A guest post from The Inquirer's Marc Narducci looking back at the Union's wild 4-4 draw with the New England Revolution at PPL Park. There are photos from the game above, and a video interview with Freddy Adu below.
If anybody is trying to look at a silver lining in the Union’s 4-4 draw with the New England Revolution, begin with halftime.
The Union were down 4-1 at the half and had rookie Zac MacMath making his first Major League Soccer start in goal with veteran Faryd Mondragon out with a broken finger.
"Not the start I wanted," MacMath understated.
Yet what the team did at halftime, enabled the Union to pull together instead of falling totally apart against a team it beat 3-0 on July 17.
"I think everyone was trying to encourage me and really everyone was trying to encourage each other because being down 4-1 at the half we were all at fault," MacMath said. "And I think everyone noticed that and we were all trying to pick up the morale."
Afterwards defender Danny Califf said that none of the four goals were MacMath’s fault. Definitely the first three weren’t and the Union felt that Benny Feilhaber, who scored the fourth goal on a blast from outside the box, should never have been given the room to shoot.
Either way, after the draw was accomplished, Califf made sure that MacMath knew that his teammates were clearly behind him.
"After the game I definitely made sure I went out of my way and told him he did a really good job despite what was going on in front of him," Califf said.
So the Union are more concerned and rightly so, about so many defensive lapses than their keeper’s starting debut.
They felt that MacMath wasn’t given the defensive support in the first half. So the team hasn’t lost confidence in him.
Califf and everybody else realizes that the Union must eliminate their defensive lapses if they don’t want a repeat of the first half, regardless of who is in goal.