The Possession Fallacy: Philadelphia Union 1, Toronto FC 1

TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 15: Sheanon Williams #25 and Zach Pfeffer #27 of the Philadelphia Union celebrate a goal against Toronto FC during MLS action at the BMO Field September 15, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Throughout this ugly, charmless 2012 campaign, the Philadelphia Union have had very little in the way of bright spots. The Union's come from behind draw this afternoon in Toronto against the worst team in MLS is not going to make that list any bigger.

Throughout the match, the Philadelphia Union dominated possession. By the end of the game, they had 63.3% of the ball, however, as always, possession tells very little of the story. In the first half, especially, the Philadelphia Union managed to pass the ball and pass the ball and pass the ball all the while doing very little with the ball. The highlight of the first half for the Union was a through ball that went through Toronto's midfield to Danny Cruz only to lose the ball to the goalkeeper Milos Kocic. When that is the highlight of a half, you're doing soccer wrong.

Toronto FC were content to let the Union play a possession game and strike when they could on the counter-attack. And while it was far from a sterling performance on the host's part, they certainly by far the more threatening side after 45 minutes of play and were probably deserving of a goal. Their best chance that half came when Luis Silva unleashed a decent shot from the top of the box that soared just wide of Zac MacMath's net. The half ended scoreless, with Toronto FC the much more threatening side.

After ten better minutes from the Union to start the second half, Toronto FC would capitalize on an embarrassing defensive lapse as a cross found Eric Hassli who slotted the ball home past a helpless MacMath. From the admittedly poor replays CSN showed, it appeared as though the play was well offside.* Regardless, based on the quality of play of the match, it is difficult to begrudge TFC the goal they very much deserved in this match.

*The controversy surrounding goal-line technology dominates the replay-related headlines in soccer, however, there are significantly more missed/falsely ruled offside calls than there are instances of legitimate question whether or not the ball crossed the line. If FIFA want to eliminate human error in soccer, they should start by finding a way to correct all the offside errors, not goal-line technology.

The game would drag along for the next several minutes, as this game was wont to do, but in the 85th minute the Union would convert an opportunity thanks to the creativity from Roger Torres getting the ball to Michael Farfan who delivered a ball that Sheanon Williams would convert off his left foot. That's right folks. It took only 84 minutes for the Union to score a goal against quite possibly the worst defense in MLS. Yay guys. After an abysmal performance, the Union were somehow, someway level.

After some hectic play on both ends that resulted in little of anything, the result was official, and both teams walked away with one point for the draw. The Union improved upon their first half performance, although that is not to say they actually played well. In the end, a draw was probably deserved.

The Union's next match is this Thursday against D.C. United and will be seen by a national audience. How lovely.

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