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Recap: Philadelphia Union Defeat The Chicago Fire 1-0

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The Philadelphia Union beat the Chicago Fire 1-0 and earned their first ever clean sheet. The Union are now on a five game unbeaten streak overall, four in MLS play, and have earned a season high 8 points in 4 matches.  The Fire continued their winless streak, which began after their August 18th game and is now riding high at X consecutive games. 

In the 35th minute Sebastian Le Toux took a pass from Justin Mapp just inside the box and slotted the ball into the back of the net on the short side, leaving little to no room between it and the post.  Danny Mwanga left the game in the second half possibly due to a shoulder injury sustained just a few minutes into the game.  Mwanga had raced to the ball with the Fire’s goalkeeper, Sean Johnson, and managed to poke the ball away, barely ahead of Johnson’s grasp.  In the ensuing moments, Johnson’s momentum carried him into Mwanga who was thrown onto the ground, slamming his shoulder first. 

Although the Union controlled most of the first half, the Fire stormed back onto the pitch for the second half.  The Union found their rhythm after the whistle blew for the game to restart.  After the Fire moved Freddie Ljungberg into his comfortable position of attacking midfielder, the Fire became creative and threatening.  Mwanga was forced out of the game due to the possible shoulder injury and the Union also removed Moreno from the game, leaving the team without a true forward or striker in the game.  The introduction of Kyle Nakazawa led to a moment seemingly out of a Flyers or Eagles game, as Nakazawa leveled Ljungberg and play continued without a whistle or caution for Nakazawa.

Fred, a second half substitute, appeared to have reinjured his groin injury and was carted off the field in the closing minutes, but quickly found good health once again and finished the game without a problem.  Shea Salinas made his first appearance for the Union since fracturing his fibula in the Union’s June 10th game versus the Kansas City Wizards.  He entered the game in the 70th minute, replacing Alejandro Moreno, and managed to show what a fresh pair of legs can do for the Union.  Brad Knighton was good in goal, saving a couple of shots but he was not tested too much throughout the game.