MLS Match Preview: Crew vs. Union
PHILADELPHIA UNION vs COLUMBUS CREW
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
June 5, 2013 (WEEK 15, MLS Game #131)
7:30 p.m. ET (UDN; CSN-Phi; FS-OH)
Philadelphia Union and the Columbus Crew kick off Week 15 of the Major League Soccer season when the Eastern Conference foes meet for a second time this season, at PPL Park on Wednesday night. Both clubs are coming off in-conference draws: the Crew reaching a 1-1 result at home with the Houston Dynamo, and Union hitting for a late 1-1 draw at Toronto FC. The teams also played to a 1-1 draw earlier this year, April 6 in Columbus.
REFEREE: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Greg Barkey; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Klinger; 4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
MLS Career: 65 games; FC/gm: 27.5; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 8; pens: 7
DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: PHI: Conor Casey
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Raymon Gaddis - CLB: Federico Higuain, Matias Sanchez
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: CLB: Jairo Arrieta (Costa Rica); Wil Trapp (USA U-20)
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Union 2 wins, 9 goals - Crew 5 wins, 13 goals - Ties 1
AT PHILADELPHIA (4 meetings): Union 2 wins, 4 goals - Crew 2 wins, 4 goals - Ties 0
* The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Dominic Oduro’s second-half goal for the Crew canceled out a first-half strike from Jack McInerney to leave the teams in a 1-1 draw, April 6 in Columbus.
* The Crew have not lost to Union at Crew Stadium. They won the first three meetings there before the draw earlier this season.
* The Crew won the final two meetings between the teams last year. The 2-1 at PPL Park on Aug. 29 for Columbus snapped a Union two-game home winning streak in the series.
* Coaches record: Robert Warzycha vs. PHI: P8 W5 L2 T1 - John Hackworth vs. CLB: P3 W0 L2 T1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
4/6: CLB 1, PHI 1 (Oduro 72 ñ Cruz 34)
* Union took the lead in the 34th minute. Danny Cruz made a well-timed run down the right sideline before squaring a pass to Jack McInerney, and he collected his third goal with an easy tap-in.
* But the home side hit for the leveller in the 72nd minute. Eddie Gaven sprung Dominic Oduro with a pass off the outside of his right foot, and that enabled the speedy Ghanaian to get into space past the Union defenders before firing a heavy ball from a tough angle that snuck in between the near post and goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
* COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Andy Gruenebaum - Josh Williams, Glauber, Chad Marshall, Tyson Wahl - Danny O'Rourke (Matias Sanchez 76), Agustin Viana (Jairo Arrieta 46) - Eddie Gaven, Federico Higuain, Ben Speas (Ethan Finlay 85) - Dominic Oduro.
* PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-4-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Danny Cruz (Michael Lahoud 66), Keon Daniel, Brian Carroll, Gabriel Farfan (Antoine Hoppenot 78) - Conor Casey (Sebastien Le Toux 62), Jack McInerney.
Philadelphia Union concluded their two-game Canadian swing with a point, getting another late equalizer for a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday evening at BMO Field. Union sit in a tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 19 points from 14 matches.
* Toronto FC went a man down in the 41st minute when central defender Doneil Henry was sent off for earning his second yellow card of the game after a foul on Philadelphia midfielder Danny Cruz.
* TFC took the lead in the 66th minute. Freed down the right, Jeremy Brockie sent a dangerous cross through the Union box and Jonathan Osorio got onto the end of it, sending a diving header past goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
* But Union hit for a second late equalizer against TFC when a cross wasn't cleared and went as far as Jack McInerney on the right side of the area, and he lashed a low shot to the back of the net for the draw.
* Union team manager John Hackworth made no changes to the team that fell 5-3 to the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo.
* PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-3-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Brian Carroll - Danny Cruz, Jose Kleberson (Keon Daniel 15), Michael Farfan (Antoine Hoppenot 71) - Sebastien Le Toux (Conor Casey 60), Jack McInerney.
* Union have won three times on the road this season, tied for most in MLS, and their eight road points are tied for second-most in the league. They have scored 12 goals on their travels, also tied for the league lead.
* “To give up a goal like we did is really disappointing especially when we had the game in control, it just shouldn’t happen. Full credit to our guys because they were great in trying to fight back and even though it wasn’t pretty, it was effective when you’re down,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “To get one back and get a result here on a day like [Saturday] is good for us.”
* Jack McInerney scored for the third consecutive match ñ his second stoppage-time equalizer this season vs. Toronto FC to give Union the draw. McInerney reclaimed the lead in the MLS Golden Boot standings with his 10th goal of the season.
* “Every single game he just finds a way to get on the board,” Hackworth said of McInerney. “We didn’t play our best soccer and I don’t think Jack was in the best form early in the game and he was getting frustrated - but he kept his nose down and waited for his opportunity and he just continues to score.”
