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Match report: Union 1-2 San Jose

Substitute Steven Lenhart’s stoppage time goal ended the Union’s unbeaten streak at three as the Western Conference-leading San Jose Earthquakes stole three points in a 2-1 win at PPL Park on Saturday night.

It was a busy 30 minutes for Lenhart, who also broke the scoreless deadlock in the 76th minute. Danny Mwanga had set up Gabriel Gomez for the Union’s equalizer in the 83rd minute, but it was not enough as Lenhart evaded the attention of Danny Califf and Sheanon Williams to nod home Marvin Chavez’s cross with only seconds left to play.

First Half

Suspensions to Gabriel Farfan and Keon Daniel, along with an injury to Brian Carroll, forced stand-in manager John Hackworth into three changes, with captain Danny Califf returning to the lineup, pushing Williams wide to the unfamiliar left side of defense. In midfield, Amobi Okugo stepped in for Carroll, and Hoffenheim loanee Kai Herdling made his first appearance for the Union as he looked to provide the offensive spark the Union so sorely have been lacking in 2012.

But in the first half, it was one-way traffic, with San Jose enjoying the majority of the possession and territory, while the Union were content to sit deep and absorb pressure. Zac MacMath had to be sharp in the sixth minute with the ball falling to Rafael Baca, whose shot MacMath did well to beat away. The Union were already looking stretched as Justin Morrow and Simon Dawkins poured forward, cranking up the pressure on rookie Ray Gaddis on the right while Rafael Baca and Steven Beitashour gave Williams all he could handle on the left.

In the middle of the park, Califf, Okugo and Carlos Valdes pressed hard to keep tabs on danger man Chris Wondolowski and Khari Stephenson. The Earthquakes were happy to knock the ball around the center of the park with Tressor Moreno dictating play, as Lionard Pajoy and the Union midfield allowed far too much time to Moreno and fellow-holder Sam Cronin.

With possession in short supply, the Union used their infrequent attacking forays to drive at San Jose with direct runs from Michael Farfan, Freddy Adu and Herdling. These yielded little reward for the home team as the attacking midfielders failed to link up with Lionard Pajoy, who was well looked after by Jason Hernandez and Ike Opara.

Still, in a half short on clear cut chances, it was the Union who managed the best opportunity, as Amobi Okugo won the ball and found Gabriel Gomez driving forward to begin the move in the 30th minute. Noticing Jon Busch well off his line, Michael Farfan took a touch and sent a lofted effort skimming off the cross-bar, nearly breaking the deadlock.

Second Half

San Jose came out in the second half still in the ascendancy, but higher pressure from the Union helped grow into the second half, with Okugo moving higher to help Gomez spread the field and win ball in midfield. The increased pressure and possession nearly paid dividends quickly as the Union advanced, finding Lionard Pajoy who won the corner in the 54th minute. Kai Herdling’s smart, near-post run released him for a free header which he guided agonizingly wide of the post as the Union looked to charge into the lead.

But with the Union looking to take over the match, San Jose manager Frank Yallop responded with an aggressive double-substitution, sacrificing Moreno and Cronin for the speedy Marvin Chavez and Lenhart, who had terrorized the Union during his spell playing for Columbus.

Even with the increased threat from the Earthquakes, the Union continued to find opportunities going forward, but Pajoy and Jack McInerney, who came on for Herdling, were wasteful with their chances. Having failed to put San Jose to the sword, the substitutes began to impose themselves as Chavez’s pace opened space on the wings, and Lenhart’s physicality immediately led to confrontations with both Califf and Valdes.

Despite this influence, there were still more chances for the Union as Okugo’s delicate flick released Pajoy in alone on Busch, but the big Colombian spurned the chance without forcing a save from the keeper. Next, Freddy Adu found space at the top of the box, powering a strong, goal-bound effort that Busch did well to parry. It was the Union’s first shot on target of the night.

Pajoy’s missed chance would be his last contribution as he was replaced by Danny Mwanga in the 75th minute. But no sooner had the Union no.10 stepped on the pitch than MacMath was pulling the ball out of his own net, as Lenhart knifed inside Williams and powered a header home, converting on a surging run from Marvin Chavez.

