Things haven’t been pretty for the Philadelphia Union this season. Heading into their home game against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, June 7th, Philadelphia was sporting a 3-7-5 record. However, the Union was looking to build upon a 3-0 road win against Chivas USA back on May 31st (their last MLS action) against the white-hot Whitecaps.
Union fans didn’t have much to cheer about in the first half. Vancouver, who entered the game with a six game unbeaten streak, scored first in the 18th minute on a goal by Erik Hurtado (on a header off of a cross from Nigel Reo Coker). In the 44th minute the Whitecaps scored again. This time it was Hurtado with the assist to Nicolas Mezquida to put Vancouver up 2-0. The Union headed into intermission trailing by the same score.
Nothing changed in the first 18 minutes of the second half, but in the 63rd minute, Conor Casey, who had scored his first two goals of the year in the victory over Chivas USA, put a header off the post and into the back of the net to cut Philadelphia’s deficit to 2-1 (assist Cristian Maidana). The floodgates had been opened.
In the 66th minute, Sebastian Le Toux entered the game as a sub and two minutes later, knotted the game at 2-2 on a sweet pass from Vincent Nogueira. Maidana also picked up his second assist on the goal. In the 71st minute, Casey again beat Vancouver GK David Ousted (this time with his foot) to put Philly up 3-2 (Maidana’s third assist of the game). The rowdy sold out crowd at PPL Park, led by the Sons of Ben in the River End, went bananas.
In the 81st minute, the Whitecaps drew their third penalty shot of the game when GK Zac MacMath took down Darren Mattocks in the box. MacMath had stopped the previous two penalty kicks but the third time was the charm for Vancouver as Pedro Morales scored to make it a 3-3 score.
The Union had several more scoring chances late in the game but Ousted was able to make some top-notch stops to keep the draw intact. The game ended 3-3 with both teams earning a point. While it would have been nice to see Philadelphia pick up their second straight win heading into the World Cup break, the game still left many positives for a team working hard to improve going into the second half of the season.
[Photo credit: Michael Green]
[Article by David J. Miller]
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