Photo: Earl Gardner
“We haven’t learned how to put the ball in the back of the net,” said John Hackworth after the Union lost to DC United on Thursday night. “We’re going to keep trying some stuff, but at the end of the day, we’re going to have to start finishing some of these chances. Otherwise, we’re going to have the same conversation again and again and again.”
Hackworth added, “All we can do right now is keep trying to give guys opportunities and see what our combinations are. Tonight we tried something new. While it created a lot, the quality wasn’t there. We just have to continue to do that. The team didn’t give up. In fact, they almost tried too hard at the end.”
Marc Narducci notes that DC United’s winning goal came from the Union’s top goalscorer. Lionard Pajoy, traded to DC in August, still shares that position with Gabriel Gomez with five goals. As far as I can remember Pajoy is also the first former Union player to score against his old club. Pajoy has two goals since the trade. The Union have three.
Sheanon Williams said of Pajoy’s goal, “He didn’t do that for us, did he? No. That’s how it goes. We can’t finish and they can, that’s the difference from where we’re at and where they are.”
Antoine Hoppenot said, “That’s the one guy we didn’t want to see score. We get criticized on our finishing and we don’t want to see the one guy we let go score, especially with Danny Mwanga scoring twice. The forwards still with the Union aren’t scoring any goals and the forwards not with the Union are scoring — it’s tough to see.”
Jack McInerney said, “It’s tough…But you can’t expect me to be up there by myself every time. Look, I am just doing what I can to help the team…I need someone to play off me and that I can lay balls off too or take that shot from distance and right now we don’t have a lot of that.”
Chris Vito writes that the Union “played as though they had lost their internal spark” and then offers this quote from Zac MacMath: “I can’t pinpoint a time when that actually happened, but it’s definitely not here anymore.”
Williams said, “It’s getting to a point, the last couple games, you either want to play or you don’t. That’s it. Some of us want to play, some of us don’t want to play.”
You’d think a playing for a spot on the team next season would be enough of a spark. Freddy Adu said, “Yeah. Doesn’t matter who you are, man. You’ve got to come out here and play for your spot next year. I’m no different than anyone else. I’ve got to earn my spot like everyone else. That’s the way I look at it, personally, and that’s the way I’m going to look at it until the end of the season and going into preseason because, like I said, I love this team, I love this organization and I want to be a part of this team going into the future. You’ve got to earn your place.”
Match reports and recaps from PSP, MLSsoccer.com, the Union website, CSN Philly, the Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Delco Times, Philly Soccer News, the Brotherly Game, ProSoccerTalk, the Washington Post, United Mania, Black and Red United, SBI, Goal.com, SBNation, and the AP.
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