BY MIKE WOLVERTON SPORTS GUY The Union played a very fan-friendly game on Saturday night. If you are going to get tonked in a 10:30 PM start, you owe it to your fans to be put away early so they can get some sleep. The Union did their part by conceding inside the first minute in Los Angeles. The box score is a bit unkind to the Union, as it says Adolph DeLaGarza’s goal came in the zeroth minute, before the game began, when in fact it took LA 53 seconds to score. A second goal from a post-corner scramble and a third on a beautiful Landon Donovan/Edson Buddle combination, left the Union down 3-0 before halftime. The moldy cherry on top of their crap sundae was a red card to Stefani Miglioranzi that would reduce the Union to ten men for the entire second half.
What is with the red cards in MLS? Soccer is best played 11-on-11; sending off a player doesn’t improve the game and should be reserved for egregious and dangerous fouls. Miglioranzi’s foul was two-footed, but his studs were not up and it wasn’t particularly dangerous. It’s as though the referees think a few red cards and some power-play action add excitement. In truth, the red card ended all drama, as the Union had no hope of recovering from a 3-goal deficit while down a man on the road.
I give the Union credit because they didn’t fold up their tent in the second half (I need a better cliché here than “fold up the tent”, but it is hard to come up with Union-themed Revolutionary War phrases. How about, “they continued to deny the validity of the Stamp Act”? I’ll keep working on it.) The Union looked a little better in the second half, although surely the Galaxy had taken their foot off the intensity pedal. And for those fans that stuck it out, they were rewarded with an 84th minute goal from 17-year-old Jack McInerney. The Union continue to make crucial mistakes, in this case an early defensive lapse and another red card (the Union lead the league with three sendings-off). But Philadelphia has looked competitive most of the time, and they’re still ahead of DC United! Next up, Saturday at defending champ Real Salt Lake.