Union goes West with win

Posted: April 16, 2012

GABRIEL GOMEZ scored on a penalty kick in the 38th minute Saturday and the Union beat Columbus, 1-0.

After Columbus' Eric Gehrig was whistled for a handball in the 18-yard-box, Gomez chipped Crew goalie Andy Greuenbaum and the Union (1-3-1) held on for their first win this season.

Toronto FC (0-4-0) is the only remaining winless club in Major League Soccer.

It was the second consecutive shutout for Zac MacMath following a scoreless draw with the Vancouver Whitecaps 2 weeks ago. In addition, the defense extended its shutout streak to 242 minutes.

The Union was without midfielder Roger Torres (knee surgery) and forward Danny Mwanga (rib contusion). Captain Danny Califf, the team's central defender, was scratched just before kickoff with a hamstring strain and replaced by rookie Raymon Gaddis.

"It feels great knowing that we got the three points in my debut," said Gaddis, who played the full match. "Hopefully the momentum will carry on to next week."

Now, the Union has a trio of testy matches against Western Conference opponents. First up is a road trip to play Chivas USA on Saturday (10:30 p.m., TCN) followed by San Jose at home on Saturday, April 28 (7 p.m., CSN). Seattle opens the Union's slate of matches next month on Saturday, May 5 (4 p.m., NBC Sports Network) at Century Link Field.

All this before a nationally televised showdown with Eastern rival New York at PPL Park on Sunday, May 13 (1:30 p.m., ESPN2).

"It was extremely important for these [guys] in the locker room to have this feeling and get three points," said Union boss Peter Nowak. "We deserved it a long time ago . . . A win is a win, it was like a 65-minute feeling that it had to hold up. They're starting to see that the work pays off. Now, we have to keep going."

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