With the Union getting ready to face LA Galaxy tomorrow, we caught up with Zach Pfeffer ahead of the clash to discuss the U.S. Open Cup, the teams current form and exactly what it will take to bring home all three points this weekend.
So Zach, the Union were able to defeat the Rhinos on penalties and head through to the next round of the U.S. Open Cup, what was your take on the game?
-First of all, I’m very happy that we were able to get the win and move on to the next round in the tournament. In tournaments such as the U.S. Open Cup where it is always win or go home, it is important to get the job done any way possible. With that being said, I thought we created many chances and should have put a couple away early on. We let Rochester hang around, and they are a very organized team defensively, which made the game that much more difficult. Overall though, we dominated the game in terms of possession, and there were many positives. Still always plenty of things to improve upon though.
It must have felt even sweeter coming off of a frustrating loss to New York City, knowing that the team played just as well and were rewarded for it.
-Yes, absolutely. It is always nice to bounce back straight away from a loss. We felt like we deserved more from the previous game against NYCFC, so it was great to get the result against Rochester and advance to the next round.
It was announced yesterday that the team have drew D.C. United in the next round of the tournament in a home fixture, what are your thoughts on the draw?
-I think it will be another very difficult game for us. Obviously D.C United is a rival of ours and a team that we know very well. Being that it is a home game for us, we will go into the game expecting nothing less than a win. We want to continue to stay alive in the tournament, and make it back to the final again. We have some unfinished business to take care of this year.
We briefly touched on then how well the team have been playing recently, what’s been the key to such a consistent effort in recent weeks?
-I think the main key has been the confidence of the team. We feel like we have been playing some great soccer lately, and it has shown us that we can compete with and beat any team that we play against. Also, we have a great group of players that always stick together!
Looking ahead to tomorrows game against the LA Galaxy, what are going to be the key points in coming away with three points?
-LA Galaxy is one of the top teams in the league every year. It will obviously be a very difficult game, but one that we believe we can get a positive result in. We need to make sure we are aware of guys like Keane and Zardes at all times, as they are very dangerous and can make things happen. As for our game, we need to put away our chances when they come. We will certainly create some good chances, and just need to make sure to finish them off.
Galaxy have had a slight drop in form recently, will you be looking to capitalise on that?
-The Galaxy are finally welcoming almost all of their main players back, as they’ve had some injuries to deal with. So I don’t think you can really look at their recent games. We just need to focus on this game, and do everything in our power to get a positive result.
What were you able to take away from the divisional showdown with New York? The football being played was excellent, is it just a case of doing the same again or have there been any changes to the way you approach the game?
-The main point of emphasis is to put our chances away. Too many times we have let the opposing teams stick around in games, which has come back to hurt us. We are constantly creating many dangerous chances, and now the emphasis has to be to finish them.
What are you most looking forward too about this weekends game?
-I’m just looking forward to another opportunity to play the game that I love in a great stadium in front of thousands of fans. There is always a great atmosphere at the Galaxy games, and this weekend should be very exciting. I hope we will come away with 3 points!