Okugo vs. Seattle

Union head to Seattle eyeing rebound performance

CHESTER, Pa. – Ten days ago, the Philadelphia Union traveled 3,000-plus miles and earned a 1-0 victory at Chivas USA.

They’re hoping for a similar result on Saturday.
Philadelphia must fly across the country once again for a Saturday meeting against the Seattle Sounders at 4:30 p.m. ET at CenturyLink Field (NBC Sports).

It will be a difficult match against a Seattle side that is off to a 4-1-1 start and has allowed a miniscule three goals.

However, the Union head to Seattle with the knowledge that they won 2-0 in the same hostile environment on Oct. 8, 2011. But they also realize what transpired in a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday night at PPL Park.

“We know when we let a game like that slip away the burden of pressure falls on our shoulders a little bit more,” coach John Hackworth said Wednesday afternoon in place of manager Peter Nowak, who is suspended for the match against Seattle. “Again, it goes back to what your foundation is and what you’re working on and those are the strengths that have got to get you through these tough times.

“So we expect to come out and fire away on Saturday against a very good Seattle team in a very hostile environment and a difficult surface to play on. But those are the challenges. That’s what you have to deal with. We’re ready for that.”

The Union were ready to play immediately after Saturday’s tough defeat to the Earthquakes.

The club watched film and came back 100 percent focused on Seattle.

“When you lose the way we lost on Saturday night, everybody at least in our locker room believes that was an unjust result that one was stolen away from us, and when you have that feeling really what you want to do is get out and play again so that you can right the wrong,” Hackworth said. “In this case, I would say we all feel like that right now. Hopefully, we all go out and play a good game and perform well and execute better than we did Saturday night and hopefully have a little bit of that chip and that edge to us that we need to have.

“Certainly traveling all the way to Seattle playing in that environment on the surface against a very good team it’s going to be a huge ask for us. We're ready and we’re kind of anxious to get out there again.”

The players are also ready.

“You never want to lose a game,” said midfielder Michael Farfan. “On top of that, you never want to lose two games in a row, so I think we want to come out and be aggressive and hopefully do the things we need to do to get the points.”

The Union have compiled seven points during an up and down start. Three points at Seattle would go a long way.

“We are disappointed, but we also know we can turn this around,” said forward Danny Mwanga. “We maybe have to trust each other a bit more. I think a couple of early goals would be a confidence booster. We really just need to play a complete game, and we know we can win there. We’ve done it before. We will watch film and do all we can to come up with the three points. We did it at Chivas USA. We can do it here. We just have to bring it all together.”

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