It took them two weeks longer than they had hoped, but the Philadelphia Union were finally able to get their first win at home this season against the New England Revolution.
Similarly to last week's matchup against Colorado, the first half was filled with extremely sloppy play (partially attributable to the poor weather conditions). As well as minimal quality possession, the injury bug bit Philadelphia just seven minutes into Saturday's contest.
Danny Cruz, who was already dealing with a broken nose, was forced out of the contest with apparent head trauma. Cruz took a shot off a free kick to the back of the head, and he immediately crumpled to the ground. The 23 year old seemed to have lost consciousness momentarily, but was able to walk off the field under his own power. Head coach John Hackworth decided to sub in Michael Lahoud in Cruz's place, keeping the team in a 4-4-2 formation.
But the Union were unable to muster any shots on target, and it was pretty evident as to why. Philadelphia played incredibly narrow, rarely getting the ball out wide to defenders Sheanon Williams or Ray Gaddis, who frequently push upfield.
Going into halftime, both teams were deadlocked at zero, with neither team showing any signs of life.
However, the Union would be able to supply a pulse to the game in the second half. The team finally made a conscious effort to get the ball out wide, and it began to pay dividends, as the team was able to compile some corner kicks.
And in the 76th minute, the New England Revolution's back finally broke. On a perfect corner kick from Le Toux into the box, Jack McInerney was able to stuff it past the goalkeeper to give the Union a 1-0 advantage. Philadelphia hinted in the preseason that Le Toux would take most corner kicks, and although the idea was met with great hesitance from fans, the doubts have been raised to rest. The goal was McInerney's second of the 2013 campaign.
Although New England supplied some strong pressure in the game's waning moments, Philadelphia would be able to close it out.
While it wasn't the prettiest of team efforts, the Union were able to grind out a victory at home, a sign of good things to come.
Philadelphia is scheduled to take on Pumas in a friendly on March 23rd, then pick up the regular season in their first of many matchups against the New York Red Bull on March 30th.