CHESTER, Pa. -- Filling in for Philadelphia Union Team Manager Peter Nowak (who was in Poland at a charity event) on the sidelines on Wednesday night was his number two, assistant John Hackworth. Despite the change in the man running things, the Union played the Los Angeles Galaxy the same way they've played every team this season: tight and tough. To their credit, it ended in a close 1-1 tie.
Hackworth admits the visitors were the better side in the early portion of the match, but was pleased with the corrections that were made to get them back into it after the break, changes that ultimately resulted in a point earned from a losing position.
"We didn’t play so well in the first 20-25 minutes of the game. That was our fault," said Hackworth of how the Union came out of the gate. "At the time, LA was pretty darn good. They executed really well. I told the guys at halftime we have to take care of a couple areas on the field that we were getting beat and commit to the attack."
Things changed at halftime though, specifically when Danny Mwanga was brought on. The 2010 Rookie of the Year finalist was able to net the game-tying goal through the hard work that his coach had stressed during his halftime team talk.
"To the guys' credit, they really pushed the game in the second half and that’s all you can ask for as a coach," said Hackworth of the effort in the match's last 45 minutes. "I wasn’t quite sure what would happen there at the end, but it was great to see."
When asked whether he agreed with Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena's comment that LA should have easily won the match, Hackworth stated his opposition.
“I disagree," Hackworth said with a smile. "If you come into this kind of hostile and environment and for Bruce to say they controlled the game, I’d say they did for the first 20 minutes. I don’t think they did for the last 65-70.
"They were up 1-0 so you only have to do a certain job at that point, which they are good enough team to do. They are one of the best defense in the league for sure. The fact that we started to mount our attack and put chances on goal is a credit to our guys."
The Union won't be able to rest on this result as they have a quick turnaround ahead of their match with FC Dallas on Saturday at Pizza Hut Park. It goes without saying that Hackworth and the rest of the team's coaching staff will expect the same level of determination in that match and the rest of the season.
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