The first half in the match went the way many expected it to go: Three goals by the league-leading LA Galaxy, one in the first minute, and a red card from the struggling Philadelphia Union.
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Both have been the trends so far this season for each club, with the Galaxy dominating the majority of their matches while the Union seem predestined to play a man down. Stefani Miglioranzi’s sending off just before halftime marked the third game in five that the expansion team has received a red card in the first half.
Surrendering a goal so early also didn’t help the Union’s chances at the Home Depot Center on Saturday.
“When you get scored on in the first minute of the game, it obviously changes how we like to do things,” Union forward Alejandro Moreno said. “We tried to get into the rhythm of the game and we really couldn’t catch up. We didn’t adjust well and after giving up the first goal, we let up an unfortunate second goal and after that it was very up hill.”
Despite being down a man for a majority of the game, the Union played well at times, holding the Galaxy scoreless in the second half and pulling one back through rookie Jack McInerney. It was only the second goal LA have allowed all year.
“I thought we showed some character in the second half,” Moreno said. “We stayed organized, we worked really hard for each other and we got a goal back. We showed a little bit of some of the things we can do well.
Mistakes have hounded Philadelphia so far this season, something that Moreno insists has to change.
“It’s not ideal [playing with 10-men], but we’ve done it before and we seem to pick up our tempo,” Moreno said. “Ideally, we’d really like to keep eleven men on the field and like I said we cannot give up early goals as that makes it very difficult for us to come back.”
It will be a long trip back east for the Union after the tough loss to the Galaxy. And they will have to do something similar next weekend, when they travel to Utah to take on defending champions Real Salt Lake.
It’s a tough place to get a result, and for Moreno, having the right attitude is essential.
“I think our attitude is the right one,” he said. “The way we’re approaching the game seems to be the right way. We usually start off games well and we recognize these are some tough teams we’re playing on the road and we have to be at our best performance to try and get results out here.”