Road revenge

Union out for better result in Houston second time around

Sheanon vs. Houston

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

John Hackworth felt like his team deserved at least a road point on June 30.

The Union came out flat in Houston, conceding an early goal before equalizing in the 46th minute. After a late Philadelphia push, the Dynamo were awarded a penalty kick after striker Brian Ching went down under minimal contact from Gabe Farfan.

Houston converted the ensuing penalty kick and won the game, 2-1.

"I always say we use everything we can to motivate our team and our staff to make sure we're ready and prepared for the game," Union manager John Hackworth explained during Wednesday's weekly press conference. "But we have a belief that when we went there, we deserved better. That belief doesn't have as much to do with Houston as it does the circumstances that resulted in that loss. When you feel that way you certainly think that you want to go back and redeem yourself a little bit."

Watch: Hackworth press conference; Houston preview

It was a pedestrian first half for the Union, who had played well in three games under Hackworth. The team was coming off wins of 4-0 and 5-2 over Kansas City and Harrisburg before falling short in Houston.

"In our locker room we always talk about (the idea that) you gain points here and there where you don't think (you can pick up points)," explained Hackworth. "Or, you lose points when you feel pretty confident that you're going to gain some. In this case, we lost three points on that night and we feel that was an unfair result. So, for sure, we're going to go back down there with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder."

"We always want to take points away from every team we play obviously," added striker Antoine Hoppenot, who played 24 minutes in the June 30 match. "But yeah, we really thought we should have got at least a point down there. We could have either scored another one, or stopped them from scoring one. But we definitely want to go down there and take some points away from them. We really think we deserve to go down there and get a win or a tie if it comes down to that."

Philadelphia did get a bit of revenge on Houston at PPL Park. The 3-1 victory on Sept. 23 ended a three game losing streak to the Dynamo, and an eight game winless streak in MLS play. However, it's a tougher task in the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Arena this time around considering Houston is 10-0-6 at home and have allowed just 11 goals there all season.

"It's funny, because you look at the way New England happened," said former Houston winger Danny Cruz. "We played New England in New England, didn't get the result we felt we deserved, and then we came back here and got the job done. I wasn't here when we played in Houston, but I was here when we played them [at PPL Park]. I felt like we put together an all-around performance the other week, and it was definitely a fair result. I think we're looking to hopefully continue to build on that and continue to play good football, which is what we've been doing these last few weeks. If we can continue to do the same things and continue to finish our chances, there's not a doubt in my mind we can come out of there with a result."

Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at k.kinkead@hotmail.com. Follow Kevin on Twitter @PhilUnionKevinK