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Monday Morning Game Changers: Aftershocks

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What were the moments in the game that had a ripple effect on the rest of the match?

Philadelphia Union vs San Jose Earthquakes Photo Gallery
Tranquillo Barnetta takes the ball during the Philadelphia Union's match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

Pontius' goal was really a team effort. While Chris Pontius will be on the scoresheet, it was Josh Yaro, Warren Creavalle, and Ray Gaddis whose hard work started the entire thing. San Jose was driving down the Union's right flank, and Josh Yaro did well to challenge a pass to Simon Dawkins. The ball went pretty much straight up into the air, and while Dawkins was able to corral it and turn back toward the Union goal, it allowed Creavalle to track back toward the ball and pick Dawkins' pocket. Creavalle quickly gave it to Vincent Nogueira, who switched it to Ray Gaddis on the Union's left flank. Gaddis then played it up for Tranquillo Barnetta, and he put a ball forward to Pontius, who was able to battle Kofi Sarkodie for a corner kick. The rest is history.

Fatai Alashe is set to mark Chris Pontius on the resulting set piece, however in the scrum while the ball is in the air, Rosenberry runs into Alashe which allows Pontius a free run at the ball. Does Alashe have the right to feel aggrieved? Maybe, but these are the calls that the Union would not get in years past. You make your own luck, and Rosenberry made that luck happen for the Union.

Alashe should have been sent off. After the goal, Alashe picked up a yellow card for dissent. Not two minutes after the goal, Alashe went in hard from behind on Tranquillo Barnetta with his studs showing, and was whistled for a foul. Alashe wasn't shown a second card by Ricardo Salazar even after arguing with him after fouling Barnetta. Victor Bernardez and Anibal Godoy come in and tell Alashe to stop arguing.

Alashe was frustrated from the non-call on the goal, but he let that almost derail the entire game because a few minutes later, Godoy picks up his first card on the day.

Then in the second half, he picks up his second yellow.

Again, if Alashe is sent off, perhaps Godoy is more careful. Perhaps the Union find themselves up against a nine-man San Jose squad. Who knows. Either way, the game would certainly have changed.

Sapong could have put it away. This was as wide open a net as Sapong will see, but he just couldn't get on the end of it to put it away.

It would have been a fantastic goal for sure, but if he hit it San Jose is done.

Ilsinho on for Pontius. This sub is questionable at best. Pontius was having a great game, controlling the flow of play. Perhaps he was looking a bit tired (I personally didn't see it, but the technical staff was closer to him than I was), but even so you're going into a stretch where you have 10 days until your next match. He was replaced by Ilsinho, who is clearly out of shape. Ilsinho was sucking wind from the moment he was out on the pitch - including the wind out of the Union's offensive sails. In the 79th minute - just six minutes after coming on - Ray Gaddis plays a ball forward for him that couldn't have been more than two yards off of Ilsinho's feet. Ilsinho made a move toward the ball and inexplicably pulled up, watching it roll to San Jose's Marvell Wynne. While the Union may or may not have scored if he had taken possession and gone to goal, they definitely weren't going to score by giving the ball over. At minimum, get the ball and take it to the corner and try to eat as much of the clock as possible.

The Union let in a late goal. As much as the Union have improved this season, they conceded a late goal while up a man - something that we have seen from the team before. The Union had reduced the intensity of their attacks, allowing San Jose to march down the field time and again - luckily at that point having only conceded a couple of dangerous opportunities. But you can only invite the other team to take their chances before they convert one.

This started prior to when this video starts when Vincent Nogueira plays a ball forward for Sebastien Le Toux, who has his pocket picked by Shaun Francis. San Jose passed the ball about, and Matias Garcia sprung Francis down the left flank. Francis tried crossing the ball, but Richie Marquez was there and intercepted it - however he didn't get a good foot on the clearance and it allowed San Jose to reset. The ball made its way over to ex-Union player Shea Salinas, whose cross in was intercepted by Josh Yaro, whose clearance was not well hit. The ball went to Dawkins, who was able to make Warren Creavalle miss trying to tackle him. When Yaro stepped up, Dawkins made him over-commit and was left all alone in front of Andre Blake. The rest is disappointing history.

Putting this goal on one player is not the answer. There were four or five players whose individual breakdowns let this goal happen. Certainly this will be something that I would expect to be in heavy rotation in the Union's video room going into the LA Galaxy match next Wednesday.

Fernandes on for Barnetta. Another sub that came back to bite the Union. Barnetta was gassed in only his second start this season, but bringing on Fernandes wasn't the answer in this situation. The substitution was made just after the Simon Dawkins goal, and I'm still unclear what the logic was. If Curtin had wanted to shore up defensively to preserve the lead, he should have sent up Brian Carroll to add grit and defensive depth. Once the goal was scored however, neither Carroll nor Fernandes - a holding midfielder - was the answer with Roland Alberg and Fabian Herbers on the bench. Herbers wound up making an appearance a minute later for Sebastien Le Toux, but at that point it didn't matter much. With four minutes left, a draw was in the cards.

Was there anything I missed? Let me know in the comments section below!