Week 17 Recap: Back to the Drawing Board

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By Siobhan Nolan, Contributing Writer

It was another game and another disappointing draw for the Union as they ended their matchup against the Chicago Fire with a 1-1 result. The Union’s usual problems reared their ugly heads again, and a rather strong performance was overshadowed by the scoreline.

Chicago found the back of the net, with Przemysław Frankowski scoring just ten minutes into the game. However, the Union quickly took back control of the game, comfortably maintaining possession and controlling the movement of the ball across the field.

In the 34th minute, a video review call reduced Chicago to 10 men after it was determined that Wyatt Omsberg was guilty of denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Omsberg got tangled up with Union striker Cory Burke and his own goalkeeper, Bobby Shuttleworth, and his foul led to the free kick that Kai Wagner easily converted into the Union’s lone goal of the game.

Although having a dominant performance for the rest of the game, the home side just couldn’t find it in them to finish any of the many, many chances they had in front of the net. Although they outshot Chicago 25-4, and had a 13-1 corner kick advantage, the numbers don’t necessarily reflect the relatively easy night Shuttleworth had.

“Once again, we have them pinned in and we create the 25 shots, but just the final decision making, I think we can be a little bit sharper so that we’re scoring three, four goals a game, rather than scraping out with just one,” Jim Curtin said in a post-game press conference. “So that obviously has to improve. It’s obviously an empty feeling here at home.”

Even the offensively-minded substitutions of Ilsinho, Quinn Sullivan, and Jack McGlynn, along with almost 10 minutes of stoppage time, couldn’t give the Union that one extra goal they needed to boost them from fifth to third in the Eastern Conference standings.

Man of the Match: It’s difficult to pinpoint just one Man of the Match when the entire team look stronger than they have these past couple of games, but Burke marked his return to the Union with good pressure, solid shots on goal, and never stopped working for a goal the entire game (even though he didn’t actually get one).

The Main Takeaway: Finishing. Finishing. Finishing. The Union could have absolutely obliterated the Fire if they had properly capitalized on their numerous chances, but they didn’t. It’s maddening to know that the Boys In Blue have all of the pieces they need for an unstoppable offense, but can’t quite seem to fit them into the puzzle.

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