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
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."
Philadelphia Union 1, Chicago Fire 0
May 11; 1:30 p.m. ET
Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL
PHI – Jack McInerney 75' (Sebastien Le Toux)
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