Photo: Marjorie Elzey
Chester booed at the final whistle of Union’s lackluster 1-1 draw with visiting CF Montreal.
Whether they were for the home team, who played in a way head coach Jim Curtin called “boring, to be honest”; for the referee who, despite showing half a dozen yellow cards that day and awarding Union a penalty, never seemed to get the game under control; or for the general sense that this union team, this first place The Union team is still playing well below its potential… it’s a matter of opinion.
From his seat in the back row, as close as possible to the toilets, one writer had a different theory: the fans were booing, knowing what the day could have been like and how that feeling had uncanny similarities to other games in of recent Union past has .
Love it or hate, Union dominate the league in expected goals, both for and against.
Despite their disinterest in possession, they use the space game after game to create scoring chances. It may not always be pretty, but the underlying metrics suggest it will be (and was) a winning strategy over a long season.
Expected goals are calculated based on the myriad of factors that go into a shot: where to score, who’s in the way, what body part is used, etc. – and Union again won the xG Game against Montreal.
What doesn’t show up on the xG stat sheet is that for the second or third time this young season – and certainly the second week in a row – Union could have had a multi-goal lead in the first half and didn’t. t. This unflattering result wasn’t because the team’s shooting was out, it was because They couldn’t fire a shot first of all.
Here are the most egregious examples.
In the second minute, a 3-on-3 with striker Julian Carranza in the box and Daniel Gazdag in deficit ended without a shot.
In the 12th, Union has a jailbreak in the penalty area – three players running towards goal, behind them the entire Montreal defense (which were unlocked by Gazdag and a clever teamwork). That chance ends without a shot as well, as Leon Flach (who deserves a 4 in the PSP player rating but probably deserves less, his second tough outing in a row) misses a shot – disinterestedly, understandably – and then his cross behind both runs hits. Detain strikers (absurd, unforgivable).
Finally, in the 38th minute, striker Mikeal Uhre nailed an inch-precise cross through a crowd of Montreal defenders to the foot of the aforementioned Carranza – but the ball passed harmlessly under and again went without a shot on target.
Author’s Note: For those who believe that Uhre was offside and wouldn’t have counted the chance anyway, please see Exhibit A below – the ball is already off Gazdag’s foot and Uhre is level with two defenders. Oh…
Fans lamented the play of Union midfield in the PSP match report comments and there’s a lot of blaming that no one had their best play and the list of these names starts there.
However, Union should have won this away win – regardless of the game in midfield. Other teams take points from the boys in blue simply because they take advantage of the good chance or two they get.
The Union isn’t, and it came back to bite her again on Saturday.
- Children’s day is fun, as is afternoon football. Getting a few 2-4pm tee times would go a long way for many Union fans to bring their little ones along.
- The Union and Subaru celebrated Earth Week this week (although MLS didn’t produce their polarizing parlay jerseys in honor like they have for several years) while championing their zero-landfill commitment. As previously reported, Subaru Park’s rubbish actually avoids landfill, instead ending up at a local incinerator just down the road in Chester — one that’s said to be “one of the biggest emitters of this kind in the country.”
- Union pregame celebrations indoors and out were as lively as ever, with music blaring between 90 and 100db. That’s as loud as a snowmobile, and exposure “above 85 dB for long periods of time can cause permanent hearing loss.”