Stoppage Time Goal Boosts Morale for Union

The Union came away with one point rather
than three.


Boy did it feel a win, though.

When rookie Danny Mwanga, the No. 1 overall
selection in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, scored in the 93rd
minute, it lifted the collective spirit of an entire organization.

Instead of a 1-0 loss, the result was a 1-1 draw
against FC Dallas before a giddy crowd of 25,038 Saturday at Lincoln
Financial Field.

With two weeks before the Union’s next match at
Houston, it sure will be easier to come to work every day knowing they
earned a much-needed point.

“I think the team got rewarded for the hard
work,” Team Manager Peter Nowak said. “We’d been pushing the game from
the first minute and then they got the goal against us. The first half
was unbelievable with the chances we had and I think we have to already
have a lead in the first half. But as I said, the team is going to fight
until the end and we got rewarded in the end.

“This is one point that we cherish and is good
for the team confidence going forward. We have a couple of weeks to work
on the things that didn’t work well this afternoon.”

After four tough losses in a row, all on the
road, it would have been difficult to endure another one. Thanks to
Mwanga, the club avoided that fate and secured a point on a day when
only one other Eastern Conference team, Columbus, earned three points.

“It was a great feeling to get the goal for the
whole club,” Mwanga said. “We needed it. We have been working very hard.
To get a result like this is great. I think we could have scored more
goals. I don’t think anyone in here is happy we got a tie, but it came
at a good time. We needed it. I think we’ll use this as a
confidence-builder in training every day.”

This has been a unique season in so many ways.

Not only is it the inaugural MLS season here, but
the players had to deal with playing eight of their first twelve games
on the road. That can’t be easy, but the good news is that after another
three game road trip the Union will play 13 of their final 20 league
matches at PPL Park, the club’s home grounds set to open June 27th.

Getting a result like this – a tie that felt like
a win – should produce just a little bit of added motivation over the
next two weeks of training before the May 29 match at Houston.

“We have been working at this every day with some
hard losses to take,” said goalkeeper Chris Seitz. “I’m pleased for our
fans, who have given us so much support. I’m pleased for us because
this tie was a good jolt. Danny made a terrific play. It was a point
that could have been three. It could have been zero. I’m just glad it
was one. It’s been a while since we got a point. We’ll get back to work
and build from this. It’s another good starting point for us.”

Forward Alejandro Moreno said that a tie such as
this can catapult the Union in future games.

“Absolutely, it can,” said Moreno, in his ninth
season. “The young players can feed off the positive energy. I think the
older players can, too. Getting a tie when it looks as if you’re going
to get a loss is very important. I think the whole team has been
lifted.”

Remember to check back at this result. This was a
momentum-changing type of game.

And the players could feel that when it ended.

“The players are smiling in the locker
room,” Mwanga said. “We were rewarded for our work. I think this one
point will motivate us in our training. I think this is just the
beginning for us in terms of where we can go.”