SeatGeek Stadium. The only thing amusing about last night’s game between the Philadelphia Union and Chicago Fire was the name of the stadium. SeatGeek. Bahahaha! That’s just amazing. Stop it, you know I’m right. Fun fact: the stadium was formerly called Toyota Park, and that is not nearly as fun! Imagine the fun with marketing these fools must be experiencing!? Okay, I digress, I’m biding time so I don’t have to talk about the game.
Don’t worry, it happens to everyone…
So anyway, the Union had an off night; it happens to the best of us. That being said, Chicago Fire had a slightly better night and they scored two goals, whereas the Union scored nada. Major bummer on the road, or as coach Jim Curtin said post-game, “It felt like we could have played 180 minutes, and it wasn’t going to go in for us.” Ouch. In short, our Philly team got in their own way. Between penalties and fumbling feet, it was clear before the end of the first half that the team wasn’t playing at their peak.
Chicago took full advantage of Philadelphia not being on top of their game, and Nemanja Nikolic scored both of their game goals, one off a penalty kick. Tensions were uber high coming off that last goal, which led to a red card ejection for Chicago’s Nicolas Gaitan after he railroaded Union midfield Warren Creavalle. Even after a VAR, the call was upheld and Gaitan left the game.
Did Philly go into the game feeling too cocky?
From the red card forward, the Union kept possession of the ball for most of the game. However, they were unable to kick it where it counts. In my opinion, this speaks highly of the Fire’s defense, because the Union really should have been able to kick in at least one goal. Coach Curtin mentioned postgame that the Union just weren’t sharp enough during the game, inferring that being on the road is hard work. While it likely is hard work to be on the road, it’s part of being a professional sports player, so let’s just admit it when another team deserves the points and the win. Especially, when they played with a man down. Perhaps the team went into the game feeling a bit too confident. If so…Eek.
Have no fear
There is good news though because despite this loss, the Union have still kept up their all-time single-season best pacing through the last 27 games. Plus, they will be playing at home for the next three games. Which hopefully means more sold out matches and definitely means Union defender Raymon Gaddis will become the first Union player to ever reach 200 regular-season appearances with the team.
The Union return to action with the first of three consecutive MLS regular-season matches at home vs. D.C. United on Saturday, August 24 (7:30 p.m. ET / PHL17).
For more Philadelphia Union soccer content, read the TPL Union archives.