The game in 100 words (or less): Sometimes teams are just rusty on opening day. Neither the Philadelphia Union nor Colorado Rapids are expected to light Major League Soccer on fire in 2015, so in that regard, they lived up to expectations in their 0-0 draw on Saturday (highlights below). How bad are the Rapids? Final stat count: Possession – 39%, Shots – 2 (to 16), Passing% – 59, Fouls – 23, Red cards – 1, Clearances – 34 (to 8). Yup.
[ READ: PST’s 2015 team-by-team MLS previews ]
Three moments that mattered
22′ — Wenger off the crossbar — A poor Rapids clearance ended up on the foot of Andrew Wenger, wide left of the penalty area. The 21-year-old former-No. 1 SuperDraft pick did well to create space and angle to unleash a powerful, curling shot, which clanged off Clint Irwin’s crossbar and out of play.
68′ — Burling sees red — It’s always a tenuous situation when a center back picks up a yellow card before the half-hour mark. For the rest of the game, he’s limited in the challenges he can make and always a half-second away from being sent off. Burling brought down Sebastien Le Toux inside the center circle as the Frenchman had a clear path into the final third. Justified second yellow.
86′ — Irwin denies Casey — Conor Casey should have scored. There’s really no other way to put it, but Clint Irwin made the play of the game when he stone-walled the big forward’s header from five yards out. Without Irwin’s heroics, we’re talking about a Union victory and I’m re-writing this entire recap. Clint Irwin was the only good thing about this game.
Philadelphia Union: Mbolhi, Gaddis, Vitoria, White, Williams, Wenger, Edu, Nogueira (Pfeffer 85′), Le Toux (Casey 85′), Sapong (Maidan 46′), Aristeguieta
Colorado Rapids: Irwin, Riley, Harrington, Burling, Sjoberg, Pittinari, Sarvas, Sanchez (Powers 55′), Serna, Torres (O’Neill 74′), Badji (Brown 88′)