PBPP: Union give best performance of season on Sunday
As well as the Union played in their June 23rd 4-0 home win versus Sporting Kansas City, in many ways Sunday's 3-0 win over Toronto FC was an ever better performance.
Against Toronto the Union possessed the ball better in this game than in any other this season, and better than many games in seasons past. While the final number was 62.3% ball possession, that number was as high as 71% at halftime. Sometimes the possession stat is a misleading one, but it wasn't on Sunday.
The club was efficient in the attack, scoring 3 goals on 4 shots on target. Gabriel Gomez, Freddy Adu and Antoine Hoppenot each scored in this one. To have 3 different players score on Sunday had to be refreshing for a team that has struggled to score all season long. More players are fitting in well with this 4-3-3 formation and it's showing.
All eyes are now focused on Wednesday's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal against Sporting Kansas City at PPL Park. If the Union win that one, they will take on the winner of Seattle vs. Chivas USA for a chance to claim the first major trophy in club history.
Following that midweek game, expansion side Montreal visit the Union on Saturday. The Impact will be bringing in designated player Marco DiVaio and perhaps their latest signing Alessandro Nesta from AC Milan. Nesta was signed late last week and was not on the squad of 18 who suited up in Montreal's Sunday win vs Columbus.
For the Union, it's now two straight wins and 3 wins in their last 4 games in MLS play. The club has a winning league record (3-2-0) under interim Manager John Hackworth. Offensively Jack McInerney and Michael Farfan have certainly stepped up, while on the defensive side, the back four plus Zac MacMath have given up just 4 goals in those 5 games.
Montreal is 4 points ahead of the Union in the standings, (Philadelphia has four games in hand) so it's another one of those critical home games for the Union if their playoff hopes are to be realized here in 2012.
I'll take a closer look at this matchup later in the week.