Carlos Ruiz produced a goal of the year candidate as the Philadelphia Union defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 at PPL. The win means the Union stay unbeaten at home and regain the top spot in the Eastern conference.
The Ruiz goal is really something that has to be seen to be truly appreciated. After a pretty poor free kick attempt on his part, the ball was headed out by a Chicago defender. Ruiz ran furiously over to collect the ball and lofted a left footed shot from probably 40 feet out that went just over the head of Fire keeper Jon Conway.
"That’s got to be up for the goal of the year, I’d have to say," Union midfielder Justin Mapp said. "A left-footed turnaround? It was pretty special."
"Amazing," added rookie Michael Farfan, "I definitely haven’t been on the field for too many of those goals."
Farfan himself was responsible for the first goal of the game and the rookies first of his career. In the 64th minute, Kyle Nakazawa passed Farfan the ball well outside the box and the rookie fired it through traffic on the ground for the games’ opener. Overall, Farfan played quite well and was much more active from midfield than we’ve seen Union midfielders be this year.
However, he did have struggles and was partly at fault for the Chicago equalizer. Chicago’s Dominic Oduro flat out burned him in the box and slotted home a goal just about four minutes after Farfan’s opener. Goalie Faryd Mondragon has to bear some responsibility as well because Oduro didn’t have a great angle and Faryd was beaten to the near post.
It was a big win for the Union to stay unbeaten at home and reclaim the top spot in the East. Plus, the team scored two goals for the first time all year in MLS play.