The Philadelphia Union played against Sporting Kansas City in the MLS season opener. The Union came into this game hoping to turn around their efforts from the end of last season, as they lost their last 3 games. They also were looking for their forward Sebastion Le Toux to make an immediate impact in his return with the team.
In the 1st half, the Union completely dominated the game. Le Toux had 3 solid opportunities to score and he converted on 1 of them. In the 17th minute, he received a nice lob through ball and displayed great ball control with a one touch finish. The Union could have made it 2-0 with a free kick from Michael Farfan, but it went just over the crossbar. Kansas City tied the game in the 41st minute with a rebound shot from Graham Zusi. Philadelphia had 11 shots in the 1st half compared Kansas City’s 4.
Things quickly changed in the 2nd half and Kansas City began to show some fight. Their possessions created good scoring opportunities and they were able to capitalize with a 66′ goal by Oriol Rosell. The Union have been poor on set pieces and that proved to be so as Zusi crossed a beautiful ball into the center of the box for Rosell. The Union missed another opportunity late in the 72nd minute as Keon Daniel bent a free kick just over the crossbar. Kansas City quickly followed their last goal with another one in the 82′ to put the Union away, 3-1.
Keys to Loss:
Both defending and converting on set pieces were problems for the Union. They had 6 corner kicks, but scored on none. One of their goals allowed came off of a free kick. They are struggling to get on target shots from their set pieces. They could’ve created many more scoring opportunities than they did, if they were successful on their set pieces. This is only the season opener so there is plenty of time for improvement.
The defenders and the goalie for the Union were practically non-existent. Zac MacMath made 1 save on the day out of 4 on-target shots. The defense should get 80% of the blame as they were not marking their men and allowed people to get free. There was also plenty of times where MacMath was spotted standing still while Kansas City was shooting. He did not put much of an effort out there today.
Player of the Game: Graham Zusi (KC)
Graham Zusi created the majority of the scoring chances for Kansas City as he finished with 1 goal and 1 assist. The American forward led his team to victory against the union.