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Union v Seattle Postponed. Match Called in the Sixth Minute.

Photo: Mike Barrera of AAT Sports Network.

The Philadelphia Union played host to the Seattle Sounders on a wet and cold Saturday evening.  As you can imagine, the fans were few and far between at kick off, and even The River End had empty rows.  Unsurprisingly, the weather kept fans at home. 

The lineup was as expected with the Union facing off against Pachuca on Tuesday night.  We knew Carranza was nursing an injury, and he was kept out of the rotation.  In his place, Anderson started next to Uhre, and he would look to replicate Julian’s pace and motor up top. 

As you can see in my photos below, the field and conditions got worse by the second as the rain increased at kickoff.  Also, kudos to the Sons of Ben for having a Dragon Ball theme Tifo, just hours after the passing of Akira Toriyama was announced. Very cool!

I've attended more games than I can remember over these last 12 years being a Union fan, and I cannot recall a match where the field looked as bad as it did. This game lasted a whole six minutes before the head official decided to pause the game to speak with the teams. in those few minutes, both teams were halted by the puddles as they struggled to move on the field.

The ball looked like a five pound weight out there on the grass, and even a strong kick only moved it a few feet. From the press box, we could see the players leaving foot prints in the grass, similar to what you'd see on sand or mud. I posted a couple of videos right as they began to discuss the conditions.

Right around 8pm the game was called for a 30 minute delay. It was at this point when we began to discuss what could possibly be the outcome. There were three major factors that came into play. First, Seattle isn't exactly down the street. They are on the other side of the country and would need to schedule this accordingly. From looking ahead at their schedule, the Sounders will be in D.C. for the final weekend of April, and from what we've been hearing, it seems like Wednesday, April 24th would make the most sense.

Second, the Union's priority was their player's health with their next match on Tuesday. This is not something that could just be played the next day, as the Team needed to head down to Mexico in preparation for the second leg of the CCC's Round of 16.

Third, the forecast was calling for rain well into the early morning hours, and the field was clearly not improving any time soon. Although, an A for Effort to the staff members desperately trying to save the field. We saw a small group march onto the pitch with squeegees and the visual was amusing to say the least.

So now what? Well, the Union get a much needed "night off" in preparation for their match against Pachuca. Our opponents also played this evening, and a heavily rotated squad lost to Queretaro. As Jose mentions, though, their starters will also be coming in fresh on Tuesday. Finally, when reviewing the MLS Guidelines for Postponed matches, it looks like the same rotation will restart the game where it left off once the rescheduled game is played. You can read the full policy here.

I feel bad for the hundreds of fans who made the trip to Chester. I feel worse for the ones who will not be able to attend the rescheduled match, whenever that is played. The one positive that comes from rain delays is the concourse turning into a cheering section. Credit to the Sons of Ben and Keystone Ultras for keeping the party going during the delay. A video sent to me by our friend Poulomi Banerjee reminded me how much I love being at Subaru Park and supporting this club. Doop!

Mike Barrera (Mbarrera1323 on TikTok and Twitter)

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