For Conor Casey, the correlation is rather simple.
Casey has scored four goals in the last two matches as the Philadelphia Union have gone 1-0-1 against Chivas USA and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The 32-year-old forward looks poised and more importantly, he feels great.
Casey was plugged into the starting lineup and he delivered the last two matches.
“I think that I wasn’t given a lot of minutes,” Casey said, referring to his playing time before the last two matches. “For a player, you just have to keep working hard and show yourself in training and I think I was able to do that and I was happy to be given the chance. It’s been nice; I’ve been able to play and get minutes and that’s always what you want. As a player you always want to be on the field. I’m happy I was given a chance and help the team out with those goals.”
Casey is the ultimate professional. He entered the season with 60 career goals. Make that 64 now.
He set a Colorado Rapids single-season scoring record with 16 goals in 2009 and he was named to the 2009 MLS Best XI team.
Casey suffered a nasty torn Achilles tendon during the 2011 season and he hasn’t stopped working since to regain his old form.
Over the past two League matches, looks as good as ever.
At 3-7-6 (15 points in MLS, 5-7-6 overall in all competitions), the season hasn’t developed as the Union believed it would. But there’s a strong belief that things will turn around, much like the last two League matches.
“I know the guys we have in our locker room,” Casey said. “I know that things haven’t gone well this year, but we’ve had some games that we’ve played really well. There’s been games that we’ve played really bad. Everyone still believes and we have a lot of time left...it’s been two games now that we’ve gotten really good results. We get a little break now and we come back and attack the second half of the season.”
Casey is anxiously anticipating the second half of the season because he knows what type of potential this club possesses.
“We’ve done a lot of talking this year in this locker room,” Casey said. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what we say. We just have to come back and let it show on the field. There’s that common thread of everyone really pulling and believing. As long as that belief is there, you’ve got a chance. We know we can do it.”
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Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at firstname.lastname@example.org