Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union earned a 1-0 victory against the Chicago Fire (2-7-1) Saturday night at PPL Park behind a third-minute goal from forward Jack McInerney on an assist from fellow forward Sebastien Le Toux.
“I think Chicago is a much better team than their record shows and credit to them,” said Hackworth. “They certainly tried to come in and put us under a ton of pressure and their ball movement was dangerous, so for us to have to deal with that for 90 plus minutes and grab this win says lot about our guys.”
McInerney headed a perfect inswinger from Le Toux past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the third minute of play. McInerney’s goal was his eighth of the MLS regular season and the assist from Le Toux marked his fourth, both of which are league highs.
Chicago was forced to deal with a Union contingent that created a ton of chances. Much of the play in this match came from the midfield play from Kleberson, paired with Michael Farfan who pinched in from a right midfield role to support, and from the tireless efforts of Brian Carroll.
“He’s got such good feet and great vision that he draws some attention from the [opposing] defense,” Carroll said of Kleberson postgame. “It helps our outside midfielders and forwards going into the attack and allows me to focus on solidifying us defensively. It gives me an extra second or two as well to find him or find someone else to switch the play [on the field]. We are happy to have someone of his caliber on the team.”
Danny Cruz, customarily on the right flank, was switched to the left and was tireless on attack, creating chances inside the 18-yard-box. He spoke on the team effort that allowed the Union (5-4-3, 18 points) to come away with a strong win at PPL Park.
“It’s no secret when we played [Chicago at Toyota Park], we got outplayed, but I always say good teams find a way to win and we did,” said Cruz. “And tonight they came out a bit more physical, but credit to us. I think we stayed together as a unit and it was a good group effort. Our back line played well, a lot of good running from our guys in the midfield and I’d like to point out Sebastien Le Toux, who was phenomenal today. He was outstanding all the way around.”
In their three-game, eight day stretch, the Union captured six of nine possible points, earning those points both home and on the road. The Union now enjoy a few days off before it’s next match, Saturday at Stade Saputo against the Montreal Impact (7:00 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet), followed by third round U.S. Open Cup action against either the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on the road or the Ocean City Nor’Easters at PPL Park, with either set for a 7 p.m. kick on May 28.
“It was a wild week, but two wins in one week is solid,” said Carroll. “It was lopsided result midweek, but the guys picked themselves up and responded. Anytime you can beat a team in one week you take a lot of pride in that.”
Philadelphia Union 1, Chicago Fire 0
Saturday, May 18; 7:30 p.m. ET
PPL Park, Chester, Pa.
PHI: McInerney 3’ (Le Toux)
CHI: Thompson 14’ (caution)
PHI: Carroll 56’ (caution)
CHI: Anibaba 57’ (caution)
CHI: Thompson 63’ (second caution – red)
PHI: Williams 73’ (caution)
PHI: Casey 91’ (caution)
UNION STARTING 11
MacMath, Williams, Okugo, Soumare, Gaddis, Carroll, Kléberson (Casey 71’), Cruz (Daniel 64’), Farfan, Le Toux, McInerney (Fernandes 90’)
FIRE STARTING 11
Johnson, Berry, Segares, Anibaba, Thompson, Larentowicz, Lindpere (Alexandre Monteiro 75’), Duka (Amarikwa 81’), Pause, Rolfe (MacDonald 53’), Nyarko