The rate of scoring has gone bust around PPL Park along the Delaware River, and all that missing offense is about to leave the Union’s playoff chances all wet.
John Hackworth’s team has one goal in its last five matches, and just five in its last nine. Those totals include the latest damage to Philly’s once once-promising playoff chances, a 1-0 loss in suburban Philadelphia to the Houston Dynamo.
It was the double-whammy, too, as Houston lapped the Union in the Eastern Conference standings by taking all three points out of PPL Park. Ricardo Clark’s second half goal – off a restart … remember when the Houston Dynamo used to score on those with far greater regularity – was enough as the Dynamo collected a huge road result, making the Dynamo a respectable 4-7-4 away from BBVA Compass Stadium this year.
Here’s the deal on Philadelphia’s offense: it was always a little shapeless. Hackworth’s team could grind out results, a lot having to do with two streaky strikers. Earlier this year, Jack McInerney would get a goal for doing nothing more than falling out of bed in the morning. Or so it seemed.
As his big, early run dried up, Conor Casey (pictured) stepped up, and he filled up the Union mid-summer matches with important goals. But both players have cooled significantly; both missed wide or high on quality chances tonight, especially as new midfielder Fabinho provided a stream of tidy service from the left.
The Union, tied for second place in the East in early July, are not in the playoffs at the moment. And they won’t be unless the rate of scoring rises dramatically.