June 27, 2010.
Philadelphia Union vs. Seattle Sounders FC in a match respected footy blog Philly Soccer Page referred to as: “the moment we’ll all look back on and say this was when it all started to come together."
Thursday marked the fourth anniversary of that match one where for 90 minutes, both the Union and its supporters truly felt at home and were congratulated with a historic victory.
The Union opened PPL Park, their pristine 18,500 seat soccer palace on Chester’s waterfront with a 3-1 come from behind victory. Goals from Sebastien Le Toux, Fred and a late clincher from Danny Mwanga fueled a match the Union dominated from the very beginning, as they outshot the Sounders, 14-4. It was a complete reverse to 2010 season opener that year that found the club disassembled in the Emerald City.
Despite being the dominant force it was the Union that went down by one after Sounders forward Pat Noonan scored just minutes before halftime. Noonan took a redirected ball in and hit it first time under the arm of Seitz.
However the Union responded with a three goal outburst, kick started (pun intended) by not only a Le Toux equalizer in the 55th minute, but a penalty kick save from Seitz, who denied Noonan his second of the afternoon gobbling up a poorly placed but venomous shot in the 60th.
Both plays equally sent the sellout crowd of well over seating capacity into frenzy.
It should be noted that Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller appeared unbeatable on this day, though the final score did not reflect it. Keller made nine saves, including punching away a shot from Brazilian midfielder Fred in the 71st minute, followed by a denial of former Union forward and current color analyst Alejandro Moreno just minutes later.
However, a noteworthy is all Keller gets as Fred got redemption in the 79th minute, finishing off a cross from Le Toux that trickled through the box and found Fred back post. Five minutes later rookie forward Danny Mwanga put the finishing touches on the affair with his near post netter in the 84th.
The win meant three points, but it also found the Union unbeaten in both of its home openers. Two months earlier, the club dispatched D.C. United, 3-2 in front of 35,000 supporters – including U.S. vice president Joe Biden – at Lincoln Financial Field.
What are your memories from this historic day in Union history? Leave us a message in the comments below.
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org