By JOEY SAMUEL
After suffering a gutting 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, the Philadelphia Union will look to get back to winning when they travel to Seattle to face the Sounders this weekend.
Philadelphia had been on a two-game winning streak heading into the game against San Jose, even winning an away game on the West Coast when they beat Chivas USA 1-0. They will seek to earn another such victory this week, returning to the site of the team's first-ever MLS game a little more than two years ago.
“When you lose the way we lost on Saturday night, everybody at least in our locker room believes that was an unjust result that one was stolen away from us," said assistant coach John Hackworth. "When you have that feeling really what you want to do is get out and play again so that you can right the wrong. In this case, I would say we all feel like that right now."
Philadelphia find themselves at the start of a tough stretch in their schedule, as they return home after the Seattle game to host German power Schalke FC in a friendly on Wednesday and then the New York Red Bulls the following Sunday.
"Hopefully, we all go out and play a good game and perform well and execute better than we did Saturday night and hopefully have a little bit of that chip and that edge to us that we need to have," Hackworth said. "We expect to come out and fire away against a very good Seattle team and a very hostile environment."
Here are a couple of more notes from the Union:
GADDIS CONTINUING TO BLOSSOM IN ROOKIE SEASON
Despite being largely overlooked in the draft process and not being selected until the second round, rookie defender Raymon Gaddis has impressed greatly during his first few appearances with the Union. He's done so well at right back, in fact, that on Saturday the Union started Sheanon Williams at left back and Gaddis at right back instead of inserting natural left back Porfirio Lopez into the lineup and keeping Williams at his natural position.
Once Gabriel Farfan returns from his two-game suspension, it is unclear how the back line will look. Williams could return to right back with Farfan on the left, or the Union could use the same back line that started against San Jose and did well for the majority of the match. On Wednesday, Gaddis said that he's ready to contribute however he's needed against a tough Sounders opponent coming off a comprehensive 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"I expect to see a high-tempo game from Seattle," Gaddis said. "I know it's going to be a live atmosphere and they're going to feed off their fans, so I expect a lot of energy from them, a lot of pressure."
NOWAK STILL SUSPENDED, TEAM CLOSER TO FULL STRENGTH
While head coach Peter Nowak will miss the Seattle game as he serves the second of a two-game suspension, Philadelphia can count on the return of several key players to the lineup. Keon Daniel and returns from suspension, and while Brian Carroll is listed as questionable, but Hackworth feels he should be ready for Saturday.
"Everybody that had a little strain or pull is doing very well right now," Hackworth said. "We should have a full selection to choose from on Saturday."
Hackworth stressed that although Nowak is not in control of the team during his suspension, nothing changes as far as preparation during the week or the mentality during games.
"Peter Nowak is the boss," Hackworth said. "We do things the same way whether it's me on the sideline and he's upstairs, or vice versa. Our weekly routine doesn't change, our game routine doesn't change. It's not like there's a different philosophy out there."
April 21, 2012
My oh my, this isn’t going to go well for the U. Can we please at least sit Pajoy and start either Mwanga or Jack Mac? I’m okay with defensive soccer, but I’m not okay with 2 shots on goal or less each game.
@Hesyourlifelight – While you’re certainly correct that Adu’s and Cisse’s goal count the same on the scoreboard, they don’t count the same when looking at their impact on the game. Perhaps it’s better to consider the goals of Freddies Montero and Adu, especially since they’ll be on the same field come Saturday.
Montero’s recent long-range blast v. LA will have a noticeable impact on the game as it will force Philly’s defense to close him down anytime he has the ball w/in 35 yards of the goal. This will stretch the Union defense and create more space for Seattle.
Adu’s goal vs. Chivas will not have much of an impact on how Seattle defends. Adu’s goal was created by a great dribble/cross by Marfan. I’m guessing that it’s unnecessary for Seattle’s coaching staff to tell their players not to let Marfan dribble w/speed into their box just as they don’t need to tell players to mark players on the goalline tightly.
