Saturday, July 31, 2010

Union settle for draw vs. Revs

By John McMullen

Chester, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - Questions about his natural instincts and a perceived lack of communications skills have hounded Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz all season.

The netminder's inability to make the routine play has cost the expansion Union more than a few points in their inaugural season and Saturday's contest against the New England Revolution proved no different.

The latest is a rather long line of Seitz mishaps cost the Union (4-8-3, 15 points) a chance at three points as the team settled for a 1-1 draw with the Revs (4-9-3) in front of 18.137 at PPL Park.

The Union, who were playing their first MLS game in two weeks, came out flat but managed to take the lead in the 25th minute when All-Star Sebastien Le Toux played a little give-and-go with rookie Danny Mwanga before ripping the ball home from the edge of the box for his 8th goal of the season.

Le Toux fed Mwanga in the middle before closing back to retrieve the ball and blasting a shot that showed impressive bend and found the top right corner of the net.

Philadelphia failed to extend the lead from there. With Seitz's margin for error razor thin, the Revs finally struck in the 71st minute when Marko Perovic's free kick from distance took a bit of a funky bounce over the
flailing Seitz to even things at one.

The Union had a pair of opportunities to pick Seitz up in the 89th minute but couldn't convert. First, Le Toux's shot from point blank range in the box was blocked and, seconds later, Justin Mapp, playing his fist game with the Union since being acquired from Chicago, collected a ball to the left of the goal within the area but his blast missed the far post.

A final chance in the 92nd minute also came up empty when Le Toux was pulled down in the box going for a header but referee Jasen Anno kept the whistle in his pocket as the Union settled for one point.

Philadelphia returns to action Thursday night against Columbus at PPL Park.

State of the UNION:

*During their break from MLS action the Union lost a 1-0 international friendly to mighty Manchester United at Lincoln Financial Field, and also fought USL-2 affiliate Harrisburg City to a 1-1 draw.

*The Union waived third-string goalkeeper Brian Perk and inked former Temple star J.T. Noone, a midfielder.  The 21-year-old Perk was drafted in January during the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, as the Union's sixth pick, and 49th overall. During his time with the Union, Perk earned two appearances with the
expansion club as the team hosted two international friendlies, first against Scottish Premier League Celtic FC on July 14th, and then followed by the English Premier League's Manchester United on July 21st.

For the past six months, Noone has been training with the Union as well as playing for the club's USL-2 affiliate Harrisburg City Islanders. Raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Noone has been playing for the City Islanders over the last few months thanks to a partnership formed last February between the Islanders and the Union. This relationship allows the Union to loan players to Harrisburg on a game-by-game basis for increased playing time.

Noone has also been training for Philadelphia Union since preseason and saw playing time in the second half of the club's first ever international friendly against Celtic FC on July 14th. In the Union's 1-1 draw with
Harrisburg City on Tuesday, Noone started for the Islanders before switching to Philadelphia in the second half.

*Since last playing an MLS game, the Union also acquired veteran winger Mapp from Chicago for allocation money and signed 35-year-old midfielder Eduard Coudet.

Coudet, who started today's contest, was last with Colon of Argentina's Primera Division and played for the Union in international friendlies against Celtic and Manchester United.

"He brings a wealth of experience to us," Union assistant coach John Hackworth said. "He's coming from one of the best clubs and leagues. He has a lot of composure on the field and he'll be a very good presence for us on the field and in the locker room."

Coudet took over Roger Torres' spot. Torres continues to struggle with an ankle sprain suffered against Celtic FC on July 14, just one day after his 19th birthday.

The 25-year-old Mapp, meanwhile, is in his ninth MLS season and is known for his speed and natural ability to shed defenders outside. Mapp entered the game in the 56th minute as a substitution for Mwanga.

*Other substitutions were Andrew Jacobson in the 77th minute for Fred and Jack McInerney in the 84th for Coudet.

*Union backup goalkeeper Brad Knighton played for New England the previous three seasons. Last year, he made six starts for the Revs and made 36 saves.

*Union defender Shea Salinas remains out with a fibula fracture in his left knee.

Scoring Summary:
PHI - Sebastien Le Toux 8 (Danny Mwanga 3) 25’
NE – Marko Perovic 4 (Unassisted) 71’

New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Emmanuel Osei, Darrius Barnes, Cory Gibbs, Sainey Nyassi, Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan, Chris Tierney, Zack Schilawski (Kenny Mansally 61), Marko Perovic.

Philadelphia Union -- Chris Seitz, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey, Cristian Arrieta, Sebastien Le Toux, Fred (Andrew Jacobson 77), Stefani Miglioranzi, Alejandro Moreno, Danny Mwanga (Justin Mapp 56), Eduardo Coudet (Jack McInerney 83).

Misconduct Summary:
NE -- Shalrie Joseph (caution; Reckless Tackle) 45
PHI -- Fred (caution; Reckless Tackle) 60
NE -- Marko Perovic (caution; Reckless Tackle) 85

Referee: Jasen Anno
Referee's Assistants: -Thomas Supple; Steven Taylor
4th Official: Lee Suckle
 Time of Game: 1:55
Weather: Sunny-and-83-degrees 

No comments: