Another game for the Union, another glut of goals conceded. Only this time, they couldn't compensate with a lethal strike.
The Union lost to the Vancouver Whitecaps, 3-2, on Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium. It was the Union's third game in a row allowing three goals, and the team has let up 14 goals in their last six MLS games.
Union defender Keegan Rosenberry lamented the goals his team allowed, arguing they were simple errors.
"I think you look [at it that way] it's preventable for us, as opposed to a team picking us apart with 20 passes at a time and finishing us off," Rosenberry said.
Vancouver's first goal came from a corner kick, when keeper Andre Blake missed a punch clearance, sending the ball straight to Andrew Jacobson, who headed it home from just a few yards out. There was a possible foul committed against on Blake, but he took the blame.
"There was some contact, but the ref didn't think it was a foul," Blake said. "I'll just say it was my mistake, and leave it at that."
The Whitecaps' second goal came from another defensive error, this time from center-back Josh Yaro, but it also a highlighted potential weakness for the Union moving forward.
Both center-backs Yaro and Richie Marquez showed a lack of speed at the back that leaves them vulnerable when the opposition is on the counterattack. When Kekuta Manneh breezed past Yaro, cut past Marquez, and scored in the 41st minute to put the visitors up by 2-1, it soured the mood around the stadium.
It also showed the team's subtle imbalance. Almost all season, their attackers have had the speed, brains, and ball skills necessary to be clinical when they're in possession. Their defenders, however, were not quick enough Saturday to compensate whenever Vancouver went on a counterattack.
The third goal for the Whitecaps was similar to the second, though there was a tactical difference. This time, as Vancouver countered, the Union only had three defenders back to stop them.
"I take the blame for that. We went to a 3-5-2 [formation] to try to push," head coach Jim Curtin explained.
Blake asserted that the Union would get past their defensive woes.
"I think it's just one of those phases," Blake said. "We just have to stick together as a team, and it will pass."