The Philadelphia Union are off to a rotten start in 2012 as they dropped their home opener to the Colorado Rapids 2-1 at PPL Park. The Union fall to 0-2 on the season and have conceded 5 goals to just 2 scored.
The Rapids opened up the scoring thanks to yet another poor play from young goalkeeper Zach MacMath. Just a week after an embarrassing mistake gifted Portland a goal, MacMath failed to hold on to what should have been a pretty routine catch on a cross and Colorado's Jaime Castrillon tapped it in for the opening goal of the game in the 56th minute.
Things seemed to turn the Union's way when just two minutes later Philly native Jeff Larentowicz slid in for a bad challenge and was sent off with his second yellow. The home team started putting on the pressure, but another killer mistake would cost them.
After Colorado cleared a ball out of their half, Union's Chris Albright won a foot race with Tony Cascio but simply slipped and fell before he could kick the ball away. Cascio collected it and went in on goal completely unopposed, beating MacMath one on one. It was another embarrassing error, but this one couldn't be blamed on MacMath. Replays showed that Albright probably did get his ankle clipped by Cascio, which certainly could have resulted in a foul, but at the same time had he not been winding up to kick the ball the length of the pitch he never would have been in the situation. The safe, smart thing to do would have been to simply tap the ball out of bounds and regroup.
Peter Nowak quickly pulled Albright off, sent on the sparkplug Roger Torres and the move paid almost immediate dividends. Off a set piece, Torres delivered a fantastic ball in off his left foot that Leonard PIjoy headed past the Rapids the keeper making it 2-1 in the 67th minute. It was Pijoy's first MLS goal.
The Union would control possession for the rest of the match but failed to capitalize on their scoring chances. Michael Farfan hit a post in the 72nd minute and Lionard Pajoy flat out missed a great opportunity in the 89th.
The Union will now try to right the ship next Saturday on the road in a primetime matchup with the Chicago Fire.
For more on the Union check out The Brotherly Game.