Philadelphia Union (1-4-5, eight points) fell to the MLS-leading Seattle Sounders (6-2-1, 19 points), 2-1 on road Saturday night at CenturyLink Field as a first half goal from a Cristian Maidana free kick was outdone by two second-half goals from the Sounders.
The Union took the lead in the 13th minute on a Seattle own goal as Maidana’s free kick was whipped inside the box before Brad Evans, who was defending an oncoming Maurice Edu, had the ball deflect off of his head and into the back of the net. Seattle responded in the second half with goals from Obafemi Martins and Chad Marshall to give the Sounders three points on the evening.
“It’s a difficult one to take because you came in and played well in the first half and we got up a goal,” Union manager John Hackworth said postgame. “Even in the second half, we had some chances to get a second one and we didn’t put those away. You’re playing a really good team though; you’ve got to give full credit to Seattle. They came back to get back in the game and Chad Marshall makes a great play on the corner kick, don’t know what to say.”
Following the own goal by Evans, the Union continued to pressure offensively in the first half, creating chances inside the final third against the Sounders defense and goalkeeper Stephen Frei. Philadelphia was also boosted by a penalty save from Zac MacMath – his third of the year – just before halftime after Amobi Okugo was judged to have handled the ball inside the box. MacMath got a hand on the ensuing penalty from Designated Player Osvaldo Alonso to preserve the Union’s lead heading into the break, but it was goals from Seattle’s Martins and Marshall spoiled the night for the Union in the second half.
“We played good in the first half, we were a little bit unlucky on the penalty kick, but Zac MacMath had a great save,” forward Sebastien Le Toux said. “I thought we could have got the win tonight... I thought we played well but a mistake here and there cost us the game. There’s a little bit of frustration and disappointment, but we have to move forward.”
The Union return home to PPL Park next Saturday for a match against Eastern Conference rival D.C. United (4 p.m., purchase tickets). Still undefeated at home on the year, Philadelphia will look to turn its recent positive play into results.
“We just have to keep plugging away and hopefully we can get some luck on our side,” defender Amobi Okugo said. “I feel like [either] the defense has a good game and the offense struggles or the offense has good game and the defense struggles. We just have to have a complete performance from both sides and hopefully we can get a win.”
Seattle Sounders 2, Philadelphia Union 1,
Saturday, May 3; 7:00 p.m. ET
PHI: Evans (own goal) 13’
SEA: Martins 61’ (Evans)
SEA: Marshall 84’ (Pappa)
PHI: Williams 31’ (yellow)
PHI: Edu 35’ (yellow)
SEA: Dempsey 91’ (yellow)
UNION STARTING 11
MacMath, Williams (Hoppenot 87’), Okugo, Wheeler, Gaddis, Carroll Edu, Nogueira, Maidana (Fernandes 76’), Wenger (Casey 81’), Le Toux.
SOUNDERS STARTING 11
Frei, Remick (Pappa 51’), Marshall, Traore, Yedlin, Neagle (Cooper 79’), Pineda, Alonso, Evans, Dempsey, Martins (Scott 88’).