IN A MATCH where first-half discipline was replaced by second-half lunacy, the Union gutted out a 1-0 road victory over West Coast foe Chivas USA.
Saturday night's win was the club's second in a row, but due to a pair of red cards, the Union (2-3-1, seven points) will be without two key players heading into Saturday's match against San Jose (4 p.m., Comcast SportsNet) at PPL Park.
A nifty backheel from Freddy Adu in the box, after some clever moves by midfielder Michael Farfan to create space for a low cross in Adu's direction, put the Union ahead 5 minutes before halftime. But the second half saw three ejections - including manager Peter Nowak. Keon Daniel earned a red card in the 75th minute for a high tackle on Chivas' Ryan Smith. Ten minutes later, a studs-up tackle by Union defender Gabriel Farfan on the Goats' James Riley led to a bench-clearing scuffle that included Nowak entering the field of play.
Nowak was reticent postgame regarding the ejections, but did allude to Chivas (3-4-0, nine points) fanning the flames.
"You don't want to see this kind of [rough] stuff and Chivas was trying to pull every single trick out of their sleeve to make us suffer," Nowak said. "But as I said it's good, the three points are very important to us, especially being on the road on the West Coast where in the last couple of years we didn't have success. I think it's a tribute to these guys in the locker room that they put so much work to get it, that we have a couple of wins now."
The Union defense, specifically goalkeeper Zac MacMath, now have 332 minutes of shutout soccer, with MacMath earning his second straight clean sheet.
"Very happy with the win, we had to fight really hard to hold on to this lead," Adu said. "Early on in the season things haven't gone our way, but now they are starting to, we are starting to get the bounces, we are starting to get the calls our way and [in this game] we got a good goal."