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Union show well in 2-2 draw with Galaxy

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Even though two points were dropped, you won't find many who are too unhappy with tonight's performance.

Trey Madara

The Philadelphia Union saw their home record improve to 3-0-2 after an impressive 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy. Vincent Nogueira and Keegan Rosenberry were the unlikely goalscorers for the Union, and Robbie Rogers and Mike Magee tallied for LA. Even though they failed to take all three points, the Union continued to show that they're for real by outplaying one of the league's best teams.

Vincent Nogueira's first goal of the season got the Union out to an early lead. After Jelle Van Damme failed to clear an exquisite low cross from Fabinho, Nogueira was able to recover the ball on the penalty spot. His initial effort was blocked, but some flat-footed defending from the Galaxy allowed Nogueira to pounce on the ball and roll it home on his second attempt.

Robbie Rogers and the Galaxy equalized 10 minutes later after a perfect counter-attack. An unsuccessful high press up the right wing from the Union allowed LA to quickly switch the ball and roast a helpless Fabinho. Rogers's top-corner finish was fantastic, but it wouldn't have been possible without an incisive entry pass from Robbie Keane and slick moves from Giovani Dos Santos.

LA found the top corner again early on in the second half. A questionable no-call from Sorin Stoica allowed Steven Gerrard to play in Mike Magee. With Rosenberry pulled centrally, Magee found himself in acres of space and managed to beat Andre Blake with another great finish.

The Union responded well after going down, pushing for an equalizer and eventually finding it off a 63rd-minute corner kick. Chris Pontius's header directly off the corner was gathered by LA's Dan Kennedy, but the ball spilled out as he went to ground. Keegan Rosenberry was there to blast the ball into the back of the net, and his first MLS goal sent the crowd into a frenzy.

The home side couldn't find the winning goal, but it wasn't for lack of trying. The Union kept their foot on the gas for the whole game, and they'll be disappointed to let the Galaxy take a point. Still, it was an impressive performance against one of the most talented teams in the MLS.

The Union will travel to Montreal to take on the Impact this Saturday.

Notes:

  • Tranquillo Barnetta continues to display his quality on set pieces. He came close to scoring directly off a free kick in the 55th minute, but his constantly threatening service from corners and long free kicks was a better indicator of his ability.
  • Keegan Rosenberry melted my face off with his performance tonight. In what was his ninth professional game, the 22-year-old played with a level of confidence more often found in a player ten years his senior. He's already so smart in the attacking half, as he's able to combine with whomever is lining up in front of him. His service has been fantastic since day one, and he's always willing to provide a wide option. Though he may have been partially at fault for the Galaxy's second goal, he did manage to shut down Robbie Keane and Giovani Dos Santos when called upon. It's safe to say that any doubts about drafting him so high have since dissipated.
  • Even though it was a school night, the crowd was as wild as it's ever been on Wednesday. The official paid attendance was 17,985, and the actual attendance probably was not far off from that figure. That Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, and Robbie Keane were on the field certainly contributed to the packed stadium, but the crowd was impressive regardless. The place exploded after Rosenberry's goal, and it was perhaps just as loud for something more routine: Dan Kennedy's yellow card for time-wasting. If the Union continue to play as well as they have, we might see this kind of crazy atmosphere on a week-to-week basis.