Sebastien Le Toux scored his first goal of the season, doing so from the penalty spot, and the 10-man Philadelphia Union held off the San Jose Earthquakes for a 1-0 result at PPL Park Saturday afternoon.
Philadelphia was gifted the penalty when Earthquakes centerback Jason Hernandez went to ground to block an Amobi Okugo cross by the end-line, and referee Mark Geiger deemed that Hernandez handled the cross. Le Toux stepped to the spot in the 76th minute and beat Jon Busch for the game's only tally.
The Union went down a man in the 41st minute, when Jordan Harvey was sent off by Geiger for apparently purposefully stepping on Chris Leitch. Both players went for a 50-50 ball, and Leitch went to ground while Harvey stayed upright. Harvey's momentum carried him through Leitch, though the contact appeared to be incidental.
Union coach Peter Nowak started Danny Mwanga and Roger Torres in a more offense-minded lineup than in games past only to opted for substitutes Stefani Miglioranzi and Michael Farfan for a more defensive, postition-oriented lineup in the second half.
The substitutions helped the Union achieve the result, as Philadelphia out-possessed and out-played San Jose, despite being a man down. Chris Wondolowski started in the midfield on the right, while Scott Sealy played up top for San Jose, but the Earthquakes could hardly generate chances that threatened Faryd Mondragon's goal.
Frank Yallop made a whole host of changes to his starting lineup in an effort to jump-start his struggling team. Among the regular starters benched were Bobby Convey, Khari Stephenson, Ryan Johnson, Sam Cronin and Ramiro Corrales. Rookie Anthony Ampaipitakwong started and played well in spurts on the left, while Justin Morrow, Brad Ring, Bobby Burling and Steven Lenhart all earned starts as well.
The loss was the third straight for the Earthquakes (1-4-2), while the 1-0 victory was the fourth of its kind this season for the Union (4-1-1).
What did you think of the red card and penalty calls? Who should be starting for San Jose? Thinking that the Union defense is the real deal? Do you see Le Toux breaking out?
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