'Humble' Union looks to take success on the road
Winning four of the last five at home has brought a certain kind of confidence to the Union clubhouse that can only be described as palpable.
WINNING THE LAST four MLS regular-season home games has brought a palpable confidence to the Union clubhouse.
It's a stretch that interim boss John Hackworth hopes will transcend into getting results on the road beginning Saturday night against the Montreal Impact. During his weekly press conference Wednesday, Hackworth instead used the word "humble" to describe a Union team that has proved its mind-set that every match the rest of the season, both home and away, will be a 90-minute dogfight.
"This is the third time, I believe, we have scored a game-winner in injury time," Hackworth said in reference to forward Jack McInerney's stoppage-time game-winner against New England on Sunday. "I think we are breaking down teams over the course of 90 minutes, and when you do that, opportunities arise. The good thing about our locker room right now is that [knowledge] has made us very humble."
Another monkey wrench is that the Union also will have to contend with Montreal's latest designated player in legendary Italian defender Alessandro Nesta.
But no time to be startstruck when three points are on the table.
"It's not something you think about in the moment," McInerney said on Tuesday on a CBS Radio podcast. "We are going up there to try and beat Montreal. But I'm sure I'll look back and be like, 'I just played against Nesta,' which is unreal."
In Montreal, the Union will face another club that also plays extremely well in its confines. The Impact (8-13-3, 27 points) is 7-3-2 inside Stade Saputo this season. By contrast, the Union (7-10-2, 23 points) is only 2-6-1 on the road (5-4-1 at home), and has allowed twice as many goals as it has scored away from PPL Park (six goals for , 12 against). Factor in that Montreal came up small in stoppage time 3 weeks ago at PPL in a 2-1 loss courtesy of a goal by Union defender Carlos Valdes.
"I know Montreal is going to have revenge in their mind," McInerney said. "Losing the way they did I'm sure left a sour taste. Last time out was a really good soccer game and I expect the same, but we are going up there to win and we are going to press them. Our goal from here on out is to get a result in some form or fashion."
Odds and endlines
With another FIFA international match date upcoming on Aug. 15, three Union players are scheduled to be gone from the lineup. A source told the Daily News that captain Carlos Valdes and midfielders Gabriel Gomez and Keon Daniel will suit up for their respective countries. Gomez heads to Portugal with his native Panama and Daniel was called up for Trinidad and Tobago's match against Canada in Lauderhill, Fla. As for Valdes, the schedule wasn't concrete at the time of this report, but it's said Colombia hopes to arrange an exhibition against world power Spain ...
NBC announced plans to unveil its new magazine show devoted to MLS called "MLS 36." The show will mainly be a day-in-the-life series of MLS players. The pilot episode debuting Sunday (9:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network) will follow MLS top goalscorer Chris Wondolowski as he prepared for the MLS All-Star game that took place last month at PPL Park.