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A 4th of July Dud: Philadelphia Union 1-2 FC Dallas

The Philadelphia Union laid an egg on our country's birthday. Maybe we can blame the traveling issues they had, maybe we can just admit the fact that the Union are just not that good.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With temperatures of around 85 degrees at kickoff with humidity closing in on the 70% mark, not to mention the constant soundless tune of Vuvuzelas being blown, the atmosphere of Toyota Park down in Frisco, Texas pretty much was closing in on what one might expect of Hell, complete with the soundtrack.  On the 238th anniversary of America's birth, the Union were attempting to continue their recent run of good results under interim manager Jim Curtin against a Dallas side that was 1-6-4 from their last 11 games walking into the match.  A win by the Union would have put them (temporarily at least) into the playoff picture with 21 points and bumped down the New York Red Bulls (who tied Houston).

The match however didn't go as planned.  Right from the get go the Union seemed lethargic and uninterested in the match.  Many factors could be attributed to it, from the weather, to the schedule (the Union have a US Open Cup match against the New England Revolution on July 8th which many at this point would argue is far more important than what remains of the season), to the fact that the Union were also missing play making midfielder Vincent Nogueira who could have provided some much needed "spark" for some stretches of the game.

However, right up until Dallas' Tesho Akindele got his second goal of his career against the Union due to what could charitably be called a "defensive breakdown" at best and a "total disaster of a play" at worst in the 26th minute when the Union defense seemed to forget that Akindele was strolling towards the net and no one marked him.

The Union did pick up the play and were rewarded by a goal from Amobi Okugo in the 44th Minute after a slick pass across the goal from
Cristian Maidana who added another assist to his tally giving him 7 on the season so far.  Despite the 1-1 score at the half, the Union were clearly getting dominated by Dallas' superior possession of the ball (at the half it was in the area of 61% to 39%). 

But in what was a microcosm of the season up to this point, in the 48th minute an attempted clearance by Fabinho went off of Sheanon Williams and into the Union goal which gave Dallas the lead that they did not relinquish. 

The Union clearly became more and more frustrated as the game went on committing a total of 15 fouls in the game (to Dallas' 5) and Maurice Edu was given a straight red card in the 89th minute for a dangerous tackle on Blas Perez.  Even normally mild mannered Sebastien Le Toux was given a yellow card in the 68th minute for dissent.

While the loss does sting, it wasn't totally unexpected.  The Union need to get back to Philadelphia, be rested and prepared for US Open Cup match against New England which could more than likely be their best shot at any hardware this season.