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Game changers: Burned

Neither the Chicago Fire nor the Philadelphia Union had a great game. These are the moments that decided the outcome.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

1.) Due to the untimely passing of Josh Yaro’s mother, he was a scratch against the Chicago Fire. Ken Tribbett started in his place. We offer our sincerest condolences to Josh and his family.

2.) Bad timing - Representing your country at the highest level is an honor, and seeing players on your team given that honor is always exciting. That being said, international duty claimed two of the Philadelphia Union’s most irreplaceable players in Andre Blake and Alejandro Bedoya. No offense to John McCarthy and Tranquillo Barnetta, but there’s a reason Blake and Bedoya are rated higher at their respective positions.

3.) Bad luck - This is an unlucky of an own goal as you’ll see.

Roland Alberg does everything right - tracking back, getting into the play, making a clean tackle in the box, but his clearance attempt went off of his own foot. John McCarthy hesitated for a split second, but that’s all it took and the ball rolled into the corner of the net.

4.) Bad Milk - Sean Johnson had himself a game, making five saves and getting the clean sheet against the Union. The Milkman was a force in this match, making great saves like this one.

As good a shot as Pontius had (watch the ball movement), Johnson’s save was better. Later in the match, he also turned away this Tranquillo Barnetta blast.

I can’t even be mad at these saves.

5.) Bad hands - A bit of controversy in the 34th minute. Keegan Rosenberry’s long throw-in went over to John Goossens, who tried to clear the errant ball. His clearance didn’t go as planned:

John Goossens' clearance goes off of his arm.

Watch closely - Goossens kick takes a funny direction and hits his arm.

JOhn Goossens clearance hits off of his arm.

This should have resulted in a penalty for the Union, but nothing was called. A 1-1 game is much easier for the Union to manage, especially against a team that thrives on the counterattack like the Fire.

6.) Things fall apart - It was only a matter of time until the Fire scored again. Both teams were getting chances at goal, and all it was going to take was a defensive lapse.

On this break, a great through ball sprung the attack. The Union defense retreated, and Razvan Cocis played a great ball to his left into space between Keegan Rosenberry and Ken Tribbett. Richie Marquez has been playing Luis Solignac, who gained the inside track on Marquez. The pass forward turned Tribbett’s hips, and Solignac was one-on-one with McCarthy. McCarthy did well to come out to his right and cut down Solignac’s angle on his shot, getting his hand on Solignac’s shot and deflecting it. Because Marquez was so deep in the play, Fabinho should have kept closer to Michael de Leeuw, however de Leeuw was left unattended. McCarthy’s parried ball went to de Leeuw, and he shot it past Marquez into the net.

7.) Too little, too late - The Union were down 1-0 at 22 minutes in and 2-0 at 71 minutes in, however the subs were made at 69’ (Ilsinho on for Fabian Herbers), 81’ (Charlie Davies on for CJ Sapong), and 82’ (Leo Fernandes on for Warren Creavalle). The Union looked out of ideas offensively all night, but bringing on the subs so late left very little time for them to get anything going.

8.) lekfnldk - As time was winding down, Arturo Alvarez was sprung on a rush down field. Ken Tribbett was defending him, and Alvarez got him on this move.

Anyone who has seen Alvarez play knows he only shoots with his left. Tribbett bit hard on the fake to the right, and when Alvarez pulled it back left there was nothing left to be done. Alvarez shot it hard and into the back of the net.