Hoppenot v RSL 2

Goals will come

It’s a matter of execution.

Sure, there are other factors that go into finishing scoring chances, but it always comes down to execution.

For the Union, this has been a challenging aspect over the past six matches, an 0-3-3 stretch. They have scored only three goals with a pair of scoreless draws mixed in against Real Salt Lake and New England.

The Union continue to work on finishing during training as their next match looms Sept. 15 against Toronto FC.

“It’s the toughest question in the sport,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “No matter what, we have to do a better job of executing in front of the goal. All you can do is work at it, improve it, make sure guys feel good about the work they put in so they have a little bit of confidence going into the next game.

"We’re encouraged by the number of chances we are getting. I keep saying it, but if we weren’t creating those chances, I’d think it was a much bigger problem. But we are creating them so we need to continue trying to find the back of the net.”

This young Union side has created chances but has had trouble capitalizing. Though the last six matches have been a bit of a struggle, the club is working through it.

That work ethic defines Hackworth.

“My job is to put the best 11 on the field and my job is to prepare this team for the best chance to be successful,” Hackworth said. “It’s really important for this group that we continue to do that and not just throw guys in there to give them opportunities. They have to earn it in training.

“When you hold that line consistent, players react to it. They all get a little better because of it. I don’t think we want to change that mentality and hopefully that allows guys the opportunity to step up their game.”

Amobi Okugo’s header hit the crossbar during the most recent scoreless draw against New England last Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

That’s the way it has gone for the Union, who have scored 25 goals, the second-fewest in the league behind only Chivas USA with 20. But the Union have to be encouraged by the opportunities being generated.

“It’s frustrating,” Okugo said of not scoring. “I feel like it’s coming, it’s coming. But I still have to make up for my own goal, so I’m still trying to get a goal whenever I can. But it’s unfortunate because you’re getting closer and closer, so you’re just hoping it’s going to come sooner or later or whatever to help the team to get a win.”

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