Union Nicked Up, Not Making Excuses

Union playing hard despite being at less than 100%

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Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio/Sideline Photos

A balky ankle has bothered Danny Mwanga for the past two weeks. Alejandro Moreno’s knee has constantly been wrapped in ice following games. Other players in the Philadelphia Union locker room have been nicked up at one time or another.
 
They have marched on with no excuses. The mental and physical toughness of the Union have clearly been there.
 
Mwanga, for instance, said he was playing at about 70 percent in the Union’s 1-1 draw against the New England Revolution Saturday at PPL Park. Newcomer Justin Mapp replaced the 19-year-old rookie in the 56th minute.
 
For the first 55 minutes, Mwanga was hustling like he always has, and he even recorded the assist on Sebastien Le Toux’s goal in the 25th minute.
 
“I twisted my ankle a couple of weeks ago and it has bothered me since,” Mwanga said. “I want to be out there as much as possible to help my team. I felt good today. It was a little tough at times, but I played through. I’ve been getting treatment and doing what I need to do to get ready for each game. I want to be there for my teammates.”
 
That’s the mantra of this club.
 
They stick together on and off the field. And they feed off each other’s desire and determination.
 
“I think so,” said Moreno. “I think we go to play and don’t leave the game with any excuses or what-ifs. We play to win and do the best with what we have. My knee has been a little sore, but I play each game the same way. I don’t think about it.”
 
Midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi joked that he has never been 100 percent.
 
“I don’t recall the last time,” he quipped before turning serious. “You go out and play and give it your all. The guys get ready for each game and then train and get ready for the next game. It’s never easy in this league. You’re playing against good teams and you have to be ready.”
 
The Union’s technical staff, anchored by Team Manager Peter Nowak and Coach John Hackworth, will have this club ready to play.
 
That you can expect.
 
“I think games like today make us stronger mentally and physically,” Nowak said. “We have big games coming up, and the result today will make them more hungry for a win. I think the physical part has always been good, and I believe it’s going to stay that way for the rest of the season. We have the option to manage the lineups as well and give different players different minutes, so I think they are ready for a big stretch. It’s been good so far, and we’re getting stronger every single week.”
 
In more ways than one.