Despite their early dominance, the goal seemed to come against the run of play as the Union looked the more dangerous in the second half. Down a goal, they continued to press forward, and in the 83rd minute, the Union had their equalizer. With Williams lofting the ball into the danger area, Mwanga controlled but could not find a shooting angle. Instead, Mwanga laid off delicately to Gabriel Gomez, who powered a fierce drive into the bottom corner of Busch’s net, setting off massive celebrations as Gomez hurdled the signage to grab the Panamanian flag (a celebration which somehow went unpunished).

But it was a premature party at PPL Park, and the goal would not be enough. Lenhart’s physical dominance should have had the Earthquakes in front on 89 minutes when he squared a diving header for Opara to tap home. Fortunately for the Union faithful, the assistant referee bungled the call, flagging Opara offside, despite Lenhart’s header traveling backwards to the center back’s foot, letting the Union off the hook temporarily.

Ultimately, it would not matter as Chavez again found space in stoppage time, this time on his right wing and swung the deadly ball in for Lenhart, who buried his chance and the Union just inside the far post.

 

Philadelphia Union

Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Raymon Gaddis (Cristhian Hernandez ’82) ; Michael Farfan, Amobi Okugo, Gabriel Gomez, Kai Herdling (Jack McInerney ’63), Freddy Adu; Lionard Pajoy (Danny Mwanga ’75)

Unused substitutes: Chase Harrison, Josue Martinez, Zach Pfeffer, Chris Albright

San Jose Earthquakes

Jon Busch; Justin Morrow, Jason Hernandez, Ike Opara, Steven Beitashour; Sam Cronin (Steven Lenhart ’60), Rafael Baca, Tressor Moreno (Marvin Chavez ’60), Simon Dawkins; Khari Stephenson, Chris Wondolowski

Unused substitutes: David Bingham, Brad Ring, Jean-Marc Alexandre, Sam Garza, Sercan Guvenisik

Referee

Baldomero Toledo

Scoring Summary

76 – San Jose: Steven Lenhart (Marvin Chavez)

83 – Philadelphia: Gabriel Gomez (Danny Mwanga)

90+3 – San Jose: Steven Lenhart (Marvin Chavez)

Misconduct Summary

None

 

Quotes

San Jose Earthquakes

Frank Yallop

On 3 points

“I’m pleased with the three points. To give up a goal pretty late in the game to come back and score the winner, especially away from home, is very good. So we’re happy. Very pleased for Steven Lenhart.”

On subs

“Marvin and Lenny got pace and power. And I think that we did it about 56-57th minute in the game. At least enough time to get into the game and the rhythm. If you do it with 10 minutes to go, it never really works I don’t think. So we wanted to give them more time to get into the game. With Marvin’s pace and Lenny’s power in the box it changed the game for us. I thought overall especially first half I thought we moved the ball well and created nice chances without taking any of them which was frustrating. I think we just needed to change the game up a little bit.”

On being in first place and making aggressive substitutions

“I just felt that we had to go and win the game. If we had kept what we were doing I think we probably would have conceded a goal and probably not scored tonight. That’s my opinion. I thought we needed to shake it up. I thought the players that came off… played very well, but we needed a change and that little bit, again, pace and power in the end.”

On a road win

“Any win’s good. Whether you take one on the road or at home. Obviously when you’re in front of your home fans you want to win, but we don’t look at them any differently. It’s not against a Western opponent which is a big deal now. East and West is working out to be- you definitely want to not lose to your Western opponents. And whenever you can pick up 3 points on the road against whoever it is always good for any club.”

What the subs did

“Wasn’t moving the ball like I wanted us to. We needed to stretch them. As soon as Marvin came on, he stretched them. I think Lenny is such a force in the box. That was the difference to be honest. That was the difference in the game. You can’t fault Philadelphia. I thought they played well. He’s hard to handle in the box. He’s very good in the air. He’s tough.”

Goalkeeper Jon Busch: “I thought we played very well. To get the three points is huge. At the end of it when they tie it up, Philly’s a good team, you can’t take nothing away from them. They tie it up, you know they’re going to make a push obviously after we get our goal again. We gave up a goal, we’re disappointed with that, but at the end of it you also have to be realistic. We’re on the road, and our philosophy was ‘Hey, let’s at least get one’”

“The flow of the game allowed us to go forward, in other games when it’s 1-1 late in the game, you’re like ‘Okay, let’s just get out of there’. Worst comes to worst we get out 1-1, we get that road point, that’s big down the line, but getting those two extra points is even bigger”

“The character is huge, we’ve proven this so far this year time and time again. Doesn’t matter where we go. The guys just believe in what we’re doing this year, and it’s just awesome to watch.”

