PBPP: Last ten minutes on Saturday something to remember for Union
Do what you wish with the first 80 minutes of last Saturday's game against Montreal, but let's take those last 10 minutes and reflect on their positive meaning.
The exciting ending gave the Union three big points as they look to climb up into the playoff chase. It also gave them some momentum, winning three straight league games for the first time in franchise history during a run of four victories in their last five games.
They got the job done against a Montreal team loaded with veterans, who did a good job at shutting the Union down for much of the game. Despite a big edge in possession, the Union managed just eight shots over 90 minutes, putting five on frame.
For the longest time, this had all the makings of a 0-0 game, a result that Montreal would have gladly taken. A Lionard Pajoy goal in the 82nd minute figured to be the only goal of the game. Who would have predicted that there would be two more coming? Just when it seemed like the PPL crowd could celebrate a win, an own goal off of a Montreal corner kick made it seem like 1-1 would now be the final score, but there was still one more moment of magic to come.
How many times have we reflected on what a weapon that long throw-in of Sheanon Williams is? We surely saw what it can do, as the right back's throw in set the stage for the Carlos Valdes game winning goal in stoppage time. The Captain made sure that his first goal of this season would be a most memorable one. One day later Valdes was one of two Commissioner's Picks for the July 25th All-Star Game vs. Chelsea at PPL Park. His game winning goal had nothing to do with his being named an all-star. The fact is, there aren't many center backs having a better season than Valdes.
Carlos and his teammates now have an interesting week ahead.
On Wednesday the club meets Aston Villa in an international friendly, and on Saturday it's a trip up the turnpike versus their rivals, the New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls just pulled off a deal to acquire former Union forward Sebastien Le Toux from Vancouver in exchange for Dane Richards.
Interim Manager John Hackworth hopes to get Michael Farfan back for the New York game. The talented midfielder sat out Saturday's game with a groin injury. I thought his absence hurt the Union's creativity, especially in the first half.
The Union looked better in the second half, largely due to the subs who were brought in. Lionard Pajoy, Antoine Hoppenot, and Gabriel Gomez all made their presence felt. Pajoy in 45 minutes scored a goal, while directing three shots at the Impact, putting two on target. Pajoy and Gomez are now tied for the goal scoring lead on the club with five.
Things appear to be looking up for the Union under Interim Manager John Hackworth, whose MLS record now stands at 4-2-0. With 17 games left in the Union's regular season, there is time to close the gap and make a run at the playoffs. To do that, they'll need to keep this momentum going Saturday vs. New York.
WATCH: Match highlights