CHESTER, PA - APRIL 28: Steven Lenhart #24 of the San Jose Earthquakes moves the ball during the second half against the Philadelphia Union in a Major League Soccer game on April 28, 2012 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. San Jose defeated the Union 2-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Gabriel Gomez's team leading third goal of the season was not enough to keep the Philadelphia Union from dropping three points, as the home team gave up two late goals to lose to the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1.
San Jose's head coach, Frank Yallop, made the astute of sending on the fresh legs of both Marvin Chavez and Steven Lenhart in the 60th and 61st minutes, respectively. Chavez caused problems for the tiring legs of Sheanon Williams and Freddy Adu early into his substitution, then tore apart both Adu and Jack McInerney in the closing minutes of the game to set up Lenhart's game winner.
Lenhart was, in the end, the true game changer for both teams. The six-foot, one-inch tall American scored his second brace (two goals in one game) at PPL Park in his career.
The Earthquake's striker was able to out jump a tired and ailing Danny Califf at the end of the game to power San Jose past a Union team that appeared to be comfortable taking only one point away from the match up.
The game was open for almost the entire first half, but the Union were unable to breakthrough into enviable positions to break the deadlock. As has become standard for Philadelphia this year, possession in the opposing final third came out to nothing and shots were not to be had by the home team.
In the second half, several changes were made and seen. German loanee Kai Herdling was handed his first start with the Union and found himself subbed out of the game for Jack McInerney.
McInerney quickly made himself noticed, changing the pace of the Union attack and pushed forward without pause during the second half. It wasn't until starting striker Lionard Pajoy was subbed out that McInerney's efforts were met with equal enthusiasm up front.
The Generation Adidas striker partnered with Danny Mwanga as a center forward and withdrawn forward combination, leading Philadelphia forward and eventually setting Gomez up for his goal.
It still wasn't enough, however, for any points because of defensive let downs despite a solid game from first year starting goalkeeper Zac MacMath. Lenhart prayed upon a tired defense and the removal of Raymon Gaddis for Cristhian Hernandez, who was forced to play fullback late in the game due to the Earthquakes' possession and final third threats.