Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union (3-3-3) earned a 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders (1-3-3) Saturday afternoon behind two second-half goals from midfielder Danny Cruz in front of 18,344 spectators at PPL Park.
“In the first half, we put a lot of balls in the box, but the execution was really poor,” said Union manager John Hackworth. “And I said to the guys [at the half] that there is nothing I can give you as a coach to execute a skill you are already good at, but I can get you to play harder and you have to just keep going. It was important for us to keep our foot on the gas and believe it.”
After Eddie Johnson put the Sounders ahead in the first half, Cruz evened the score 1-1 in the 50th minute, smashing a shot far of Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning that fell to him after a Conor Casey header hit the post. Cruz crushed the rebound for his first of the year. A minute later, Cruz put the Union ahead, 2-1 pouncing on a weak clearance by Seattle and earning the brace.
“At the end of the day, I wanted a win. I think that’s first and foremost and most important,” Cruz said postgame. “I am happy with a result at home and credit to Seattle. They are good team. As far as the goals, I am ecstatic just to be able to contribute and that the coaches had faith in me and I was just happy to see the ball go back in the net both times.”
In the 64th minute, Seattle midfielder Mauro Rosales ensured Seattle would earn a point, slotting a left-footed shot past Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath. It marked the second time in three tries that Seattle (1-3-3, six points) would draw at PPL Park.
For the Union, the team improved to 3-3-3 (12 points) in a match that saw referee Jorge Gonzalez go into his pocket six times, three for red cards, including one that finds defender Sheanon Williams missing the next match after getting into a confrontation with Seattle’s Lamar Neagle, who was also sent off.
The Union are on the road again next week for an Eastern Conference matchup against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park, a 1:30 p.m. ET kickoff broadcast on The NBC Sports Network.
Philadelphia Union 2, Seattle Sounders 2
May 5; 4 p.m. ET
PPL Park, Chester, PA.
SEA - Eddie Johnson (Mauro Rosales) 10'
PHI - Danny Cruz 50'
PHI - Danny Cruz 51'
SEA - Mauro Rosales (Leo Gonzalez, Mario Martinez) 64'
PHI - Michael Farfan (caution) 43'
PHI - Gabriel Farfan (caution) 81'
SEA - Lamar Neagle (ejection) 84'
PHI - Sheanon Williams (ejection) 85'
SEA - DeAndre Yedlin (ejection) 90+1'
SEA - Eddie Johnson (caution) 90+2'
UNION STARTING 11
Zac MacMath, Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke (Gabriel Farfan 45’), Amobi Okugo, Raymond Gaddis, Danny Cruz (Antoine Hoppenot 72’), Brian Carroll, Keon Daniel, Michael Farfan, Conor Casey, Jack McInerney (Sebastien Le Toux 87’).
SOUNDERS STARTING 11
Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Djimi Traore, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (David Estrada 83’), Servando Carrasco, Brad Evans (Andy Rose 74’), Alex Caskey (Mario Martinez 62’), Lamar Neagle, Eddie Johnson.