Rais vs Colorado

Philadelphia Union Draw With Colorado Rapids 0-0 In Season Opener

Philadelphia Union and Colorado Rapids opened the 2015 MLS Regular Season with a 0-0 draw at PPL Park on Saturday night. The Union outshot Colorado 16-2 and did not allow a single shot on target. But in a game that featured 34 total fouls and had seven cards issued, neither team was able to break through for a goal.

“I’m happy with the group in terms of defense,” head coach Jim Curtin said. “I thought we were solid. We didn’t give up many chances. We created enough chances to get three points today.”

The Union were comfortable in possession all night, holding a commanding 60.7 percent of the game. They had chances early and often starting in the 11th minute off a corner kick from Sebastien Le Toux. Maurice Edu was able to latch onto the end of it, but his right-footed shot just barely went over the frame.

In the 21st minute, Andrew Wenger took a cross from Sheanon Williams and blasted a right-footed attempt that clanked off the bar. In the 44th minute, Le Toux got in free off a ball from Fernando Aristeguieta, but his low shot was saved by Clint Irwin’s right foot.

At half, Cristian Maidana came on for an injured C.J. Sapong, and he immediately went to work with one of the better scoring chances the Union had all night. He sidestepped a defender just outside of the box on the right side, but his shot sailed across the face of the goal and went wide.

In the 86th minute, Aristeguieta was taken down on the edge of the box, five yards from the end line. The ensuing free kick was taken well by Maidana and Conor Casey was able to head it powerfully on net, but Irwin was there to make the save.

Although they weren’t able to score, the Union created plenty of chances. Including the dominant possession, they sent in 31 crosses and managed 16 shots, all while forcing Colorado to make 34 clearances. But, they couldn’t find the back of the net. In net, Rais Mbolhi posted his second career clean sheet for the Union.

“The process is what you saw out there tonight,” Andrew Wenger said. “It’s just playing and realizing what they’re trying to do and learning from it, building on it and talking through it afterwards. We saw some things guy wanted to try to do tonight and how they’re moving and we’ll slowly adapt and learn.”

In all, Colorado committed 23 fouls and were issued five cards. They had just two attempted shots all night, neither of which were on target.

“The positives are though that we kept a clean sheet at home which is something that we’ve stressed all pre-season, Curtin said. “We need to have zeros at home. The goals will come as the group moves forward.”

The Union are back in action Saturday, March 14 against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.

BOX SCORE
Philadelphia Union 0, Colorado Rapids 0
PPL Park
Chester, Pa.

SCORING SUMMARY
None

DISCIPLINE SUMMARY
COL – Burling (yellow) 24’
PHI – Vitoria (yellow) 25’
COL – Sjoberg (yellow) 45’
COL – Burling (second yellow) 68’
COL – Serna (yellow) 73’
PHI – Aristeguieta (yellow) 90+7’
COL – Pittinari (yellow) 90+7’

UNION STARTING XI
Mbolhi, Gaddis, Vitoria, White, Williams, Wenger, Edu, Nogueira, Le Toux, Sapong, Aristeguieta.

RAPIDS STARTING XI
Irwin, Harrington, Sjoberg, Burling, Riley, Pittinari, Sarvas, Serna, Torres, Sanchez, Badji.

OFFICIALS
Silviu Petrescu, Daniel Belleau, Gianni Facchini; Jose Carlos Rivero.

ATTENDANCE
18,022


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