Union confident in offense, expect finishing to improve
CHESTER, Pa. — It’s been a roller coaster-type of season in terms of goal scoring for the Union.
At times they have looked unstoppable, like in their six-goal outburst at Toronto FC on May 28.
Other times they have struggled, as evidenced by scoring one goal or less 17 times this season.
Through the mini scoring slumps, the Union sit just one point behind the Columbus Crew for first place in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia also have a game in hand.
So this seems to be a good problem to have.
“I think we could have more goals this season if some bounces went our way,” said second-year forward Jack McInerney, who scored his first goal of the season in a 1-1 draw against the Dynamo last Saturday. “We’ve seen shots bounce off the post and crossbar. There have been other solid scoring chances. I think we all believe that more goals will come if we continue to play the way we know we can.”
The Union are preparing for a tough match with FC Dallas Saturday night at PPL Park. While the opponent always has something to do with your performance, the Union understand that execution starts with them.
“We have been a bit frustrated sometimes because we feel like we have executed the plan and then the results don’t show it because shots hit the post or weird things are happening,” said Sebastien Le Toux, who clanged a shot off the post on Saturday, marking the fifth time this season the Frenchman has hit the post or crossbar. “Soccer is a funny sport sometimes. You just have to keep playing and keep running and pushing. I’m very confident that we’ll score the goals. We believe in each other.”
Carlos Ruiz stills leads the Union with six goals, but he’s no longer with the club after being transferred to Veracruz of Mexico's second division
Danny Mwanga is next with five goals.
“We have to stay within our plan and we will create good scoring chances,” Mwanga said. “We have to keep staying positive and keep playing our game of football. I know that if we do that, good things will happen on the offensive side of the field.”
The technical staff continues to work with this young club, which has shown flashes of brilliance offensively. There are also offensive reinforcements on the way, with a player announcement set for Friday.
No matter who lines up for the Union the rest of the way, finishing will certainly be a point of emphasis.
“You guys have a young team and finishing is a learned skill,” said coach John Hackworth. “Is it a little concerning that you need some of these guys to step up? As long as were creating chances, they’re going to start falling for us. The players we have are capable of finding the back of the net.”