The Union (8-7-6) suffered their most embarrassing loss of the season on Saturday, 5-1, at the hands of world-class player Didier Drogba and the Montreal Impact (7-5-8). Drogba netted a three-goal hat-trick and showed how on any given night, he can mimic the brilliant play he once displayed for European powerhouse Chelsea for so many years.
His three goals propelled him into ninth place in the MLS in scoring (8 goals) and surely has the second-place Union (30 points) taking a good hard look in the mirror. The Impact moved within one point of the Union as the final stretch of the season draws near. The Union have just 13 matches left to lift the monkey off of their backs and make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
“Obviously, very disappointing performance from our group,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. “We’ve been a group that’s been together and been a team all year, and that’s why we’ve had some success. Tonight we were beat by stars: Drogba, Piatti were unstoppable tonight. Again, we’ve found a way to be a very strong team at home in our building, we’re still learning how to be a strong team on the road.”
The Union hold just a 1-6-3 record on the road this season. They’re an MLS-leading 7-1-2 at home.
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Goaltender Andre Blake, who along with defender Keegan Rosenberry will compete in the MLS All-Star game on Thursday, has a respectable 1.55 goals against average on the season. On the road his average inflates to 1.9 goals against.
As a team, they’ll need to iron out the issues they’ve been having on the road, as there’s still seven upcoming matches on the road before the season ends.
The Union will next face Real Salt Lake (8-6-7) at home on Sunday. They’re led by a trio of goal scorers in Yura Movsisyan (7 goals), Juan Manuel Martínez (6 goals) and Joao Plata (5 goals) that the Union defense will need to key in on to rebound from Saturday’s debacle.
“It doesn’t feel very good,” Rosenberry said. “We didn’t do the things we set out to do tonight and the objectives we set for ourselves. It also doesn’t help anybody to focus on this long afterwards, so we move past it and we’ll train hard as a team. … Everybody across the board, the 11 and the 18, could have been better on the night. The focus immediately shifts to next weekend and to try and get three points from that.”
Sunday’s match will air at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.