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Union look to break losing streak

Following a loss to the Red Bulls on Sunday, coach Jim Curtin said the Union must find consistency.

Union forward Chris Pontius keeps his eye on the ball with New York Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence.
Union forward Chris Pontius keeps his eye on the ball with New York Red Bulls defender Kemar Lawrence.Read more(Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

The Union are poised to enter a stretch of challenges with one goal in mind: breaking out of a losing rut.

After a dominant 4-0 run, the Union dropped its last three games, including a home game against the Red Bulls on Sunday. It's easy to fall into streaks in the MLS, manager Jim Curtin said. What's important for his team is to create the consistency necessary to forge a new run of victories.

"We showed glimpses of what we need," Curtin said Wednesday. "We're just not consistent in that for 90 minutes. We can step up on Saturday night and put an end to it."

On Saturday night against DC United, the Union (4-7-4) will be without midfielder Derrick Jones, who earned a straight red card in Sunday's game. Less than 10 minutes into the second half, Jones left his feet to slide tackle a ball away from Felipe Martin. His right foot slid on top of the ball, studs flying up toward Martin's leg, and the ref quickly lofted a red card.

The penalty took the Union down to 10 players in their 2-0 loss to the Red Bulls, and it means a suspension for Jones in Saturday's game. The team is using it as a teaching opportunity, hoping to instruct without discouraging.

"With a young player you don't want to take that aggressiveness away from [him]," Curtin said. "You still want that to be a part of him. It's in his DNA."

Curtin led a critical session in the film room, but he said there isn't a single area that the Union needs to improve to get back to winning. The defense has only allowed six goals in eight games, while the offense netted twice as many goals.