Nine years ago today, Philadelphia Union improved to 2-0 on the young 2011 season as Carlos Ruiz netted his first goal with the Boys in Blue. Below you'll find the club's original match recap.
Chester Pa. (March 26, 2011) – In front of a sold out crowd of 18,591, Philadelphia Union earned a 1-0 victory against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first-ever home opener at PPL Park Saturday. Carlos Ruiz opened his Union account in the 77th minute, assisted by Sebastien Le Toux, and the defense held the rest of the way with a man advantage following a red card from striker Eric Hassli. The second straight 1-0 victory marks the first winning streak in franchise history for the Union.
The first chance of the match for Philadelphia came in the 19th minute when Ruiz ran onto a through ball in Vancouver’s territory. Settling the bouncing ball, Ruiz laid it off to a streaking Le Toux to the left of the goal, but the Frenchman’s angled attempt from close-range was denied by a charging Joe Cannon.
While neither side generated many goal scoring chances in first half, the Union had a golden opportunity right before heading into the locker room. Kyle Nakazawa’s attempted shot from the top right corner of the area trickled through the six yard box, and Ruiz was nearly able to redirect it on goal. The ball was just out of reach, however, and both sides went into the break scoreless.
With six yellow cards already distributed, the complexion of the match changed in the 57th minute when Hassli was shown a second card following a dangerous challenge with Carlos Valdes.
With a man advantage, the Union nearly capitalized twice in the 66th minute. Following a corner from Nakazawa, Ruiz managed to get a shot on goal from close range during a goal mouth scramble, but Cannon made a terrific reaction save to keep the match level. Moments later Ruiz wound up and struck a one-timer from within the area, but it was blocked and the Whitecaps were able to clear danger.
With time beginning to become a factor, the Union found their go-ahead goal. Stefani Miglioranzi sent a clearance back into Vancouver’s area and it deflected right to Le Toux, who was all alone to the right of the goal. The 2010 Best XI member took one touch before crossing low for Ruiz, who was waiting right in front of the net. The recently signed striker made no mistake with the finish, tapping in to give the Union the only goal they’d need.
Philadelphia posted a second consecutive shutout, matching their total for the entire 2010 season. Faryd Mondragon was mostly untested during his second straight clean sheet, but he kept his backline organized throughout.
Sitting atop the Eastern Conference at 2-0, Peter Nowak’s side will ride the momentum of Saturday’s victory into LA next weekend to take on the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.
PHI – Carlos Ruiz 1 (Sebastien Le Toux 1) 77’
VAN- Eric Hassli (caution; Reckless Foul) 25
PHI- Kyle Nakazawa (caution; Reckless Foul) 26
PHI- Danny Califf (caution; Dissent) 31
PHI- Danny Mwanga (caution; Reckless Foul) 35
VAN- Nizar Khalfan (caution; Reckless Tackle) 46+
VAN- Alain Rochat (caution; Reckless Tackle) 48
VAN- Eric Hassli (caution; Reckless Foul) 57
VAN- Eric Hassli (ejection; Second Caution) 57
Vancouver Whitecaps -- Joe Cannon, Jonathan Leathers, Greg Janicki, Alain Rochat, Blake Wagner, Nizar Khalfan (Long Tan 88), Terry Dunfield, Gershon Koffie, Russell Teibert (Wes Knight 64), Eric Hassli, Atiba Harris (Camilo 83).
Substitutes Not Used: Jeb Brovsky, Bilal Duckett, Brian Sylvestre, Kevin Harmse.
Philadelphia Union -- Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Carlos Valdes, Danny Califf, Jordan Harvey (Jack McInerney 66), Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux, Stefani Miglioranzi, Kyle Nakazawa (Roger Torres 66), Carlos Ruiz, Danny Mwanga (Gabriel Farfan 83).
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Agorsor, Michael Farfan, Levi Houapeu, Thorne Holder.