The Union suffered a 3-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo, Saturday night at BBVA Compass Arena in Houston.
The loss dropped the Union to 10-16-6 (36 points) overall on the season, while Houston (14-8-11, 53 points) clinched the final playoff spot in MLS’ Eastern Conference with the win.
The Dynamo would strike first after a mistimed clearance from captain Carlos Valdes fell into the run of Houston forward Macoumba Kandji, who beat a pair of Union defenders and slotted the ball coolly past Union keeper Zac MacMath in the fifth minute.
The Union would level in the 19th minute when forward Jack McInerney headed a driven cross from Sheanon Williams back across goal to the far post of Houston. The goal marked McInerney’s fourth in as many matches, as the 20-year-old became the all-time consecutive game goals leader with four, surpassing former Union forward Sebastien Le Toux.
“It feels good [to set the record], but I would rather have won,” McInerney said. “It [stinks] to lose and we just played a really sloppy game tonight.”
It was a goal that brought some life into the Union attack – heading into halftime at least – as Houston came out firing in the second half with goals from Oscar Boniek Garcia in the 71st minute, followed by a Brad Davis penalty kick in the 75th, after Valdes was called for a slide tackle in the box by referee Mark Geiger.
“I am pretty disappointed in the way we played,” said Union manager John Hackworth after the match. “Our team did not perform at the level we are capable of in almost every facet. With that said, you have to give Houston credit they make it incredibly hard to play here.”
The Union still holds a 3-2-2 all-time edge over the Dynamo, but are 2-2 all-time in Houston. The team returns Sunday and will have to prepare to go back out on the road for a Wednesday night showdown with Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Park (8:30 p.m., The Comcast Network).
Saturday marks the season finale, when the Union are up against I-95 rival Red Bull New York (1:30 p.m., NBC).
Houston Dynamo (14-8-11) vs. Philadelphia Union (10-16-6)
October 20, 2012 – BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston – Attendance: 22,039 (sellout)
Goals by Period 1 2 Total
Houston Dynamo 1 2 3
Philadelphia Union 1 0 1
Houston: Macoumba Kandji 4 (Adam Moffat 3) 5
Philadelphia: Jack McInerney 8 (Sheanon Williams 2) 19
Houston: Boniek Garcia 4 (Brian Ching 5) 71
Houston: Brad Davis 8 (penalty) 75
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Kofi Sarkodie, Bobby Boswell, Jermaine Taylor, Corey Ashe; Boniek Garcia, Ricardo Clark, Adam Moffat (Giles Barnes 56), Brad Davis (Warren Creavalle 85); Calen Carr, Will Bruin, Macoumba Kandji (Brian Ching 67)
Substitutes not used: Tyler Deric, Andre Hainault, Cam Weaver, Calen Carr
TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Brad Davis 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Macoumba Kandji 2, Brad Davis 2, Boniek Garcia 2); FOULS: 13 (Boniek Garcia 5); OFFSIDES: 2 (Kofi Sarkodie 1, Macoumba Kandji 1); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Brad Davis 2); SAVES: 0
Philadelphia Union: Zac MacMath; Raymon Gaddis, Amobi Okugo, Carlos Valdes, Sheanon Williams (Antoine Hoppenot 64); Danny Cruz (Roger Torres 78), Brian Carroll, Michael Lahoud, Michael Farfan; Freddy Adu (Gabriel Gomez 58), Jack McInerney
Substitues not used: Chris Konopka, Cristhian Hernandez, Chandler Hoffman, Greg Jordan
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Gabriel Gomez 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Jack McInerney 1); FOULS: 16 (Michael Farfan 5); OFFSIDES: 6 (Jack McInerney 5); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Roger Torres 2); SAVES: 4 (Zac MacMath 4)
PHI: Jack McInerney (caution) 67
Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey, Adam Garner
Fourth Official: Ismael Elfath