Forward Steven Lenhart: “The team has been proving ourselves this season. And I think just the togetherness and the unity of the team is very clear, just by the way we play.”

“Whether you start, or whether you come in, you’re still competing and trying to score.”

“We have a team full of winners, man. We stuck it out, shows the character of our team.”

“I think Marvin creates a smart wherever he is on the field, he just put a good ball across. I didn’t have to do much. I just threw my body in there.”

Forward Chris Wondolowski:

“On whether it feels weird not scoring for a change: “I’m alright with that. Lenhart has been doing great all this year. I’m glad to see him get a couple, he deserves it. He’s put so much work, so might fight, he’s such a good guy and a good player to play with.”

“We looked at each other when they scored, we knew we were going to give it to the last second. After they scored I’m not sure they got the ball over half-field. It was just us pushing trying to get the winner. It’s huge for us, and again it just shows our demeanor and our fight this year.”

“I thought we did a great job at keeping possession. We’re pretty good at staying patient and not getting too antsy. A lot of times you can, you can start getting ahead of yourselves, taking shots from 40 yards out, or start getting frustrated with yourself and losing possessions. It was a great show of patience, we knew it was going to take a while to break down their team, they have a great team, especially a great defense.”

Philadelphia Union

John Hackworth

On loss

“It was really tough loss to lose a game like that in injury time after fighting so hard to come back and equalizing. The team in the locker room is pretty gutted at the moment. It’s just a tough one. We really feel like we deserved at least a point out of that game, in every way possible. Tough for us. Very disappointing. But we have to learn from it, come back, and be stronger. San Jose, we have to give them full credit. They’re great team. There is a reason why they are the number one team in the West right now and maybe perhaps the league. But at the same time I think we showed that we’re a team that’s good as any in this league, especially in the second half. We made some adjustments and I thought we had the game. Before they scored the first goal I thought it was our game to get the three points out of. It changed after their first goal. We did a great job to get an equalizer but then you think you just have to manage those final ten minutes.”

On two goals conceded

“The first one begins with a turnover. If there is one area we weren’t very good tonight it was in turnovers that I don’t think were forced by San Jose. In the first half we definitely turned the ball over too much. In this case, on the first goal, we had the ball. We could have played out of the back fairly easy. Not much pressure on us, we turn the ball over. We have six guys going forward and we have to go back and defend it. Still thought we had time to recover really well on the turnover, and Lenhart,  – that guy’s a Union killer, isn’t he. Every time he comes here he scores goal. So I don’t mean to make light of that…. we think we defend those and in that case we didn’t. He showed why he’s so dangerous.”

On offense

“I thought in the second half we had the better of the play. Especially after the first five to seven minutes of the second half. The first half, they’re a very good team. They attacked in very different ways. We did not keep the ball like the wall we wanted. We forced some balls into spots where we didn’t want to take the game to. From that end we were a little more reserved [offensively]. We were dropped a little far off. We made adjustments in the locker room at half time, came out and put them under more pressure in the second half and I think that changed the game. But still in the first half, you’re playing one of the best teams in the league and we didn’t give them many chances. We defended a lot, didn’t possess the ball when should have. But we felt good about ourselves at halftime because we knew that if we could get more numbers forward and take our line a little farther in the second half that we would have some opportunities.”

On Herdling and McInerney

“Kai is pretty new to us and I thought he did a really good job for a debut… We started him on the left and then made an adjustment and then brought him over to the right. But I think he contributed really well tonight and allowed us to get to a point in the game where we could be successful. We brought on Jack McInerney and went to 2-4 in that stretch. I liked our chances at that point. I liked the things Jack did coming into the game. Going back to Kai, valuable start and minutes for him. He’s a good addition to our game.”

On Williams

“Sheanon’s an all-arounder. He’s playing all across the backline. I will say that I don’t think Sheanon will tell you that his favorite spot is right back. He’s obviously a little better from the right and has done great in the last games a center back. He’s just got a great mentality and he’ll do whatever you ask him to do.”