* McInerney has four goals in the last five games, and in Union’s last 34 games, he has scored 18 times. Of his 22 career league goals, 11 have come after the 70th minute, and four have been scored after the 90th minute.
* “Confidence is high, obviously. It’s just good that I’m playing well. The team didn’t play well today but we got a result on the road,” said McInerney. “ I think it’s just one of those things where I have an instinct and drift away, hope for that ball, and expect that it’s going to get there.”
* While Hackworth ran out an unchanged side for the second game in Canada in a week, there was an injury concern as Jose Kleberson had to come off the field after just 15 minutes.
* “We dropped our line knowing they were going to come at us,” Hackworth said. “They’re a team that has to get points right now. In the end, the fact that we made a sub so early in the game and we were still able to push is a credit to our fitness.”
* With the addition of Keon Daniel, Michael Farfan shifted to the center of the midfield with Daniel moving wide on the left.
* “I thought we did a good job early in the second half. We still don’t want to throw everything forward. I think we know what kind of team we are,” Hackworth said. “We have to be good and we talked about being a more defensive team all week long, we talked about being more compact, we talked about not giving things away and being smart. So, we dictated the possession, we moved the ball but again it wasn’t to our liking.”
The Columbus Crew scored at home for the first time in more than a month, eventually settling for a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 13 matches.
* The Dynamo took the lead in the 31st minute. Dynamo right back Kofi Sarkodie sped down the right flank before whipping a low cross to the center of the box. An unmarked Warren Creavalle timed his run through the channel perfectly and one-timed the ball past goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
* But the Crew were level in the 69th minute. Defender Chad Barson went down under Andrew Driver's challenge in the box and referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot. Federico Higuain converted with a powerful shot for the eventual equalizer.
* Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made three changes to the team that reached a 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Chad Barson and Glauber came into the back four for Josh Williams and, Kevan George, and Jairo Arrieta came back into the team for the injured Eddie Gaven.
* COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Andy Gruenebaum - Chad Barson, Eric Gehrig, Glauber, Tyson Wahl - Matias Sanchez, Tony Tchani (Konrad Warzycha 89) - Dominic Oduro (Aaron Schoenfeld 89), Federico Higuain, Justin Meram (Ben Speas 74) - Jairo Arrieta.
* Federico Higuain scored a goal for a second consecutive game ñ both from the penalty spot ñ to leave the Crew in the draw. Higuain has scored three goals over the last six matches, all converted spot kicks.
* “We created chances," Crew head coach Robert Warzycha said. “I'm not frustrated, I think the guys left everything on the field. The effort was good, the speed of play was good, the passing was good and I can't remember how many times [the Dynamo] blocked the shots inside the box. I'm not frustrated. Obviously, I wish that we scored the goals, then the atmosphere would be much better and then people would like it. Everybody would be more happy and we would probably be higher in the standings.”
* Higuain’s goal was the first in 294 minutes of league play at Crew Stadium for Columbus, since Higuain converted a penalty in the 3-0 win vs. D.C. United on April 27.
* “I do not know what we have to do differently. I think that we have to be a little more focused. We’ve got to take training a little bit more seriously in front of the box,” said midfielder Justin Meram. “I talked to Dom [Oduro] and said we are outplaying guys, but we are not getting the results. Possess the ball, we got out wide. Pipa [Higuain] hitting the ball off the post. The chances are there. The luck - it’s going to turn.”
* The Crew have lost midfielder Eddie Gaven for the remainder of the season, after he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the 2-0 U.S. Open Cup victory vs. the Dayton Dutch Lions of USL PRO.
* “He started every single game for us [and only] didn't start when he was injured in the beginning. That's a position up for grabs now because obviously Eddie is not going to be ready this year,” said Warzycha. “Justin [Meram] had some good looks at the goal, especially the one when [Higuain] hit the post. He makes some good runs but I told the guys that it needs to be better.”
* Home Grown Player Chad Barson made his first MLS start, coming in at right back in place of Josh Williams, who was nursing a calf injury, and won the penalty that led to the game-winning goal.
* “In the first half I don't think we gave him the ball enough. But in the second half obviously that space was open and obviously he was combining with Dominic [Oduro] and [Higuain] and a factor in that was the penalty,” said Warzycha.
* With Gaven out of the lineup, Dominic Oduro shifted back to a wide midfield role, with Jairo Arrieta returning to the team up top. But Arrieta will miss the midweek while on international duty with Costa Rica.
* “We've been just a little bit unlucky, especially in this game. Jairo hit a couple of balls that were saved by the goalie. There were a couple of other chances we just couldn't put in the net, but it was just a little bit unfortunate,” said Oduro. “I think we've done well in terms of trying to take it easy in the attacking half and keeping the ball, it's just a matter of putting it in the net.”