Union coach Jim Curtin stated Wednesday that the team hasn't lost two games in a row this season. While technically that is correct, the Union are riding a two-game losing streak in Major League Soccer. It's the first blip in an otherwise surprisingly successful season.
Curtin is looking to end that streak when the Union host D.C. United in a key Eastern Conference game Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium.
The Union (7-6-5, 26 points) are in second place in the Eastern Conference, behind New York City FC, while D.C. United (5-6-6, 21 points) is farther back but has a game in hand on the Union.
The consecutive MLS losses came the previous two Saturdays, a 3-2 defeat on June 25 to visiting Vancouver and a 1-0 loss Saturday at Houston.
In between, the Union earned a 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls in a round of 16 U.S. Open Cup game on June 29.
"If you count the Open Cup, we bounced back any time we lost a game," Curtin said at his weekly news conference. "We have come back with a good response, and I think this group will" on Saturday.
On May 20, the Union beat visiting United, 1-0, in the only other meeting this season between these two rivals.
Union forward C.J. Sapong, who had been out since suffering a sprained right ankle in a 3-2 win over Columbus on June 1, returned to action on Saturday and entered the game in the 63rd minute. Curtin is looking for a longer stretch against United.
"I am hoping he is able to start, and his fitness has really improved over the course of the week," Curtin said.
In addition, midfielder Sebastien Le Toux, who missed the Houston game with a concussion, cleared another part of his protocol on Wednesday, according to Curtin.
"We won't rush him," Curtin said. "He is progressing and is at least a possibility this weekend."