The social media universe was full of disgruntled Philadelphia Union supporters Sunday night/Monday morning, and rightfully so. Not only did the MLS scheduling force fans to stay up well past midnight to watch their team, but the blue and gold heaped on the pain for their weary supporters by putting in a subpar effort to bring home any points at all. San Jose even attempted to help out the Union's chances when midfielder Baca was sent off for a dangerous challenge on Conor Casey, but the man advantage didn't seem to make any difference in the game. Chances were still falling to the Earthquakes and it wasn't until San Jose felt comfortable defending with 10 men behind the ball and inside their own 18 that the Union started controlling possession and whipping crosses in.
The goal that won the 3 points for San Jose was a ball played in from deep in midfield when none of the Union midfielders closed down the ball or showed any interest in pressing their opponents. With all the time in the world Shea Salinas was picked out who nudged Williams to the ground, ran onto the ball into the box and Zac MacMath was left helpless after losing his bearings on his goal line and leaving the goal wide open. Twice the Union struck the post and Busch was forced to make a few saves, but the majority of those chances came from long range efforts and were not the most threatening. When the Union were able to put crosses into the box they only found the head of the San Jose defenders and clearances were made.
One of the best chances for the Union came off the head of Williams, struck the post, and Brian Carroll was unable to react at the back post before if flew past him and out of the danger area. The final result continues a poor run of form that includes just 1 Union goal in the last 4 games and the last win against a team in a playoff spot is all the way back on June 23rd. In fact, the Union have only managed 1 win against a playoff team in their last 11 chances. In those 11 games the Union have 1 win, 6 losses, and 5 draws with a -10 goal differential. Not good considering those are the teams you will be forced to play in the playoffs.
The road ahead doesn't get any better as the Union face Sporting KC twice and Montreal once, who both share the top spot in the East with New York Red Bulls. Houston, who is also chasing a playoff spot, is on the roster and DC and Toronto are the other two non-playoff teams remaining for the Union. DC is the only team left on the schedule that the Union have beaten this season. The road ahead isn't any easier, so John Hackworth will be forced to figure out how to turn around their fortunes and start earning full 3 points against those that will be competing in the MLS Cup playoffs with them...if they are there for the playoffs. Which is not a certainty at this point