The Philadelphia Union return back home to Chester, PA Saturday night to take on first place Portland Timbers. The Union are on a 13 game winless streak and facing a team with as much attacking power as the Timbers certainly isn’t doing them any favors. Murmurs of a coaching change is starting to rise amongst Union fans. Doubts about the new signings are brimming to the edge. The team has a lot of adversity facing them right now. So Saturday’s game had the opportunity to be a statement sender. Here’s how both teams lined up.
Philadelphia Union Winless in 2017: Lose Third Straight Game to Portland Timbers
Philadelphia Union Starting XI
Rosenberry – Onyewu – Marquez – Fabinho
Medunjanin – Jones
Pontius – Bedoya -Ilsinho
Portland Timbers Starting XI
Powell – Olum – Miller – Farfan
Chara – Guzman
Blanco – Nagbe – Valeri
Early in the game, C.J Sapong back heeled a ball to Fabinho to create a chance for a goal. Timbers goalkeeper Jack Gleason made a sliding save to keep the game at zero. In the 17th minute, a free kick was awarded to the Union about 23 yards from goal. Haris Medunjanin took the free kick and was narrowly saved by Gleeson for the Timbers. David Guzman was given the yellow card for the foul.
In the 25th minute, a Richie Marquez header from a Union corner kick gave the Union a 1-0 lead. Just the second time so far this season the team has led in a game. The lead didn’t last too long as just six minutes later, U.S international Darlington Nagbe sent a low driven shot into the bottom left hand corner of the net to knot the game up at 1-1, and the half would end with that scoreline as well. The Union out shot the Timbers and for the most part controlled the games tempo.
It took a while for the second half to pick up some steam. In the 67th minute, a Timbers free kick taken by Diego Valeri found the head of Roy Miller to give them a 2-1 lead. That is Valeri’s eighth total point in five games of the season. Fanendo Adi looked hungry for the ball, but was constantly put into bad positions and couldn’t come up with a goal even with numerous opportunities to do so.
In the 85th minute Darren Mattocks, a Timbers substitute, caught Fabinho sleeping and took the ball for a breakaway. Andre Blake tripped him up and a penalty kick was given. Fanendo Adi finally got his goal for the night as he slotted home the penalty kick with ease. 3-1 now for the away team and that’s how the game would end.
The Union have not won in 14 games dating back to last season. Their last win came on August 27, 2016. It seems like a lot of things are not bouncing their way this year. Two penalty kicks given in two weeks. Two straight weeks where a goal was given up from a deflection. Things are just not clicking for the team. The defense has given up nine goals in five games. And four out of five defenders, plus the goalkeeper, are still on the team this year from last year. Only Oguchi Onyewu is new this year in the back five.
Also mainstays from last years team are in a bit of a slump. Alejandro Bedoya hasn’t registered a point this year. Keegan Rosenberry is in his sophomore slump phase. You could even throw Fabian Herbers into that phase as well. Roland Alberg isn’t seeing game time. It’s the little things that are drastically hurting the team. Though it’s only five games into the season, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around.
The Union play on Friday at home again against New York City FC.