CHESTER, Pa. -- With an opportunity to cushion their spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Union lapsed. Unbeaten since Aug. 4, the Union defense sprung a leak on Saturday as the club fell to the Montreal Impact, 4-1, at Talen Energy Stadium.
It was an important match and painful loss for the Union, who, at 12-12-4 and unbeaten in their last five matches entering Saturday, hold the fifth spot in the East standings, but sit only one point ahead of the trailing Impact, now 12-14-3, for the sixth spot.
The Union have six matches remaining.
• After a sluggish first 10 minutes from the home side, a drowsiness that never truly relented, the Union capitalized off a rare set piece. Media, Pa. native Auston Trusty deflected a head off a strong corner cross from Borek Dockal for the 1-0 Union lead.
• It was Trusty’s first MLS goal in 28 MLS starts. He had nine shots entering the match. It was also Dockal’s ninth assist in his last nine games.
• The assist was Dockal’s 15th of the season. Not only did it tie him with Cristian Maidana (2015) for the single-season franchise record for assists, but it gave Dockal a leg up on the MLS lead for assists. He’s fighting for MLS lead in helpers with Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and New York Red Bulls’ Alejandro Romero Gamarra, who each have 14.
• But while the corner kick gave the Union a lead, it also took it away. In the 28th minute, the Union’s corner was snuffed out and the Impact broke on a counter attack. On a full-field fast break and the Union defense scrambling, Alejandro Silva took a lead pass from Ignacio Piatti and placed it past an aggressive Andre Blake to lock the match at one.
• Outplaying the Union throughout the opening half, the Impact took the lead in the 39th, when a shot from Quincy Amarikwa rebounded off Blake’s outstretched arms and to Saphir Taider for the tap-in and 2-1 Impact lead at the half.
• The Impact made it 3-1 in the 63rd, capitalizing on another fast break as Daniel Lovitz crossed to find Amarikwa. Silva nabbed his second of the game and the Impact made it 4-1 in the 76th minute on yet another failed corner and fast break. It sent the fans toward the exits.
• The last time the Union allowed over three goals against was Aug. 4, a 3-1 decision for the Portland Timbers on the road. The Union gave up three goals at home against the LA Galaxy on July 21.
• It was a strange match for the recently dominant Union, who started C.J. Sapong on the right wing. Sloppy defensively and unable to generate much in the attacking third, it wasn’t a case of missed opportunities but more of an old-fashioned beat down. The Union were outshot, 15-9, despite trailing for the entire second half.
• Things won’t get easier for the Union, who immediately head west to CenturyLink Field to challenge the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday. That’s before returning home to host Sporting Kansas City on Sunday at Talen Energy Stadium. With little room for error, the Union face two Western Conference playoff teams.