WALLINGFORD, Pa. – Let it be known that the Philadelphia Union have played a solid brand of soccer this season. Fluid and effective for the most part, the team controlled big portions of their eight matches this season.
Their problem has been the unnecessary mistakes that have cost them.
Following the team’s dramatic come-from-behind victory in Houston on Saturday, a match the Union controlled and didn’t falter, captain Danny Califf likes to think those mental lapses from earlier in the season are behind them.
“We haven’t been shooting ourselves in the foot, for the most part,” said Califf on Tuesday of why his team had suffered through much of the year’s first quarter. “[The errors were] a large source of the goals we’ve given up, so I think we’ve done a good job in the last few games eliminating those mistakes.”
The win also proved that, without said mistakes, Philly could become a formidable opponent for the rest of the league. For Califf, it was all about justifying the quality of the side, something he knew was there all along.
“I think it validates the fact that we’re doing the right things,” he said. “It’s hard to think that way when you’re starting out 1-5. That belief that we’ve been able to sustain really feels good to have that little bit of validation over the last two games.”
Califf and the rest of the Union won’t be able to revel in the huge victory for too long, however, as they’re back on the road this weekend to Chicago to face the fifth-place Fire.
According to the 30-year-old center back, the Union will need to address the area that hindered them in the Dynamo match – defending set pieces – if they are to get a result at Toyota Park.
“They’re a tough team to play in Chicago,” said Califf. “They commit four or five guys to the attack quite often, so there is going to be a lot of numbers that they commit forward. Hopefully we can hold strong and be able to counter from that.”
Holding strong is what the Union did against the Dynamo. If they can keep those mistakes out of their game and stay strong against the inconsistent Fire, they could grab another road win.