The Union won’t panic. It's not in their DNA.
But there has to be a minor cause for concern with the offense following Friday’s 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field. Despite controlling portions of the match, the Union have now scored only five goals through seven matches, the lowest mark in the league.
Philadelphia managed just two shots on goal in Portland – one by Carlos Ruiz and one by Sebastien Le Toux. Had Le Toux’s point-blank shot been converted in the 86th minute, the Union may have gotten out of Portland with at least one point.
Troy Perkins made a reaction save on Le Toux and helped preserve Portland’s second consecutive clean sheet. This was the fourth straight home win for the Timbers and second straight road loss for Philadelphia.
WATCH: Full match highlights
“Playing at home in front of my family and friends was a good feeling but unfortunately we didn’t come out with a good result,” said Union second-year forward Danny Mwanga, who starred at Oregon State and was the Union’s No. 1 pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
Of the three goals Philadelphia have conceded this year, all of have come on headers.
“We need to work very hard on the many things that happened today and the past week," said Union team manager Peter Nowak, "because anyone who plays against us right now, the free kick is going to be a weapon.”
With the loss, Philadelphia move to 4-2-1 – good for 13 points and second place in the Eastern Conference.
The defense – featuring twin brothers Gabriel and Michael Farfan, each making their first MLS start – put in a stellar effort despite missing regulars Danny Califf (illness) and Jordan Harvey (red card suspension). Sheanon Williams and Carlos Valdes each played extremely well in the center of the backline.
But Mamadou “Futty” Danso’s targeted header off a set piece in the 71st minute was all the offense Portland needed. Jack Jewsbury sent a free kick into the perfect spot for Danso to head it past goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon.
The Union won't have long to recover from the loss and cross-country flight back to Philadelphia. Looming Wednesday at PPL Park is a clash against the Western Conference-leading LA Galaxy. The 7:30 p.m. match will air on The Comcast Network.