By Jacob Singer
L.A. Galaxy v. Philadelphia Union
The Philadelphia Union’s growing pains continued as they lost 3-1 to the L.A. Galaxy on the first of May. Edson Buddle stole the show with two goals and an assist. Despite being recognized as one of the league’s most influential players, Donovan still hasn’t scored this year.
It took the Galaxy all of fifty-three seconds to score their first goal. Buddle slid the ball across the front of the goal to find DeLaGarza open on the far post. In the 27th minute, Buddle scored on his own rebound. His first attempt, a heel flick, pin-balled among the defenders. The ball returned to him, and he put it in the far end of the goal. The Union’s defense was caught ball watching and paid for it. What many people didn’t see was during the corner kick, which started that play, Danny Califf took an arm to face. As a key defender, Califf might have been the man to cover Buddle or clear the ball. But while he was trying to get to get back into the play, Buddle scored.
In the 44th minute the Galaxy’s counterattack gave Buddle his second goal of the game. The play started with Donovan taking the ball down and out on the right side of the pitch. As he approached the penalty box, he cut the pass to Buddle who earned his ninth goal of the season. Throughout the game, these two played well together and rumors have it that Buddle will be on his way to South Africa come June.
A few minutes later, play turned dark when Stefani Miglioranzi slid in with his cleats up and earned a red card right before halftime. Whether out of frustration or retaliation, his action left the Union a man down for the second half. It’s moments like that when the Union’s inexperience dictates their game. This was the third game this season that the Union have had to play with ten men.
The Galaxy outplayed and outcoached the Union. What did you expect? Few expansion teams arrive and succeed like Seattle did in 2009. The
Photo from fOTOGLIF
score does not tell the whole story of the match. The Union had moments but were inconsistent. Torres had a few sublime passes and continued to influence the game. While Sietz let in three goals, he also denied a missile of a shot from Birchall. Kyle Nakazawa made his MLS debut in the second half and took two impressive spot kicks from over forty yards. And finally, Jack McInerney, age seventeen, scored his first professional goal in the 84th minute. Throughout the second half, the Union played to win. They didn’t quit. And that’s important in building confidence, fans, and a franchise.
Jacob Singer is a freelance writer who lives in Chicago. He will be covering MLS for 90 Minute Soccer. When he’s not at home reading or writing, he’s playing pickup soccer at Wicker Park. He also writes about the Chicago music scene for Rocknrollghost.com.