That's how long the Philadelphia Union went without losing at home before the Vancouver Whitecaps ended that streak on Saturday night. While the Union scored twice, another poor defensive performance from the Union spelled their downfall, as the team allowed three goals for the third-straight game.
Roland Alberg opened up the scoring in the 14th minute, finishing off another rebound from Fabian Herbers. After a beautiful combination from his attacking midfielders, the German hit a beauty that ricocheted off the corner of the woodwork. The ball found its way to Alberg, who cleaned up for his seventh goal in four matches. With five goals in MLS play, he is now one back of Chris Pontius, the team's leading scorer.
Andrew Jacobson evened up the score off a corner kick five minutes later. The Union legend capitalized on a mistake from Andre Blake, who couldn't cleanly gather Vancouver's initial service.
Kekuta Manneh added a second just before halftime. With Tranquillo Barnetta caught upfield, the winger tore down the field with little resistance. He easily got past Josh Yaro and Richie Marquez before sliding one off the post and in from the edge of the box.
With the Whitecaps ahead as the game entered its final ten minutes, Jim Curtin shifted to a 3-5-2 in the hopes of salvaging the undefeated streak. Christian Bolaños extended Vancouver's lead almost immediately, finishing off a counter against the Union's outnumbered back line.
Chris Pontius's late goal only served to make the final scoreline more respectable, as the final whistle blew immediately after the ensuing restart.
The Union have another mid-week game this Wednesday, when the New York Red Bulls come to town to contest the U.S. Open Cup round of 16.
- After allowing 16 goals through their first 14 games, the Union have given up nine in their last three. Ruh roh.
- We saw some of the best final-third possession in franchise history early on in the first half. Having Alberg, Ilsinho, Herbers, and Tranquillo Barnetta out there at the same time allows for some beautiful combinations in the final third.
- While Barnetta gives the Union another attacking option, his defensive instincts aren't quite where they need to be if he's going to take up No. 8 role. That's understandable, considering that he's been playing as a No. 10 all season. For the time being, though, the Union will have to ride out Barnetta's adjustment period.