For weeks, Philadelphia Union team manager Peter Nowak kept saying positive outcomes will occur on the road.
It was just a matter of time.
He was right.
But that’s why the Union went out and hired Nowak to lead the technical staff. They understood what type of passion, determination, grit and patience Nowak had.
All those extra hours of training and film sessions paid off with an enormous 3-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.
Shea Salinas, Sebastien Le Toux and rookie Danny Mwanga each scored as the Union rallied from a 2-1 deficit to earn three points on the road. Mwanga’s goal came in stoppage time.
“I think for the team, it means the work paid off,” Nowak said. “It was a tough environment we played in, and a victory like that over the Houston Dynamo is very good because it’s very difficult to play here. We come back to score a goal in injury time, and it’s very special.”
The Union have road games looming at Chicago and Kansas City before opening PPL Park on June 27, so getting those coveted three points at Houston was beyond important.
This was something to build on and the young players especially will benefit immensely.
“We came out pretty hard, and we knew that Houston was a very good team, especially at home,” Mwanga said. “We knew it would be a hard game. So we came out to try and play hard and help each other and not give up till the referee blew the whistle. We all stick together and stayed focus for the whole game, and I’m very happy we came away with a win.”
Notching goals in stoppage time two games in a row is also something to draw on as the season progresses.
It means the team is staying focused with the game on the line.
“We scored (right before) the 94th minute against Dallas,” Nowak said. “We play disciplined, we play efficient, we play effective, and that is the three most important factors in this game. I think we executed all three things to perfection.”
If the Union keep executing like they did against Houston, more positive results are likely to follow.
“I feel like this is a work in progress,” Nowak said. “This is still a very young group who wants to work and win the games, and for me it’s a work in progress. We are eight weeks in the season, and we have 22 games in front of us.”