SEITZ DEFIES CRITICS AHEAD OF RSL MATCH

Union goalkeeper says he's committed to earning respect
WALLINGFORD, Pa. — Chris Seitz has taken his share of the blame for the Philadelphia Union’s rough start to 2010, but he’s not giving up hope any time soon.

Seitz, who struggled in Union losses to Toronto FC on April 15 and again against the New York Red Bulls on April 24, countered his critics this week and admitted he’s doing everything he can to prove the doubters in Philadelphia wrong.

“Every game I’m giving 100 percent, and hopefully that’s going to earn their respect in the long run,” Seitz said. “I’m not trying to do anything different. I’m going to continue to try and progress as a goalkeeper and put some good games together. The minute we do that as a team and we start winning, a lot of that will go away.”

Seitz faces an extra set of emotions this week, as he and the Union head west for a Saturday night matchup against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Seitz spent three seasons in Salt Lake City after he was drafted by RSL with the fourth overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft. But he managed just seven appearances in his time with the club before he landed with the Union, and now it’s all about taking points from the defending MLS Cup champions and not looking back at what could have been.

“I don’t look at it as anything personal,” Seitz said on Wednesday. “I look at it as something more of a chance to get our first points on the road. Obviously, it’s something big for us and we need to grind out points now, so when we have home games we have a base of points to go from. And it’ll help us in the long run. We’ve had a lot of opportunities so far and this is another one for us to go out there and earn some points.”

But the points have been hard to come by. The club is winless in four matches away from Philadelphia, and have been hindered by ejections and untimely goals, denting Team Manager Peter Nowak’s game plan on multiple occasions.

“As a team we’ve been in tough situations,” Seitz said. “On the road for all but one game so far, we’ve put ourselves in bad situations with red cards and silly mistakes and individual mistakes. We’re learning to get rid of the small things and it’ll make a big difference for us going forward.”