Sunday, May 27, 2012

More change needed in Chester?


By John McMullen
jmcmullen@phanaticmag.com

CHESTER, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - Toronto's Danny Koevermans called his own team the worst in the world after a 3-1 loss to D.C. United last weekend.

Koevermans had not seen Peter Nowak's Philadelphia Union before making that statement.

Ironically it was Koeverman's marker in the 88th minute that lifted Toronto FC (1-9-0)  to its first win of the season over a Union side that has collapsed after making its first playoff appearance a year ago.

To be fair, Nowak was down to his third goalkeeper, Chris Konopka, in Toronto. Starter Zac MacMath is still dealing with concussion related symptoms and Chase Harrison has a sprained left ankle. However, if anything Konopka was surprisingly steady in just his second MLS game, making six saves.

The real problems in Chester have been offense and continuity, things that go hand and hand. No one is going to question Nowak's technical prowess but athletes are creatures of habit and he has been jerking players in and out of the lineup since his first day on the job, especially his younger charges.

Nowak finally admitted that he wasn't happy with the Union's performance in Toronto but continues to show no sense of urgency for a 2-7-2 club, a clash between the more laid back world of soccer and a Philadelphia market that will only support a winner in any endeavor.

"I am extremely disappointed with our performance; we had a couple of good games and today was the complete opposite," said Nowak after losing to lowly Toronto. "We took three steps forward and now three steps back."

When exactly were those three steps forward?

The Union were 11-8-15 a season ago and have mustered one point in their last four games.

A better description may have been desperately treading water before sinking.

Philadelphia has already waived goodbye to three of the faces of the franchise since the end of last season, leading scorer Sebastien Le Toux, it's All-Star goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, and most recently its former captain Danny Califf.

With a three-week break before returning to league action on June 16, perhaps it's time for the Union to part ways with a fourth - Nowak.

Otherwise the empty seats that have started to pop up in Citizens Bank Park s might start spreading 20 miles West and find the quaint little Park on the Delaware Riverfront.
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