August 7, 2011
By Charles Cuttone
WHERE ARE THE GOALS?
Union scoring again slumping
At the end of May, it looked for a while like the Philadelphia Union had found a scoring touch. Somewhere after Memorial Day, it seems to have taken a holiday, only to make sporadic appearances. That was evident Saturday night, as the Union managed only one goal in a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo, despite numerous chances.
|Sebastien Le Toux’s scoring drought appeared to be over Saturday night against Houston, but his 84th-minute shot hit the post.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
“As long as we’re creating chances they’re going to start falling for us,” said coach John Hackworth.“ The players we have are capable of finding the back of the net. However, it’s a lot easier said than done.”
While the Union has scored eight goals in their last six games, they have come in bunches, with three against the New England Revolution and two against DC United. They have only scored more than two goals five times this season. Thanks to a stingy defense, they have been able to become a contender in the East, but two goals in any of the games they tied or lost, would have changed the result of every one of those games.
Look at the chances Saturday night. The Union had a goal by Jack McInerney, that would have been his second of the game, called back in the 19th minute. Sebastien Le Toux, who was only one of two field players on the pitch Saturday night without a goal from the run of play, hit the post in the 84th minute on a clean open shot.
“I was very disappointed,” Le Toux, the team’s leading scorer last year, said of missing that goal. “It would be 2-0 and the game would be done.”
Le Toux’s midfield mate, Justin Mapp, points out that even though he is not finding the net, Le Toux is still an important part of the Union offense.
“I’m sure he would love to score more than anybody, so he should keep shooting and eventually one’s got to go in,” Mapp said. “But he does so much more for the team: assists, his work rate, and smart player out there. When it does come, I’m sure he’ll be very happy. But like I said he means a lot more to the team than just that.”
Mapp said that Le Toux’s missed chance in the 84th minute was tough to take.
“We saw that one and I think everybody thought it was in….I think we were already celebrating. It can be a cruel game sometimes for sure.”
Hackworth said everyone was certain Le Toux had finally broken through on that shot.
“That ball was going in for everything except that on last rotation,” Hackworth said.
Unfortunately, that one last rotation turned out to be the difference between three points and one.