There are no moral victories, and the Union made that clear after what many observers felt was the most entertaining game in the five-year history of PPL Park.
The Union didn't care that they were underdogs even in their home building. There was genuine disappointment Tuesday night after a 3-1 loss in extra time to the Seattle Sounders in a U.S. Open Cup championship that lived up to its billing.
Both teams had ample chances to win the game in regulation and no doubt the Union will replay Vincent Nogueira's shot that hit the post in second-half stoppage time.
There were other chances that they didn't convert, and even though they were underdogs to the now four-time U.S Open Cup champions, this one caused a deep wound.
And it should. Good teams expect to win and the Union consider themselves in that category.
The Union had poured their hearts out and taken the team with the best Major League Soccer record to the absolute limit.
Maybe in time, the players will look back at what a special event this was. For now, it brings nothing but misery.
PPL Park was electric. While the crowd of 15,256 fell short of a sellout in the 18,500-seat stadium, this was the loudest that many can remember it being in Chester.
This was not one of those championship games in which both teams played it conservatively and waited for each other to make a mistake. It was up-and-down, end-to-end soccer.
Still, that doesn't mean much to the losing side.
When asked if he would look back fondly on this experience, defender Sheanon Williams couldn't have been more blunt.
"Probably not," he said. "Nobody is going to remember who was the finalist, they will only remember that Seattle won."
Actually those in attendance will remember that the Union did reach the final in an attempt to win the first trophy in the franchise's five-year existence. The fans will remember the Union's extraordinary effort.
Even Williams could appreciate how hard the Union fought.
"I am extremely proud of this group, but I think I will toss this one away and remember the feeling and try not to let it happen again," Williams said.
The Union took the loss with class, but knowing they came so close, it likely made it more frustrating.
"At the end, Seattle played well in extra time and got the win," said midfielder Sebastien Le Toux, who as usual displayed nonstop energy for the entire game. "It is a credit to them and a disappointing loss."
This is the sign of a maturing team, that the players weren't happy to reach the final and take the champions to the absolute limit. The Union felt all along they were good enough to win and they almost were.
Seattle is a truly impressive champion and no one will relish playing the Sounders in the MLS playoffs.
None of that made the Union feel better.
They came so close and saw their championship hopes slip away. That's why on a night when they had every right to feel good about their effort, it still felt like a punch in the gut, with the pain likely to stay for quite some time.