Union fall to FC Dallas to remain winless

Two second-half goals gave early pole sitter FC Dallas a 2-0 win over a 10-man Philadelphia side on Saturday. Dallas became the only MLS team to take maximum points after the opening three fixtures as a shorthanded Philly side couldn’t quite hold on to a draw.

The game started relatively promising. Andrew Wenger sprinted with the ball down the left side like we predicted but was dispossessed. The ball fell to Edu who hit a powerful shot that was deflected by the Dallas goalie. Fernando Aristeguieta met a cross with his head just moments later but the forward could only graze it over the bar.

The troubles started for the Union late on in the half. Young midfielder Zach Pfeffer, who we expected to make an impact in his first major minutes for the team was given a red card in the 42nd minute for a controversial Elbow challenge against Diaz. There was a lot of debate following the contact with similar incidents with Referees having already gone against the Union, but there was clear contact and intentional or not, rules are rules. It should definitely be a booking, just perhaps not a straight red as there was no malicious intention.

From then on, it was a slippery slope. Akindele forced a defensive turnover in the 49th minute having slid in to make a deflection before turning it into a 0-1 lead. Ten minutes later, Hollingshead scuttled in a shot through traffic to advance the lead to 0-2. A lead which would not change for the remainder of the game.

One silver lining however was rookie Eric Ayuk. He came on for Andrew Wenger with about 15 left to play. The youngster showed flashes of skill as he ran with the ball close to his feet, providing confident stepovers and quick cuts at any man that tried to stop him. Whilst these moves can be seen as selfish at times, with the right training he could be a dangerous winger to come on and spice up the second half.

With Cristian Maidana out injured and Pfeffer now suspended for the next game, expect a formation change coming into the next fixture as they continue their search for the elusive first win of the season.

The Union have never beaten FC Dallas and now sit at 0-4-4.