Familiar foe dooms Union, ends record shutout streak
CHESTER, Pa. – Philadelphia Union’s franchise record shutout streak ended at 407 minutes on Saturday night in a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at a sold out PPL Park.
And the club’s three-game unbeaten streak ended as well, thanks to two second-half goals from familiar foe Steven Lenhart.
“That guy’s a Union killer isn’t he?” said Union coach John Hackworth, who manned the sidelines in place of the suspended Peter Nowak. “Every time he comes here he scores goals. I don’t mean to make light of that but we need to defend those and we didn’t. He showed why he’s so dangerous.”
Lenhart has now scored four goals in just two appearances at PPL Park. His first brace came in 2010 as a member of the Columbus Crew.
All four of Lenhart's goals were knocked home with his head.
“Steven Lenhart is just a beast in the air,” Hackworth added. “He’s got great height but his timing is good. He’s reading the serve pretty well. These are balls he’s seeing in training every day and unfortunately we were on the bad end of two of them tonight.”
San Jose manager Frank Yallop’s double-switch in the 61st minute changed the flow of the game. In addition to Lenhart, Yallop brought on winger Marvin Chavez, who assisted on both goals.
“The first goal was tough,” said Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who had three consecutive clean sheets coming into Saturday’s match. “(Chavez) cut back and Lenhart got in and had a free header. It’s hard to miss that one. The second one, he cuts it back to his left foot and cuts it across to a crowded six-yard box. Afterward maybe I thought I should have come for it. But Lenhart had a free header and put it away.”
Philadelphia will now have to wait until a road match in Seattle next Saturday to begin a new shutout streak.
“We’re not worried about that,” said MacMath. “We’re more worried about not getting the result tonight. That’s the most frustrating part.”
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