Fafa Picault and Sergio Santos performed at a convenient time for Union Sports delcotimes.com
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Union winger Sergio Santos, from left, will celebrate with defender Jack Elliott after his last goal, when he won the New York Red Bull 4-3 in the first round of the MLS Cup on Sunday in the second half of the union.
CHESTER Fafa Picault saw the clock ticking, as did the other 18,539 at Talen Energy Stadium. However, his restlessness may be greater than those on the stands on Sunday.
As Picault warmed up with Philadelphia Union substitutes, he was a good frenzy, according to coach Jim Curtin. The attacker's fire burns a 28-year-old, and if he is not in the starting lineup, he must prove that he should be. Add the motivation to chase the Red Bull in New York in the union's first home playoff game in its eighth year, looking for the first play-off win in franchise history, and that fire became a tumultuous Sunday.
The Union substitutes changed the playoffs, and although Marco Fabian grabbed the winner in the classic 4-3, you could argue that Picault did just enough to decide. If you combine his contribution with that of Sergio Santos, making his first start in almost four months, you will have a complete picture of what the Union has been like this year.
Look no further than Picault, whose speed is only increased by the chip he carries on his shoulder. In three seasons, he has 21 goals and 12 assists in the MLS - the most productive output of all Americans, especially the wings. But he still feels underestimated throughout the league.
While at Picault, he is mostly tactical. It is not ideally suited to the 4-4-2 diamonds used by the Union, which will contribute in part to the decline from the ten gates of 2018 and to four and four out of five aids. But Picault's greatest ability may be that it damages fuel.
It's disappointing and rewarding, Picault said. I probably didn't want to be on the bench on a day like today, but my job is no matter what minute I come and change something, and I tried to do it tonight. I always give my all for Jim. He has been a good coach, I believe he trusts me and I always want to prove him on the field.
Change, he did. In 48 minutes, he outperformed Red Bull with four shots, three goals. He got the equalizer in 78th place by jumping over Tim Parker to push the header into the net. He could have won the game in the second half while standing, if not for the excellent rescue of Luis Robles.
Then, in 105, Picault's box guard on the edge of the box opened. When an attack came by Aaron Long's hand, he had to take a free-kick, but Judge Chris Penso either didn't see it or didn't care.
Our list is deep, Curtin said. I don't think many of our league teams can go and get Ilsinho, Fafa Picault and Marco Fabian off the bench, and they all affect the game the way they do.
Santos illustrated this depth. The union was a week-long attitude to health for MLS's fifth goal scorer, Kacper Przybylko, who revealed after Thursday's setback that his left leg stress reaction wasn't enough for the game.
Thus, two players joined MLS in their first seasons: Santos, who signed TAM before the season, and Andrew Wooten, who scored 17 goals with SV Sandhausen in the 2nd Bundesliga in Germany in June. The doubles had not started together and they had only registered for 14 minutes, all of Wooten's debut in July. Santos, who has suffered a series of leg injuries, had not started since June 26. In total, they gathered in just 974 minutes, scoring four goals and two assists far from the 15 and four drawn by Przybylko.
When Wooten struggled and was the first union player, Santos got better as the game progressed. His main shot from Haris Medunjanin's corner kick pushed the bar to 52nd place and Jack Elliott headed home with a rebound to save the alliance 3-2. And Picault was buried in 78th place just below Santos' cross.He worked his ass, Picault said of Santos. He's an ox. He's going to fight and he's hungry, and I appreciate it. He gave them trouble all night.
We've known about this all year, added Alejandro Bedoya. The guy is in the tank. In weight space, he barely lifts weight, but is stronger than hell. I think Sergio was able to use his speed and strength and did a lot of great things in keeping the ball away from us.
Picault and Santos are just two examples of what Curtin praised in his group. For Santos to play on Sunday 103 minutes after logging in in just 64 of the previous 12 games, for Picault to put aside his ego and do what the team needs, this is a test Curtin has created.
It's a kind of game where you have to come in and hit your sub-members, and that's exactly what we had today, Elliott said. That is one of the things that took us across the border. Everyone who came along, everyone on the bench, everyone in reserve, everyone in the club has contributed a lot to this season and especially to this game. It's the incredible and sort of things you need at this point in the season.