Caleb Calvert scored his first goal MLS, and was then sent off for the first time in his MLS career, as the Colorado Rapids slid to a 2-1 defeat at Philadelphia Union inside Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday night.
Calvert's goal separated the sides at the break, before the Union rallied in the second half to extend their unbeaten stretch to six games and win their fourth game in a row.
The Rapids fell to a second successive road defeat; their cause not helped as Calvert was cautioned twice in the space of a minute to receive his marching orders. His second yellow card came about as he tried to re-enter the game without the referee's permission. Rapids assistant coach, Conor Casey, was also dismissed from the technical area in the moments following.
After fielding the same lineup in the previous two matches, Pablo Mastroeni made seven changes on Saturday night. Defender Axel Sjöberg returned to the lineup after being sidelined the last two months due to injury. Defender Mike da Fonte and midfielders Sam Hamilton and Joshua Gatt made their first MLS starts, while defender Kortne Ford and forwards Kevin Doyle and Caleb Calvert also got the nod from Mastroeni.
Calvert would give the Rapids the lead 15 minutes into the match with a nifty curling shot at the far post from just outside the box. The 20-year-old’s first tally in Major League Soccer would snap the Union’s four-game and 378-minute streak without conceding a goal.
Minutes later, Tim Howard would be tested for the first and only time of the half following a great build-up play by the home side. A quick give-and-go on the right side of the box ended with a dangerous shot towards goal by Ilsinho forcing a fine save from the USMNT keeper.
Following a pair of changes at the hour mark, Doyle would earn a freekick just outside the penalty area. The Ireland international took it himself and almost doubled the visitors’ lead but his shot rang off the crossbar.
The Union would get tie things up via the penalty spot in the 67th minute, after Ford was called for a handball in the box. Forward C.J. Sapong would send Howard the wrong direction and notch his eighth goal of the season. Moments later, Calvert was dismissed, and the Rapids were in a real battle to hang on for their first road point of 2017.
Fifteen minutes from time, a rash challenge from Gatt on the edge of the penalty area handed the Union a freekick, from which Bosnia international Haris Medunjanin curled the ball over the wall and beyond Howard for the winner.
The Rapids return to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for a four-game home stand starting with a Western Conference clash with Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night (6:00 p.m. MT). Live coverage of the match is on Altitude TV, Altitude Sports Radio AM 950 and La Invasora 87.7FM.
Philadelphia Union 2-1 Colorado Rapids
Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, PA
Saturday, May 20, 2017
COL: Caleb Calvert (Kevin Doyle) 15'
PHI: C.J. Sapong (PK) 67’
PHI: Haris Medunjanin (Unassisted) 75’
COL: Mohammed Saeid (caution) 44’
PHI: Alejandro Bedoya (caution) 63’
COL: Caleb Calvert (caution) 69’
COL: Caleb Calvert (second caution/ejection) 69’
COL: Joshua Gatt (caution) 74’
Philadelphia Union: Andre Blake; Raymon Gaddis, Jack Elliott, Oguchi Onyewu, Giliano Wijnaldum; Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Fabian Herbers (Chris Pontius 27’), Ilsinho (Warren Creavelle 86'), Fabrice-Jean Picault (Jay Simpson 62’); C.J. Sapong. Subs not used: John McCarthy, Keegan Rosenberry, Richie Marquez, Adam Najem.
Colorado Rapids: Tim Howard; Mike da Fonte, Kortne Ford, Axel Sjöberg, Eric Miller; Joshua Gatt (Dominique Badji 76'), Micheal Azira, Sam Hamilton (Dillon Powers 81'), Mohammed Saeid (Marlon Hairston 62’); Caleb Calvert, Kevin Doyle. Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Bobby Burling, Shkëlzen Gashi, Alan Gordon.
Philadelphia Union: 4-4-4 (16 points)
Colorado Rapids: 2-8-1 (7 points)