Eleven observations on the state of the Union, from Saturday’s win at Montreal to news from the academy:
1. Cory Burke made a strong case to get more playing time when he returns from his red-card suspension. Burke took four shots in his 58 minutes on the field – more than C.J. Sapong took in any of his last three games – and was very active in the final third.
Here are charts from MLS’ website of touches in games for (from left to right) Burke against Montreal and Sapong against Columbus (May 9), Toronto (May 4) and D.C. (April 28):
2. The Union aren’t known for pretty soccer, but they played some against the Impact.The first goal followed a 35-pass sequence involving every outfield player except Burke. Montreal’s Raheem Edwards stopped it, then right after he knocked the ball out of bounds, Ray Gaddis’ throw-in started a quick five-pass move to Burke’s header.
3. It might be the scorekeeper’s fault that David Accam still has no goals or assists for the Union. His hustle play knocked the ball to Haris Medunjanin for the second goal. More efforts like that will eventually get him in the box score.
4. Medunjanin’s game drew a range of reactions on social media. The analytics were mixed too. According to WhoScored.com’s metrics, Medunjanin recorded one tackle, one interception and 89 passes with a completion rate of 79.8 percent. The completion rate was his worst of the season, but he hada season-high three key passes.
5. Gaddis’ evolution as a left back continues. In addition to assisting Burke’s goal, he took a shot of his own after running almost the full length of the field:
6. Warren Creavalle made one of the underrated plays of the game in the 79th minute, when he picked the ball off Montreal star Ignacio Piatti without giving up a penalty kick:
7. Why wasn’t Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush sent off for a handball outside his 18-yard box in the51st minute?Because when he first touched the ball on his slide, he was inside the box. Soccer’s laws allow the referee to call a foul but not card the goalkeeper in that circumstance.
8. Alejandro Bedoya has a history of big games against Montreal, and this was another one. He recorded two shots, six tackles, two clearances, one chance created and 59 passeswith a98.2 percent completion rate.
9. Mark McKenzie looked composed in just his third MLS game. One of his best moments came in the 86th minute, when he shutdown Impact striker Matteo Mancosu in a one-on-one duel:
10. Auston Trusty continued making his case to be on the U.S. national team for this month’s game against Bolivia in Chester. He recorded three tackles, three interceptions, 10 clearances and a block.
11. Bethlehem Steel coach Brendan Burke told the Inquirer and Daily News last week that Union academy forward Tonny Temple could make his Steel debut soon, and that happened Saturday. The 17-year-old Millville, Pa., nativewas a 71st minute substitute in Bethlehem’s 2-1 loss at Charleston.
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