Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire: Union Finds New Way to Lose

The Philadelphia Union (4-8-9, 20 points) finds a new way to lose. This time, Chicago Fire (5-6-10, 21 points) rallied late in the 2nd half to get a come from behind 3-4 win that both clubs were desperately seeking. Chicago’s Hugo Cuypers late goals in the 82nd and 91st minutes led the charge in the Fire’s comeback win against the Union.

The City of Brotherly Love vs The Windy City

Chicago got the scoring going in the 30th minute when Maren Haile-Selassie scored off a poorly defended ball by Union defender Jack Elliott. The Boys in Blue wouldn’t be behind for long. Philly would score 3 goals in the span of 11 minutes between the two halves. Chris Donovan in the 38th minute scored off a deflection from a Flach shot for his first goal of the season. Gazdag scored off a penalty kick in stoppage time before the first half ended. The goal by Gazdag (51) made him the clubs all-time leading goal scorer, surpassing Sebastien Le Toux (50).

Then minutes after the second half started, McGlynn delivered a left footed missile that banged off the left post and in. All the momentum was with Philadelphia. But somehow the Union found a new way to lose Wednesday night.

Union Finds New Way to Lose

Chicago’s Cuypers would get the comeback started in the 82nd minute. Cuypers headed in the Chris Mueller assist to bring the Fire to within one goal. Seven minutes later Gaston Gimenez tied things up when he blasted a shot past Union goalkeeper Oliver Semmle. The Fire smelt blood and weren’t going to be satisfied with just a comeback draw. 

In the first minute of stoppage time Cuypers would complete the improbable comeback getting the brace just within ten minutes of each other. Philly would get a final chance with a late corner but failed to convert. What was looking like a sure 3 points for Philly, ended with the players scratching their heads after the Union finds another way to lose this season

Pull the Curtin on the Season

The panic button has officially been pushed on the Philadelphia Union’s season. This loss puts the Union tied for last place in the Eastern Conference with DC United sitting at 20 points. Wednesday’s match looked like the Union played scared soccer while having a lead up 3-1. The squad seemed uncomfortable and looked to just kick the ball forward with no plan on keeping possession.  There was no sense of calmness from anyone while having a lead. There was a lack of effort to connect on passes. Just a bunch of kicking the ball down field, which allowed at the time, a last place Chicago Fire club to have chance after chance to attack and score.

Time for a New Style of Play

Philly has got tactical issues. Players passes are errant. No one is communicating defensively. Everything’s about efficiency and the Union are so far behind the rest of the MLS in those areas. Jim Curtin’s squad continues to have defensive lapse after defensive lapse. The Union finally found themselves with a lead and in the final 17 minutes, but like the theme of the season, the Union found a new way to lose. 

The bench lacks depth, but only one substitution was used by Head Coach Jim Curtin. Having a 3-1 lead and not getting more fresh legs on the field are the type of decisions that have had fans questioning Curtin’s coaching style and some calling for him to be fired. Things don’t get much easier with a tough New York Red Bulls (9-8-4, 35 points) club coming to Subaru Park Saturday night.

Steve Fuentes
Steve Fuentes

Steve Fuentes is a United States Army Veteran, a father, and from Maryland. Steve is a Philly Sports fan especially the Union, Sixers and Phillies. Steve is a Philadelphia Union beat writer for Edge of Philly Sports and Co-Host of the Attacking Third.