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Union goes out with a close loss

Playoff-bound Columbus ends the Union’s season with a 2-1 defeat on a stoppage-time goal.

THE FIFTH season of Philadelphia Union soccer concluded yesterday, another stoppage-time goal allowed signifying the end of a 10-12-12 campaign.

A tap-in by Columbus midfielder Bernardo Anor negated a late equalizer and sent the visiting Union out with a 2-1 defeat at Crew Stadium. The Philly club finished the season with 42 points, four fewer than last year and five fewer than the fifth-place New York Red Bulls, in missing the postseason for the fourth time in 5 years.

For most of its season finale, the Union played from behind, Jairo Arrieta's 13th-minute goal marking the game's lone score for more than 80 minutes of play. But in the 85th minute, Zach Pfeffer put home a ball from Amobi Okugo via Sebastien Le Toux to knot the score.

For Pfeffer, a 19-year-old from Dresher and Upper Dublin High, it was his first MLS goal. It was also his first appearance in a league game since June 7, 3 days before Jim Curtin took over as interim manager. A substitute for Pedro Ribeiro, Pfeffer logged 17 minutes yesterday.

D.C. United (17-9-8, 59 points) finished in first place of the 10-team Eastern Conference. With Toronto and Houston losing yesterday, the Union proved to be the best Eastern Conference team to not qualify for the playoffs.

- Jake Kaplan