Philadelphia Union v. Colorado Rapids

“Home is a shelter from storms, all sorts of storms.” – William J Bennett

19,074 fans packed PPL Park for the 2012 Home Opener against the Colorado Rapids.  The U in a 3-5-2 formation hit the ground running.

The 1st Half

The pace was so quick that we saw Danny Mwanga taken down as he sprinted into the box in the very 1st minute of play.  There was a definite case for a penalty… or at the very least a free kick.. instead Mark Geiger waved play on.

There was a pace and rhythm to the team that was lacking last week in Portland.  We saw glimpses of the fluid football we had been promised by Peter Nowak in the off season.  My favorite bit of play was the give and go between Michael Farfan and Lionard Pajoy in the 32nd minute.  Sadly the flashes of brilliance were not sustained and none resulted in the ball hitting the back of the net.

Like last week I found myself very optimistic as we headed into the locker room with the score at nil-nil.  We failed to convert some solid chances, but it seemed like only a matter of time before we found our way past Matt Pickens.

Half Time

At this early stage in the season our biggest villain seems to be the 15 minute break at half time.

The 2nd Half

The U came out in the second half looking like a different team.. and DEFINITELY not in a good way.  They looked TIRED.  11 minutes in saw Zac MacMath set up the first Rapids’ goal with a beautiful alley-oop to Jaime Castrillon.  Perhaps the sun was in his eyes? Perhaps he was rattled by the player in his face?   Either way we found ourselves losing in front of the home crowd.

In the 57th minute we were given a glimmer of hope when Jeff Larentowicz aka The Ginger Missle launched himself into Keon Daniel with reckless abandon.  The terrible challenge saw Larentowicz get his second yellow card of the match and he was promptly ejected from the match.  The football gods seemed to be smiling down on PPL Park.

Oh football gods.. Why have you foresaken us!?  Less than 5 minutes in to our 1 man advantage we saw the U go down by 2.  Chris OLDbright fell over/was tripped/decided it was nap time and Tony Cascio pounced and fired past a helpless Zac MacMath in the 61st minute.

Just when all hope seemed lost Peter Nowak decided to bring on Roger Torres (Clap-Clap-ClapClap-Clap).  The littlest engine that could provided a spark only 4 minutes into his 2012 debut and crossed a ball which met the diving head of Lionard Pajoy. 2-1.  25 minutes left.  1 man advantage.

In the 71st minute the crossbar did what Matt Pickens could not do.. it denied Michael Farfan an equalizer.  You would have never guessed by the possession, but we were still playing with a man advantage.  In the 88th another chance (the last chance) to equalize saw Pajoy blast his shot high and to the right off the outside of his foot.  THE AGONY OF DEFEAT!

As disappointed as I am in starting off the 2012 Season with an 0-2 record I am even disappointed by the uprsing of Negadelphians within the most LOYAL fanbase in Philly.  2 matches into season 3 and my Twitter feed is full of the cry of #FireNowak.   Well guess what… I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing…  The team actually looks quite promising.


JeffreyM (@Section133)

Philadelphia Union v. Colorado Rapids: Highlights

About Section133

A Group for Supporters of the Philadelphia Union in PPL Park section 133. Our Purpose is to Defend Section 133 from the AWAY Supporters of ALL other MLS Clubs.
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2 Responses to Philadelphia Union v. Colorado Rapids

  1. Will Haines says:

    We all endured a painful 1st season, where mistakes seemed to bite us in the butt during those crucial 5 minute areas, at the start of the match in both halves and at the end of both halves. We grew to expect it and just stayed hopeful the learning curve would be short. Last season, we had success and I think the crowd felt, the team would build on that positive experience. We had tightened up the back line and the keeper situation looked good even if with The Dragon gone. We had a proven finisher up top with a motor that was custom nascar surrounded by average Ford Foscuses. I think Le Toux`s embracing Philly and the crowd hugging him right back was the single greatest love affair of this city`s sports history. Oh yeah, I know Charlie Hustle brought us a World Championship in `80 but Le Toux`s love was in it`s infancy and was growing! Growing man, growing! And now, he`s gone and many just don`t get it~ me included! His jersey was the most popular! He was always the most accessable player! It was always the frenchmen that willed the ball in the back of the net and now he`s gone. It looks to me that the relationship between Peter Nowak and Le Toux took a turn south when Sebastien came back early from Bolton early. Le Toux was hurting abit and Coach thought his leaving Bolton early was disrespectful. I think the fans think the outright selling of Le Toux was disrespectful and put the team in a tough situation from an attacking/ finishing point of view. If Coach had a beef with our only proven finisher, it`s my opinion he should have patched it up like a man and keep the only successful scoring threat we have…whoops had! If people are upset, it`s because they saw so much promise and now we are 0-2. Hey, I could go on and on…like why the 3-5-2 with Califf on the pines. A formation that left our rightback all by himself with no cover and the result was a match winner for The Rapids! I, for one, can only imagine Le Toux and Pajoy up top together and then I wake up in a fever like sweat! I blame Coach Peter was this fever!

  2. Dave Weimer says:

    I’m not hoisting the #FireNowak flag yet. I’m still upset over the off season news (minus the All Star game announcement) and our performance in the first two games. It’s a long season and we have time to turn this trend around. If this trend doesn’t turn around, I’ll will be hoisting that flag as soon as our last regular season game ends.

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