10 years. Never forget. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
In front of the home crowd in Chester, Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Union had may chances to notch a goal, but unfortunately, they were unable to put it all together and had to settle for a disappointing scoreless draw Saturday night against the Portland Timbers.
Overall it was a good first half for the Philadelphia Union. Neither side had many chances, but the Union were able to control the run of play for the majority of the first half. Among the highlights were Le Toux just missing a goal off a cross from Roger Torres and a fantastic run fantastic run by Roger Torres where he made half of Portland look silly, only to follow that up with a weak shot that proved to be no real threat to Troy Perkins’s goal.
The second half saw much of the same from the Union, as by and large they controlled the run of play. While the Union had several chances in the half, they came closet when Kyle Nakazawa rocketed a shot off the woodwork whereupon it bounced out and away from harm. Danny Mwanga and Justin Mapp also had some hard hit shots directed on Perkins, although all of those shots missed their mark completely.
On the other side of the pitch, Zac MacMath played brilliantly. He was confident, commanded his net, and made his share of very nice saves to keep the score tied at 0. Perhaps his crowning achievement came late in the game when Portland had a 4-on-3 break and MacMath aggressively came out of his net and forced Kenny Cooper to fire his shot wide. Earlier in the match, he grabbed a corner kick out of the air and punted it all the way down field to a wide open Le Toux who was unable to latch on to it.
Tonight's officiating could best be described as bad. Those hoping for an improvement from Wednesday’s match against the New England Revolution were let down in a big way by referee Chris Penso. The fun started in the first half when Le Toux was tripped by Bruner. No foul was given, it was probably worthy of a yellow card.
The officiating would only get worse from there. In the 81st minute, Mwanga would have his jersey pulled by Jewsbury and then be on a receiving end of a hip check by Hurst. Only the jersey pull by Jewsbury was given punished and it was punished with a yellow. Lastly, in stoppage time, Diego Chara’s bid for an Academy Award went unpunished by the referee. After requiring a stretcher to get off the pitch, he immediately popped back up and was ready to come back on again. The referee ignored the simulation, and instead chose to believe that Diego Chara was the recipient of a biological miracle.
Despite some good chances, the Union never really looked extremely comfortable and often lacked communication as their winless streak was extended to eight games. That they got the better of the run of play really does not say much as the rust from Portland going over 2 weeks without playing a game really showed. Overall, it was a disappointing effort for the home side and one that they will hope to improve on next Saturday when they play host to the Columbus Crew.