MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
05/09/2014 3:46 PM
05/09/2014 3:55 PM
D.C. United (3-3-2) at Philadelphia (1-4-5), 4 p.m.
Chester, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Union face an early-season must-win situation on Saturday when the club hosts Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United at PPL Park.
Philadelphia enters Saturday's clash in desperate need of three points after a 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC last weekend which extended the club's winless run to eight games.
The Union grabbed the lead against Seattle after just 14 minutes when a free kick from Cristian Maidana hit off the head of Seattle defender Brad Evans and flew past goalkeeper Stefan Frei for the 1-0 lead.
But Seattle equalized in the 61st minute when Obafemi Martins was able to beat Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath to a ball in the box from an Evans' header and prod it home from close range.
The winner came 23 minutes later. Marco Pappa sent a corner kick into the box from the right where defender Chad Marshall rose above the defense to powerfully head home and extend the Seattle winning run.
The winless streak matches a club record for Philadelphia, which was set from July 29-Sept. 10, 2011 and Aug. 4-Sept. 20, 2012.
"We have a lot of guys playing good," Union manager John Hackworth said. "We just continue to make mistakes at critical moments. It's a difficult one to take because I thought we came and we played well in the first half and we got up a goal. Even in the second half, we had some chances to get the second [goal] and we didn't put those away."
"I thought we could have got the win tonight but we got another loss. Disappointment was the feeling right after the game, it's just very frustrating," Sebastien Le Toux said. "I thought we played well but a mistake here and there cost us the game. There's a little bit of frustration and disappointment, but we have to move forward."
D.C. United will look for a bounce-back performance on Saturday after suffering a 3-2 loss to the Portland Timbers last week at Providence Park.
United fell behind after just 34 seconds when Darlington Nagbe found Diego Valeri on the right flank, and he one-timed a perfectly placed cross to Gaston Fernandez. He then chipped it into the air and rounded D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid, before chipping it over the line with his back to goal.
United pulled level in the 33rd minute when Davy Arnaud fired it past Donovan Ricketts, but Portland went back in front five minutes later through Valeri.
United drew level from a 77th-minute corner kick as Mamadou Danso nodded inside the left post for an own goal.
But then Timbers hit for the winner five minutes into stoppage time when substitute Maximiliano Urruti slammed home his own rebound from a Valeri cross from the right flank.
"There was a lot of good in regards to this group. A lot of good," said United head coach Ben Olsen. "Today, starting the game wasn't good enough, set pieces weren't good enough for us, and the way we managed the game, once again, in the end was amateur."
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