Philadelphia Union Match Review
Honestly, the citizens of Orlando were absolutely poisoned on Saturday night when it comes to football. First, you had the absolute massacre of Chelsea FC vs Arsenal FC, which saw my beloved Blues get destroyed by Gavin's Gunners. Next, Orlando lost a controversial one vs the conference leaders. Of course, if you’re an Arsenal fan, ignore the first part of that sentence.
There is no denying that Orlando could have walked away with a point on Saturday. The Union's goal was questionable - a decision that needed to be talent to the replay system. In stoppage time, Orlando had a shoutout for a penalty when Carlos’ shirt was being pulled on. The referee decided there was not enough malpractice to change the ruling of no penalty and the game was pretty much over. Besides these intense moments, the game was full of yellow cards and boring footy. Torres missed the best chances of the night for Orlando, as he cut inside on his preferred left and hit it just wide of the outside post. The Union are a fantastic team, and getting any kind of point would have been a tall task. However, it was there for the taking and it was not taken. The Lions continue to trend down as the season continues.
Yellow Card - 8’ - Martinez
Yellow Card - 31’ - Kara
Yellow Card - 37’ - Moutinho
Goal - 39’ - Gazdag
Yellow Card - 44’ - Carranza
Yellow Card - 63’ - Araujo
1. Inconsistent VAR Usage
I’ve said time and time again that Ruan is dogshit and maybe if he was just paying attention, I wouldn’t even have to write this section. The Lions conceded in the first half when Gazdag flicked a ball right over Gallese towards the goal line, but initially, he looked offside. After checking the replay, it showed Ruan kept him on and the goal stood. Later in the match, Orlando seemed to have a sure penalty when Carlos was pulled down by Gazdag in the box. However, the replay actually hurt the Lions, because it was revealed that Carlos apparently committed a foul first, negating the foul that Gazdag committed. It was an inconsistent performance and assessment by the ref and it may have cost the Lions some points.
2. Attacking… Again
I hate to beat a dead horse but it needs to be addressed. The Lions cant score goals or generate chances. Pretty much all creativity falls onto the feet of Pereyra, who set up Torres beautifully in the first half but the chance was not taken. The Union are very compact and strong defensively, but if you want to compete, you have to do it against this level of teams. Once Philly had the lead? Forget about it, we were not getting back into this game. Crazy fact: the Lions have scored more than two goals once this season… and they lost.
3. The Forward Situation
The question used to be “How can we use both Kara and Pato?”. In my head, now it's like “How can we use neither of them?” 21 touches in 89 minutes, a yellow card out of frustration, and no service provided to him. It’s hard to be truly pissed at Kara, but the formation with him out there simply isn't working. We know he can finish, but he isn’t getting the ball. Then, Pato came on in the second half and reminded everyone why he doesn’t start anymore. The two of them have not provided the offensive spark and goal-scoring threat we so desperately need right now. My idea: give Jack Lynn a start and see what the young guy can do for 45-60 minutes. It can't be worse than this.
A controversial match indeed, but the Union gave the Lions a way back into this game. 12 shots and only 1 on target. It is not their fault we have 0 shooting boots on at any given time. If we capitalized on chances, instead of complaining about decisions, we may have stolen this one.
The Lions take on the Red Bulls this Wednesday in the US Open Cup semi-finals