NYRB2 Jul21

Union's win streak ends; time to start a new one

HARRISON, N.J. – The Philadelphia Union’s first ever three-match league winning streak came to an end Saturday.

Eight days from now, the goal is simple – start a new streak against the New England Revolution.

The Union (6-10-2) were upended 2-0 by the New York Red Bulls (11-5-5) before a crowd of 21,842 at Red Bull Arena. New York improved to 7-0-3 at home and 32-0-11 all-time under manager Hans Backe when scoring the first goal.

While the loss was frustrating, the Union will have some much-needed time to regenerate after their ninth match in a 27-day span.

“We had a setback here against New York,” said midfielder Brian Carroll. “It’s not like we didn’t play solid. We just ran into a group that’s playing pretty good right now, playing pretty well at home. We just have to regroup. I think we can take some positives. We had some possession.

“As a group, we need to give our forwards more of an opportunity. They were just a little more sharp. That’s a credit to them. It’s just something that wasn’t as on as the past few games. It’s nothing to hang your head over. Obviously, we wanted to get a better result but we can’t dwell on it.”

Following a slow start in league play, the Union have been one of the hotter clubs. Just because they fell on the road here doesn’t mean another streak can’t be started against the Revolution.

“We won’t forget about it, but we will regroup and get ready for the next one,” said defender Sheanon Williams. “We did some good things but not enough to win. We played our best, but we didn’t set out to do what we needed to do.

“I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job of getting everything out of our system this season. I think we’ll come back, stay focused on New England and I don’t think anybody will have trouble getting ready for them.”

Since taking over as the interim manager, John Hackworth has done a tremendous job of rallying the Union when they needed it the most. With such a young club, you’d better believe the Union will be prepared to start a new streak against New England.

“Soccer is a funny game,” Hackworth said. “You can play really well and lose or play really bad and win. I’m not saying we played really well, but we did in a lot of ways what we wanted to do. Obviously, the result didn’t go our way. We’re not frustrated by it. We’ll go back and keep making sure we’re prepared for the next game.”

The break will surely be beneficial for the Union.

While they’ll recuperate, they will also be working extremely hard to begin anew. That you can expect.

“We get a little bit of a break here,” said goalkeeper Zac MacMath. “We’ve been playing every three days for the last three weeks. Well go back, look at tape and analyze what we can do better. I think going back to the Kansas City game in the U.S. open cup, possession we did well but we gave up goals. It’s something we have to work on. We’ll try and work those things out and get ready.

“It’s a new half of the season for us. We started fresh a couple of weeks ago. We’ll start fresh again and hopefully get more into it and start a new streak.”


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