Zac MacMath

On whether he was frustrated seeing his shutout streak end:

“No, not really worried about that. I’m more worried about not getting the result tonight; that was the most frustrating thing.”

On the team’s defense:

“I thought we did a good job of not letting them get balls in from the wing, but those two crosses at the end still killed us.”

On having Danny Califf back:

“It was good, Danny played really well I thought. Him and Carlos did really well together and they’re just going to have to continue to build on their chemistry together.”

Danny Mwanga

On the Union’s offensive cohesion:

“I don’t think there’s necessarily a disconnection between the midfield and forwards, but I think we need to trust each other a little more when moving the ball between the middle and the forwards.”

Danny Califf

On not allowing Wondolowski to score:

“That was one positive tonight.  He seems to be scoring against everyone lately, so we’re happy about keeping him in check.  He’s very good at moving off the ball and that was one thing we were conscious of going into tonight. So we were happy about how we defended him.”

On defending often:

“When you defend for 90 minutes you get tired, and when you get tired, mistakes happen. So if we’re going to be successful over the long haul this season, we’re going to have to establish longer possession and make the other team run, because we’re running a lot right now.”

Amobi Okugo

On earning his first start:

“It felt good, unfortunately it came in a loss, and you have to put the team’s success ahead of your individual performance. But I thought I did well and want to build on it going forward.”

Carlos Valdes

On the game’s result:

“I think that the most important thing today was winning. We lacked attitude sometimes. But the situation we were, the pressure that we felt from the people, and the necessity to win encouraged us to get these results. We were able to meet our objectives and get those three points.”

On what supporters can expect from the team:

“I think that this is what we need right now. We needed a victory to start showing who we really are. We have had good matches but unfortunately, we haven’t had the best results. But we have a team that knows how to play soccer, a team with young players, a team with a lot of experience, and good dynamic. Every day, we are getting along better and people can expect this team to only get better.”

“Yes I think that we lost a match that we could’ve tied as everybody knows. I think that we should’ve done more in the match anyway. We fell short and when we play that way this things tend to happen. Sometimes soccer gives and sometimes it takes. The minute we had to be more concentrated we lost that possibility of getting a point.”

“It’s lack of confidence in ourselves. At the beginning of the season we didn’t have a good start and we committed a lot of errors with the ball and that cost us points that today keep us at the bottom of the table. And obviously we don’t want to make the same mistakes again that’s why we are lacking confidence with the ball. Everybody is trying to do whatever they can without risking. And sometimes in soccer you have to take this risks in order to get points.”

Gabriel Gomez:

“It’s definitely sad. The team didn’t do what we worked on this week. We faced a good team that has proven their position in the west. We know that we have to improve a lot of things. We have a great team, great players, we work well but we are lacking attitude and we have to respect our fans that always come to support the team.”

“More than anything is that the opposing team played really well and played really well on the ball defensively. They have players that can do a lot and we felt their pressure and there was a disadvantage. Our team was disorganized a little. We looked for the tie, we got the tie, but unfortunately on the last minute we gave up a goal that we knew we missed. We can’t give up these types of plays especially because we already had a point for us.”

“It’s a role that I’m being asked to do in the system we are playing, a 4-1-4-1. I try to pressure in the attack being a defensive presence for Lionard, who has been doing a great job and is giving a lot.  He runs all over the place, works really hard for the team and I hope that he can score a goal soon because he truly deserves it.”

“I come to work, I come to help, I came to do my job as a part of the team. I feel good because I honestly like the team aspect over the individual and I’m one of those that gives everything and I try to give my best. I try to do what’s best for the team and if now they’re asking me to be a little bit more forward, I’ll try to give my best to reflect the work for the Union and my teammates.”

55 Comments

  1. The team can not continue to get zero from the center forward position. Pajoy is not the answer. He never challenges the CB’s, takes himself out of plays all the time and has no physical presence. No one likes Lenhart, but when he came in he knew Danny and Carlos were tired and he went right at them. Like a center forward should do. Pajoy doesn’t so that. He is where attacks go to die.

  2. Pajoy was terrible and the Union was terrible attacking. They seem to have no clue how to put a well structered attack or counter-attack together. Have seen HS teams do a beeter job than they do. Very litte diagonal runs and almost no passes splitting defenders; absolute nightmare.
    And how about Califf: why didn’t he jump and clear the ball before Lenhart headed his second home?! He was right in front of him and should have jumped a bit!

