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U.G.L.Y.

Photo: Daniel Gajdamowicz

Union

No time was wasted spinning Wednesday night’s dismal performance from the Union against last place Chicago with this tweet going out moments after the end of the game: “With the 1-1 draw, the Union extend their road unbeaten streak to four matches and avoid their first losing streak of the season.” That’s one way to look at it, of course, and there is no denying that one point is better than none.

Another way to look at last night’s result is to say the Union are now 1–1–3 over the last five games. One of those draws was the come-from-behind effort against DC, the kind of draw you can be proud of. The other two draws—last night’s witless effort and the dispiriting scoreless result in San Jose—along with the very disappointing loss at home to Colorado are mainly good for shining a very bright light on long-standing shortcomings in the Union’s player selection and tactics. Against bottom-dwelling Chicago the Union expended one of the games in hand against New York and first place Columbus and Philadelphia should have taken it to them like they did against New England in the middle of July. A point is better than none, especially for a team whose offense seems more jerky and hesitant than it has all season.

Nevertheless, the Union’s failure to get three points against a last place team is just that: a failure. And while John Hackworth repeatedly, and rightly, gave credit to Chicago for their performance in his postgame remarks, there are lamentably few players outside of the back five on last night’s Union roster who can credit their own performance. Going into Saturday’s match against Houston, did you see much of anything to suggest the answer for the team’s woes could be found within the squad?

Looking for positives, Paunovic did score a beauty. The Serbian was grateful, realistic and gracious in his tweet after the game thanking fans who had tweeted him about his goal. “Thank You everybody. This goal means a lot to me after the injury. But i would be happier if we had won this game. Mondy, man of the match!” Mondragon the Man of the Match? He’s right, you know. And to the rest of the Union forwards, take note of the Old Serb’s example: when you find yourself around goal with a lane to shoot, take the shot, for fuck’s sake.

Match reports from MLSsoccer.com, Chicago Fire, ESPN’s Chicago Fire blog, the Inquirer, Philadelphia Sports Daily, Chicago Sun-Times, the News Observer, Goal.com.

Multiple match reports have made much of the absence of Sheanon Williams, but the Pardo goal can’t be put on Michael Farfan. To my eyes. it looked like some migserable coverage from a midfield that seemed absent through long stretches of the game midfield. John Hackworth said, “It’s a credit to Chicago that they did a decent job and came out with a tremendous amount of energy, really battled for everything, made it difficult for us to find, in particular, our midfielders–Roger Torres, Brian Carroll, Stefani Miglioranzi.”

Danny Califf: “I think it was a hard-fought game. The tempo went back and forth. The momentum swung back and forth between both teams during certain periods of the game. I think we both had good chances to score but we didn’t. It’s never nice to kiss your sister but it’s better than losing I guess.” Thank you for that image, Danny.

According to MLSSoccer.com, it’s official: Carlos Ruiz now belongs to Veracruz thanks to a multi-year deal.

But, wait, not so fast! During last night’s pre-game show on CSN, JP Dellacamera quoted Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz as saying Ruiz’ rights still belong to the Union and that the club is involved a “complicated multiple-player deal with multiple teams outside of MLS.” Sakiewicz said the club would make an announcement when it had something to announce. The only player thus far linked to the Union is 21-year-old striker Joshue Martinez from the Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa. A Spanish language report last week (crappy translation here) said the club had rejected the Union’s offer as too low. Martinez has scored 15 goals in 42 appearances for Saprissa. Interestingly, Saprissa’s shirt sponsor is also Bimbo.

The Union needs volunteers to help setup and run pre-game activities in Toyota Plaza, to work in the “Handout Crew,” in the statistics booth and as photo marshals. More information here.

MLS

While the Union were crapping out in Chicago, Kansas City were defeating Real Salt Lake 2–0. The win moves Kansas City level on 30 points with third place New York with a game in hand. The Union are now two points above New York and Kansas City and two pints behind Columbus.

Portland tops LA 3–0 to end the Galaxy’s 14-game unbeaten streak.

Independence/WPS

WNY Flash move ahead of the Independence into first place with a 2–1 win over Boston Breakers.

SI looks at how the playoff race is shaping up.

While the focus should be on who will reach the playoff, the ongoing feud between WPS and magicJack owner Dan Borislow fell further into the depths of the weirdly absurd on Wednesday with Barislow issuing a lengthy statement once again criticizing the league. It is all rather convoluted but seems to have its origin in a player grievance against magicJack that was initiated on July 8. This led to action by the league to either suspend Borislow (who was also acting as magicJack’s coach at the time) or suspend/terminate the franchise (depending on whose version of the story you believe) and resulted in Borislow filing a suit in a Florida court. For an overview of this sordid tale, one which is not likely to end anytime soon, there’s this from ESPNW. The WPS Players Union issued a statement of its own yesterday, as well.

Local

Reading United’s Brian Ackley and David Rodriguez have signed with Harrisburg City Islanders for the remainder of the season. Three games remain in the regular season, which ends August 12 away to Orlando City.

Elsewhere

Chivas de Guadelajara defeated Barcelona 4—1 in a friendly in Miami.

9 Comments

  1. It is seriously to the point where it feels like our coaches are TRYING to turn a good team into a bad one.
    They literally only needed to make one change from the Colorado lineup – Torres for Naka.
    Instead, not only do they make several changes + a formation change, all the changes they made were questionable AT BEST.
    It’s frustrating when this team’s underperformance seems to mostly stem from coaching decisions

    • Andrew Desiderio says:

      Couldn’t agree more…Torres for Naka was the only changed needed other than Marfan for Sheanon (which doesn’t really work out to well). The Union’s table position is in spite of the coaches, not b/c of them. Questionable tactics and even worse player selection continue to leave points on the table. Since when was playing possession in the opponents 18 a better idea than shooting

  2. Deep in the heart of Mwanga Magic time, Danny shoot the ball!!! No earthly idea what he was thinking. Don’t be cheeky, send the ball home. Ugh, I went to bed so disgusted.

    Houston’s next: Magic 8 ball, will Seba score?

  3. Ed, look how few points the Union has obtained against last placed teams. As if they do not get motivated against these type of teams… Greetings from sunny Cancun where all celebrated the Mexican win against Barca :-)

  4. Lack of game plan, lack of formation, lack of confidence… Did I miss anything? Chicago is a team the Union should wipe the floor with, like they did to TFC. I would say this was a gutty point if it were say Columbus or Seattle. But Chicago? No. Migs is no longer a midfielder. He cannot cover the ground required to play the postion. They start Roger, and give him little help. Keon Daniel, on his WORSE DAY, would be a better pick than Mapp right now…

    But… having said all that, Sheanon is back on Saturday, which hopefully will give Marfan a chance to play right mid. That would solidify the formation. Ideally I would want to see Daniel Carroll Torres Marfan midfield in a 4-4-2. Dunno if that will happen…

  5. Ed, I’m sorry but Marfan has to share some blame for the Pardo goal. He blew past him like he was standing still and was free to make an easy cross. The comedy of errors that followed were more spectacular blunders but Marfan lit the fuse.

  6. Andrew Desiderio says:

    Best lineup of players in form and currently on the roster would have to be:
    Backs: garfan, valdes, califf, sheanon
    Mids: keon, carroll, torres, marfan
    Fwds: mwanga, Le Toux

    Disclaimer: really didn’t want to put Le Toux in there but I dont think Jack Mack is ready and sadly we have no other options. It would also be nice if Le TOux actually played forward instead of a hybrid between RW, RM, RB, and ST running around speed

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