Mwanga's Last Gasp Equalizer

One moment can change everything in a match. In the Philadelphia Union’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas on Saturday, Danny Mwanga’s last-minute goal should catalyze a change in the club’s whole perspective. A frustrating loss flipped into something that feels like a win. 


Which should affect how the club will handle the upcoming bye week.

“A little less fitness, so that’s a plus,” joked Union captain Danny Califf, continuing more seriously, “It is good for morale going into the break. We’ve taken it on the chin the last few weeks so for us to come home and have a good performance, even though it wasn’t three points, we fought to the end and showed a lot of character.”

For Union 'keeper Chris Seitz, taking points at home was paramount. The one goal conceded marks a season-low for the Philadelphia defense. But the young, embattled ’keeper reserved the most praise for Mwanga, who subbed on in 81st minute.

“We were obviously pushing for that point and for Danny [Mwanga] to come in and make the impact he did was huge for us,” said Seitz.

Mwanga, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s SuperDraft, notched his first career goal in the final minute of the match. He celebrated by wrapping Manager Peter Nowak in a huge hug. Despite the result, Mwanga expects the team to keep pushing over the next week.

“We have to do more work,” said Mwanga. “We could have easily scored two or three more goals in the first half. Going into the bye week, we just have to put in more work and work on our finishing and defensive shape, despite doing a really good job today.”

The sudden change in mood at the end of the game makes midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi see the bye week in a whole new way: He’d prefer the bye didn’t exist at all.

“For us, it was the biggest goal of the season because we needed something to kick start our engines,” the midfielder said. “If we would have lost this game it would have been hard to go into the bye week and sit around waiting for the next game. Now, it makes me wish we were playing next weekend and not had two weeks off.”