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."