Philadelphia Union boss John Hackworth blunt ahead of LA visit: "People don’t give us enough respect"

John Hackworth, Philadelphia Union (March 10, 2013)

Photo Credit: 
USA TODAY Sports

CHESTER, Pa. – Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth is just looking for a little respect for his team.

Perhaps beating the two-time defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy on Wednesday at PPL Park (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE) can get them some.

“There’s probably a little bit of a feeling that people don’t give us enough respect right now,” Hackworth said. “Even when we go and we win games it doesn’t seem like we’re getting enough credit for it. I think having an opportunity to play LA at home is a really good game to try to make a statement. So I think there will be a little extra motivation there for sure.”

READ: Scouting report: A breakdown of what the Union expect from the LA Galaxy

Although the Union (4-3-3) and Galaxy (4-3-2) come into the midweek showdown with similar records, Hackworth called the game “a great test of where we are as a team and an organization,” and said that his players will have “a little more juice” going up against the star-studded. lineup.

The issue for the Union becomes trying to contain some of those stars with a depleted defense. Gabriel Farfan – who started at left back this past Saturday and was a regular on the backline for much of 2011 and 2012 – was traded to Chivas USA on Tuesday for allocation money and a first-round SuperDraft pick. And starting center back Jeff Parke, who missed Saturday’s 1-0 win over Chicago with a strained hamstring, is questionable for the midweek contest.

“We certainly want to be mindful of a guy like Jeff having a hamstring injury and pushing him too soon,” Hackworth said. “It was definitely the right decision not to play him on Saturday. We hope to have him available for these games. He trained in full [Tuesday], so that was a good sign.”

Philadelphia Union vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview

If Parke can’t go, Bakary Soumare will likely start his second straight game at center back, along with fellow defenders Amobi Okugo, Ray Gaddis and Sheanon Williams, who returns after serving a one-game suspension.

There will likely be other changes to the lineup as the Union play their second of three games this week. And while Hackworth played his cards close to his vest Tuesday, he did indicate earlier that Kléberson and Sébastien Le Toux could push for starting spots in the attack.

Perhaps that could come Wednesday night at PPL Park.

“At the end of the day, you’re going to have to try to probably make a few changes here and there,” Hackworth said. “And that does give players opportunities they previously haven’t had.”

Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at djzeitlin@gmail.com.