Union’s offensive struggles continue

By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer

The Union’s offensive struggles continued with Saturday’s 1-0 Major League Soccer loss to the host Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.

The team didn’t have a shot in the first half and even while playing a majority of the second half a man up after a Galaxy red card, the Union still didn’t force Galaxy goalie Donovan Ricketts into making any spectacular saves. In three games Union (2-1) have scored two goals.

“We had the opportunity once they got a red card to push the game and go forward on the attack and that happened,” said Union midfielder Brian Carroll in a phone interview following the game. “We needed to be a little sharper going forward.”

Los Angeles, which scored a goal in the 33rd minute when Leonardo headed in an outstanding David Beckham service off a free kick, was able to make that goal stand up.

“They sat in and defended like gangbusters,” Carroll said.

The Galaxy (2-1-1) missed a chance to increase the lead when Juninho hit the cross bar on a blast in the 50th minute.

The Union earned a man advantage in the 53rd minute when Galaxy midfielder Chris Birchall earned a red card after a tussle with Carlos Ruiz.

Union forward Jack McInerney was assessed a red card during stoppage time in the second half. The Union missed the attacking style of midfielder Justin Mapp, who was sidelined with a hamstring strain.

On Wednesday, the Union visit D.C. United at the Maryland SoccerPlex in a U.S. Open Cup game and then returns to MLS action with Saturday’s 7 p.m. meeting with the New York Red Bulls at PPL Park.

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