THE UNION'S winless streak reached eight matches late Saturday night, the Seattle Sounders sending the club back to Philly with a 2-1 defeat at CenturyLink Field.
Off a corner kick in the 84th minute, veteran Chad Marshall, the Sounders' 6-4 defender, directed a header past Zac MacMath to propel MLS-leading Seattle (6-2-1, 19 points) to its fourth straight win.
The March 15 home opener against the New England Revolution remains the Union's lone victory. Its 1-4-5 record gives it eight points, eighth-best in the 10-team Eastern Conference.
"Disappointment was the feeling right after the game; it's just very frustrating," Union forward Sebastien Le Toux said. "I thought we played well, but a mistake here and there cost us the game. There's a little bit of frustration and disappointment, but we have to move forward."
Playing against the league's hottest team in a soccer-crazed environment, the Union found itself on the board first after a Seattle own goal in the 13th minute. Cristian Maidana's free kick bounced off the head of the Sounders' Brad Evans and past goalkeeper Stefan Frei. The goal snapped a two-match scoreless stretch for the Union.
But Seattle scored twice in the second half to come away with three points. In the 61st minute, Obafemi Martins snuck past the Philly back line and scored on a pass from Evans. Marshall's late goal put the Sounders ahead.
"We just have to keep plugging away and hopefully we can get some luck on our side," Union defender Amobi Okugo said. "I feel like the defense has a good game and the offense struggles or the offense has good game and the defense struggles; we just have to have a complete performance from both sides and hopefully we can get a win."
MacMath recorded four saves, including one while diving to his left on a penalty kick by Osvaldo Alonso. It was already MacMath's third penalty-kick save of the season.
"Them being down a goal in their stadium we knew that they were going to come at us and they did," MacMath said. "I thought for most of the half we did pretty well with it and a couple of unfortunate bounces, a really good goal and a header is the reason why we lost."
The Union is back at home on Saturday, against rival D.C. United (3-3-2) at 4 p.m. at PPL Park.