CHESTER, Pa. – After watching his team take a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen was unhappy with just about everything he saw on the pitch at Talen Energy Stadium.
From the outset, the Union were constantly on the attack. Philadelphia had possession for nearly 60 percent of the match, which was played largely in D.C.’s defensive half. United were outshot 15-6, and Philadelphia's passing accuracy was nine percent better (84.0%) than D.C.'s (75.9%).
The two penalty kicks his team gave up were the least of his worries.
“We were just late to show up to this match,” Olsen said. “Every aspect, they had more everything in that first half. And then game’s over.
“They’re a good team,” he continued. “You don’t show up for an entire game, take a half off, you don’t bring courage and you don’t bring all the little things to a game, you’re going to eat it.”
Despite a few personnel and strategy changes, including the insertion of midseason signing Alhaji Kamara into the starting lineup at forward, Olsen wasn’t settling for any excuses other than sheer effort.
“It wasn’t personnel, it wasn’t formations, it was good, old-fashioned pass and move,” Olsen said. “A little bit of will, a little bit of courage, a little bit of anger.”
The loss snapped a three-game unbeaten streak for United, who hadn’t lost since June 1.
Still very much in the Eastern Conference playoff race, United will have to move past the setback as quickly as possible. Upcoming intra-conference road trips to Columbus and Toronto are followed by visits from Montreal and then the Union, giving D.C. plenty of time to make their presence felt down the stretch.
“Look, it’s a long season,” Olsen said. “And this isn’t the end of the world. It’s a loss, away, at Philly, who’s a very good team … If you don’t show up for a large portion of the game, they’re a different team now and they’ll punish you.”