The Union suffered their first home shutout with a 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy Thursday night at sold-out PPL Park.
Naturally, the Union players were a bit down following the defeat. But Manager Peter Nowak spoke to the club in the locker room and praised their effort.
“Yeah, we were a little frustrated with the result, but Peter came in and applauded our effort on the field,” goalkeeper Brad Knighton told philadelphiaunion.com. “It made us feel good because we felt as if we should have won the game. It’s kind of been that way for us all season. To have Peter come in and give us a nice talk like that was uplifting. We felt like we did many things well enough to win the game.”
It was just the third home loss for the Union this season.
With a PPL Park record crowd of 18,779 clapping, cheering and chanting the entire night, the Union obviously wanted to come out with a victory.
They easily could have done just that if a couple of balls bounced their way.
In the 73rd minute, Sebastien Le Toux’s back heel was denied by Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. Shea Salinas also had a couple of strong scoring chances after coming on as a second half substitute.
“I wish we could have gotten a different result,” Le Toux said. “I felt like I had a great scoring chance. Ricketts made a great save. What can you do? We were very confident. We played well. We just couldn’t come away with a win. We played hard and the guys in this locker room deserved a different result. We’re holding our heads up high.”
Long before this match started, the buzz could be felt reverberating throughout the stadium.
The players felt it as well.
“These fans are very knowledgeable here and you could sense the anticipation of this match,” said midfielder Andrew Jacobson. “It felt different. The fans have been great the entire season. We wanted to give them a win. But I feel like these games now that turned into losses will turn out to be wins in the future. We’re using this season as a springboard for the future and we will keep pushing forward. We won’t ever forget how the fans have supported us all season.”
With one more home game looming against the New York Red Bulls on Oct. 16, the Union hope to send a message to the fans heading into next season.
“It was electric in the stadium,” said midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi. “I felt a little bad we couldn’t come out with a win tonight. But we played hard and smart. The fans were awesome. They have been so supportive all season. I hope we can win our last home game. We’re going to do everything we can for the fans because they have been there for us all season.”