Mwanga's Last Gasp Equalizer

One moment can change everything in a match.
In the Philadelphia Union’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas on Saturday, Danny
Mwanga’s last-minute goal should catalyze a change in the club’s whole
perspective. A frustrating loss flipped into something that feels like a
win.
 


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Which should affect how the club will handle the
upcoming bye week.

“A little less fitness, so that’s a plus,” joked
Union captain Danny Califf, continuing more seriously, “It is good for
morale going into the break. We’ve taken it on the chin the last few
weeks so for us to come home and have a good performance, even though it
wasn’t three points, we fought to the end and showed a lot of
character.”

For Union 'keeper Chris Seitz, taking points at
home was paramount. The one goal conceded marks a season-low for the
Philadelphia defense. But the young, embattled ’keeper reserved the most
praise for Mwanga, who subbed on in 81st minute.

“We were obviously pushing for that point and for
Danny [Mwanga] to come in and make the impact he did was huge for us,”
said Seitz.

Mwanga, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s
SuperDraft, notched his first career goal in the final minute of the
match. He celebrated by wrapping Manager Peter Nowak in a huge hug.
Despite the result, Mwanga expects the team to keep pushing over the
next week.

“We have to do more work,” said Mwanga. “We could
have easily scored two or three more goals in the first half. Going
into the bye week, we just have to put in more work and work on our
finishing and defensive shape, despite doing a really good job today.”

The sudden change in mood at the end of the game
makes midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi see the bye week in a whole new
way: He’d prefer the bye didn’t exist at all.

“For us, it was the biggest goal of the
season because we needed something to kick start our engines,” the
midfielder said. “If we would have lost this game it would have been
hard to go into the bye week and sit around waiting for the next game.
Now, it makes me wish we were playing next weekend and not had two weeks
off.”