    • Probably tired after 92 minutes. The legs don’t work so well after you’ve been running on them for an hour and a half. (Same with Adu not keeping up with the much fresher Chavez on the cross.) I think Califf got caught flat-footed and was a step behind. If you watch the replay — http://www.mlssoccer.com/matchcenter/2012-04-28-phi-v-sj/highlights?videoID=183796 — you’ll see that Califf jumped, but he just didn’t get any air beneath him and was leaping back toward the goal because Lenhart had a step on him. Win some, lose some.

    • Califf did everything he could that game. The goal was JacMac and Adu’s fault, you have a player like Chavez who assisted the first goal and was serving in most of San Jose’s crosses last night. JacMac does well has him pinned on the sideline and then Adu comes in, starts lacking and JacMac backs off for some reason to let Adu defend and we all know he doesnt do that well. At this point in the match Adu and JacMac should be mentally tough, not physically but mentally tough enough to realize if they work together and double up on Chavez, more than likely Chavez doesn’t get the cross off

      • Agreed. This one falls more on Adu for letting that cross go unimpeded. He basically gave up on it. Surely tired, but that is what happened.

      • I can’t believe we have resorted to blaming a winger and a sub striker for not being able to cover a legitimate wing threat on the side of the field that was manned by a 18 year old homegrown attacking midfielder playing LB.
        This coaching staffs dumb propensity to throw the kitchen sink at the other team to try to grab a goal late in the game finally bit us in the ass when the kitchen sink was literally asked to play LB.

      • DarthLos117 says:

        Fo real James! I love the excuses and finger pointing round here (I’m totally guilty too)…I swear jack Mack take a tumble every game without contact a la the equalizer…we tie Vancouver, beat da crew and chivas at home were they haven’t won and we convince ourselves we are better than we really are. James makes a great point bout coaching and the tactics. Once we equalized we shoulda parked the bus and rode out a tie…we were very lucky to score…

      • Hey man, I have to save SOMETHING for my weekly column. 😉 Check back later in the week on that one.

        That said, re: Hernandez, he wasn’t inserted to play left back. He was put in to take the team to a 3-5-2 to chase a goal after going down 1-0, and sure enough, the Union scored a minute later. Of course, then they’re stuck moving him to LB to hold for the draw. If Farfan isn’t suspended, that never happens, because they could’ve moved him up to midfield to chase the goal.

      • Section 116 says:

        I have lots of issues with the lineup and roster decisions, but I can’t fault the decision to not have a real LB in the game. First, there wasn’t a real LB available on the roster, at least not one who can play (and, yes, that’s on the front office — i.e. Nowak) and second, when the team was down 1-0, Hackworth switched to a three man backline with his third sub. And it worked and got them even.

        The biggest issue though arises from the lack of talented defensive depth on the roster. Any reasonable plan can not have relied on Califf for 90 minutes in less than full fitness. He played really well, but you could see he was worn out on the final goal and Lenhart beat him to the spot and got up better — hence the goal.

      • Just to clarify my comment, I knew we had a three man backline and that Hernandez was brought in to attack. Im just saying that it was shortsighted as we scored so early it seemed like we didn’t have a backup plan. I just thought it was another bad move by the staff to go all in and have it blow up in their face.

      • Crosses are going to come in every game. It happens. Yes, Adu should have done a better job defending, but in the end Califf’s “white men can’t jump” attempt was ultimately to blame.

        The marking on both goals was pathetic. Marking has been bad against San Jose, and it has been for the last two seasons. At this point, it is a chronic problem.

      • Gordon Thompson says:

        Note positioning of three Union within spitting distance of each other watching Adu and JackMac misplay Chavez. One of those three, dropping towards goal or finding someone to defend might have kept Lenhart from seeing the ball on winning goal. Need to communicate and have movement especially in stoppage time.

  3. LE TOUX. Fire Nowak.

  4. Thought Califf looked pretty awful tonight. We love him as a guy, but I’m not sure he is still there as a player. Union continue to get destroyed in the air and get no production from the center forward spot. Would like to see Mwanga or Martinez get a run at it.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Califf was out of form. He is no spring chicken but I think that when his conditioning gets more “game ready”, he will be a bit more imposing on strikers in the box. I, too, would like to see Mwanga get the nod for a couple of games.

