It was a game as wild as the weather it was played in.
Behind three second half goals, the Union battled back to defeat lowly Chivas USA, 3-1.
The win propels the Union in into second place in MLS’ Eastern Conference and gives the club its fourth win in the last five matches at PPL Park.
Played in a torrential downpour that featured whipping wind, goals from Brian Carroll, Michael Farfan and Conor Casey proved the difference.
But it was the go-ahead goal that proved perhaps the craziest in the Union’s short history as an errant backpass from a Chivas defender to goalkeeper Dan Kennedy allowed for an indirect free kick inside the box. Farfan waited to catch an 11-man Chivas slipping on the restart and buried a shot at the edge of the six-yard-box past Kennedy.
While it was a play that has gone unseen by fans of the Union, it was a situation Farfan claimed to have seen on a few occasions, which set up the impetus of where that ball needed to be placed.
“I’ve seen a couple goals scored like that and I think that’s probably where I got the idea from [of where to place my shot],” said Farfan postgame. The goal was his first of the season. “[Where I placed it] is probably the most open spot on a free kick like that when you got 11 guys lined up inside the goal, so I figured I would try it and try my best to keep it on frame.”
It was a goal Union manager John Hackworth would have loved to have commented on – except moments before referee Jorge Gonzalez made the call, Hackworth was sent off for an undisclosed reason. Though visibly incensed over what appeared to be a handball in the box, Gonzalez did not disclose the reason as to which he sent Hackworth – who could miss the Union’s next match against Portland next Saturday (7:30 p.m., purchase tickets).
“Well, I was in a position where I really wasn’t about to see that [infraction and subsequent goal],” quipped Hackworth. “I was back here under the River End, but…I don’t know, there are a lot of things that were puzzling about that play.”
What was not puzzling was the effort the Union contributed to battle back and pick up three valuable points as they outshot Chivas, 21-7 and edged in possession percentage (56.4 vs. 43.6).
VIEW: FULL MATCH STATISTICS
“This means a lot the way we were able to battle back and get the three points, it says a lot about our team,” said rookie forward-midfielder Leo Fernandes, who played 70 minutes and looked a threat to Chivas for much of it. “This gives us a lot of confidence and now it’s important we take this into the next game and fight for another three points.”
The Timbers come calling next Saturday followed by a road trip to Vancouver on July 27. Then its home for three when the Union hosts Stoke City of the Barclays Premier League on July 30 (7:30 p.m., purchase tickets) and a pair of Eastern Conference clashes against Chicago (7:30 p.m., purchase tickets) and rival D.C. United (8 p.m., purchase tickets).
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org