It was a hot and humid day out with a slight breeze, not exactly welcoming weather for the northern-based Philadelphia Union but almost everyday weather for North Texas. The stadium was sold out this night with people piling in at least until midway through the 1st half. Traffic wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be, but the parking was just God awful. Definitely need to add a parking lot or 2 more so we're not all parking on the grass. The bench had some familiar names on it as Hendry Thomas and Mauro Diaz were both announced as being on the substitutes bench.
Good Things Happened!
Tesho was going crazy with the runs during the game. The through balls were getting to him and it seemed like the defense really underestimated him for most of the match. Thankfully we were able to capitalize on their mistake of not properly preparing for our big guy out of Colorado. The crowd really needed a spark to get going, and Tesho Akindele provided it by finishing a wonderful over the top pass from Blas Perez. The first half saw the east side see little action in terms of wing play over by the touchline. Moises Hernandez seemed to have been told to sit back instead of really push up because I barely remember him from the first half at all.
The 2nd half saw alot more action as Danny Cruz, Fabinho, and along with Maidana at times tried to harass the right side of the defense. Loyd was facing a 2 on 1 most times until Moffat or Ulloa would come help out.
Speaking of Victor Ulloa though, I wish they included in the highlights some of his tackles and interceptions because I can't express enough of what this kid is doing on the pitch. He seems to be everywhere, and even when he goes up for a header against a taller player he seems to win it with the timing of his jumps. The guy is a workhorse and I'd really love to see him paired up with Hendry Thomas in the future. Speaking of Hendry Thomas...
Hallelujah! Although at first I thought we wouldn't see them this match because rushing players back from injury has hurt us in the past, it was a perfect cap to a good game to see Mauro Diaz and Hendry Thomas both get back to playing on the night and get some minutes in. Mauro provided an immediate spark with through balls, and over the top balls that really could've threatened more on a different day.
And Some Bad Things Happened...
The whole team defensively stood firm, but the cracks still appear with the ball into the box and 2 defenders mainly just standing there. Hernandez was complaining at Ulloa, but honestly what were you doing Hernandez? It looked like a classic case of ball-watching and bad positioning for the 2 young defenders in my opinion. We really should've had a clean sheet as Maidana was shut down for most of the game and Philly never looked threatening on the night.
Chris Seitz. The big man was doing his usual solid shift when what looked like a bad kick sent him straight out of the stadium. I'm not sure if I was just hearing things, but I swear right when he caught 90% ground and 10% ball on the goal kick I thought I heard a pop. I'm hoping I'm just insane but that was a horrible thing to see with him getting mostly turf on that kick. It definitely made me appreciate the depth that we have at goalkeeper though, with an MLS all-star coming off the bench to replace our starting goalkeeper.
How encouraging was it to see Thomas and Diaz back on the pitch? Who was your man of the match? (Mine was Ulloa). Where did y'all end up parking? I parked across the fields in the street lol. Is it too late for Mauro and Thomas to send us on a run that'll end up in a playoff spot? Let me know! Look forward to hearing from y'all.