For much of the first half of Saturday night's Seattle-Philadelphia match it looked as though the short-handed Sounders would still find a way to knock off the visiting Union at CenturyLink Field. Unfortunately for the reigning U.S. Open Cup champions, they squandered too many quality scoring chances, giving Philadelphia continued life.
The Union took full advantage of Seattle's inability to finish, breaking through with two second-half goals on their way to a vital 2-0 road victory. The win pushed Philadelphia into first place in the Eastern Conference, two points clear of Sporting Kansas City with just two games remaining in the regular season.
Freddy Adu enjoy the best game of his first season with the Union, scoring the opening goal in the 60th minute off a pass from Gabriel Farfan, and then setting up Philadelphia's second goal in the 70th minute when he forced a turnover by Osvaldo Alonso that led to a quick counterattack and a Brian Carroll goal set up by Sebastien LeToux.
Rookie goalkeeper Zac MacMath recorded two saves for his third shutout of the season for the Union.
Seattle was playing without its top attacking stars as Fredy Montero was suspended and Mauro Rosales and Alvaro Fernandez were sidelined. That didn't stop the Sounders from finding chances against Philadelphia's defense, only poor finishing kept the home side from breaking through on the night.
The loss eliminated Seattle from contention for the Supporters Shield, which was clinched by the Los Angeles Galaxy for the second straight season.
The Union can clinch an automatic playoff berth with a win against Toronto FC on Saturday, and a victory would push Philadelphia a step closer to the regular season Eastern Conference title ahead of their regular-season finale against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on Oct. 20.
Here are the match highlights.
What did you think of Philadelphia's performance? Think the Union can hold onto first place? See Seattle rebounding and making a deep playoff run?
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