For the second straight game, the Union controlled most of the first half of a game. And for the second straight game, they failed to do anything with it.
But this time, they didn’t just give up the game’s first goal. They gave up the second, too, on the way to a 2-0 defeat at Talen Energy Stadium.
“We talked a lot about the importance of this game against a conference opponent, and I didn’t get the job done,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. “I put my hand up and take responsibility for the group. … We still play good soccer at home, but now it’s just a matter of finishing those chances.”
Even by this team’s standards, it was one of their worst nights in a while.
After C.J. Sapong, Fafa Picault and most glaringly David Accam all failed to finish chances in the game’s early stages, Orlando’s Dom Dwyer found the net with his first attempt. In the 38th minute, he took a chipped pass from Sacha Kljestan and shot past Andre Blake.
With just seconds to go before halftime, Orlando (3-2-1, 10 points) doubled their lead. Chris Mueller ran right up the middle of the Union’s defense, and ran right by Jack Elliott as the Englishman stood still and tried to pick the ball off. Matt Real was the next defender and backed off too far, allowing Mueller to shoot from just inside the 18-yard box.
In the second half, fans were chanting “Let’s go, Flyers!” instead of anything to do with the Union (1-2-2, 5 points). They had few reasons to change their ways. Orlando goalkeeper Joe Bendik made some saves, but wasn’t troubled too often.
The Union, however, seem quite troubled. Sapong hasn’t scored since earning a contract extension in mid-March. Accam has no goals or assists yet this year. And with four of the Union’s next five games set to be on the road, it’s likely to only get harder for this team to get things right.
If you’re looking for a reason to believe, Haris Medunjanin might have offered one on the postgame podium. The veteran Bosnian midfielder had strong words for the public — and perhaps his teammates, too.
“We went into the game too comfortable, because the last performance we thought everything was okay — but we didn’t win the last game,” he said, referring to last Saturday’s 1-1 tie with the San Jose Earthquakes. “If we don’t play together as a team, everybody can beat us. … Orlando, that is not a better team than us, but we gave them two goals in the first half.”