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Philly dominates, but Sporting KC hangs on for scoreless draw

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The Philadelphia Union had a golden opportunity for three points Wednesday against the last-place team in the MLS Eastern Conference at home, and did everything it could to get those three points, except score a goal.

Consequently, no three points. Just as frustrating a point for a scoreless draw as the result was gratifying for Sporting Kansas City.

The Union (6-4-5) fired away at SKC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, who was up to the challenge every time. Nielsen made seven saves as Philadelphia dominated possession and scoring chances throughout the match in front of 18,127 at PPL Park.

Given that the Gold Cup semifinals were also taking place Wednesday night, it was another good showing from Union fans.

Perhaps Sporting's best chances had come and gone in the first 15 minutes of the match, with Omar Bravo unable to finish a good setup from Chance Myers in the 9th minute and six minutes later, Kei Kamara shooting wide after a giveaway by the Union defense.

The Union's Sheanon Williams had his 24th-minute shot saved by Nielsen, and three minutes later, Jack McInerney controlled a pass from Jordan Harvey in the box, created some space between his defender and the goal, and drove a shot Nielsen saved.

Nielsen stopped a free kick shot from Carlos Ruiz in the 29th minute.

No Union player, though, could have been more flustered than wing Sebastian Le Toux, who took five quality shots and missed on all. 

With actor Hugh Jackman watching and goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon having Tuesday turned 40 years old, the Union hoped to reward both with a win. At least Mondragon didn't have to work much, and Jackman got cheers for holding up a Union scarf.

The match slowed down for the first part of the second half, then the Union picked it up on the attack again. In the 72nd minute, Ruiz just missed a header for a goal when a cross from Le Toux to Ruiz bounced off the top of the goal.

Shots by Justin Mapp and Le Toux in the 77th minute were saved by Nielsen. At match's end, Philadelphia had a total of 26 shots to Kansas City's eight. But SKC (3-6-5) got the draw, which prevented the Union from taking sole possession of first place in the East. 



  1. This is the most glaring issue and wasn’t mentioned til now. I think Nowak has done a fine job but this handling of Mwanga is a bit strange. Is he hurt? Is it a discipline problem?

  2. Have you seen Stojcev play lately? He last played in Dallas and got two yellow cards. He is very inconsistent and predictable.

  3. Paunovic played really well. He possessed the ball well, distributed well and made runs where he was supposed to. If you wanna blame this on anyone blame it on nowak for playing all of our forwards from the start and not having anyone to bring off the bench other than an defensive midfielder. Additionally, we are playing ruiz like a target forward, which he is not. He is a poacher and we keep lobbing the ball to him. Not to mention le toux had 3 or 4 clear chances and didnt hit the net.

  4. MLS schedule was released before the Gold Cup – people bag on MLS for a lot of things but this one isn’t their fault.

  5. How does Philly not get a goal here…even if they dominated possession, what an abysmal effort. Where is this new playmaker they picked up? They have all the forwards in the world and a strong defense, but no attacking midfield talent. Nowak is crazy.

  6. Ives, any thoughts on MLS games being scheduled at the same time as a USMNT Gold Cup game. The Union have another home game Saturday during the final. I was at PPL Park tonight, but I can’t miss the final. As a student who’s home for only a brief period in the summer it is frustrating that I will have to miss a game. The MLS has to do something so that fans like my brother and me don’t get punished for loving the sport.

  7. Skc played for the tie the whole time. Zusi means everything to the offense as of late and Bunbury started so sapong would be fresher for Saturday, skc was also missing Collin, who is probably the best player. Philly truely blew it here

  8. Philadelphia was definitely playing to win. KC played for the tie the last 30 minutes or so, and was very lucky to get it.

  9. The U couldn’t get the job done, not for a lack of trying and then we were playing for the tie against KC…I’m talking about the last place SKC at home and we are playing for a tie. Somethings gotta give…


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