Photo Cred: Philadelphia Union
Uhre, Gazdag, Carranza
Wagner, Lowe, Elliott, Glesnes Harriel
Cowell, Monteiro, Gruezo, Yueill, Espinoza
Trauco, Beason, Rodrigues, Akapo
First Half Summary
It was a nearly identical starting rotation that we saw against Montreal. The difference was on the back line, as Damion Lowe returned into the center back group with Elliott and Jakob. Nathan Harriel also earned a consecutive start. If you watched Monday night's Across the Pitch, you know we spoke very highly about Nathan's strong outing against Montreal. It seems Jim rewarded Nathan for a good performance. Lastly, our homegrowns were back on the bench. Jack McGlynn, Brandan Craig, and Quinn Sullivan have returned from the U-20 World Cup. That depth will be important as Alejandro Bedoya is still nursing the quad injury. After the match, there seemed to be some uncertainty into Olivier's status for this evening, but Jim said he was going to look into it after the presser.
San Jose did not take long to get on the scoreboard. Just before the 10th minute, Ebobisse fed Cowell into the Union box. Cowell then sent it back to Ebobisse, who was inexplicably alone at the top of the Philly box. His left-footed strike beat the outstretched Blake, 1-0. Harriel and Glesnes did fine to prevent Cowell from getting a shot on net, but nobody accounted for Ebobisse crashing toward the box. The closest player was Elliott about 5 yards away. A very sloppy goal from Philly in the early moments of the match.
Thankfully, Philly did not take long to respond. San Jose missed the chance to clear the ball and they gave up the first corner of the game. Kai's cross found the leaping head of Damion Lowe, and the Jamaican sent a strong header into the back of the net. A quick response from Philly was ideal to help swing the momentum away from the home squad.
Unfortunately, Lowe was again involved in the action, but for the wrong reason. He was running and visibly reached for the back of his right hamstring. We know Damion is just coming off a knee issue before Montreal, where Jim said he had a large amount of fluid in his knee. After some evaluation, Jim elected to use his first sub. Jack McGlynn, who comes off a strong US performance. Curtin then switched to 4 in the back with McGlynn sitting on the left of the pitch. After the match, Jim mentioned that Lowe felt a pop in his hamstring area, which of course is not the most promising bit of news.
Despite the shift of the formation, the Union did well to settle into the match and keep the pressure on San Jose. Their next great opportunity came just before the end of the first half. Bueno, who was playing on the right of the diamond, found Julian alone in the box. Similar to the Montreal match, Julian skies it over the cross bar. I am a Carranza fan, and he's been great this season. With that said, he's had a handful of misses that have been frustratingly bad. He's scoring frequently, so it's hard to get upset by the miss, but that's now two consecutive matches where Julian has missed easy scoring opportunities.
Second Half Summary
San Jose's chances were more dangerous early on. Cowell took two chances at goal, and Flach's turnover allowed Ebobisse to take a shot at net. All three strikes went wide of net, but it was too close for comfort from the Philly defense.
Not long after those chances, San Jose took advantage of a Philly mistake. Carranza turned the ball over and a quick counter by the Philly box put the Quakes up 2-1. Trauco had enough space from outside the box, and his scorcher left Blake helpless. Credit to San Jose though. They put the pressure on Philly and made the most of their opportunity.
The Union were left with about 30 minutes to tie the match and leave California with at least a point. Curtin also made a handful of changes this evening with the substitutions. Torres for Uhre, Quinn for Bueno, and Chris for Flach in the later portions of the half. Focusing on Bueno, he had a solid performance and really should have had one assist on the evening on the Julian miss. Overall, he's proving to be capable in the back (in front of 3 center backs), or on the right side of the diamond.
There were two key misses by the Union in the second half. Carranza again missed a chance from in front of the net, when a low cross from Nathan forced Julian to go low for a header. The Argentine striker did not get enough on the chance, and Daniel (who was very solid all night for the home team) made the routine save. Jakob also had a bad miss later into the half. A well placed cross from Kai off a set piece went right in front of the net. When you watch the replay, you can see that Glesnes was the only person with a true chance at goal. Somehow, though, the Norwegian back whiffed on the attempt that would have certainly gone into the net.
In the press conference, Jim Curtin highlighted the missed opportunities. Yes, Philly had 19 shots on goal, but they were not able to connect when it mattered most. Curtin went on to say that playing on the road, in the West, forces teams to play at a high level to earn points. It was clear that the Union had a solid evening, but overall were not clinical enough in the key portions of the match.
Final Score: San Jose 2, Union 1. We now have 11 days to dwell on this result and prepare for a mid-week match at Orlando City.
- Mike Barrera (Mbarrera1323).