Union Ready To Move On After Tough Loss
The Union have three full days to prepare for a mid-week friendly against storied Scottish Premier League side Celtic F.C. on Wednesday.
If that match could be bumped up, that would be just fine with them.
After a frustrating 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night at PPL Park, the players were anxious to get right back on the field to face someone else.
While their next chance to secure three points will come next Saturday against Toronto at PPL Park, this exhibition on Wednesday comes at a perfect time.
“I think so,” said defender Danny Califf. “Obviously, we put in a good effort and we had chances to win the game. We let it slip away at the end. We left too many chances out there on the field at critical moments. I think it’s good to come back and play Wednesday. I’m ready immediately.
“I think all of us here in this locker room thought we should have won this game. We have to limit our mistakes and I think we’ll have another chance to keep improving with this exhibition.”
Entering Saturday, the Union had been 2-0-1 at home – one win over Seattle at PPL Park in the stadium's debut on June 27 as well as a win over D.C. United and a tie against FC Dallas at Lincoln Financial Field.
For the first time, they’ll have to rebound from a tough home loss.
Good thing this exhibition looms in just a few days.
“I think it’s definitely good,” said defender Jordan Harvey. “This is a tough loss for us, and we haven’t been in this position before. We can come back right away with a clean slate against Celtic F.C. We’re not thinking about Toronto yet. We need to go back and look at the film and keep getting better. Some mental mistakes hurt us. Having this game to play before Toronto, I think, is very good for us.”
Losing is never easy to take, but it’s part of an overall learning experience, especially for an expansion franchise.
The Union can take some solace in the fact that they controlled the match.
“I think this shows us how tough it is to win in this league,” said goalkeeper Chris Seitz. “I think we’ll be fired up to come back ready to work. We’re learning every game. We had so many chances to win this game and we all know that in here. We will stay together. I’m excited about Wednesday’s match. It’s another chance to see where we stand and how we can evolve from here.”
Midfielder Shea Salinas sees a club that easily could have more than three wins. He also sees a club that will benefit from every game.
“We dominated for much of this game and that’s the good,” said Salinas, who was facing his old club for the first time. “We let it slip away, which is not so good. Overall, the body of work is showing. We’re a much, much better club than we were at the beginning of the season. We’re only going to get better.”
The commitment to excellence continues with training leading up to Celtic F.C. It will then continue every day for the rest of this inaugural season.
“We’re a hungry group,” said forward Sebastien Le Toux. “The staff works so hard and we as players work very, very hard. It’s just a matter of playing smart, finishing plays and not making mistakes at critical times. I’m disappointed with the loss, but I like the direction we’re heading. We have to forget about this loss right away and get ready for Celtic F.C.”