Presumably, there were spirited debates in Philadelphia on Sunday night over which Union player deserved to be Man of the Match: Sebastien Le Toux, with his goal and three assists, or Andrew Wenger, with his pair of stunning strikes?
But from the San Jose Earthquakes’ perspective, the men most responsible for their 4-2 loss to the Union were in the visitors’ locker room at PPL Park. Credit Philadelphia with taking advantage of their opportunities, but the Quakes were unwilling to let themselves off the hook after working so hard to turn a 2-0 halftime deficit into a tie game -- and then watching the Union pull away with another pair of goals.
“Those were four of the weakest goals we’ve probably given up all year,” San Jose midfielder Sam Cronin told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “This was a really frustrating game. To work so hard to get back into the game and then to give up two more soft ones is very poor from us. We’ll for sure take a good hard look at things. We can’t continue to give up soft goals.”
COMPLETE LINEUPS AND BOXSCORE
The nature of those four scores will make the Quakes’ flight back to San Jose all the more interminable. A poor free kick from Shea Salinas set in motion a 10th-minute Philadelphia counter-attack that ended with Wenger’s first goal. Victor Bernandez’s risky header across the face of San Jose’s goal in the 14th minute fell right to the feet of Le Toux, who converted from close range.
Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, who came on at the half to try to stem the tide in midfield, was unable to interrupt Sheanon Williams' near-post run and headed goal in the 72nd minute. And a loose header from Shaun Francis at midfield gave possession back to Wenger, who turned a quick give-and-go with Le Toux into a 40-yard sprint before beating Jon Busch for the brace.
Of all the tallies, perhaps Williams’ was the most galling. San Jose (6-10-7) had been on level terms for only two minutes in the wake of Cronin’s 59th-minute blast off the bounce from 25 yards and Chris Wondolowski’s volleyed back-post equalizer in the 70th. A cheap foul conceded by Salinas on the right wing, a fizzed delivery from Le Toux and a fearless layout from Williams all conspired to push San Jose’s record when trailing at the half to 0-7-3 on the year.
COMPLETE MLS STANDINGS
“At that point, we felt good, and we wanted to even get more,” Quakes coach Mark Watson told reporters. “It’s disappointing to claw your way back into a game and then let it slip away so quickly. . . We’ve got a tired, frustrated group right now. We just seem to not be doing the little things right now to get results in games.”
Cronin was even more unsparing in his self-assessment: “It’s inexcusable from us, to give up a goal like that so soon after getting the equalizer. We got what we deserved tonight.”