Despite five-game skid, Philadelphia Union not in panic mode yet

CHESTER, Pa. — Desperate times call for desperate measures, but the Philadelpia Union aren't there quite yet.

Despite a five-game winless streak that's seen the team fall out of playoff position, manager John Hackworth isn't sounding the alarm ahead of Friday night's trip to Sporting Kansas City (8 pm ET, NBSCN).

He also insisted that now isn’t a time to meddle with his lineup, with the club just one point back of the playoff pack.

“In reality, I don't think we're in a desperate situation,” he said Wednesday. “I think if you start to reach for straws and play guys who haven't really represented your team at this point in the year, then you're getting into desperate times.”

The Union’s skid began with the 5 -1 loss at New England on Aug. 25. They scrapped for a draw against Montreal one week later but followed up that result with shutout losses against San Jose and Houston.

The team has scored just one goal in the last five games.

"We've scored one legitimate goal," Hackworth said. "But we've scored three goals for sure where the head of officiating has gone on national TV and said they should have been goals. We've created numerous chances. It becomes desperate when you're not playing well, when you're not creating chances.

“But if you have been in this game long enough, you're going to realize it's a cruel game and you're going to go through times where they're not falling for you,” he added. “You don't want to hit the panic button.”

The Union finish the season with a five-game stretch that includes road trips to Kansas City, Montreal, and D.C United. Sporting return to Chester for an October match and Toronto FC also visit PPL Park.

"In the next five games, you have to get three wins and probably another point along the way [to make the playoffs]," Hackworth said. "It'll depend on what other teams do, too. But I think realistically you want to get nine to 10 points out of these possible 15."