Winless Union showing little fight
When the MLS team hits a rough patch in a game, it seems to have a snowball effect. Montreal visits on Saturday.
During their four-game losing streak, a number of Union players have mentioned that the team has had trouble overcoming adversity during games.
In short, once they get down a goal or surrender one that ties a game, the Union's collective mood dampens.
The Union (0-4-2) are the lone Major League Soccer team that has yet to win a game. If that is to change Saturday when they host the Montreal Impact (1-2-3) at Talen Energy Stadium, a little more mental toughness will be needed, especially if they surrender the first goal.
"You have to be mentally strong when it comes to these things," defender Richie Marquez said Wednesday after the team's training session at the stadium. "You can't just bring down the confidence, you can't bring down the chemistry. That is a sign of weakness, and when you do that things will only get worse."
It's hard to imagine it getting much worse for a team that tied Vancouver and Toronto in the first two games, then went into this four-game slide.
In their six games, the Union have held the lead twice, 1-0 in a 2-2 draw with Toronto and 1-0 in a 3-1 loss to Portland, both at home.
In the Portland game, the Timbers tied the score in the 32nd minute and dominated the rest of the game.
"Against Portland, it was a deflating goal because it came against a little bit of the run of play when we had the bright start and got up 1-0," coach Jim Curtin said. "We concede that goal and almost felt like a 'Here we go again' mentality, which is not us."
Midfielder Haris Medunjanin, who has played for Bosnia and Herzegovina, stressed the need for the Union to concentrate.
"Every day we speak about how we need to be more focused, more confident to play here because [in MLS,] you can't relegate [to a lower division]. I say to the guys in some countries you can relegate and there is so much pressure there."
The Union are starting to feel the pressure that comes with six winless games this season and an 0-9-4 streak since September.
"We are at our best when we are responding quickly to adversity," Curtin said.
That has yet to happen this season.