Mwanga vs. Rapids
Greg Carroccio

Union rue "disappointing" home loss to Rapids

CHESTER, Pa. – It didn’t take a whole lot of introspection.

For third-year forward Danny Mwanga, the solution is rather simple: capitalize on one end and limit mistakes on the other.

Mwanga was obviously disappointed with Philadelphia Union’s 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids before a sold-out home opener crowd of 19,074 Sunday at PPL Park. But he doesn't believe major changes are needed.

“I thought it was a game we dominated for much of it,” Mwanga told “We had plenty of chances to put it away. We got hurt by a couple of mistakes and they took advantage. We did a lot of good things. We didn’t capitalize when we could have and we didn’t finish the game out.”

Conceding a Tony Cascio goal in the 62nd minute stung, as the visiting Rapids were playing with only 10 men following a red card to Jeff Larentowicz in the 58th minute.

“I think we did a lot of very good things in the first half and into the second half but a play here or a touch there didn’t go our way,” Mwanga said. “We have to take the positive things we did and build on it. I think it’s disappointing because we did so many things well to have the result go the other way. We’ll learn from it.”

Following a season-opening 3-1 loss at Portland last Monday, the Union followed with another one-goal performance on offense.

Even with an 0-2-0 start, the players remain confident.

Defender Sheanon Williams believes only minor tweaking is needed.

“We gave up a couple of frustrating goals, which we will correct,” Williams said. “It wasn’t about effort or anything like that. We have to be a little bit better in situations. Offensively, the goals will come with the players we have here on this club. It was just a slight thing here and a slight thing there.”

Midfielder Keon Daniel earned his first start this season after coming on as a substitute at Portland in the 79th minute. He created some chances and watched his teammates do the same, but the Union were ultimately unable to find an equalizer.

“Things didn’t go our way,” Daniel told “We had lots of chances. That’s football. We have enough experienced guys here and we will come back. We’ll work on what didn’t go right and come back to the pitch strong.”

Manager Peter Nowak says his team performed well outside of two costly defensive lapses. Even with a second consecutive defeat, he believes his club gave maximum effort.

“We are all disappointed,” Nowak said. “I feel bad for the team. They did everything right except for the two mistakes.”

Not long after the short-handed goal by Cascio, midfielder Roger Torres sent a perfect cross to Lionard Pajoy, who scored in the 67th minute.

Torres wasn’t celebrating his first assist of 2012 following the game. He was looking back on the couple of mistakes that cost the Union.

“It’s sad because it was an opportunity for us to [win],” Torres said. “We fell behind. We basically fell asleep and they make a play we weren’t expecting.”

The Union have six days to prepare for another tough match Saturday at Chicago. It’s a chance to start fresh and swing the momentum back in their favor.

“I think it’s going to come,” said goalkeeper Zac MacMath. “We’re going to take it one game at a time. It’s tough because of how well we played in the first half. We’ll take this, correct our mistakes and prepare for the next one.”

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