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When Winning Goes Wrong: Union 1-0 OCSC

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in franchise history, the Philadelphia Union closed a season with a victory. Sebastien Le Toux's 41st-minute penalty conversion was all the Union needed to surmount Orlando City SC.

Prior to Sunday's win, the Union had never prevailed in the final game of an MLS Regular Season. There was never any doubt that Mr. Franchise himself would be the one to eventually rectify that. After Cristian Higuita dragged down the Frenchman in the center of the box, Le Toux calmly sent his spot-kick into the upper-right corner.

Higuita didn't receive a yellow card for the infraction, but 45 minutes later, he was handed his marching orders for earning his second yellow. It was that type of game for Orlando, as Chris Penso issued seven yellows to the men in purple. In total, Penso handed out 10 yellow cards and 34 fouls.

Both teams seemed pretty comfortable with allowing the game to devolve into a shoving match, and the soccer clearly suffered. The penalty was the only clear-cut chance for either side, as both sides only sparingly tested the opposing goalkeeper.

More interesting storylines lay off the field, quite literally in some cases.

  • Though his loan is set to expire this offseason, Fernando Aristeguieta was left on the bench to start the game, which may say all that needs to be said about his future with the team.
  • The Union's win ensures that the 2015 edition of the team is not the worst in club history. That honor still belongs to the storied 2012 squad.
  • Entering the game, the Union were in line to receive the second slot in both the SuperDraft and in the Allocation Order. Now, it looks like they've lost that spot. A simple loss would have assured their position. The win necessitated either a win or a draw from the Colorado Rapids, who just lost to the Portland Timbers.

It's not all bad news though. The 2015 Major League Soccer Regular Season is now over, which means it can never happen again.