Union looking for a turnaround in April
The Union are certainly happy to see the first month of the Major League Soccer season in the books. After hoping for a quick start, the Union instead went 0-2-2 in March, and have been shut out in three of their four games.
The Union are certainly happy to see the first month of the Major League Soccer season in the books.
After hoping for a quick start, the Union instead went 0-2-2 in March, and have been shut out in three of their four games.
They are in last place in the Eastern Conference, but the only saving grace is nobody is running away with the East.
Yes it's early in a 34-game season, but the alarming troubles of the offense came to a head last Sunday during a 1-0 loss to previously winless Chicago Fire.
The one statistic that was glaring for the Union was shots on goal - zero.
"The biggest problem is we are dribbling when we should be making a pass and we are passing when we should be taking a shot," Union manager Jim Curtin said.
The Chicago game has brought plenty of soul-searching for this struggling team.
"You have to start with being a team that is tough to play against and I don't think we were against Chicago," Curtin said. "[We want to be] a team that when the opening whistle blows, teams know they are in a fight. I thought we had that in the first three games, but this was the first game this was concerning for me because we didn't play well."
Curtin, always blunt in his analysis, said the effort was there, just not the execution.
"They work their butts off," he said. "They don't work smart all the time, and that is the balance we are trying to find now."
When a team is struggling offensively, it can be helped when its goalkeeper keeps them in games. That hasn't happened with Rais Mbolhi, who has not been a difference-maker. In the loss to Chicago, he let in a bad goal, a header off a free kick in which he showed indecisiveness in coming out for the ball.
The task won't get easier when the Union visit old Eastern Conference foe Sporting Kansas City (1-1-2) on Sunday. KC has moved this season to the Western Conference, and this will be the only game between them.
The Union are especially thin in the midfield, where Zach Pfeiffer and Fred are serving suspensions following red cards. In addition, Cristian Maidana (knee) remains out.
One midfielder looking to get untracked is Sebastien Le Toux, a double-figure goal scorer in three of his previous four seasons with the Union. This year, he has yet to record a goal or an assist.
"I can certainly do better," Le Toux said.
So could the team. The best thing that can be said is that the calendar has turned.
"We are very disappointed," Le Toux said. "It is a new month and we want to wash out what happened and start fresh and make sure April is a good month and we get our first win at Kansas City."