The Union dropped their first home game on Sautrday with a disappointing 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. After dominating most of the match and certainly all of the second half, one San Jose counterattack stole the points in the 90th minute. Fred scored the lone goal for the Union after a flick from Danny Mwanga put him through on goal in the 14th minute. His shot squirted through the goalkeeper and Fred had his 2nd goal of the season. Shortly thereafter, surprise starter Andrew Jacobson rang a 20-yard shot off the post from a neat set corner kick play. San Jose pushed forward a little more as the half went on and Joey Gjertsen rang the cross bar on a shot from distance. San Jose equalized just before half time, when some shaky Union defending allowed Chris Wondolowski to square the abll fro Cornell Genn to stroke home.
The 2nd half was all Union and Danny Mwanga was unlucky not to give the home side the lead when he was put clean through just seconds into the half. He was clearly fouled but stayed on his feet only to fire his shot straight at San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch. Busch would prove to be Man of the Match coming up with a number of saves as the Union laid siege to the San Jose goal but failed to break through. A Sebastien Le Toux free kick bounced through the defense into the six yard box only for Danny Mwanga and Michael Orozco to interfere with each other and leave the chance begging. Shea Salinas, Roger Torres, and Jack McInerney were all introduced but could not make the impact needed to find a 2nd goal. A disappointing tie turned into a disastrous loss when the Union committed too many men forward on a late free kick only to see Arturo Alvarez streak away the other way on the ensuing counterattack. The San Jose man scamped 60 yards and backed down the retreating Jordan Harvey to fire a low shot to the right of Chris Seitz. It was completely against the run of the play and the Union will feel disappointed to let at least a point escape.
The 2nd game at PPL Park was promising for the home side though. They dominated possession and definitely had their chances, just missing that final touch on many attacks. They seem committed to attacking and playing positive soccer and the home ground still proved a difficult time for the visiting Earthquakes The crowd was announced at over 17,000 and was in full voice throughout the game. I’m positive that goalkeeper Jon Busch will not forget his 2nd half in front of the River End not only for making some great saves but for the serenade he received from Sons of Ben.
Chris Seitz – 5 – Spent much of the game standing around but probably had a shot at the game winner. Would have been a big save to at least secure a point and he didn’t get it.
Jordan Harvey – 3 – The normally reliable Harvey got turned every which way on the game winner while backing up straight into his own box. His crosses were often low or blocked. We’ve come to expect more from the left back.
Danny Califf – 6 – A quiet game for the captain as he wasn’t called on much. I can’t really remember him doing anything of note.
Cristian Arrieta -5 – The right back turned center back seemed out of sorts. No huge blunders but doesn’t seem confident as Califf’s partner just yet.
Michael Orozco Fiscal – 5 – The newest idea at right back. Did fizzle a decent shot wide in the first half but his service was lacking for the most of the game.
Fred – 7 – Scored on a breakaway, but was lucky his shot found a way through the outstanding Jon Busch. Missed another decent chance just wide. Moved well and kept possession in the midfield. The Brazilian has been playing his best soccer of the season the last few weeks.
Andrew Jacobson – 6 – A solid game from an unusual starter. Was unlucky not to score when his shot off a set play from a corner rang the post and stayed out.
Stefani Miglioranzi – 7 – Consistent in breaking up the San Jose midfield play. Not a flashy player, but knows his role.
Sebastien Le Toux – 8 – The hardest working player on the field. Was unlucky not to score late in the game after being put through by Fred. Not sure why our best header of the ball is taking free kicks and corners though.
Danny Mwanga – 4 – Such a low score is maybe harsh on the youngster, but he had two golden chances to give the Union the lead and failed on both. Was clearly tugged on his breakaway attempt (credit to him, he didn’t go down) but fired straight at Busch. Failed to call off Orozco on a bouncing ball in the 6 yard box and both players missed. Did get the assist on the Fred goal.
Alejandro Moreno – 2 – Looked slow, tired and took a few dives. (Was coming off an injury though, so maybe he isn’t fully back yet.) Not really sure what Moreno offers at this point. Has no goals in 13 games this season and failed to link up with the rest of the Union attack.
Roger Torres – 4- Failed to make his mark on the match coming in on 55 minutes for Moreno. His dead ball service wasn’t there this game.
Shea Salinas – 7 – The former San Jose man looked dangerous coming in on 65 minutes. Is the only true winger on the team and seemingly the only one interested in shooting from further than 15 yards. Had a decent shot saved late in the game.
Jack McInerny – 5 – Came on late for Fred and failed to leave his mark.
(Photo: Paul Rudderow. For more photos from the game, click here.)