By: Todd Kurpel
The Philadelphia Union followed their best result of the season with a devastating 4-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids in Commerce City, Colorado on Wednesday, September 29th. The Union were unable to continue the good play that allowed them to beat Chivas USA 3-0 on Saturday, September 25th and as a result the team is still looking for its first winning streak of the season.
Colorado took little time in taking control of the game and putting it away early. Rapids star forward Omar Cummings came into the match with ten goals on the season. Even with his scoring prowess, Cummings was often left unmarked which resulted in two first half goals, boosting his goal count to twelve on the season.
Cummings’ first goal came in the eighth minute when Mac Kandji spotted the forward all alone in front of the goal. Cummings was able to redirect Kandji’s service past Union defender Danny Califf and goalkeeper Brad Knighton for the score. Califf was in the vicinity of Cummings on the play but he was unable to recover in time to prevent the goal from happening.
Cummings was able to get free from Union defense in the 15th minute to score the second goal of the game. Jamie Smith took a corner for the Rapids and put it in a perfect position for an unmarked Cummings to send into the right corner of the goal. The two goals accounted for all the scoring in the first half, as the Union went into the break down 2-0.[picappgallerysingle id=”9878517″]
Team Manager Peter Nowak decided to use all of his three substitutions at halftime, when he inserted Jack McInerney, Andrew Jacobson, and Kyle Nakazawa for Justin Mapp, Stefani Miglioranzi, and Fred, but the changes did not provide a spark for Philadelphia. Colorado scored first in the second half when Knighton was unable to secure a free kick taken from Pablo Mastroeni. The ball was struck well, and hit Knighton in the chest, but he was unable to handle it. The rebound went directly to Wells Thompson who easily scored to put the Rapids up by three.
The Rapids added their fourth goal of the game in the 86th minute, when Mac Kandji broke free from Union defense and had a clear run towards the goal. While Kandji had a clear shot at goal, he unselfishly passed it over to Quincy Amarikwa who only had to tap it past Knighton for the goal. The goal was Amarikwa’s first of the season.
The one highlight for the Union came in added time, when McInerney was able to prevent the shut out with his third goal of the season. McInerney, who has made a case for more minutes with continued solid play, was able to collect a ball in the box that was mishandled by Colorado’s Drew Moor and calmly sent a shot past Rapids goalkeeper Matt Pickens into the side of the net. The goal was the first that Colorado has allowed at home in 517 minutes.
The Union will have to quickly put this game behind them as they travel back to Philadelphia to play the Houston Dynamo this Saturday. The Rapids, who currently sit in the sixth playoff position ahead of the Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes, will host DC United this Saturday.