  5. That was a good away game….. wait a home game? That was terrible. San Jose looked very good though.

  6. From the ridiculous defensive position for defending corners where we have NO ONE up high to relieve pressure and collect an outlet pass to the pathetic approach to a home game with one (not very good) forward, this team has no chance of achieving the objective of an MLS Cup unless we change. We did play some nice soccer at times but again and again it was Pajoy v three defenders. Even if he was the player we were led to believe, he still has no chance up from on his own. Drogba he is not. At half time we had zero shots on goal and only two shots total in the first half. This at home…..
    On a positive note I think McMath will be just fine, some nice saves last night.

  7. phillyhotspur says:

    Horrible, Horrible , Horrible…….

    Do we miss Letoux ? Surely……

    Enough of this 1 striker formation at Home……..we should be attacking and leveraging the home advantage

    Fire Nowak……..enough is enough

    • Seriously? How many times did we watch a one striker formation with Le Toux bumble through scoring droughts last season as well? Plenty of times.
      The problem isnt the striker, its the formation and tactics.

      • DarthLos117 says:

        James we totally miss old #9…you constantly remind us of his goal drought last year but seem to forget the assists he racked up when he was t scoring. That being said, can we all just move on from Le Toux?! Please?!?!?!!!!

      • I think above all is the simple ineptitude of our coaching staff to play the right tactics. Le Toux or no Le Toux, drought or no drought, the one constant has been this coaching staff.
        Nowak, and now his assistants, are simply proving they aren’t up to par in the increasing quality of the MLS.

      • At least when a ball was hit towards the corner you knew Le Toux had enough speed to get it. Not so with Pajoy. this makes the need for support up front even more critical

      • LeToux’s scoring drought had nothing to do with where he was on the field and everything to do with poor finishing.

      • The Black Hand says:

        How long must we keep talking about Sebastian LeToux? He is a very fast player with a decent skill set…that plays striker for the VANCOUVER WHITECAPS.

      • The Black Hand says:

        jus sayin’

      • Forever?

      • Probably until the FO gets someone that can score goals in here to replace him.

      • Pahotspur says:

        It is not about Le Toux other than the qualities he brought to the game, it is about the skill set of the high (only) forward. Something our present one, and supposed replacement, clearly does not have. If he did we wouldn’t be mentioning Le Toux. It is perfectly legitimate to point out that Pajoy lacks speed and that is different to Le Toux. That in turn that makes it more difficult for the team to succeed particularly when we have a manager that thinks one forward is enough in a home game. The obvious fact is the FO did not find a player of equal ability.

  8. Right now, we stink, period.

    We have 7 points from 7 games. We’ve scored the second fewest goals in the league. We have the fewest shots on goal (by a landslide). We’re third to last in the fair play table. We’re playing uninspired, dull, sloppy football. I’d almost call it Stoke-esque, but as much as I dislike Stoke and that cretin Tony Pulis, that would be totally inaccurate, because Stoke’s “industrial” brand of soccer is at the very least effective. We have skillful players at almost every position and they are not being put into a position to utilize their skills, or are being left on the bench entirely (see Mwanga, Danny). Our defense is fine, but that on its own won’t get you anywhere beyond mid-table at best.

    There is simply too much talent on this team for things to be going as poorly as they are. The solution? Well, benching Pajoy would be a start. But really there is only one person to blame…

    You guessed it, Frank Stallone.

    • Well said. The most painful part of this is that this team has plenty of attacking talent and it hurts to see a disciple of Bob Bradly bottle it up and destroy it.

  9. CityHeroesSpursZeros says:

    What do you guys think about Gomez’s first quote in this article?……………… ““It’s definitely sad. The team didn’t do what we worked on this week. We faced a good team that has proven their position in the west. We know that we have to improve a lot of things. We have a great team, great players, we work well but we are lacking attitude and we have to respect our fans that always come to support the team.”……………. The Team didn’t do what they worked on?

  10. DarthLos117 says:

    Lopez’s failure, Martinez’s inability to get minutes and if we sit Pajoy equals Gutierez’s failure. Just sayin…

    • and Valdes?? and Gomez?? Martinez was not brought in to be “today” solution, but to be a piece for 1-2 years from now. Absolutely agree that Pajoy can only be considered a fail so far….

