Now, they can only hope that the game was an aberration and that their recent form is who they really are.
“It was not a good enough performance for us on the road,” said Union head coach Jim Curtin. “For whatever reason, we couldn’t get out of first gear. We were sluggish and slow to win balls and when you don’t take your chances on the road they come back to get you.
For the second straight game, the Union gave up the first goal. But unlike against Colorado the week before, they didn’t find an answer.
“When they do break us down and get a goal, maybe we were shocked a little bit and didn’t recover,” Curtin said.
Philly’s six-game unbeaten came to an end Saturday, but that doesn’t mean another streak won’t start against New York City FC next weekend. And even with a streak ending, it didn’t remove the importance of continuing to build this team into a playoff contender.
“There are no easy games in this league,” Curtin said. “Form gets thrown out the window every week. You want to be having consistent solid performances as you get later on in the season. I know we have a very good team still. It’s a tough 1-0 loss on the road, but we still have a very strong group.”
Philadelphia had been averaging almost three goals per game in its four-game win streak, but early chances weren’t converted vs. RSL and chasing the game made their attack too predictable.
“It was one of those days where we had a few opportunities early in the game and were unable to capitalize,” said Union goalkeeper Andre Blake. “Sometimes you don’t score your chances and you’re made to pay for it, and it was one of those nights for us.”
A goal-line clearance from Real Salt Lake’s Aaron Maund in the 17th minute took care of Philadelphia’s best chance, but the Union only put four shots on target and most of their good chances came early.
On the defensive side, there wasn’t as much to worry about, but that also could have been due to Blake’s seven saves keeping the game closer than it might have been otherwise.
“We haven’t lost in a while, and now we have lost, so the guys are getting that bitter taste again,” Blake said. “We’re going to be hungry and go back to the drawing board and be ready for the next one.”
And Curtin believes there could be another similar streak waiting just around the bend.
“A good run of six games comes to an end,” the Union coach said. “Now, we’ll have to look forward to starting a new streak.”