Philadelphia Union 3, Chivas USA 1 | MLS Match Recap

CHESTER, Pa. – Thanks to a late controversial call, the Philadelphia Union made sure two streaks continued Friday night at PPL Park: Chivas USA’s winless streak and the Union’s unbeaten record against the Goats.

In a wild game played in terrible weather conditions, Chivas USA went up a goal early only to see the Union score three unanswered goals to pull out a 3-1 win at PPL Park on Friday night. The result turned on a questionable decision from referee Jorge Gonzalez to give Philly an indirect freekick inside the Chivas USA area that led to the visitors being reduced to 10 men.


With the score tied at 1-1, and just moments after Union manager John Hackworth was ejected for arguing with the refs, Chivas were whistled for an illegal back-pass to the goalkeeper, although replays seemed to indicate that the player had slipped on the wet turf. Regardless, Josue Soto was issued his second yellow card and given his marching orders in the aftermath as the Chivas USA players protested. 

And the Union took advantage of the ensuing indirect free kick from seven yards out, with Sebastien Le Toux tapping the ball to Michael Farfan, who roofed home his first goal of the season.

Philadelphia striker Conor Casey added an insurance goal in the 89th minute – his seventh of the year – on an assist from transfer-window signing Fabinho, who made his MLS debut with a late second-half cameo.

The Union (8-6-6) are now 4-0-2 all-time against Chivas (3-11-5), who have gone 14 games without a victory this season.

In a rainstorm that turned the field at PPL Park into a slick surface, Chivas intially went on top through Jose Correa in the 14th minute. The rainy pitch played a role, as Union center back Amobi Okugo slipped while defending Jorge Villafana, who then pulled out Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath and played a ball across the box to Correa. One easy Correa tap-in later, Chivas held a 1-0 lead, which they carried into halftime -- the first time they had held a halftime lead on the road all season.

But it was a lead they couldn’t hold.

OPTA Chalkboard: Conor Casey proves too much to handle for Chivas USA

The Union had a few good chances to find the equalizer before the halftime break but Chivas netminder Dan Kennedy was strong in front of the net, making a big stop on Danny Cruz in the 31st minute.

In the next couple of minutes, rookie Leo Fernandes – making his third straight start – and Cruz had shots just go wide or high. For Chivas, Gabriel Farfan – who was back in Philly for the first time since getting traded by the Union in mid-May – ripped a 34th-minute shot from distance that was saved by MacMath.

Philadelphia finally got the equalizer in the 58th minute. Initially, Casey appeared to be the scorer after his header from a Le Toux cross skipped into the back of the net. But the goal was later credited to Brian Carroll, as the ball actually deflected off of him on its way goalward.

At 1-1, with the rain refusing to let up, the scene was set for the game to explode, starting with Hackworth's ejection and followed by the backpass call.

Both teams were missing key players as the Union played without leading scorer Jack McInerney and central midfielder Keon Daniel, both of whom are playing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. 

Meanwhile, transfer-window signing Carlos Bocanegra did not make his debut for Chivas USA as initially expected because his Internatonal Transfer Certificate did not arrive in time.

The Union return to action next Saturday when they host the Portland Timbers at PPL Park. Chivas USA have a quicker turnaround, hosting Toronto FC on Wednesday. Men of the Match

Rank Player What We Saw
1 Conor Casey The big target striker was constantly in the thick of things for the Union, especially in the second half, and the late goal was a just reward after his latest workmanlike performance.
2 Sebastien Le Toux Continued to prove a valuable asset out wide, sending in a number of dangerous crosses. His two assists once again give him the league lead this season.
3 Dan Kennedy Once again, Kennedy enjoyed a strong outing for the struggling Goats. He made a pair of key stops in the first half and was a bit unlucky to have the controversial call go against him.

Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for Email him at

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