Top 10 in 2010: The 95th Minute PK

Le Toux's winner starts off our list of the Top 10 moments in '10

Over the next two weeks, will be counting down the top 10 moments of the Union’s inaugural season as part of our Top 10 in 2010 series. It wasn’t easy narrowing down a historic season filled with countless memories, but we've whittled the list down to our very favorites. Feel free to leave your reactions or personal memories in the comments section below.


Before we even
get to the first entry of the Top 10 in 2010, we’ll throw in an honorable
mention. It was the Union’s most convincing victory of the season, a 3-0
thrashing of Chivas USA at home. With only six matches to go, playoff hopes
were already dim, so there wasn’t a ton of pressure applied by the standings.

Philadelphia hadn’t won by more than a single goal since the opening of PPL
Park three months prior. The Union
backline had settled down, giving up more than two goals only once in 18
matches, and that was due to a red card against Dallas in just the 22
minute. But Peter Nowak’s side was only averaging a goal per game over the last
13 matches, despite often creating a number of scoring opportunities.

What the Union
needed was a blowout, and on September 25 it’s what they got.

First half
goals from Alejandro Moreno and Fred gave Philadelphia control, and Sebastien
Le Toux slid the nail in the coffin in the 69
th minute, with all
three tallies coming off of set pieces. What’s more, Brad Knighton and the
Union defense secured their second consecutive home shutout after opening the
season without a clean sheet for 22 matches.

The largest
margin of victory all season. 16,481 happy Union fans at PPL Park. 94 WYSP talk
show host Danny Bonaduce pledging to fulfill his promise to jump in the
Delaware River if the Union won by two goals or more (will happen early in
2011). All that and it can’t even crack our Top 10 in 2010. 


The Top 10 in 2010 begins with ... Number 10: The 95th Minute PK

To jumpstart
our Top 10 in 2010, we’re pulling out the latest goal scored all season, which
is saying something for a club that rippled the back of the net on five
occasions in stoppage time. A 1-0 victory against Celtic FC on July 14 helped
erase some of the pain caused by one of the most crushing defeats of the
season, a 2-1 loss to San Jose at home on July 10, a match that was thoroughly dominated by
Philadelphia in every area other than where it counts most.

At 3-8-2, the
Union desperately needed points with Toronto FC coming to town. In many ways, it felt
like three points were necessary to keep playoff hopes alive, even with the
season less than halfway over.

The match
remained scoreless until the 61
st minute, with the best scoring
chance originating from a nifty move by Sebastien Le Toux in close quarters
that resulted in Jordan Harvey hitting woodwork in first half extra time. Just
as a sense of urgency was beginning to set in, Michael Orozco Fiscal came
through in a big way, sneaking Le Toux’s perfectly placed corner within the near
post for a 1-0 lead. It was the first header goal off a set piece in franchise history for the
Union, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

With the Union
cruising towards a 1-0 victory and their first-ever shutout, Chad Barrett had
other ideas. Barrett simply flicked a throw-in from Dan Gargan with his head
off the fingertips of an outstretched Chris Seitz and into the net, silencing
the crowd of 17,251.

With the Union
seemingly headed towards a second straight disappointing home result, the match
took another dramatic turn in the third minute of extra time. Cristian Arrieta
floated a hopeful ball into the area, and it fell to Toronto defender Maxim
Usanov. While attempting to head the ball away from danger, Usanov instead
directed it into his left hand. But a penalty kick wasn’t called until Jack
McInerney gathered the loose ball and struck a shot into the same hand seconds

With the final
whistle waiting only for Le Toux’s PK, the Frenchman stepped up and did what he
did every time he was called upon at the spot this year. It was a thrilling
victory at PPL Park, sending the home fans into a frenzy and, at least for the
time being, keeping Philadelphia's playoff hopes alive.