The Union played the Impact to a 0-0 draw last night at PPL. Maybe it's because we were coming off an awful loss to New England or maybe it's because Montreal was coming off a huge victory over Houston, but last night seemed okay. Our bar was low and escaping with a point let us go home with our heads up. No, it wasn't as good as it could have been. It was also far from the most eventful 90 minutes we've ever played, but there were some bright spots.
Going into Saturday, Keon Daniel and Raymon Gaddis were both questionable due to injury but appeared with the Starting XI for 7:30 kickoff. Gaddis took over at right back for Sheanon Williams, who moved to center back to take over for Amobi Okugo. Amobi missed his first of two games due to yellow card accumulation and a red card in the New England match. Jeff Parke joined Sheanon in the center and Fabinho held down the left side. Midfield was a predictable Carroll-Cruz-Keon-Le Toux combo while Jack McInerney and Conor Casey played the top. This match was played mostly in the midfield, with Montreal dominating 57.3% of the possession to the Union's 42.7%. Despite the lower possession, the Union managed 12 shots (4 on target, 6 off target, 2 blocked) while Montreal only got near the goal 4 times (1 on target, 2 off target, 1 blocked). Perkins made some excellent saves for the Impact and flawlessly covered each time the Union managed to get past his backline. The Union did a brilliant job of making Montreal striker Marco Di Vaio irrelevant in a way that didn't seem possible after the first meeting this season. The most serious threat from Di Vaio came in the 61' when the Italian found the back of the net but was called offside. Justin Mapp made a few good runs with his left foot to no avail. The Union's subs last night were Antoine Hoppenot for Danny Cruz in the 74', McInerney for Kleberson in the 80' and Casey for Aaron Wheeler in the 86'.
So how did the game really go? Eh. It was okay. The Union played not to lose and even gave me enough slow points during the match to look at twitter, have a conversation with seatmates and read a text here and there. The only word to describe it is predictable. It felt like the subs were picked well before kickoff and didn't do anything to turn the game in our favor. They just kept us from a disastrous loss. Keon continues to earn a starting position while lacking any creativity to drive the midfield to scoring opportunities. Jack sent a heart-stopping header wide last night and failed to shake off his 10-game-no-scoring summer funk.
Of our final seven games, six are against eastern conference teams. If the Union hold any hope of staying in a very close playoff race, accepting a draw isn't good enough. We can continue to play like that, take one point from each match and enjoy November and December on our couches. I'm not ready to give up just yet, and hopefully the boys in blue aren't either.