Union welcome Rapids to PPL Park
Chester, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Union will aim to get back on the winning track on Saturday on home soil as the club welcomes the Colorado Rapids to PPL Park.
After a sluggish start to the season, things may be looking up a bit for Philadelphia under interim head coach Jim Curtin. Since Curtin took head for John Hackworth following the team's 3-3 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps on June 7, the Union have gone 4-1 across all competitions.
They will need to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat against FC Dallas on July 4 if they want to put together a second-half postseason push.
In Frisco, the Union fell behind in the 26th minute through a terrific volley from rookie Tesho Akindele, but the Union equalized in the 43rd minute via a well-struck goal from midfielder Amobi Okugo.
The deciding tally came in the 47th minute as a bit of misfortune for the Union as an attempted clearance by defender Fabinho took a deflection off Sheanon Williams and wound up past goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
"It's unfortunate," Williams said. "I thought we had a good game, especially defensively; we gave up two chances and they score two goals. It's unfortunate, but that's just sometimes the way it goes. We've got to take the positives and move forward, nothing we can do about it now. Get recovered and get ready for the next game."
Philadelphia will also be without the services of midfielder/defender Maurice Edu on Saturday as the former Stoke City man was shown a late red card and will be unavailable.
The Rapids will also hope for a three-point effort on Saturday coming off a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Colorado opened the scoring in the 59th minute when Marvell Wynne delivered a cross in for Vicente Sanchez, who cut across Columbus defender Eric Gehrig to create a deflection that put Colorado in front.
But Columbus nabbed a late equalizer in the 76th minute as a Crew through ball into the penalty box appeared to be an easy clearance for rookie Jared Watts but the midfielder put too strong a touch on the ball, and it fell right to Ethan Finlay for the easy finish and his fourth goal of the season, forcing the sides to share the spoils.
"I think [Columbus] came out wanting to win the game and that was evident in the way they played," Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said. "They took a lot of risks at times - they were even numbers in the back against one of the fastest guys in the league and we weren't able to execute. I think tonight, from a coaching perspective, it wasn't good enough.
"From a playing perspective, individually [the Rapids players] put their partners in bad spots with bad passes and bad touches. Collectively as a group, it's a great opportunity to come out of this game with a point and really reflect on what we need to do to now as we go on the road to a couple tough venues and just get better as a team."
07/11 16:35:13 ET