Monday, October 25, 2010

Crew disposes of Union in season finale

October 24, 2010 (Columbus, OH) - Philadelphia Union's road woes continued in the expansion club's season finale, with Peter Nowak's side falling 3-1 to the Columbus Crew on Sunday. Guillermo Barros Schelotto netted an early penalty kick, Emilio Renteria doubled the advantage before the break, and Andres Mendoza scored late in the second half, providing more than enough offense behind a stellar performance from Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer. Sebastien Le Toux boosted his MVP candidacy with his 14th goal of the season to go along with 11 assists.

After dominating possession early, Columbus reaped the benefit of spending so much time in Philadelphia's defensive third. Eduardo Coudet was whistled for a foul in the area when he tackled Eddie Gaven at the edge of the box, and Barros Schelotto calmly netted his ninth goal of the season in the 15th minute off the ensuing penalty kick, targeting the lower left corner with goalkeeper Chris Seitz diving in the opposite direction.

The Union settled down after the goal and controlled the tempo until falling victim to a defensive breakdown in the 42nd minute.  Robbie Rogers turned to the middle of the field from the left touchline and slotted a pass to Eddie Gaven, who turned and played Renteria through with a clever chip while the Union were attempting to hold their line. With no defenders in his vicinity, Renteria took one touch and found the lower right corner of the net to give Columbus a 2-0 advantage.

Seitz kept the Union in the match before the interval when Columbus threatened to extend their lead minutes after their second goal. Emmanuel Ekpo took advantage of space in the midfield and dribbled into
Philadelphia's area, laying a ball off to a wide-open Renteria 14 yards out.  Looking for a brace, Renteria one-timed a shot while falling down, but Seitz was up to the task, diving to his left to parry the attempt away.
The Union nearly pulled one back in the 59th minute when second half sub Shea Salinas sent a cross in from the right to Justin Mapp in the middle of the area. Mapp sent a bouncing ball towards goal, but Hesmer made an acrobatic save to deny the Union's bid to cut the deficit in half.

The Crew had a chance of their own in the 63rd minute when Renteria was sent through along the right flank by Barros Schelotto. Dribbling diagonally into the box, Renteria tried to sneak an angled shot near post, but Seitz closed down the available space and made a save with his legs to keep the Union within striking distance.

Seitz continued his strong performance in the 68th minute when Renteria broke free yet again, coming out to close down a breakaway opportunity.

The Crew would find a third goal, however, after Barros Schelotto broke free in Philadelphia's territory in the 79th minute. Michael Orozco Fiscal deflected the ball away at the edge of the area, but it bounced right to Mendoza, who rocketed a one-timer with his left foot past Seitz to put the match out of reach.

Despite being down 3-0, the Union continued to push forward. Only a tremendous save from Hesmer off a blast from Salinas kept the Union from scoring in the 81st minute, and Philadelphia avoided the shutout with a tally in the 87th minute. Le Toux received a pass from Alejandro Moreno in the middle of the field, turning towards goal and blasting a shot from just beyond the area past Gaven, who come on for an injured Hesmer late in the match.

The road proved to the Union's downfall this year, as the club finished with a 2-12-1 mark away from Philadelphia. With the loss, the Union failed to record consecutive wins in league play, despite their much-improved form after a rough start to the season. Officially shedding the expansion label, the Union notched a 8-15-7 record in their inaugural campaign, good for seventh in the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia Union 1, at Columbus Crew 3


CLB -- Guillermo Barros Schelotto 9 (penalty kick) 15

CLB -- Emilio Renteria 5 (Eddie Gaven 5, Robbie Rogers1) 42

CLB -- Andres Mendoza 2 (Guillermo Barros Schelotto 9) 79

PHI -- Sebastien Le Toux 14 (Alejandro Moreno 7, Roger Torres 6) 87

Attendance: 19,006


CLB -- Emilio Renteria (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 63

PHI -- Michael Orozco Fiscal (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 63

PHI -- Roger Torres (caution; Tactical Foul) 76

Referee: Jair Marrufo

Referee's Assistants: -Chris Strickland; Daniel Belleau

4th Official: Hilario Grajeda

Time of Game: 1:51

Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-78-degrees

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