For the past two weeks Philadelphia has played against teams from the Western Conference. Both teams traveled to Chester and parked the bus on the Union. As a result, the offense has been finding it hard to get behind a team and score when an opponent is playing defensively.
On Saturday night the guys on the top of the formation were Kacper Przybylko and Fafa Picault, a change from Sergio Santos last week. Brenden Aaronson had the start at the number 10 roll to be a playmaker and assist the forwards at the top of the formation. The offense has found it hard to get teams on the breakaway. The transition appears to be slow now. This high pressure formation is designed for quick transition after a turnover of the ball. The transition appears to be sloppy and slow in the past few weeks. Have teams found out how to beat the Union? This is about the time that we need Marco Fabian to be ready and show us why he is here.
Inside of the final third for the offense, the Union have been able to keep possession by passing the ball outside of the opponents players and try for runs into the box and send crosses. Philadelphia took 18 shots on net and had a few great chances, but most shots weren’t on net. The Union also had 27 crosses into the box on Saturday night, and many were blocked or couldn’t find a connection at the other end of the pass.
We also saw a somewhat sloppy defense from the Union on Saturday night. Auston Trusty and Jack Elliott found it hard to defend against a quick transitioning Timbers. Ray Gaddis also was off his mark a few times Saturday night, leaving an open player at the end of a cross that allowed the Portland Timbers to go one ahead in the first half of the game.
A bright side of the match was Michee Ngalina, a new offensive player that Philadelphia has just signed to a first team deal from the Bethlehem Steel. We didn’t get to see to much of Ngalina, but he was able to receive his first MLS appearance, and hopefully we get to see more of him in the future.
It was a sloppy played game by the Union on Saturday night against a tough Portland Timbers, but the Timbers, even though they are a solid team, have been traveling for 12 games and are tired. The Union were sloppy but still didn’t give up on Saturday night.
Rate the individual performance of the Philadelphia Union and head coach Jim Curtin below.