Second-half surge helps Union earn 1-1 draw vs. FCD

Nowak believes players are "starting to believe in the way we play"

Daniels vs. Dallas

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The Philadelphia Union traveled to FC Dallas fully intending to leave with three points. That’s always the goal.

They left FC Dallas Stadium with one point following a 1-1 draw Saturday night.

They also left the stadium realizing three points could have been had. After a slow first half, the Union (2-6-2) dominated for stretches in the second half with Gabriel Gomez equalizing in the 56th minute.

Still, they road points are always valuable,

“I think it’s a very positive result for us after a disappointing loss against New York,” Philadelphia manager Peter Nowak said. “We all felt bad thinking that we had played our best game of the season (against NY but still lost), so it’s a good sign of the continuation that the guys are starting to believe in the way we play. As I’ve said, there’s still work to do, but we are moving forward as a group and we are going to keep fighting.”

The Union earned the draw without midfielder Freddy Adu (suspension) and goalkeeper Zac MacMath (concussion symptoms). Defender Carlos Valdes left the match and needed stitches, according to Nowak. Gomez also left following a collision with Kevin Hartman. The FC Dallas goalkeeper came in for a late challenge after Gomez had beaten him to break the shutout. 

Chase Harrison did an admirable job in his first career MLS start in place of MacMath.

“It’s been a long road getting here,” said Harrison, who rolled his ankle during second half stoppage time but remained in goal. “I’ve been on several different teams, and to have the coaching staff here believe in me, that I can get the job done, it means a lot that the coaching staff has my back and I’m glad we were able to come out and get the result.”

Harrison displayed remarkable poise after Blas Pérez's goal in the seventh minute gave FC Dallas a quick 1-0 advantage.

“Sometimes when that early goal gets in you have to say, ‘Alright that’s done,’” Harrison said. “There’s nothing else I can do about it, so let’s just play hard for the rest of the 82 minutes left in the game. Let’s recoup and move on to the next play of the game.”

In the second half, the Union were especially aggressive. And opportunistic.

They got one goal and probably could have notched one or two more.

“I think in the first half we just couldn’t get a rhythm,” said midfielder Michael Farfan. “We weren’t possessing the ball too well. But in the second half we came out and spread it out a little more. We adjusted well and we got a good amount of chances. I think we put more pressure and we came out a little stronger. We were able to get out on the flanks and create a couple chances here and there, so I think we did a lot better in the second half.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Union 1, FC Dallas 1