CHESTER, Pa.The Union took a small step forward on Saturday by earning the 0-0 draw in Sebastien Le Touxs homecoming against the Vancouver Whitecaps at PPL Park.
But a victory and three points still prove elusive for the winless club.
The Union, now 0-3-1 on the season, remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings but have finally generated some production after losing their first three games. With the youngest team in the MLS and at this stage of the season, something is better than nothing.
It was an uneventful return for Le Toux, who was exiled in dramatic fashion to the Whitecaps in late January for allocation money. Along with former Union original Jordan Harvey, fan favorite Le Toux received a rousing ovation during roster announcements but was not a factor. Neither was the Union offense, which generated limited chances and showed inept execution against the Whitecaps, still perfect defensively in four games this season.
After giving up six goals in their first three contests, the Union and goalkeeper Zac MacMath posted a much-needed shutout. While their effort was not perfect, it was an improvement.
Looking to break the contest open to start the second, Carlos Valdes nearly gave his team the lead in the 47th minute to offset a lifeless first half. Getting a clean look off a corner cross from Keon Daniel, Valdes opted a left-footed redirection shot that hit the near post and remained out. Two minutes later, Brian Carroll fired off a long shot that almost beat Joe Cannon on the far post but was scooped up.
The jolt of offense was exactly what the Union needed to wake the cold and patchy PPL Park crowd.
Later in the half, Gabriel Gomez gained the box and with an open shooting lane but decided to pass the ball to a covered and charging Michael Farfan, who didnt get a touch on it. On the ensuing corner kick, Daniel laced a pass to an open Danny Califf. The lanky veteran headed the shot high.
It was as close as the Union came to breaking their winless streak.
The Union werent able to muster much against the Whitecaps in the opening half, despite earning a trio of fruitless corners and a shot on goal. Lacking creativity and speed on the wings, Lionard Pajoy received the best chance for the Union, when he grabbed possession at the top of the box before ripping a low liner wide of the net.
The Union attack, which featured rookie striker Chandler Hoffman, was inefficient.
With a point in the standings, the Union now head into a two-week break before they return to play the Columbus Crew on April 14 at PPL Park.
(more coming...)E-mail Ryan Bright at email@example.com