The Philadelphia Union’s last win came on August 27th of last year. In that time, they’ve gone 13 games without a victory, taking only four points out of a possible 39. Their latest loss came tonight to the Portland Timbers, who scored three goals to the Union’s one. Richie Marquez scored the opener for the home side, but Darlington Nagbe, Roy Miller, and Fanendo Adi all tallied for Portland.
Marquez headed home the Union’s first set-piece goal of the season in the 26th minute, redirecting Haris Medunjanin’s out-swinging service to the far post.
The Timbers pegged back the Union minutes later. Darlington Nagbe, who terrorized the Union’s right flank for much of the first half, sent a low shot that rolled by Andre Blake. The midfielder fought off pressure from Derrick Jones to free himself up, and made sure to send his effort through the legs of Richie Marquez, throwing off Blake in the process.
Portland added a free-kick goal of their own in the second half. In the 65th, Roy Miller flicked Diego Valeri’s cross into the far post, stunning Blake just as Marquez stunned Gleeson 40 minutes earlier.
Fanendo Adi put the game to bed in the 88th minute, when he calmly converted from the penalty spot. Substitute Darren Mattocks had overtaken Fabinho to earn a one-on-one opportunity against Blake, who rushed out and took him down illegally.
Is Curtin nearing the end?
Talen Energy Stadium felt empty just moments before the final whistle blew. Of the announced 15,437 in attendance, most had left. Those still in the stands were quiet, and they had good reason to be, as Fanendo Adi’s penalty ensured that the Union would remain winless for another week.
Through five games, this team is the worst in MLS. Their attack is disjointed and listless, and the only defense worse than theirs plays in Minnesota. No matter how much the players are to blame, the technical staff will eventually pay the price for the team’s failures. As this record-long winless streak grows, Jim Curtin’s seat will continue to get hotter. The Union have two more games remaining on their current home stand, if they fail to take all three points from at least one of them, they may head back out on the road with a different head coach.
Sapong has seized his opportunity
CJ Sapong started the season on the bench following the acquisition of Jay Simpson, but he has since proven more capable in a one-striker system. After scoring three-straight goals in three substitute appearances, Sapong got his first start of the year tonight. Though the attack is still far from functioning, Sapong was a lone bright spot on Saturday night, holding up play well and creating chances in and around the box.
The Union are back in action on Friday, when New York City FC comes to town.