The Seattle Sounders FC were in town on Saturday to take on the Union at PPL in a 4pm game and they brought the rain with them. The rain was so heavy at times before the game that it was hard to see but shortly before game time it slowed to a light drizzle.
The first place Union came into the game with 9 points on the early season, the result of a 1-0 loss to Los Angeles, and three 1-0 victories.
It seemed like many fans chose to sit this game out and not brave the weather. The Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers were also both playing playoff games around the same time which kept many locals glued to their television sets but the Sons of Ben were out in force in the River End to support the Union. The Phillies were also scheduled to play a game that evening which was rained out.
The Sounders controlled the ball for much of the first half but were unable to get any real shots on goal. In an almost ironic twist, the skies opened up and it began to downpour, but it wasn’t the team from Seattle (who is used to heavy rain) that reaped the benefits of the lousy weather. As he did in the home opener, Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz scored the first goal of the game in the 32nd minute (past diving Sounders GK Kasey Keller) and the Union found themselves in familiar territory going into the half, leading the game 1-0.
The weather remained bad in the second half as the two teams ground it out. After an amazing save by the Union’s Danny Califf (after a blocked shot from GK Faryd Mondragon set the Sounders’ Alvaro Fernandez up for what appeared to be an easy score), all signs pointed to yet another 1-0 Union win.
As poker players know, sometimes you have a much better hand than your opponent only to lose your advantage (and the game) on the river. The Union learned this the hard way on Saturday as Fernandez scored the tying goal (on the River End) in extra time to give Philadelphia their first tie of the season. The Union now stand at 3-1-1 with 10 points. They are still in sole possession of first place and have yet to play a game where either team scores more than a single goal.
All in all it was a total push for Philadelphia sports on the day. The Flyers won (to tie their series with Buffalo at 1-1), the Sixers lost (falling behind Miami 0-1), the Union tied, and the Phillies were postponed (they will play a double-header against Florida on June 15th).
The Union next take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, April 30th at PPL Park. Let’s hope the visiting team doesn’t bring any seismic tremors with them.
View our photo-slide show of today’s game below: