After winning by the skin of their teeth against Houston, the Philadelphia Union crash landed in SeatGeek Stadium in Illinois over the weekend.
They played slow and sloppy the entirety of the first half. Chicago’s Gaitan received a red in stoppage time after the first half, which affected second half stats in which the Union dominated every category but just couldn’t slot one home.
“Disappointing performance overall,” head coach Jim Curtin said after the match. “Obviously, a rough night, conceded off of some silly goals. Pushed things in the second half, obviously created a lot of chances but it felt like a night where we probably could’ve played 180 minutes and it wasn’t going to go in for us.”
The Union were faced with several nearly perfect opportunities but could not put either in the back of the net. So luckily, the problem doesn’t seem to hard to fix. The Union need a consistent commander of the defense, moving the back line as an organized unit while defending. They also need clinical finishers up top.
“I just said that it wasn’t good enough from us first half we came out pretty flat I think I’m disappointed with that and we’ve been conceding goals that are all soft goals,” Alejandro Bedoya said after the match. “You know like defensively we need to be better we lose the ball in the middle then you know…we don’t do a good enough job defensively, one [or] two in the box, we don’t pick up.”
Another scary prospect, especially at this point in the season could be an injury, especially to a key player like Andre Blake, however in regards to his nicks on Saturday, Curtin stated, “I think [his quad] probably just tightened up on him and was uncomfortable, but I think he’ll be okay.”
In regard to looking forward, not much was said.
Curtin stated, “we have to back bounce now against D.C., though quickly, because you guys all see how tight the eastern conference is.”
The Chicago loss spelled the end of the Union’s 11-week reign in first place. Atlanta United took over first place in the East after a 2-0 in Portland late Sunday night.
Bedoya put the Union’s recent struggles on the road in simple terms in his post-game interview on Saturday night.
“The last 3 out of 4 away games we just haven’t shown up,” he said. “If we’re a first place team, we have to show up in away games.”
D.C. United, Atlanta United and LAFC await the Union at home over the next three weekends.
“It’s 6 important points at home we have to take,” Marco Fabian said.