The Philadelphia Union have enjoyed a much-improved start to their second season compared to their first year in the league going 3-1-1 in their first five matches. In their match against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday, that draw should have been a win.
Surrendering a goal in stoppage time that saw the visiting Sounders tie the score at 1-1, the Union were denied their fourth shutout of the season, a number that would have doubled their total from all of last year.
Union team manager Peter Nowak was understandably deflated that his team gave up a goal so late and hoped his team could improve their output offensively in the coming matches.
“I think at some point we have to realize that we can’t be afraid to score a second goal," said Nowak of getting his offense going so late-game goals would be less of an issue.
"It seems like we’re trying to manage that and at the same time giving our players options. We may be winning matches, but that doesn’t mean we have to go into a shell. We tried to encourage the players all week to give them freedom and we’ll create some chances.
"I think we did a better job today, but there are still the cases we don’t see the openings we’re supposed to see."
Their record may be the best in the Eastern Conference right now, but Nowak has never been someone to rest on his laurels and expects his team to improve in the future.
“We just have to keep at it. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Practicing is the only thing that’s going to make us better," said Nowak of what his team needs to do. "We didn’t have ideal conditions today, but we need to have a better idea of where we’re going with the ball."
Their next challenge will be the San Jose Earthquakes on April 30th. Ironically, the Earthquakes experienced a similar ending to their match with Philadelphia last year as the Sounders did on Saturday as they scored late to tie.
With two weeks to go before the match, Nowak will be doing everything in his power to avoid a similar result.
"As managers, we have to trust our players but we know we have a lot of work still to do.”Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!