Union have back-to-back key matches

Leo Fernandes is becoming a valuable part of the Union in his second MLS season. Credit: Getty Images
Leo Fernandes is becoming a valuable part of the Union in his second MLS season. Credit: Getty Images

Just because the World Cup ended on Sunday, doesn’t mean that soccer fans in the Philadelphia area can’t continue to get their soccer fix for the rest of the summer.

The Union (4-8-7) under new interim manager Jim Curtin seem to be headed in the right direction, much to the liking of the blue and gold supporters. In his regular season coaching debut with the team, they picked up a 3-1 victory over the fourth place New England Revolution and registered a 3-3 draw this past weekend against the Colorado Rapids (7-5-6).

They’ll play two telling matches this week against the New York Red Bulls (5-5-8) and Chicago Fire (3-4-10) which could dictate their record for the rest of the season.

“These are huge games, both of them,” said manager Jim Curtin. “We’re going to have to do something that this club hasn’t done this year which is win three games in a row. …When I look ahead in our schedule I see nine games at home and three on the road. I told the team that at some point we’re going to have to go on a run. We need an upward movement in the standings now because we’ve dug ourselves a big hole.”

The Union, who’ve already struggled mightily on defense this season, will play Wednesday’s game without top defender Amobi Okugo. He’s serving a one game suspension after receiving a questionable red card following this past Saturday’s match against the Rapids.

“There’s been a lot of good performances on an individual basis although there’s still two ways this New York game can go,” said Curtin. “You can feel sorry for yourself or you can get off the mat and compete. It’s a real swing game which can make the season go either way. …It’s very important that we go out and get these three points at home.”

Wednesday’s match against New York will air at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Saturday’s match against the Fire will air at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.


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