Union hope to swing momentum against Whitecaps

Philadelphia look to ride early goal Saturday at PPL Park

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CHESTER, Pa. — When adversity strikes, it can be difficult to battle through.

But momentum can change in the blink of an eye.

The Philadelphia Union (0-3-0) are hoping to alter their momentum Saturday against the undefeated Vancouver Whitecaps (4 p.m., 6abc)

“When things are going against you, the most difficult thing to do is take that first shot and get that first goal,” said defender and captain Danny Califf. “It can be the hardest thing because of circumstances in previous matches. But once you do some good things and get that first goal, you start to feel good about yourself and you’re more free about yourself.

“I think we need to get off to a good start, do some good things and kind of get that feeling back and we’ll be fine.”

Defender Chris Albright is in his 14th season in Major League Soccer. He has witnessed plenty of highs and lows.

Every club goes through a funk at one point or another.

“There’s a lot of guys in that locker room with a lot of experiences in the league and internationally and they all possess a lot of leadership qualities,” Albright said. “I think we have a very good mix. Some guys will speak up. Really, it always comes down to what happens on the field. We need a good result. Once you win and right the ship, it’s good. Then you right a lot of wrongs and things get turned around. Hopefully, that will all happen Saturday against Vancouver.”

Manager Peter Nowak reiterated a similar stance at his weekly press conference Wednesday.

“One thing we need to go back to is our fighting spirit,” Nowak said. “Nobody in this world can guarantee the wins, especially in this business. But our guarantee is that we’re going to fight. We have to take this one game at a time and this is fighting for a playoff spot. It’s important for us to realize that every game we’re playing in this fashion. If you don’t fight for every single ball, you don’t tackle, that is going to be costly for us.”

As the match inches closer, the players are focused in on studying the gameplan. Come Saturday, they hope to execute it effectively.

“I think we’ve shown good effort so far and we’ve done some things but not enough to get a good result,” said midfielder Brian Carroll. “There are things we can improve upon and we all know it. At no time are we going to throw our hands in the air or hang our heads because of the 0-3 start. It is what it is. We know it’s not a great position to be in and that’s why we’re working extremely hard this week to come together and do whatever we can to get three points on Saturday against a very good Vancouver club.

“I think we believe in ourselves and we know we can come back from this.”