Friendly Game, Friendly Thoughts

[Editor's note: Promoted to front page for eye witness analysis. Good stuff]

Sticking with recent tradition, here's my thoughts on the Philadelphia Union friendly game versus FC Schalke 04. In honor of the game being a friendly, I'm going to keep my comments friendly - or, at least, as friendly as possible.

  • Whoa! Lionard Pajoy looked good! Dynamic, even. Two big differences in this game compared to the others this season. The first was the 4-3-3 setup, with Danny Mwanga and Josue Martinez running high with Pajoy. We've all been yelling for the U to put somebody up top with Pajoy all season; they did it, and it looked really good. The other big thing I noticed is that they didn't ask Pajoy to play back to the goalie - at least, not exclusively. Which leads to...
  • The three forward - Pajoy, Mwanga, Martinez - seemed to rotate through the three positions throughout the first half. I'm in section 109 - right behind the visitor's bench, basically - and through the 1st half, I saw significant stretches of time where all three were on our side of the field. Pajoy looked dangerous with the ball on his feet when he was out wide. Martinez's speed was a factor. Mwanga did a very nice job, I thought, both in the center and out wide. I'm in favor of this formation against the Pink Cows and seeing what happens.
  • I didn't know Fropez (Porfirio Lopez) could play CB. He actually didn't look too bad there.
  • Keon Daniel's free kick that lead to the first goal was spectacular. Well placed, good power. All around great job there.
  • Either shortly before that or shortly after that, the U had a corner kick from each side. Daniel took one and Herdling took the other. Both of those also looked dangerous, with Herdling's being a bit better.
  • Kai Herdling, I thought, looked good overall. Confident, attacking the ball. Hope this means he's gettig closer to game shape and feeling more comfortable with his teammates.
  • Jack McInerney: A yellow card for tackling from behind? In a friendly? Seriously? I know you need to use every moment you have to impress the staff, but I really don't think reckless tackles are the way to do it.
  • _LOVED_ the "Do that on Sunday" chant from the SoB after Pajoy scored. Well played!
  • The Union won, and that's always nice. But they really should've lost. Brian Carroll saved a goal. The crossbar saved a goal on the PK. And the left post saved a goal at one point. So they're definitely still a work in process, and will likely to continue to frustrate us fans at times.
  • I'd like to see almost the same starting lineup Sunday. Obviously, Zac MacMath in goal instead, and Danny Califf at CB with Garfan (Gabriel Farfan) out of the lineup. But I liked the look of the midfield and forward group, and want to see more of it. In the second half, subs can be used to lock things down if we have the lead, or put fresh legs out there to attack if we need more offense. But I'd very much be in favor of seeing: MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Califf, Carlos Valdes, Raymon Gaddis; Brian Carroll; Herdling, Daniel; Pajoy, Mwanga, Martinez. Attack the cows early and put the pressure on them on the road.

And on an entirely personal note, we woke up this morning to find an email from the Junior Supporter's Club. Seems my daughter has been chosen as the next Jr. Supporter of the Mlonth, so look for her in the game day magazine, I would assume in June.

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