Miglioranzi were set for bench duty.

The midfield pairing of Okugo and Torres and showed promise despite not yielding anything concrete. Unfortunately, Torres’ day was cut short after a questionable Mark Geiger call that conjured up flashbacks of 2010. Adversity returned with a vengeance in the 42nd minute after a Chris Leitch tackle on Jordan Harvey. The Union fullback, looking to evade Leitch as he laid at his feet, instead supposedly kicked out at the fallen San Jose defender. It didn’t matter that Leitch swung back with full force from the ground, Geiger threw the straight red and the Union were down a man. The Union’s response was to – contrary to last season – press onwards in attack and several chances came begging. The final pass was still missing despite great play from Ruiz and Daniel in the attack and the half ended a scrappy, albeit entertaining, 0-0.

Rookie Michael Farfan grabbed his first minutes of a young professional career after coming on for Roger Torres at the start of the second half. The Union, despite Harvey’s absence, created most of the chances and looked all in all the most dangerous team. No goal came…until of course, the penalty kick. After a great run by Amobi Okugo into the box, his cross was batted down by a sliding Daniel Hernandez. Le Toux, eagerly awaiting a first goal of the season, took the resulting spot kick and blasted high and down the center to give the Union a 1-0 lead in the 77th minute. A hard driven 25-yard blast from Brad Ring was the only chance San Jose that looked troublesome in the second half, a testament to the work of Carlos Valdes and the back four. Williams and Farfan, despite being a man down, invited involvement into the attack as the Union shape rarely wavered throughout.

The win puts the Union at 4-1-1 on the season with an important trip to Portland in the near future. The concern still lingers over lack of production but it was clear to see that, at least at home, the injection of Torres behind the two strikers forced the attacking mentality. One that, if given more time, could have yielded something concrete.

More to come!

Philadelphia Union Starting XI




Le Toux———————Torres————————–Daniel


San Jose Earthquakes Starting XI






Attendance: 18,279

Scoring Summary:

PHI — Sebastien Le Toux 1 (penalty kick) 77

San Jose Earthquakes — Jon Busch, Chris Leitch, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow, Bobby Burling, Brandon McDonald (Sam Cronin 64), Scott Sealy (Bobby Convey 58), Anthony Ampaipitakwong (Ryan Johnson 72), Chris Wondolowski, Brad Ring, Steven Lenhart.

Substitutes Not Used: Ramiro Corrales, Ike Opara, Khari Stephenson, Andrew Weber.

Philadelphia Union — Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey, Keon Daniel, Roger Torres (Michael Farfan 46), Amobi Okugo, Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz (Kyle Nakazawa 83), Danny Mwanga (Stefani Miglioranzi 46).

Substitutes Not Used: Justin Mapp, Jack McInerney, Ryan Richter, Zac MacMath.

Misconduct Summary:

PHI — Amobi Okugo (caution; Reckless Foul) 27

PHI — Faryd Mondragon (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 31

SJ — Brandon McDonald (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 32

PHI — Jordan Harvey (ejection; Violent Conduct) 41

SJ — Bobby Convey (caution; Delaying a Restart) 60

Referee: Mark Geiger

Referee’s Assistants: -Craig Lowry; Eric Boria

4th Official: Chris Penso

Time of Game: 1:52

Weather: Sunny-and-61-degrees


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