Chris Seitz didn't start Sunday's game against FC Dallas ... The TV announcers said he had a stomachache Saturday night and prior to the game. Funny, every time I see Chris Seitz on the field, my stomach starts to turn.
So because Seitz was sick, me and several thousand Union fans got our wish - Brad Knighton started in goal. Too bad it only lasted 20 minutes - and too bad he made a Seitz-like mistake. His bobble with Breck Shea bearing down led to a penalty kick and red card on Knighton that forced Seitz into action.
I don't know if the stomachache story was just a rouge or what, but he didn't look sick. In fact, he looked as good as he has all year. He made a tremendous first-half save on a shot from Shea and then another strong save on a header in the 72nd minute. He came out on a cross and looked assertive. And then he didn't and Jeff Cunningham spit the defense of the new guy - Juan Diego Gonzalez - and Jordan Harvey to give Dallas the lead. One more Jeff Cunningham goal and it was all over. Of course, it was probably all over when the Union went down a man, but the team managed to hold things together for about 45 minutes. Doing it in 120 minutes was probably too much to ask. Especially against Cunningham and Shea.
It's interesting to watch Peter Nowak try to piece a new lineup together. Three of the 10 field starters Sunday weren't on the team two weeks earlier. I'm willing to take some lumps now if it makes the team better in 2011, though. It's probably too many changes to really impact 2010, but as long as the team plays like it has this season, that's good enough.
Had a chance to go to the Union-Crew game at PPL Park last Thursday. It was Delaware County night and that meant half-priced tickets for Delco residents. I was going anyway, but it was nice to save $15. The game got me wondering: Do opposing teams come into PPL and just try to survive the first 30 minutes? That sure seemed to be the Crew's approach. I would have loved to see how this game turned out if Stefani Miglioranzi hadn't gotten hurt. He was outstanding in the 40 or so minutes he played. It also hasn't helped lately that Danny Mwanga hasn't been fit enough to play.
A final thought on the behavior of the fans at the Crew game: I hadn't noticed this in the three previous games I attended, but if this is what soccer in Philadelphia is going to be like, I'm going to be loud and outspoken against the fans that show no class. You know who you are - mostly the Sons of Ben. It's awesome that you guys are as loud as you are. It's awesome that there is so much support for the team. But Philadelphia already has a bad reputation and anyone who can actually hear what the fans are shouting throughout the game has to just think, 'oh, well, that's Philadelphia.' It isn't, but thanks to you guys, it's just adding to the reputation. Don't try to convince me that you're saying 'Your socks have holes.' You're not. You are calling the opposing goalie an a**hole. Admit it and stop it. And while I didn't think you were shouting 'F*** You' repeatedly, that's what it sounds like at the other end of the field. There are children in the stadium. Tone it down and show some class.