PBP: BIG MISTAKES COSTING THE UNION

Had some time over the weekend to digest Saturday’s game and wanted to weigh in on my take. For the second straight game, costly mistakes have resulted in no points. Just like the Toronto game, I felt that vs New York, Philadelphia was the better team in all aspects of the game.

Philadelphia was sharper in the attack, more crisp with their passes, and had more creativity and energy than the home side did. However, as we all know, soccer can be a cruel game, and at the end of the day, the Red Bulls made fewer mistakes than Philadelphia did, hence the three points.

It’s not that Philly is making mistakes, every team makes those on a game by game basis. Philadelphia’s problem has been the magnitude of those mistakes. Their errors have led to goals, which have led to losses.

As you look at these four games, all you need to know is that the Union have given up exactly two goals in each game. This past weekend, Houston, New England, San Jose, Seattle, and the Union shared something in common. Each allowed at least two goals, and each lost.

The Columbus Crew lead MLS in goals scored per game, and their average is not robust at 1.67. What we’re saying here is that no one in MLS is averaging two goals a game, so if you are giving up two, you have greatly increased your chances of walking away empty, leaving 3 points to your opponent.

This Union team is a hard working team, that has some talent. Le Toux and Moreno have been a great tandem up top. Roger Torres has shown signs of brilliance. When they move the ball, they sure don’t look like an expansion team.

That trio will have to be at their offensive best on Saturday when they take on the best team in the league so far, the LA Galaxy. This Galaxy team has allowed just one goal all season, so defense is really what wins them their games.

Defensively, Philadelphia needs to play their strongest game on Saturday in order to not leave 3 points on the west coast.

I’ll be back later in the week with some thoughts as we get closer to that game. In the meantime, here are 5 things to remember from last week in MLS.

1. Edson Buddle still has scored every goal for the LA Galaxy.

2. Toronto still doesn’t look strong, but winning 2 of their last 3 will keep fans and media off of their backs for now.

3. A torn right PCL injury to Geoff Cameron takes him out for the season. So off of last year’s team, Dominic Kinnear is minus Ricardo Clark, Stuart Holden, and now Cameron, who was back to playing as a midfielder this season.

4. After a shaky start, the Fire have won two straight, and it’s two straight shutouts for rookie goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra.

5. With their win vs Philadelphia, the Red Bulls are already at 4 wins, which is just 1 less than they had all of last season.