The first opponent was the Toronto FC, who was 2-11-4 at the time, the worst record in the eastern conference. The game was a one-sided affair with the Union prevailing with a 3-0 victory. The team played with beautiful precision passing, and great finishing by guys like Antoine Hoppenot and Gabriel Gómez. Even though this wasn’t a top team like Sporting Kansas City or San Jose Earthquakes, a win is a win and the Union need that right now.
After receiving momentum from the Toronto FC game, the Union were confident that they could beat Sporting KC in the important semifinal game at home. After playing two games in six days and flying from one part of the country to another, the Union showed some fatigue. They did not have that crisp passing or that prime focus that had earlier in the week against Toronto. They were very sloppy with their passes and lazy with the runs they made. It wasn’t until the 65th minute that Sporting KC would score. After that the Union had a couple of chances, but wasn’t able to tie the game. Eventually Sporting KC scored again in the 90th minute when goalkeeper Zac MacMath was caught trying to help his team out up at midfield when they scored their second goal. Even though the Union would have liked to have added a trophy to their showcase, they now have get ready for their next opponent the Montreal Impact.
Coming into the Montreal Impact game we did not know whether to expect a squad that was tired, energized, or something in between. The answer was a mix of both. They looked a little fatigued, but energized also at times. There was no score untill the 81st minute, when Antoine Hoppenot dribbled through two defenders and passed to Pajoy who put it in the back of the net for a late-game thriller. Then Montreal scored of a corner kick in the 89th minute. At that moment of the game nobody was expecting anymore than one point until Carlos Valdés scored off a Sheanon Williams throw in to win it 2-1. With the win on Saturday night the Union received their first three=game winning streak of the year.
Looking at the next three Union games, they have a tough road a head. A international friendly against Barclays Premier League team Aston Villa. This game will hopefully be a game to rest all of our starters and get some younger players some playing time. The starters will need a lot of rest, when they meet arguably the toughest match under interim manager John Hackworth. The New York Red Bulls, with their newly acquired Forward in Sebastian Le Toux. It should be one of the more interesting games of the year. You can watch the game on ESPN at 2:30 on Saturday 7/21. After that they come back home to play the New England Revolution in a very important game to climb the table to get back in the playoff race. That game comes on Sunday 7/29 at 7:00 on the NBC sports network.