Okugo: “You’ve got to keep grinding" mentality is main mindset for Union heading into LA pair

Back to basics for Union who head to Los Angeles this weekend

Wenger troubled by NE

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

Following a thrilling 2-1 victory at Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night, the Philadelphia Union traveled home with the hope of extending their winning streak.

But they ran head-first into the hottest team in the league.

Sheanon Williams, Vincent Nogueira and Sebastien Le Toux all scored for the Union but it wasn’t enough against the streaking New England Revolution.

The Revolution improved to 6-3-2 (20 points), won their fourth straight match and extended their unbeaten stretch to six in a row with a 5-3 win over the Union. It was the most goals ever allowed at PPL Park in the four-plus seasons.

Philadelphia (2-6-5, 11 points) earned a hard-fought victory at Sporting Kansas City but was unable to keep that momentum going against New England.

“It’s over,” Williams said. “That game’s done. That team is on a hot streak, last week and again today. Move forward. It’s over, done with. I’m not gonna think about it anymore.”

The same goes for Union manager John Hackworth.

“It’s hard to think about positives right now,” he said. “That performance isn’t good enough all the way around.”

The Union just completed a difficult stretch with three games in eight days. They now have eight days until their next match, May 25 at the Los Angeles Galaxy with another one in StubHub Center against Chivas USA on May 31.

It won’t be easy, but that’s the challenge facing the Union.

“You’ve got to keep grinding,” said midfielder Amobi Okugo, who donned the captain’s armband. “You’ve got to have faith that the hard work you’re going to put in is going to turn circles. It hasn’t done that for us yet. But it’s a long season and there’s teams that have gone on long streaks. Right now, we’re not on a great streak but if we can turn it around, we know can do it.

“It’ll be nice to get away, L.A. with the good weather. The road games, I feel like we’ve done well there in the past. Hopefully, we can get away, get our feet up and get some results on the road. It will really help to get on a run starting now on the road.”

Midfielder Danny Cruz echoed similar thoughts.

“We’re not happy,” Cruz said. “I’m pretty frustrated. I think a lot of guys were tired tonight. You can tell. It’s really frustrating to me to lose at home, to give up that many goals.  It’s upsetting. We’re unhappy. I think everybody know that. I think everybody’s frustrated and three games in seven days is frustrating. Look at how many games we’ve played. Bodies are tired. That’s the reality. It’s not an excuse. It’s the reality. We have to be better.”

Will a trip out to Los Angeles be a refresher? Leave a comment below.

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