Learning from those that came before, the Philadelphia Union know the road to success is never easy for a new team. From getting the team to gel to creating an identity to making it all come together on the pitch, being an expansion team in any sport requires patience and honesty.

Those are two attributes that Union Manager Peter Nowak has in spades. And after the side’s 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday, he used them both to try to put things in perspective.

“Of course, we didn’t expect to be able to start with five wins,” he said. “We knew it was going to take time, and more experience. It’s going to take time to get the players familiar with each other. After our win in the second game, I think we forgot we were an expansion team. And sometimes we got punished by ourselves.”

In the match against the Galaxy, the Union had a first half to forget, conceding a goal in the first minute, eventually allowing two more and seeing Stefani Miglioranzi sent off just before the break. Despite the rough start, though, the team came out and competed in the second half, even grabbing a late goal. It was only the second goal conceded by the Galaxy this year, and first at home since September.

This confidence is something Nowak is pleased with and hopes will continue as the season begins to plow on.

“The locker room is still positive,” Nowak said. “These guys want to compete. They showed that in the second half, even against a team that is very good. They still competed; they never slowed down and scored a goal. It’s a good sign for the future.”

Leading the charge in the second half was Union rookie Jack McInerney. The 17-year-old sub helped increase the tempo of the match for the visitors and eventually netted his first-ever pro goal.

“Of course we have to be disappointed with the result,” McInerney said. “We were unlucky with the goal in the first minute of the game. It really just shot us down, but we got to keep our heads up and keep playing.”

The Union have yet to win on the road, and are again away from home this week. They take their encouraging disposition to Rio Tinto Stadium to face defending MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake.  

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