After many losses and draws this season and last, Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth has said his team deserved better.
After Saturday’s 2-0 loss away to the New England Revolution, he said no such thing.
“This was probably our worst performance of the year so far,” Hackworth said after the match. “In a lot of ways, it’s just frustrating because we’ve been playing so consistent – at least in the way we’re trying to play. And tonight wasn’t the same.”
Hackworth was especially critical of the team’s defensive marking, which allowed the Revolution to find open space and pepper goalie Zac MacMath with seven shots on target.
The Union managed to keep the game scoreless in the first half, thanks in part to a missed sitter from Kelyn Rowe in the 9th minute and a big save from MacMath in the 22nd minute.
But the Revs opened it up after the break, using goals from Lee Nguyen and Diego Fagundez to roll to their first-ever win over the Union and first multi-goal effort of the season.
“On both goals – I just watched them – there are little details and guys just stopped playing,” Hackworth said. “That’s not reflective of our team.”
Captain Brian Carroll agreed with Hackworth’s scathing assessment, noting that “it just wasn’t our night for whatever reason” and that plays the team has made for most of the season “just wasn’t there.”
Center back Jeff Parke got into a few more specifics, pointing out that New England was able to attack with numbers down the middle of the field and that the Union “didn’t follow runners and didn’t do enough to keep them wide.”
But like Hackworth and Carroll, Parke believes there was just something missing Saturday.
“They’re a decent team, but we made them look a lot better than they are,” Parke said. “I think they were the more hungry team. We didn’t come out and play our game and they took the game to us.”
The loss prevented the Union from winning their second straight road game for the first time in franchise history and dropped them to 3-3-2 on the year heading into next week’s home match vs. Seattle.
“We just need to go back and review this game and look at the game film and come up with a plan,” Hackworth said. “Tonight, on a lot of levels, is not acceptable for this team.”
Dave Zeitlin covers the Union for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.