While all eyes were focused on the MLS All-Star Game, the Philadelphia Union also kept an eye on the New England Revolution.
That huge match comes Sunday night at PPL Park, the same venue which hosted a 3-2 win by the MLS All-Stars over Chelsea FC on Wednesday night.
The Union haven’t played since a 2-0 loss at New York on July 21.
Following that match, the players were fully aware of the All-Star excitement in town. Now, it’s back to business.
“It’s really cool to have the All-Star Game in your stadium, your town,” said Union rookie forward Antoine Hoppenot. “It’s a win-win for the fans and the city. I think we’ll keep working hard and training through the week to get ready for the next match. It’s another match in front of our home fans and we want to start a new streak.”
Forward Jack McInerney said it won’t be difficult to get re-focused for the Revolution.
“We’re coming off a disappointing loss, but we’re very confident and ready to get right back out there,” he said. “We’ve been playing well, and we know we need to keep stringing together good results. This is a nice break, but we have to stay focused and get ready for New England, which isn’t going to be easy.”
The eight-day span between matches was welcomed, however, by the players. It gave them a much-needed chance to regenerate and rest their bodies.
“I think the break is a good thing for all of us,” said Union defender Sheanon Williams. “We’re kind of banged up and this is a chance to get healthy in the next eight days. Having the next match at home will be a positive, and I think we’ll be in good shape and excited to come out and play a very good game. We still have ground to make up in the standings and we have to treat it one at a time.”
Despite the setback against the Red Bulls, Philadelphia has still won three of its last four league matches.
Pushing that mark to four of five is the next challenge.
“We want to win every game,” McInerney said. “I think we have been building momentum in a positive way. We know how important it is to keep it going against New England and beyond.”