Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Knighton, McInerney shine in Union win

Chivas didn't bring the kind of glamor to town that Celtic and Manchester United did earlier this summer. But this was an important game nonetheless.

Knighton, McInerney shine in Union win

Chivas didn't bring the kind of glamor to town that Celtic and Manchester United did earlier this summer. But this was an important game nonetheless, because the style that Mexican clubs play is very different from how MLS clubs and many European clubs play the game. It's much more technical, much more passing-oriented, and not as physical.

So it's good that the Union were able to match Chivas' tempo, and to possess the ball a fair amount too. I'll be honest, I thought coming in that Chivas would win the game. Omar Bravo and Adolfo Bautista are better players than anyone on the Union, and we saw that in the first half.

But the Union's defense, led by a stellar effort from Brad Knighton, kept Bravo and Bautista from scoring. Credit is also due to Juan Diego González, Michael Orozco Fiscal and Cristian Arrieta for making important tackles at important times.

Knighton will get the headlines, as well he should. He was very honest after the game about having screwed up badly against FC Dallas, and he redeemed himself against Chivas. It's worth noting that many of the shots Knighton faced were from distance, which you don't see very much in MLS.

Roger Torres also played well, as did Justin Mapp. The only really big drawback was that Eduardo Coudet didn't do well with his corner kicks in the first half.

I was also disappointed by the size of the crowd. While an official attendance was not announced, PPL Park was not close to full. I expected there to be a lot of Chivas fans, and there were, but there were a lot of empty seats that are usually filled by Union fans.

Yes, it was just a friendly, and it was on a school night for some people. But it was still surprising to me.

There's plenty of postgame audio below, along with video highlights from the game. There's also a photo gallery at the top of this post and a video with analysis from me in the player at right.

Enjoy the holiday weekend, and if you aren't on the beach come by for a chat during Saturday afternoon's game.

 

More coverage
Video: Union adapts to Chivas' playing style
Photos: Union 1, Chivas 0
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Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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