The Union hosted the Montreal Impact this past Saturday. Their incapability to score more than one goal per game this season costed them valuable points, as the game ended in a 1-1 draw with a late equalizer from Marco Di Vaio.
With Austin Berry still unable to play due to injury, the Union started with the same lineup they had the previous week. The Union started creating chances early on, the first successful one came in the 35th minute when midfielder Vincent Nogueira gave the Union the lead. The play buildup began with an intercepted ball from Brian Carroll in the midfield. Carroll passed it up to Jack McInerney who then laid it off to Nogueira who was making a run in towards goal. Just barely onside, Nogueira made on touch and chipped the ball over Impact goalkeeper, Troy Perkins and into the back of the net getting his first goal of the season.
A red card was issued to Impact forward, Andrew Wenger in the 75th minute after a slide tackle he committed on Nogueira giving the Union a man advantage. It didn’t help them however, because only five minutes later, Marco Di Vaio scored his first goal of the season. A pass was made to Carroll in the Union’s box but he lost it to Just Mapp who used his speed to distance himself from Carroll and take it up the field. He made a long pass up to Di Vaio who was basically unstoppable at that point. He shot an incredible curving ball with his right foot that made its way into the back of the net, there was nothing Zac MacMath could have done to stop it.
Standout players throughout the game were Nogueira, Maurice Edu, and again, Leo Fernandes. Nogueira as usual created many goal scoring opportunities and took multiple shots on goal himself. He works incredibly hard on and off the ball and is easily one of the most valued players on the pitch. Maurice Edu made great runs and passes to create plays and looked solid defensively as well. Leo Fernandes has definitely been a surprise this season. With already a goal and an assist this season, he looked in form again on Saturday, and like Nogueira had a few goal scoring opportunities.
Brian Carroll stood out negatively in the game. Although he offerers veteran experience as he’s been playing in the league for eleven years, I, personally don’t see what else he brings to the team. Throughout the entirety of this season all I’ve noticed from him is a lot of incomplete passes and weak defending in the midfield. I think he gives too many balls away too easily. There has been two instances in just the three games he has played were I think his mistakes cost the Union a goal. I don’t see him being removed from the lineup anytime soon but I think the most effective lineup would consist of Leo Fernandes starting and Maurice Edu filling the defensive midfielder role, as he has already proved he can play solid midfield defense.
The Union head to Chicago next week to take on the Fire. They will look to leave with a total three points and hopefully score more than one goal.
(image courtesy of USA Today Sports Images)