Its Not Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Union Lose Fourth Straight to NYCFC

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CHESTER, PA - APRIL 08: Union Forward CJ Sapong (17) leaps to collect a cross in the second half during the game between the Portland Timbers and Philadelphia Union on April 08, 2017 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Winless in 14 games dating back to last season. Lost three straight. Have only scored five goals so far this season. Fans are starting to call for a coaching change. A formation change also is being called for. The Philadelphia Union are under a lot of fire going into Friday nights game against New York City FC. All of these criticisms are valid and definitely called for. Friday night wouldn’t be a statement game, it would be a “put out the fire” game.

Its Not Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Union Lose Fourth Straight to NYCFC

NYCFC are on seven points from two wins and two draws. There line up is one of the stronger ones in the league with the likes of David Villa and Andrea Pirlo and Alexander Ring. This would be no gimme game, but the squad was definitely beatable. Here’s how both teams lined up.

Philadelphia Union

Blake

Rosenberry – Elliot – Marquez – Fabinho

Bedoy – Medunjanin

Ilsinho – Alberg – Pontius

Sapong

New York City FC

Johnson

White – Chanot – Callens – Matarrita

Moralez – Pirlo – Ring

Wallace – Villa – Harrison

A few surprises, but much needed changes in the line up for the Union. Most surprising of which would be Jack Elliot making his first start for the Union at center back. Homegrown player Derrick Jones moved to the bench for Roland Alberg, who made his first start of the 2017 season. Alejandro Bedoya moved back to a center defensive midfielder role.

The first half was mostly dominated by NYCFC. Not too many chances came from the first half. The most notable of which was a potential hand ball in the box that could have been called on Richie Marquez. It wasn’t called. David Villa was furious and the game would remain at zero. Shades of 2016 Andre Blake would show in the first half as a double save later in the half kept it scoreless. The Union’s chances were not as clear cut as NYCFC’s. A one time shot by Alejandro Bedoya sailed right at Sean Johnson and was pushed aside easily. The half would remain and end scoreless.

The second half was more of the same. NYCFC more dynamic, Union not being able to get anything going on offense. It was as normal of a game you could get. In the 52nd minute, a through ball to a back heel pass by Ronald Matarrita found Jack Harrison who slotted the ball into the back of the net to give NYCFC a 1-0 lead.

Tensions started to rise. Losing was a sight fans had become accustomed to. The Union made attacking minded substitutions and pushed hard. Fabian Herbers made his predicted appearance. Jay Simpson came on and pushed C.J Sapong wide. Homegrown player Adam Najem made his MLS debut. All of these advancements would be suddenly be declared null and void. As David Villa caught Andre Blake off guard in the 90th minute and launched a 50.3 yard shot into the net to make the game 2-0. It was the longest goal in MLS since 2012. It was pure David Villa brilliance. The game would end as such, 2-0.

Winless in 15 games, losers of four games in a row, two in a row at home. There’s really no other words to describe this season but abysmal. Whether a coaching change is needed or a spark is needed is to be seen. Unions next game is Saturday at home against Montreal Impact at 1:00 p.m.

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