In terms of standings throughout the league, the Union are in last place. They have a record of just 7-14-10, tied for a league-worst 27 points. As everything seems to be pitted against them with seven matches remaining in the regular season, you wouldn’t be able to tell if you spoke to the players or manager Jim Curtin.
This team is still fighting. They’re still just two points out of the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern conference and they’re not going to let the outsider’s perspective on them deter them from their goal.
“We’ll have to approach each game, and have a stronger performance in each game, and kind of build on that with an eye on winning each one, taking it one game at a time and trying to get results,” Curtin said. “We’ve set ourselves up for a very, very tough stretch, a tough fight and, to be quite honest, it’s amazing that we still even have an [opportunity].”
Up next are the San Jose Earthquakes (11-10-5), who have a playoff race of their own going on in the Western Conference. They sit tied for sixth place in the West with 38 points. Forward Chris Wondolowski has been sensational for them this season, notching 12 goals which ranks sixth in the MLS. That’s over a third of the Union’s team scoring output this season of 33 goals.
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“We have three games at home left and four on the road so that’s the way we have to approach it,” Curtin said, after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Revolution. “We can’t get any momentum going. We had a very good professional performance in Montreal, a difficult place to go. We get a 1-0 win and then come back home with a good opportunity against a good New England team, that’s a very good team, and they deserve the points tonight. Disappointing. We can’t get over that hump of putting together back-to-back performances.”
On top of needing to in essence get a result in every match moving forward, the Union’s fate is also directly tied to the Montreal Impact (8-11-4). The Impact have played in four less matches than the Union, but sit one point ahead of them in the standings. But Curtin and the Union players aren’t getting ahead of themselves. They believe they still have a shot to stay in the mix for a playoff spot, as long as they put in a full effort for 90 minutes.
“[Montreal has] a tough schedule,” Curtin said. “I think if you look at their schedule, it’s pretty brutal going forward. So are a lot of teams, you look at everyone’s schedule, you take a peek ahead, everyone has a difficult road. For us right now, we’ve put ourselves in such a hole that it’s out of our hands, you know, and we don’t deserve to dictate things anymore because we’ve dug such a deep hole.”
Saturday’s match against the Earthquakes will air at 10:30 p.m. on The Comcast Network.
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