The good and the bad from Union’s 1-0 win over D.C

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The Union snapped their three game skid by beating DC United 1-0 this past weekend. This match gives Philly a certain sense of relief; climbing out of last place in the east. Even though the result a Union win vs DC, this match presented both the good and bad.

the Union will love getting three points and beating a rival, but this was by no means a complete game for the Union. Moments of brilliance were followed by incompetence. Lulls rendered the match unwatchable at some points. This Union team hasn’t fixed its problems with this win.

That being said, there were some good things that came from this match. Some obvious others shocking!

The good:

1.) Fafa Picault’s goalazo and effort:

Fafa Picault’s rise has been a bright spot for the Union this season. His pace, and ability to make dangerous runs has helped him maintain the starting left-wing spot. He’s second in scoring for the Union with four goals. If Philly want to go anywhere this season, it seems like they will rely on Fafa’s speed and ability to make runs to make things happen offensively. Picault’s golazo is in the tweet above.

2.) Medujanin’s fair play rescinds a red card:

Haris Medunjanin is the best. If he doesn’t win the fair play award after what he did against DC then MLS is rigged. Haris was fouled by DC’s most dangerous play, Acosta. The ref saw fit to give Acosta a red for kicking Haris. After the foul Haris got up and told the ref he didn’t kick me. The ref then rescinded the Red card. His comments post game are in the tweet above.

3.) Bedoya’s presence in the midfield:

Bedoya’s first game back, after missing the last three, helped the Union transition. His awareness to move forward, stay back or get wide helped the Union find their goal against DC. Without him in the lineup, Philly truly can’t get much transition play at all. Bedoya’s presence of mind is in the tweet above.

4.) Blake’s making save after save after save:

Andre Blake is super-human at times. This was shown vs DC. Blake made four crucial stops to maintain the Union’s win. In doing so he tied his single-season record for shutouts. The Jamaican keeper has been one of the bright spots for Philly all season long. His PK save is in the tweet above.

Apart from the Picault effort and goal, Medunjanin’s fair play, Bedoya’s presence and the multiple Blake saves, the Union didn’t have such a great game.

The Bad:

1.) Offense still has no spark from the CAM:

While the Union won, there was still a major problem with their attack, especially through the middle of the field. Ilsinho was an inadequate 10 once again. He would often get the ball and play it backwards so he could move to a wider position to attack. This helped him because he’s a natural winged. When he got wide he had opportunities to send crosses in. Philly need to figure out what to do at the 10. It must be addressed in this transfer window if they want to have success in 2017.

2.) lack of killer instinct to put the game away:

After going up a goal the Union had many opportunities to attack, but no killer instinct. It was always move the ball to the 18 and pass, pass, pass. The Union brought on another Striker to try to get the second. Any shot that did come from substitute Jay Simpson was right at Hamid. This again points to he lack of a creative 10 who could’ve made key passes to put Simpson or Sapong in on goal. Nevertheless, the Union will need to focus on putting games away so no late scares happen.

3.) multiple defensive struggles:

The Union got a clean sheet, but this was by no means a great defensive display. DC had 11 shots and most of them were caused by out of position Union players. The problem continues to be when Philly are defending the final third. Players seem hesitant to step up to stop players or crosses, and when they do step up they are easily beaten. This was evident in the last gasp by DC. No one stepped up to stop a cross, and the cross found its way to an unmarked runner in the box. Luckily, Andre Blake pushed the shot of the crossbar. Philly need to get their act together defensively. Being to timid to challenge crosses and losing marks on the crosses won’t cut it against other teams who can finish their chances.

The Union’s problems will continue to amount if they cannot get more from their CAM, if they can’t put close matches away and if the defense continues to fall asleep at times. This will doom Philly. Fixing the problems, and reaping the benefits, will provide a boost.

After beating their hated rivals the Union moved up two spots in the eastern conference standings. Sitting at ninth, with five points separating them from sixth. The Union know that they will need to be sharp in their upcoming league matches.

Alejandro Bedoya and Andre Blake will be on international duty in the Gold Cup. This means that John McCarthy and Derrick Jones will be called upon to fill the void and provide the points the Union need. Luckily for Philly, their next two opponents will also be short-handed thanks to the upcoming Gold Cup. New England  will be missing Juan Agudelo and Kelyn Rowe; also, Kansas City will have no Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Dom Dwyer. The Union will have to deal with missing players as well.

The next few league matches are crucial for the Union’s hopes of success in 2017. Getting wins quickly will help them gain ground on the other teams in the east. Any more losing streaks and success will fall through Philly’s fingers.

Philly now set their sights on Red Bull in the round of 16 in the US Open Cup. That game is coming up soon; Wednesday June 28th at 8:00pm EST.

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Follow me on twitter @TGing21 for Soccer Twitter fun! Coming soon: A preview of the Union’s round of 16 US Open Cup match at New York Red Bulls, and A look at the problems the Unions offense is having. Until then, peace out!

 

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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