From the lineups to the substitutions to the play on the pitch to the substitutions, it all went wrong for the Union in a 1-0 loss at Saputo Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The lone goal of the match, coming in the 14th minute, began with a shot from distance from Patrice Bernier. The shot appeared harmless enough, but Zac MacMath spilled it, allowing the ball to travel to the foot of Felipe Martins who scored one of the easier goals he'll ever have. MacMath's mistake put the Union down 1-0 and left many rightfully questioning why he is playing every minute instead of Jamaican international and number one overall pick in the 2014 MLS Draft Andre Blake.
Things went so poorly for the Union in the first half surprise starter Danny Cruz was almost universally the best player on the squad in the first half. Danny Cruz, the same guy who was a constant source of frustration in 2013 and relegated to a bench role at the start of 2014 to make room for the bigger names and more expensive signings of the past off-season, was the one receiving the accolades in a cruel twist of fate no Union fan had imagined two months ago.
And things would not get better in the second half. The Union did very little to challenge Troy Perkins's goal, with every opportunity on target being easy stops, missing the net all together, or called back due to offside. It would be nice to give a rundown of every opportunity the Union had, but opportunities were so poor and so few and far between that it would not be giving justice to real scoring opportunities that may come in later games. It was that bad, folks.
John Hackworth opted to drop Cristian Maidana and Sebastien Le Toux from the starting XI for Fabinho and Cruz. Hackworth did look pretty smart dropping an out-of-form Le Toux for Cruz who was one of the few Union standouts today, but the second half he made a series of confusing substitutions, bringing on Antoine Hoppenot for Fabinho and worse dropping Cruz for Maidana. Then chasing the game in the 81st minute he dropped Sheanon Williams for Conor Casey, opting to go with three in the back and a complete mess everywhere else.
The result was depressing and deserved, and now the Union will seek to rebound next weekend when they travel to Seattle next weekend to play the Sounders. Welp.