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Game 4: Philadelphia Union 1 - New York Red Bulls 2

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Going into this game I was looking for a few key signs of strength from our Union:

  • Solid game in net from Chris Seitz
  • Solid defensive play
  • No red cards
  • No stupid fouls
  • No gifts to the other side
  • Creativity
  • Quality possession
I feel like the squad delivered on all the above points except penalty shot gift given to Juan Pablo Angel in the second half that ended up deciding the game.

We had great chances.  We moved the ball swiftly and strung together many quality 10-15 yard passes to move up and down the field.  Fred really took over the center midfield and was able to find every passing lane he could.  This team is really started to gel and the progress is remarkable if you think back to the Seattle game.

Chris Seitz played had a few good stops and one great one on Angel.  I feel like he really bounced back this game.  The first goal was a great cross and finish on New York's part.  The Union defense was out of position and honestly too short to defend that kind of ball and that kind of forward.  Seitz made a good effort on the penalty but surprise! it went in.

Juan Pablo Angel wasn't really much of a factor in this game.  He had one real chance in the open field and Seitz denied him.  I don't know whether to attribute this to good defensive marking or the inconsistent Red Bull attack.  Salou did the heavy lifting up front.

Why do we take Torres out around the 50 minute mark of every game?  Whats the logic there?  Does he lack fitness or is some slight injury bothering him?  Either way: give me more Torres.  He's fantastic.

McInerney has showed me more than Mwanga.  Just sayin.

That handball call that led to the penalty shot was weak.  The replay clearly shows Orozco mistiming his jump going for the head and slightly closing his eyes.  The ball hits his forearm. Penalty shot for the win.  Its an unfortunate event in soccer that this kind of thing can decide games.  According to the rules Orozco made "deliberate contact" because his arms were outstretched and not in a normal playing position.  Oh well.

We didn't get the points we came for but I'll take these signs of strength in game 4 of an expansion team's life.  Philadelphia takes on New York in just a few days (April 27th) in an Open Cup game rematch.  My goal for next game: for the love of god do not give up any more penalty shots.

Also: Red Bull Arena looked half empty.  It nearly was.  Official attendance: 15,619 (it holds 25,000+).  Weak.