The streak continues.
Jack McInerney’s header in the 90th minute not only rallied the Philadelphia Union to a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution, but it also resulted in their fourth straight league win at PPL Park.
Maintaining a distinct homefield advantage in this league is vital, especially a Union team that needs to stockpile as many points as possible to work their way back into the playoff race.
Philadelphia started this four-game home run with a 4-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City on June 23, followed by a 3-0 shutout of Toronto FC on July 8 and a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact on July 14.
This time, it was a thrilling win over the Revolution.
The Union haven’t dropped a league match at home since a hard-fought 1-0 loss to D.C. United on June 16.
“We have to [win], we have no choice, and it’s a testament to the environment to how we’ve responded,” midfielder Brian Carroll told philadelphiaunion.com. “If we want to climb the table, we have to win at home, get points and then go get results on the road. You build confidence at home, gain confidence at home and learn what you can take away from opponents.”
When McInerney finished Sheanon Williams’ cross, the sellout crowd of 18,598 exploded into a frenzied celebration.
The players felt that surge, which electrified PPL Park through the final whistle.
“The best part about it are the fans know what’s happening and they’re savvy,” said rookie forward Antoine Hoppenot. “They know that goals like that don’t happen every day and the energy from it was amazing. It’s great. If you can win at home, that’s a huge boost, it helps in the league and helps in your confidence. Three points anytime is huge and we want to keep building back to where we know we can be at home.”
Several players used the term “fortress” to describe the momentum being built at PPL Park.
“This is a great place, a great atmosphere,” said Williams. “We get a lot of support from our fans and this gives us a lot of confidence to win a lot of games and to keep pushing forward. That’s what we did. This needs to become our fortress if we want to make any type of run to the playoffs.”
There is plenty of work to be done between now and the end of the regular season, but if the Union keep winning at home their chances of earning another coveted playoff berth will increase substantially.
“It’s huge winning here, especially since we’re behind in the standings and we need to win some games to move up in the standings,” McInerney said. “We need three points in as many games as possible. We have to be very good at home and then go and play well on the road, too.
“PPL has to be a fortress for us. Going on the road is going to be tough. If we can get three points here at PPL Park, we’ll keep moving up. We have a lot of ground to make up and we have to keep defending our home. This was a great way to keep that streak going here.”
The streak continues.