It’s Monday, the first day back from what was a long weekend.
Fortunately, it ended with a win over Colorado and the affirmation that a blizzard, high altitude and the opposition’s home opener wasn’t going to deter the Union earning three precious road points.
The team enjoyed a day away from training today, but return tomorrow to get ready for the New England Revolution on Saturday night (5 p.m., purchase tickets). New England got the better of Chicago, 1-0 over the weekend, but the Union has always been able to garner success from the Revs, posting a 3-0-4 all-time mark.
But that’s for later in the week.
Right now, the win over the Rapids did a great deal to put the club back in the driver’s seat ahead of a return to PPL Park this weekend.
After the storm canceled plans to play Saturday, the technical staff took matters into their own hands to get the guys properly prepared.
The team found an indoor facility to train in Saturday which helped to further acclimate to the high altitude. Manager John Hackworth stressed two important factors:
- Compact defensive organization as a means to combat high altitude.
- Slowing the game down with steady possession in order for Union to catch their breath.
“We knew coming in that it was going to be extremely difficult, we were going to have to drop our line, we were going to have to defend a lot more that we normally do,” said Hackworth. “After going up a goal, we kind of sat back a little bit too much and gave them too much of the ball. They certainly tried to get the equalizer, and did. To our guys credit they fought hard and capitalized on a great sequence there to get the winner.”
Hats off to defender Amobi Okugo who scored his first pro goal and had another strong performance at center back. As a result, Okugo is in the running to be awarded as the top performer in Major League Soccer this week. The decision is voted on by the fans, so click here and vote as often as you’d like. Also Jack McInerney made the score sheet with the gamewinner. Here's what Hack had to say about Jack after the match:
"He was huge for us today. When we were really struggling at the end there with a couple injuries and we were out of substitutions, he was doing everything. Massive effort on his part."
The second season of “The 90th Minute” radio show kicks off tomorrow night on CBS SportsRadio (610-AM) and every Tuesday all season long. The show, presented by Farmers Insurance, will be based out of Chickies and Pete’s establishments across the region with the first seven shows airing live from the Northeast Philadelphia location (11000 Roosevelt Blvd.). More information on the show, and the how-to on plans of make a night of it can all be found here.
Also, Union midfielder and Trinidad & Tobago international Keon Daniel was called in for duty for a pair of friendlies this month. Daniel will leave Monday after the New England match and will miss March 23 friendly against Mexican League club Pumas UNAM. Also, “State of the Union” on The Comcast Network returns this week airing Friday at 6 p.m., with a re-airing at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The show is taking on a much different format that in year’s past, so be sure to check it out.
We’ll catch you tomorrow, but not before we show you these two awesome goals from yesterday, one more time.
Here’s Amobi’s header:
And forward Jack McInerney’s beast of a gamewinner…
You. Are. Welcome.
Contact Union writer Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org