Sunday, May 12, 2013

Union earn 1-0 win in Chicago

Bridgewater, IL – Jack McInerney's goal in the 75th minute proved to be enough as the Philadelphia Union defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 Saturday on a windy day at Toyota Park.

Behind a defense featuring two new starters in Bakary Soumare and Gabriel Farfan, goalkeeper Zac MacMath recorded a clean sheet for the Union (4-3-3), who have now captured 10 of their 15 total points in matches away from PPL Park.

"It was a tough game in a lot of ways and the wind is always something that affects a soccer game more than anything," said Union manager John Hackworth. "It was hard to play, especially in that first half, we just felt like we were pinned in. Second half, we didn't play our best soccer but we found a way to win, and that's huge."


Off a restart, second half substitute Sebastien Le Toux floated a ball to the feet of McInerney, who took a smart touch and hit a shot on goal in which a deflection from the Fire ensured the ball would find the back of the net.





Postgame, however, McInerney didn't open with the comments of him scoring now his team-high seventh goal of the season but instead gave all praise to the play of his goalkeeper.

"It was an unbelievable game. In fact, I think that it was [MacMath's] best game of the season by far," McInerney began. "He definitely kept us in the game in the first half and that was the goal, to get through [the first half] 0-0. It was just an unbelievable game and I doubt we even come away with a tie if it wasn't for him."


Statistically, the numbers will show that Chicago (2-6-1) generated more chances, held edge in possession and tried to dictate the pace for much of the match. But MacMath kept the Union in the game with six saves, showing on this day why he's the obvious choice as net minder for Hackworth and the Union technical staff.

"Every game you know you are going to have to make saves to keep your team in it, especially on the road when you are trying to get the shutout," said MacMath. "We have to do the same things going forward that we did today, which was fighting, having heart even when things aren't pretty. The guys stayed together. We didn't quit and as a result we got the three points."

It's short rest for the Union, who welcome the defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy to PPL Park on Wednesday (7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet), then it's another match with the Fire on Saturday, May 18 (7:30 p.m., The Comcast Network ) where Hackworth noted some reshuffling could certainly occur.

"We'll have to mix it up because we have LA on Wednesday night," Hackworth said. "We have a lot of depth on our roster, so I am sure we are going to have to go into it deep."


BOX SCORE

Philadelphia Union 1, Chicago Fire 0

May 11; 1:30 p.m. ET

Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL


SCORING SUMMARY

PHI – Jack McInerney 75' (Sebastien Le Toux)


DISCIPLINARY SUMMARY

CHI – Dilly Duka 62’ (caution)


UNION STARTING 11

Zac MacMath, Gabriel Farfan, Bakary Soumare, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis, Danny Cruz (Sebastien Le Toux 56’), Brian Carroll, Keon Daniel, Michael Farfan, Conor Casey (Antoine Hoppenot 61’), Jack McInerney.


FIRE STARTING 11

Sean Johnson, Gonzalo Segares, Austin Berry, Jalil Anibaba, Wells Thompson, Logan Pause, Joel Lindpere (Maicon Dos Santos 73’), Dilly Duka (Alexandre Monteiro De Lima 63’), Dan Paladini (Quincy Amarikwa 84’), Patrick Nyarko, Chris Rolfe
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