Again, you’re correct that all goals count the same on the scoreboard, but they matter differently when considering the impact that players have on games. So Montero’s (and Cisse’s) goal will cause Philly’s defense to play differently whereas Adu’s goal won’t cause Seattle any issues.
It makes no sense to question a players impact and then criticize how the impact was played out. Adu’s tap in goal counts just as much as Cisse’s goal against Chelsea. Still just 1.
@JohnC – Fair point and my comment was certainly hyperbolic; though citing a goalline tap-in and kicking the ball into some guy’s arm as a player’s high points is far from offering a solid defense of his ability.
I would be very surprised if regular watchers of the Union have much good to say about Adu. He doesn’t create chances, doesn’t hit good set pieces, he doesn’t beat players with passes or dribbles and he isn’t a threat to score. Add the above to the fact that he can’t defend and the fact stands that he is a liability.
I didn’t go w/4-4-2 b/c it doesn’t seem like that’s the plan at the moment. If it was possible, I’d prefer Garfan to Adu. I honestly have yet to see Adu play well for Philly.
@pd – well said.
Honesty and candor are expected. The club’s leaders pay lip service to keeping fans informed and engaged, yet they don’t actually follow through. This season they are asking the fans to trust them as they have a master plan, but it doesn’t appear that a plan exists. They say they want a team of young guys who will play attacking, dynamic soccer, yet they buy and play vets who play in a plodding, uninspiring style. They sell Le Toux and say that the money is being used for more than one player. It looks like its been spent on Williams (good move), Torres (questionable to spend on a fragile, inconsistent guy), and Pajoy/Gomez/Lopez (meh). Fan trust is being lost and that’s dangerous for the Union leadership.
Yep. We’re tough cause we’re also realists and we don’t like being jerked around. I’ll tell you what would restore a lot of the lost goodwill around here is some honesty:
1. admit you didn’t see the Mondragon departure coming and that changed the “big picture” for the season.
2. admit you dealt LeToux either because you felt that building a team around one option wasn’t the way to go or because of where he was in his contract. Quit with the youth BS.
Another thing that would help would be developing a style around the skill set you have in philly, not taking players out of their element to conform to some kind of system that is completely bereft of any kind of offensive strategy.
I would guess the game winning goal vs chivas was productive and the service that pinged the Columbus defender in the arm that led to the PK that won the game was also useful.
I’ll give out up to you philly fans. Your honest about your team without the bitching and complaining unlike rsl, shittle & falacy fans. Keep it up gentlemen.
Because of a poor manager who doesn’t get it.
Gotta agree with you- Hackworth is delusional if he believes that loss was ‘unjust’. Devastating for sure, but if anything was unjust it was the ridiculous offside call on Opara’s goal. My guess is he’s trying to spark the club by putting a chip on their shoulder before another tough match.
Why can’t Philly play a 4-4-2 with mwanga and adu underneath?
I like Hackworth, but when you concede 60% of the possession to the visiting team and have a total of 2 shots on goal, you don’t have the game “stolen away” from you. It was not for MacMath, the game against SJ would have been 4 or 5-1!
Now flying cross-country against a very good Seattle squad is not going to make things easier for this Union team who was suppose to be “so much better” then last year, or at least, that’s what we were told!
@AD22 – When was the last time Freddy Adu did something of use on a soccer field?
October 8, 2011
@Polo – bahahahahahaha!
If you wouldn’t start Adu, you’re as clueless as the coach.
He’s Philly’s best player.
I heard that Freddy Adu intends to shoot more. If that’s the case, you need to revise your prediction to 3-0.
Hackworth is delusion. The result was not “unjust”. It was certainly unfortunate, but San Jose were the better team and a draw would’ve suited Philly quite well.
I think the back four did play well against San Jose and Gaddis looked pretty good; though when Garfan is back, I’d prefer Williams to go to RB and Gaddis to sit.
FWIW, I’d go
Recovery starts with firing the incompetent coach they have.
Sounders will spank Union 3-1.