It has been a long and winding road for the Philadelphia Union.
The club hopes that road to the MLS Cup title continues with a trip to the Eastern Conference finals. To make that happen, they’ll have to beat the Houston Dynamo by at least two goals to win the two-game aggregate goal series. If the Union win by one goal, they’ll at least force a pair of 15-minute overtimes and possibly penalty kicks.
The regular season began all the way back on March 19 with a 1-0 win at Houston. Ironically, the Union find themselves back at Houston’s Robertson Stadium for a huge match tonight at 8:30.
“I think we have been working for 10 months during the whole season to be at the place we are now,” Union goalkeeper and captain Faryd Mondragon said. "And we want to continue this way until in L.A. [for the MLS Cup]. We know what we didn’t do [in the first game] and what needs to be done Thursday. I think it’s just a matter of being relaxed and focused.”
While the Union are facing elimination, they’re still confident about extending their season. Much of that has to do with the makeup of the club.
“I think this is one of the two or three best locker rooms I’ve been in my whole career,” Mondragon said. “If we play the way I know we can play, we can beat anyone. And I say this in a very humble way because I know there are a lot very good teams. But I live with this team every day, day by day, training by training, minute by minute, and I know what we are capable of.”