It might seem like a difficult task to play three soccer games in an eight-day span, but Union coach Jim Curtin can't wait for his team to return to the field.

And he won't have much time to wait either. Fresh off Wednesday's 3-0 win over the visiting Columbus Crew, the Union play host to New York City FC during Saturday's 7 p.m. Eastern Conference Major League Soccer game at PPL Park.

This is the finale of the three-game stretch, which began with last Saturday's 2-1 loss at the Eastern Conference's first-place team, D.C. United.

The Union (4-8-3), playing their best soccer of the season, have climbed back to the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. But that is deceptive since no team behind them has played more than 13 games.

Still the Union are 3-1 in their last four games, which began with a 1-0 win over D.C. United and continued with a 2-0 victory at the New York Red Bulls.

"There's now four strong showings in a row and I think something special is about to happen," Curtin said following Wednesday's win over Columbus. "Again it's still only four games that we've put together so we need to keep it going. In a lot of ways it's good to get a quick turnaround against NYCFC because we're in a good way right now."

Curtin also downplays the fatigue factor, saying a key during this three-game stretch is that the Union haven't had to travel via airplane.

"If you have to get on a two- or three-hour flight, that's when those games really weigh on you," Curtin said. "When you're going to sleep on your own bed like we're going to I think it's not as drastic."

The Union will have time to rest after Saturday. They have a friendly on Tuesday at Reading United, a game where many of the reserves will get more of a chance to play. On June 16 the Union host Rochester in a U.S. Open Cup game and they don't return to MLS action until June 20 at the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Curtin hinted that he would likely go with the same lineup on Saturday and not rest starters, although it remains to be seen if forward Fernando Aristeguieta, who suffered an ankle injury and left Wednesdays' game in the 37th minute, will be ready.

NYCFC (1-7-5) will be more rested, having not played since a home draw with Houston last Saturday, but the Union have some actual momentum.

What has also given the Union a lift is the play in goal of Brian Sylvestre. The Union are 3-2 in his five starts and he has a 1.00 goals-against average.

"We have a good group and I am confident in our back line," Sylvestre said.

And in turn, the team is confident in Sylvestre, who has given the Union some much needed stability.

@sjnard