      • Ok, so he’s 2 for 6 (remember JDG), which is a success rate difficult to maintain under the salary cap (at $150-200k per miss). When are the “new heros” getting here, Diego?

  11. Andy Muenz says:

    Pajoy has 2 shots on goal in 7 games this season. When you have a lone striker, he needs to be more productive than that.

    • Gordon Thompson says:

      Interesting to see what PSP rating for Pajoy for this game. Last three were 3,3,2…..how low can it go? 614 minutes and 2 SOG not too bad for defensive midfielder………wait…….P is the forward/striker……..

      • Gordon Thompson says:

        The answer…….Pajoy got a “1” this week. Is anyone on coaching staff reviewing film and comparing to other Forward options?

  12. The Black Hand says:

    Miserable game. The weather was biting and the regression of our club only added to the experience. With the exception of MacMath’s play (Heroic) and our goal (legit…Mwanga’s touch off was quality), we were absolutely outclassed on the pitch. Our back line was exposed, to put it kindly. No uniformity with our defenders…sloppy. The chemistry, that seemed to have been brewing in the midfield, must have served a one game suspension as well. It was clearly evident that Keon Daniel needs to be in our XI…no question. No one took there time and waited for a play to develop. Instead, our middle just nervously played the ball away or threw a ball over top, hoping to connect with someone…anyone. Adu looked tired (lazy), making me question whether he might have peaked ten years ago. He shows a couple of glimpses, of a gifted playmaker, and then buries it under poor touches and mediocre play. Farfan is a playmaker. He just needs to make more plays. The only thing I can say about Kai is, he is smaller than I had hoped for. Aside from the short corner and the theatrical diving, I really did not notice any impact from him. Lionard, Lionard, Lionard…he needs to sit. Luckily, he was on the bench to witness the clinic that Steven Lenhart put on, showing show him what a REAL striking threat can do for a team. Pajoy offered us nothing in his seven games and Mwanga needs the spot. The layoff pass to Gomez inclines me to give it to him. All told, we were beaten by a better team. The defeat just stung a bit more because we had come so close to stealing a point. Come on the U!

    • DarthLos117 says:

      Also note that Carroll was absent from the midfield…

      • The Black Hand says:

        Very true. Carroll missing was huge. I have done a lot of Carroll bashing, but he really might be the structure of that midfield. They looked disorganized, without Carroll providing a safe retreating outlet for the ball. Carroll missing was huge.

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        Have to disagree on that. Okugo moved the ball well and was very present but Adu-Herdling-Marfan were sooo amped up they just ran forward like crazy people. Carroll has been very strong of late, but I dont think his missing out was the reason for much of the midfield chaos.

      • I thought Herdling made some really nice touch passes. Threaded them through to the open man. Several times it looked like the pass was right on target but his mate wasn’t ready to receive it.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Okugo isn’t as good, as Carroll, in transition. Carroll is a great “shut down” CDM, but he can also turn play upfield and feed the higher midfielders. I’m not sure Okugo gave us that versatility. I felt like there was no real structure present in the middle. Guys were all over the place. Adu-Marfan-Herdling were a tremendous disappointment on Sat.

      • I agree with Eli, I highly doubt the reason we went to punt and pray was because Carroll was absent. I put that 100% on the coaches. Maybe they underestimate our team so much they thought we NEEDED to play like that without Carroll.
        Either way I thought the way we played was more a reflection of terrible coaching decisions than not having Carroll.

      • The Black Hand says:

        The manager muddled the midfield a bit, going for the equalizer, but I feel that the problem on Saturday had a lot to do with poor decision making on the pitch. That lies on the players, not the coach. It’s too easy to try to pawn all of the blame on the manager.

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  14. This game was decided by coaching. Union clogged the middle to take away SJ’s normal quick through ball offense, so (*GASP*) SJ made a change to bring in a speedy creative winger to use the wings (that they were given all … day … long) and serve in balls to a big target striker. It worked. Amazing what game day competance can do…..

    I love Califf, but this was like a replay of the Kris Boyd goal — target striker heading in the ball and Califf a step slow.

    I do feel a TON better about the GK situation.

    • The Black Hand says:

      Agree with you on MacMath. Without him the game would have been out of reach immediately. Our club took a step back.

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