The Philadelphia Union did not have the start to the MLS season that they wanted to have last weekend, losing to TFC. Now, they look to bounce back and channel last season’s road successes ahead of their first road match of the 2019 campaign.
Union look to bounce back after opening loss:
“Obviously, there’s things we still need to work on and clean up in terms of our box defending,” said Union head coach Jim Curtin. The Union gaffer reflected on the tough opening season loss.
“We will do that this week and we’ll continue to do that throughout the year. But it’s a good chance for guys to look at the tape, to get better, and I’ve mentioned to the group, and they’re in the same belief as me, there are still a lot of good things from the performance, and we won’t let one result define this group because this group has too much quality and is too strong.”
Curtin knows the result last week was not good enough, and the the road ahead presents tough challenges. Now the Union go on the road to a Sporting Kansas City side that is deep and ready to get their first win int their first home game in 2019.
Curtin has confidence in his side, saying: “I think character is how you bounce back from a disappointing loss.” We’ll see if the Union’s character comes through this Sunday at Kansas City.
For Philadelphia, they’ll try to channel their road success they had last season this year.
Channeling 2018’s road successes in 2019:
“I think we did well on the road last year. We want to carry that into this new group coming into 2019,” said Fafa Picault ahead of the Union’s first road match of 2019. The Union are coming off their best season ever in terms of getting results away from home; their 6-8-3 record helped them pick up 21 points on the road last season. Picault, and the rest of 2019 squad, will look to do even better this year.
“Every year is different, so we approach every game differently, and with maximum effort. You don’t want to think too much about the past, or last year’s game. This year it’s important that we focus on Sunday and get that job done.”
The Union say they will have a different tactical approach to road games, then they do for home games in 2019. Many think this means the Union will have a more defensive look, and try to press their opposition into mistakes that lead to smash-and-grab away wins. Picault and the Union are looking forward to the upcoming early season test.
“We’re definitely excited for it. We have two back to back road games, so first things first, is Kansas and we know they’re a good team home and away, but we have to do our part and stick together and try to come out with a good result.”
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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports