CHESTER, Pa. — The Philadelphia Union finally played their first match in their own stadium, and they came out with a win against the Seattle Sounders. They celebrated it and told the media how much they love their new home.
Now it’s time to get back to work.
“3-1 is 3-1. Of course, it’s just the beginning,” manager Peter Nowak said after the match. “We’re very happy with the win and this is a very special one as it’s the first win at our new home. This is a very special group and I’ve never stopped believing in them. This is a work in progress and we’re trying to do the best job every single day.”
This match was certainly an upgrade from some of their previous performances so far this season, similar to how playing in a new stadium would be an upgrade for any team.
Now, Nowak wants his team to play in a way that matches the resounding beauty of their new digs.
“The whole room wasn’t happy with where we were after those 10 games,” said Nowak of the first third of the season. “It’s good to be home, this is our place to play, we have fantastic fans supporting the team and you are all part of this. I was very pleased with everything, everything was there. The first half wasn’t perfect, but the second half was almost perfect. As I’ve said many times, you can’t play a perfect game . . . but today these guys tried very hard to do that.”
One of the stars of the match was Union keeper Chris Seitz, whose vital penalty save kept the score at 1-1. Keeping the solid showings coming is the real challenge, but with this win behind them, Seitz believes the Union are ready to add more. And the new digs makes it that much more important.
“It was special," he said. "For a lot of us, it was our second time here so it was great to take it all in and to see the support we have from this city was huge for us. We wanted to go out there after a break and put a good performance together. For us to go out there and get a win the way that we did was huge for our confidence and it’s huge for us moving forward.”
“The confidence is there in the whole group as they want to make themselves better,” Nowak said. “It’s a very special feeling for the coaching staff knowing that these guys are hungry for success. This is the first step. We know what the feeling was like after we beat D.C. United and we tried to forget it. I’ll let them celebrate today as it was a very special moment but tomorrow we go back to work."