Tonight proved once again that the Philadelphia Union cannot figure out how to properly save a lead. A goal by Chivas USA striker Juan Pablo Angel in the 90th minute of the game took the air out of the Union's chance to go back to the top of the Eastern Conference table.
Head coach Piotr Nowak deserves the criticism that comes his way for his management of the game tonight. In yet another impossibly foolish attempt to play very defensive soccer for between 15-20 minutes, Nowak brought in Kyle Nakazawa for Justin Mapp, the man who had put the Union ahead only 15 minutes prior. The substitute would eventually be one of three Union players who were unable to either mark Angel or defend the cross that led to the game tying goal.
Only four minutes away from two extra points that would have all but cemented the Union's place in the playoffs. However, the team's continued reliance on completing switching up the game plan lost it points.
Something has to give, something really does have to give. Freddy Adu needs to show why the Union chose to sign him to such a large contract, Nowak needs to show he can manage to finish a game that has a large window with a lead and he needs to show why his personnel changes are so drastic.
The Union did not look like a playoff team for much of the game and really didn't deserve to go ahead when they did. It took determination from one of the most likely sources on the team, the much maligned Mapp, to get that goal. A lack of creativety out of the middle without Torres playing there, no help for Le Toux up front because Veljko Paunovic is off form and hasn't partnered well with the Frenchman in what seems like forever... these are things that cause problems for the team not only in the regular season, but especially in the potential postseason.
Chivas is a team that the Union should be taking three points from, a team that the Union should have used a potential playoff line up against because it was the fourth to last game of the season. Yet neither of those things happened.
This reaction is a rant because the performance dictated that it become one. It's incredibly frustrating to watch a team throw away game after game, clearly wanting to play to a draw versus striving for a full three points.
What are your thoughts?