Finishing off the plethora of chances created is the main goal for Union collective this season

Scoring goals at premium is main mindset of Union going forward

Fabinho vs. Montreal

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USA Today Sports Images

Through the first three matches, the Philadelphia Union have created numerous scoring chances.

Yet they have scored just three goals.

Finishing in the final third of the pitch can be one of the most difficult and challenging things to figure out – especially early in the season.

At 1-1-1, the Union have compiled four points heading into Saturday’s match against the Montreal Impact at PPL Park (4 p.m., purchase tickets).

Since the season is so young, manager John Hackworth continues to remain optimistic. As he should.

The Union fell 2-1 at Columbus last Saturday, but they had 19 attempts with four shots on target. They easily could have wound up with another goal or two with a break here or there.

“A lot of that just comes down to execution,” Hackworth said. “I would be worried if we weren't creating those chances, but the fact that we literally had (19 attempts) in that game, I think they're going to start to fall.”

Philadelphia has controlled possession for large chunks of time in the first three matches.

Finishing can be the tricky part.

It’s a skill the club isn’t concerned about.

“It’s a matter of time before it all comes together,” said forward Jack McInerney. “It’s something to talk about and then all of a sudden, you pull together a five-goal game followed by a three-goal or a four-goal game. I think our defense has been very good and our play in the midfield and our goalkeeping have been very, very good. We have to pull everything together for a complete game and we will. I’m confident with the players we have on this club, that we’ll string together our fair share of goals.”

In the New England match for instance – a 1-0 victory by the Union – the final score could have been 3-0 or 4-0.

As the season progresses, the players are ultra-confident that the goals will come in bunches.

“We have very skilled players here,” said midfielder Leo Fernandes. “We have so many different players capable of putting the ball in the net. It will happen. We are coming to training every day and working so hard. When you get into the games, it’s a matter of staying within our game and executing our gameplan. I know we will score goals. It’s a matter of time.”

At the same time, the Union are fully aware they need to stay disciplined in all facets of the game to be successful.

“We can’t get caught up in it or put pressure on ourselves,” McInerney said. “We need to keep going out and playing hard and doing all the little things. If we keep doing that, the goals will come within the flow of the game.”

Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at andy.jasner@yahoo.com