Friday night lights and a Premier League team at PPL Park on a beautiful evening. What could have better? Frankly, most anything. The match itself was an uninspired run-out. There were some positives - it was good seeing Andre Blake in goal, we got a good look at newest signing Brian Brown, and umm... well that's about it.
This match was everything that those that hate friendlies complain about. The atmosphere in the stadium was as flat as the play on the pitch. I don't blame the fans, who were announced at over 15,000 but numbered about half of that. And I don't blame the players, who were all probably wary of winding up being the Brek Shea to someone's Matt Kassel. I don't really blame anyone.
The only goal of the game came on a miscommunication between Blake and Ethan White. White tried heading the ball out of danger to Blake, but it wound up going too high for the gangly keeper to get and into the net for an own goal. Crystal Palace had some decent chances, however Blake was up to the challenge for all of the shots he faced. The Union had some decent chances, perhaps none better than the one late when Sebastien Le Toux (who gave his customary 100% effort) played a great cross into the box that Antoine Hoppenot could have put a touch on but didn't when he failed to break stride and go to ground for the ball. Perhaps some more playing time with Harrisburg will help.
All in all, the match was a success. Tickets were sold, people seemed somewhat entertained, and no one got hurt.