Not sure if this was always the way the soccer gods (otherwise known as the schedule makers at Major League Soccer) planned it, but perenially, this week was generally the time the Union had an upcoming matchup with FC Dallas.
In fact, with Chicago visiting PPL Park tomorrow (7:30 p.m., purchase tickets) this will mark the first time the Union will not play its Western Conference foe in the month of May since the club’s inception.
The Union are 0-1-2 all-time against Dallas with both draws coming from second half stunners from a Philly player. In this version of “Remember when…” we take a look at both of those draws and the goals that created them.
May 15, 2010: Union 1, FC Dallas 1
This one is perhaps the most significant given the equalizer came by virtue of a Danny Mwanga goal in second half stoppage time. On a sauna of an afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field, temporary home of the Union in the early part of the team’s debut season, Dallas would get stunned by a stinger from the boot of the then rookie, who pounded a rocket past Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
After an attempted clear, the Union pumped a long ball back into the box, and a header back to Mwanga found him catching every inch of the ball he lazered home.
It was a finish so official, it was an MLS Goal of the Week nominee, which later won.
Oh, check out the video above. If you listen closely, it sounds like whoever called this match for Fox Sports Southwest paid homage to the Union after he appears he said:
“Long ball that goes back to the top of the box…nothing Kevin Hartman could really ‘DOOP.’”
May 19, 2012: Union 1, FC Dallas 1
It was a night in which a pair of titans on the Panamanian national team went tit for tat in a battle for supremacy. After Dallas forward Blas Perez scored to put his team up, 1-0 in just the seventh minute, the Union took manager John Hackworth’s halftime speech to heart and came out firing on all cylinders and was congratulated with a goal from midfielder Gabriel Gomez in the 56th minute. Gomez picked up an injury on the play after colliding with Hartman.
The match was also the MLS regular season debut of former Union goalkeeper Chase Harrison. And despite the one blemish, Harrison was strong in net, making a pair of solid saves and parrying away 12 FC Dallas attempts on goal.
Dallas comes of the calendar in May, but Chicago takes the place with a new first, as this is the first time the Union has ever played the same opponent during the regular season in the same week. Only Houston has been a back-to-back opponent in the same week during the first and second leg of the 2011 MLS Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at email@example.com