Union "at a loss for words" as blown lead vs. Impact extends 2017 struggles

CHESTER, Pa. – Before Saturday’s game against the Montreal Impact, Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya delivered a message to his teammates.

“I said in the huddle to the guys, ‘I don’t care how you win. This is a win we need to be able to scrap out,’” Bedoya recalled.

What he said after the Union blew a 3-0 lead to stumble to a 3-3 home draw with the Impact – a result that moved their winless streak to 15 games dating back to last season – was decidedly less acceptable for print.

“You probably heard some curse words,” a frustrated Bedoya said in the Talen Energy Stadium media room. “We’re all men out there. When you step over those white lines, you go to battle, right? That’s what I expected from all our guys. … But to give up three goals to Montreal after being up 3-0, man, that’s tough. It’s frustrating.”

The Union have failed to get results in all kinds of different ways over the last 238 days, the entirety of their winless streak. But perhaps more than any other, Saturday’s contest showed how much the weight of the slump is affecting them.

You could see the momentum shift when Montreal drew one right back before halftime to make it 3-1. And you could see the dark cloud hovering overhead as the visitors rallied for two second-half goals from Anthony Jackson-Hamel, including an 87th-minute equalizer, to continue Philly’s misery and elicit loud boos from the Union crowd.

Afterwards, Bedoya called the Impact’s goals “soft” and lamented the fact that the team has now given up multiple goals in their last six games.

“That’s what I mean about giving up soft goals, not putting bodies on guys in the box – we should be better at that,” Bedoya said. “I’ve said it every time: If we’re gonna give up a minimum of two goals in every game, we’re not gonna win a game. You can’t. You can’t win a game if you’re letting two goals every game. We need to get better and step it up defensively and get a shutout, at least.”

If there is a bright side, the Union’s attack did get kickstarted as Roland Alberg and C.J. Sapong displayed a dynamic partnership to combine for all three first-half goals.

But in the end, that meant little as the Union completed what had been viewed as a critical three-game homestand with only one point, sinking to 0-4-3 on the season.

“I thought we had some breaks in the first half, played well and scored some goals,” Union head coach Jim Curtin said. “We could have scored more. That killer instinct to finish off the game is something we talk about, something to work on. We came up short.”

“Pure frustration,” Bedoya added. “I’m at a loss for words. It feels like a loss. It’s hard to stomach. This team deserves a lot better. The fans deserve a lot better.”