Chester,PA- Philadelphia Union finished their three-game homestand on Wednesday with a 2-2 tie against the LA Galaxy in front of 17,985 at Talen Energy Stadium. With the tie, Philadelphia continued to make Talen Energy their fortress, as the Blue and Gold are now 3-0-2 (11 points) in five games at home.
“I’m proud of my team I thought they put a lot into the game continued to push, finished the game with three rookies on the field against some pretty darn good players the Galaxy have." Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin said in his post-game press conference. “So a good learning experience, again disappointed we did not take all three points tonight but we are going to be tough to beat in this building and our guys have really laid that foundation and I was happy with their effort.”
The Union strikes with an early goal
Philadelphia came out on the front foot in the first half and found themselves in front not even five minutes into the game. In the fourth minute, Philadelphia fullback Fabinho crossed the ball into the box, where two Galaxy defenders misplayed it. With the ball sputtering around in the box, Vincent Nogueira sprinted to the free ball and coolly slotted it past Galaxy goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for the 1-0 lead.
LA Galaxy wakes up and answers back quickly
After the goal, the Galaxy shook off their jitters and began to press offensively. About ten minutes later, the Galaxy would get their equalizer. In the 15th minute, great one-two combination passing between Giovani dos Santos and Robbie Keane left Galaxy right fullback Robbie Rogers on the right side of the six-yard box. Rogers curled a ball into the top corner on the back post to tie the game at one.
When referee Sorin Stoica blew the whistle after 45 minutes, the scoreline still stood at a deadlock of 1-1. One of the interesting statistics was the large amount of shots Philadelphia produced in comparison to Los Angeles, Nine to three. While Philadelphia only had two of those nine shots count on goal, the number of shots shows Philadelphia’s willingness to play offensive soccer against a team many try to sit back upon, Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Galaxy pulls ahead early in second half
Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena must have given a rousing halftime speech as Los Angeles came out very aggressively in the second half. Their aggressiveness paid off nearly immediately in the second half. In the 47th minute, Gyasi Zardes, Steven Gerrard, and dos Santos strung together excellent passes on their way down to the Philadelphia 18-yard box. Gerrard found forward Mike Magee on the wide left side of the box. Magee then struck a perfect curling shot to the top right corner, where Andre Blake once again had no chance to make a save on it, to bring the Galaxy in front, 2-1.
Rookie Keegan Rosenberry helps tie game for the Philadelphia Union
Despite being down a goal, Philadelphia would show the mental fortitude of a team bound for a possible playoff run. In the 63rd minute, Keegan Rosenberry equalized the game at two and opened his Union account off a Tranquillo Barnetta corner kick after Kennedy bobbled the initial save.
“Yeah, it was thrilling,” Rosenberry said after the game. “It wasn’t too much on the finish obviously, but yeah I mean right place right time.”
The two teams traded late opportunities on goal but neither team was able to come away with a deciding goal as the whistle blew for full time with the score at 2-2.
Man of the Match... Keegan Rosenberry
Man of the match was likely Rosenberry. His ability to provide service from the beginning, in addition, his stellar defensive capabilities make him an indispensable member of Curtin's starting XI. His skills continue to grow with each game this season and should continue to blossom into one of the better fullbacks in the league.
Philadelphia will return to play this Saturday when they travel to Montreal to play the Impact. Kickoff at Saputo Stadium is slated for 5 PM EST. Los Angeles will enjoy an 11-day break before returning to action May 22nd at the Stubhub Center against San Jose Earthquakes. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 PM EST.