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Seeing Stars: LA Galaxy 5-1 Philadelphia Union

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Yikes.

Fresh off advancement to the Round of 16 U.S. Open Cup, the Philadelphia Union hoped to enter StubHub Center confident and reinvigorated. Instead, the Union found themselves helpless against an LA Galaxy onslaught that saw them concede five goals in 32 minutes across two halves in a 5-1 defeat.

Because it's extraordinarily late on the East Coast and the Union's performance serves as a rather effective dreamwine, tonight's recap is in quick hit bullet point form.

  • Philadelphia Union were given four corner kicks in the first fifteen minutes of the match alone. Of those corners, only one produced a clear chance with Maurice Edu unmarked and able to latch his head onto the ball, but the ball missed wide and Edu was left to rue the sitter.
  • The Union's strong start faded away quickly. After it seemed as if the Union were primed to score the team's first goal, the Galaxy soon took control and did not relent.
  • Stefan Ishizaki's longball over the top found Gyasi Zardes whose shot rang off the post. Though Zardes should have finished it, the ball rebounded to Baggio Husidic who slotted the ball past Brian Sylvestre and into the net to put the Galaxy up 1-0.
  • The Galaxy were quick to double their lead in the first half thanks to some good play on their part and some awful defending on the part of the Union. Zardes received a ball in behind Ray Gaddis, and his cross found a completely unmarked Juninho alone in the box. Juninho made no mistake in beating a helpless Sylvestre.
  • The beginning of the second half  began much the same way as the first half ended, with the LA Galaxy scoring. Zardes let loose a long pass to Robbie Keane along the left wing. Keane got his cross past Marquez, and found an unmarked Zardes running past the Union midfield. Zardes uncorked a wondrous volley past Sylvestre and into the net to put the Galaxy up 3-0 in the 56th minute.
  • The Union's temporary reprieve came immediately off the resumption of play from the Zardes goal, and it came thanks to C.J. Sapong. Andrew Wengere's pass found the foot of Sapong in the box, and with Zach Pfeffer's diagonal run providing enough of a diversion for the Galaxy defense, Sapong turned and uncorked a beautiful shot beating Jaime Penedo for the Union's lone goal of the game.
  • The Union's consolation celebration would be rather short-lived. One minute after the Union scored, Stefan Ishizaki sent a volley from the top of the box barreling into the net to put the Galaxy back up three. Then for good measure, the Galaxy added a fifth goal in the 65th minute. Sebastien Lletget found himself open and alone, and easily rocketed Zardes's pass into the net for the game's final goal.
  • Aside from arguably Cristian Maidana and C.J. Sapong, no one on the Union can say they had a game, particularly along the Union defense. Whether or not it was a lack of effort or the Galaxy simply outplayed them at every turn, none of Marquez, Edu, Sheanon Williams, or Ray Gaddis were impressive at all, and many times they were out of position and/or ball-watching on Galaxy goals.
The Union will quickly board a flight back to the East Coast as they have a match this Wednesday evening against at PPL Park against a Clint Dempsey-less Seattle Sounders. And if tonight's game was any indication, Seattle's need of Dempsey may not exactly be urgent in this one.