CHESTER, Pa. – Soon after the Philadelphia Union left PPL Park with three points, they were immediately focused on getting three more at Chivas USA.
The Union (1-3-1) recorded a 1-0 shutout over the Columbus Crew last Saturday in front of a sellout crowd, but the win will be much more beneficial if it's used as a building block.
Philadelphia head to The Home Depot Center next to face Chivas USA on Saturday night (10:30 pm ET; The Comcast Network).
“We needed a victory to start showing who we really are,” said defender Carlos Valdes, who donned the captain’s armband when Danny Califf was a late scratch with a hamstring strain against the Crew. “We have had good matches but unfortunately we haven’t had the best results. But we have a team that knows how to play soccer, a team with young players, a team with a lot of experience, and good dynamic. Every day we are getting along better and people can expect this team to only get better.”
Union react to first win of season
Philadelphia’s passing was crisper against the Crew than in the previous four matches. Now all the Union are missing is consistent finishing in the final third.
But there were a number of chances created and Gabriel Gomez sealed the win with a clutch penalty kick.
Midfielder Freddy Adu was in the middle of the action with his aggressive play and strong ball possession.
“The goal for me was always to transition what I was doing with the U-23s back here in Philadelphia and so far it’s been good,” Adu said. “But it can always be better. We have to keep playing with an edge and stay focused on executing the gameplan. I thought we did a lot of very good things against Columbus.
“We have to maintain it and keep up the momentum. We got three big points here. If we get three more in the next match, then your confidence gets even higher and you can keep building. Momentum means so much in this league.”
Traveling cross country is never easy. In fact, nothing is easy in Major League Soccer, a league known for its parity.
“No one gives you anything,” said veteran midfielder Brian Carroll. “We won 1-0 and got a second straight shutout. We’ve gotten points in two straight matches. You want to keep it going. We got three points, but we were far from perfect. We have a lot to improve upon. I think we feel good about ourselves and we’ll go on the road looking for three more. If we can get a big win on the road, it will go a long way for us collectively as a group.”
For now, the group is confident. Winning certainly helps.
“These three points are big, but they’ll mean more if we play well and get a W next Saturday,” said defender Sheanon Williams. “I’m happy for us with this first win and hopefully we’ll take this and keep it going into next week.”
WATCH: Union-Chivas USA preview