About a week ago, Ray Gaddis addressed the media and gave his stance on the Union’s form both offensively and defensively:
“I think we are a better team than what we’ve showed,” Gaddis said. “We aren’t still learning each other or anything like that; we are just individually making mistakes that we need to correct – that’s it. I always think going in that we are the more dominant team.”
On Wednesday night in front of their home fans at PPL Park, Gaddis’ teammates proved his statements to be true with a statement match that ended in a 3-0 drubbing of the Crew.
It was in the manner the Union (6-5-4, 22 points) did it however was even more scintillating, scoring three goals in a six minute span as captain Brian Carroll, defender Sheanon Williams and forward Conor Casey all found the back of the net. It was Carroll who struck first in the 25th minute with a blistering shot from just above the 18-yard-box that took a deflection off Crew defender Eric Gehrig. Four minutes later, Williams netted his first goal of the season with a beautiful side volley to finish off a great flick by Carroll that began with a great ball in from Le Toux.
It was Le Toux who would provide the helper on the third and final goal too, after his ball in from the right side found the head of Casey in the 31st minute.
“We were due one of these games,” said Union manager John Hackworth postgame. “Our coaching staff felt like [this] was going to happen one way or another, sooner or later. Glad it happened in a game as important as this one. You get a little bit of a break now and maybe that gets a little bit of pressure off us.”
With his pair of helpers, Le Toux has found his role change from goal scorer to provider, but in doing so the Frenchman has also taken the league lead in assists this season with six. In all, the Union own MLS’ top two stats with forward Jack McInerney holding down the high for goals (10).
“[Sebastien] did so much work, but he always does that,” Hackworth said. “I know that I have said that Sebastien is going to be so important to our club. In times when he wasn’t playing as much our coaching staff, locker room, everybody knew how important he still was, the role he had to play for us to be successful. It’s great for him. He always brings it and he certainly did tonight.”
It was a complete match with the fort being held down defensively both individually and as a unit. Union manager John Hackworth lauded what he described as a “complete team defensive effort.”
Defender Jeff Parke later added:
“It’s the goal every game [to play sound defensively], but tonight I thought we did a very good job of it,” said Parke. “The whole group came together, made it compact and made it hard for the opposition to come at us…we handled them out wide and through the middle and to be honest I think they only had like one or two chances tonight.”
The final stat sheet showed Columbus (4-5-5, 17 points) with just four chances on frame, all of which were handled easily by Union keeper Zac MacMath who earned his fourth shutout of the season.
VIEW: FULL MATCH STATISTICS
The Union have a two week break from MLS play, but will stay active with games against PDL affiliate Reading United Friday (7 p.m.), a trip to Boyds, Md. for fourth round U.S. Open Cup play against D.C. United on June 12 (7 p.m.) followed by a trip to take one USL affiliate Harrisburg (7 p.m.).
Then it’s a return to league play against bitter rival the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, June 23 at PPL Park (5 p.m., purchase tickets ).
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at email@example.com