Union confident offensive pieces in place for playoff berth

Philadelphia "still looking" to bolster squad, says Nowak

CHESTER, Pa. — It’s no secret that the Union have been looking for more offense.

The organization took a huge step
forward in that direction with the recent signing of attacking midfielder
Freddy Adu.

While Adu only has one match as
evidence 
 a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas last Saturday at PPL Park  he believes
the offense will come. And soon.

“The talent on this club is there for
sure,” said Adu, who started and played 62 minutes against FC Dallas. “There are many options —
 Sebastien Le Toux, [Danny] Mwanga, [Jack] McInerney to name a few. Hopefully, I’ll play a part as well.
That’s the plan.

“I believe in these guys and the
technical staff. I know we have the talent here to string some goals together
and really put pressure on the opponent.”

Le Toux put pressure on FC Dallas with
a pair of clutch penalty kicks, giving him three this season. Since becoming an
original member of the Union, Le Toux has converted all six penalty kicks in
club history.

Le Toux has played every minute in league play this
season along with goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. While the Frenchman still hasn't scored from the run of play 
— he does, however, lead the team with eight assists — he'll find confidence from rippling the back of the net twice in one game.

“Yes, absolutely,” Le Toux said. “I
think scoring goals gives the whole club a good feeling about themselves. It
always helps.”

If the Union can find offensive success during Saturday night's road contest against the first-place Columbus Crew (7:30pm, TCN), that confidence will immediately soar.

“From the little I’ve been here, I see
so much talent on the field,” Adu said. “I think we have the ability to be a
really, really good club and I’m proud to be part of the team. In this league,
the momentum of scoring can carry over. I’ve seen it happen.”

So have his teammates.

“We’re a very confident group in this
locker room,” said midfielder Justin Mapp. “I feel like it’s simply a matter of
putting it all together. We have a tough stretch of matches coming up. We
have to execute our plan and keep working. Our focus is important. If we do
that, I believe in myself and the whole club that we’ll see good results.”

Manager Peter Nowak believes his club has the pieces to make a run deep into the playoffs. 

“When you look at the whole team before the transfer window starts, you ask yourself, ‘Is this the team you want to go through the rest of the season [with]?" Nowak said. "Are they capable of winning MLS Cup or being a contender for the playoffs? I think we, looking at the first 20 games, we feel pretty good about our chances to be in the playoffs."

While the international transfer window closed on Sunday, there's still time to bolster the roster. The Union can make moves within MLS or acquire a player currently out of contract until the Roster Freeze Deadline on September 15.

“At the end of the day, we’re happy to add Freddy Adu,” Nowak said, “but we’re still looking.”

Related:

Talking Tactics: Finding Freddy's Fit in Philadelphia