The Philadelphia Union will take on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium this Sunday with a must-win mindset.
The Eastern Conference showdown will wrap up a three-match road trip for the Union. With a pair of ties to D.C. United and the San Jose Earthquakes, a win would mark the first three-match road unbeaten in club history.
The Union used timely scoring against D.C. and stingy defense against the San Jose Earthquakes, but only a win in Foxborough would give the club a sense of full satisfaction heading into a week featuring international matches against Everton and Real Madrid.
“It’s a big game for us,” said defender Sheanon Williams. “We definitely need to start picking up some points here going into the last 17 games of the season. It’s important to get a point, but three would be preferred.”
The Revs come into the match with a home record of 3-2-4, proving that although they may be at the bottom of the East table, they will not roll over, especially at home.
New England will, however, be without star midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
“The big thing is to continue how we’ve been playing defensively, and put away chances,” center back Danny Califf said of the club’s mentality. “New England is a team that manages to stay in games; they are powered by will.”
Manager Peter Nowak agrees, which is why he's stressing the importance of scoring first on Sunday.
“Any goal on the road is very important," he said. "For our confidence, it would be much better [to get a goal] as soon as we can. When we won in Houston and Toronto, we scored an early goal and everything got easier for us. I think it will be crucial to do it [against the Revolution] as well.”
At times this season, a stagnant offense has prevented the Union from coming away with three points. There were chances to be had in their last match against San Jose, none of which were converted.
Midfielder Brian Carroll stressed that the club's attacking fortunes are dependent on the entire team, and he's confident the goals will come.
“We defend as a group and we attack as a group,” said Carroll. “Everyone is relied upon to score goals. It doesn’t boil down to the attack or the defense; it boils down to everybody doing their job. If we do that, we’ll score more goals.”