Union

Crushing loss to Impact stunts Union's playoff hopes

Crushing loss to Impact stunts Union's playoff hopes

CHESTER, Pa. -- Sitting two points ahead of the Montreal Impact entering Saturday’s match, the Union had a prime opportunity to propel themselves up the Eastern Conference standings and keep pace for the final postseason spot.

Three Impact goals later, that opportunity was squashed.

“We're very disappointed,” Union captain Alejandro Bedoya said. “Definitely a missed opportunity for our playoff hopes. We just have to keep pushing and try to get some results away, like we haven’t been able to get the whole season. We just have to keep working hard. This is the end of the season and we have to put our heads down to do everything we can and pick up points.”

Now tied with the New England Revolution with 29 points with 10 games remaining, the dejected Union have fallen six points behind the sixth and final playoff spot while drifting to 10th in the East. The Revs have a game in hand.

“We weren’t good enough in what was a big game,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. “Now we have to chase, we no longer control our own destiny and we need help and we’re going to need to do things on the road that we haven’t done this year. Are we capable of that? Yes. But did we just make it more difficult on ourselves? Absolutely.”

Curtin wasn’t joking. Starting next weekend, the Union will be tasked with conquering a two-game road trip that starts against the San Jose Earthquakes and ends against Toronto FC. The two clubs have a combined home record of 16-1-7.

But that’s just the beginning. Over these final 10 games, the Union, who are a paltry 1-7-3 on the road this season, must also travel to face the Chicago Fire, Atlanta United and New York Red Bulls, which have a combined 2017 home record of 23-4-4.

“We need to win games on the road,” Union midfielder Haris Medunjanin said. “We’ve won just one game this season away. If we want to play in the playoffs you need to win games on the road.”

The Union's final stretch would have been a tough road prior to Saturday. But now that the club must find points at places like BMO Field, Avaya Stadium, Toyota Park and Red Bull Arena, that end-of-season gauntlet is even more grueling.

“We all knew the importance of the game,” Union center back Josh Yaro said. “We all knew what we had to do. I think we know what is at stake and from now on. Sometimes good enough is not good enough and I think this is one of those nights.”

Union pick up first point of season, tie Atlanta United

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Union pick up first point of season, tie Atlanta United

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ATLANTA — Ezequiel Barco came on in the 67th minute and scored three minutes later to help Atlanta United tie the Philadelphia Union 1-1 on Sunday night.

Defending champion Atlanta used a series of quick passes to move to ball from the left to the right side where Julian Gressel first-timed a high entry and Barco side-netted a header inside the far post.

Brenden Aaronson, an 18-year-old homegrown making his MLS debut, ripped a right-footer that, as it went through the legs of Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, deflected off the defender's leg past goalkeeper Brad Guzan to give Philadelphia the lead in the 47th minute.

Atlanta had 71.4-percent possession — finishing with 669 passes compared to just 267 by the Union — but came up empty on a handful of chances. Josef Martinez, who set an MLS record with 31 goals last season, missed wide left on a shot early in the second half and later had his bicycle shot stopped by goalkeeper Andre Blake.

Marco Fabian given red card as Union lose to Sporting Kansas City

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Marco Fabian given red card as Union lose to Sporting Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Ilie Sanchez scored on a penalty kick in the 11th minute, Tim Melia saved a penalty kick and Sporting Kansas City beat the Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Sunday.

Sporting KC also picked up an own goal off Union defender Jack Elliott in the 80th minute.

Melia's save came late in the first half when he dove to his right to stop Marco Fabian. Fabian, who scored the Union's only goal on a penalty in their season opener, was given a red card in the 60th.

Melia, who made four saves for his 40th career shutout in the regular season, has eight saves in 20 penalty kicks, three more PK saves than any other active MLS goalkeeper. Melia also punched away a shot from Cory Burke early in the second half.

Just after Fabian was sent off, Sporting KC's Graham Zusi sent a free kick from just outside the box off the bar. The clinching goal came when Gerso Fernandes sent a cross out front that went off Elliott, leaving keeper Andre Blake no chance.

Both teams lost their opener.