Philadelphia Union manager John Hackworth held his weekly press conference on Wednesday, and had a few interesting things to say. Here are some highlights.
On whether he'll make changes to his lineup after Saturday's loss:
I would expect some different players in the lineup – maybe not a lot. But I said it last week: I feel like we have good depth, and there's guys that have been competing in training for the last several weeks now that deserve an opportunity.
Certainly, when you get caught on the side of a scoreline like we did, I think everyone expects some changes to be made.
On his analysis of that game:
I probably don't think I've watched any game more than I've watched this one back. Straight through three times, then going back and forth doing film edits.
The one thing that has me baffled is we played so good for 40 minutes of this game and in one moment we let our guard down and get punished because of it. The next 10 minutes after the goal and to start the second half, we were not good.
We looked like a completely different team – and that was after a motivational talk, to say the least, at halftime. That obviously did not work. So I'm going to change that – I'm going to throw a lot of Gatorade around the coolers on Saturday.
But all that joking aside, we got back into it a little bit [early in the second half] and they scored again. From that point we went back to the way we were playing, created some chances but didn't score. I don't have an answer for that.
I think that's the sign of a mental letdown… From Michael Farfan to Ray Gaddis and Gabriel, those guys have to have better games and more consistent games to put us in a better position. At the end of the day I was pleased with that move and am glad that it worked.
On Conor Casey's return to Colorado:
I don't think there's any better motivation than a player going back to his own club and trying to make sure that he puts salt in the wound if you will. We saw Cristiano Ronaldo do it yesterday.
It's the Conor Casey vs. Danny Mwanga show. I'm sure Danny Mwanga is going to be extremely motivated… It will be interesting. I think he's one of those guys that I think in our scouting reports we feel could be on the field for them. It will be good to see them, but I don't think I'll try to be friendly with him until after the game.
We would love to be able to play Conor this week because it's a great motivational factor… but to be honest we haven't made that determination yet.
Also on Wednesday, the Union formalized its partnership with the Harrisburg City Islanders as part of the MLS-USL PRO affiliation program. As a result, the Union will not field a team in this year's MLS Reserve League competition.
Instead, Union players will help Harrisburg in USL PRO competitions. The City Islanders will also play two games against the Colorado Rapids' reserves, on April 20 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and on June 8 at the Skyline Sports Complex.
The Union don't play on June 8, as it's in the middle of CONCACAF's summer World Cup qualifying period. So that might be a good opportunity to go to Harrisburg for a game.
Here's the key clause from a Union press release on the affilation deal:
Similar to Major League Baseball’s farm system, the Union can send First Team players down to Harrisburg for development, to gain extra playing time or to regain fitness following an injury. The player would still be a member of the Union’s roster and the club would hold all rights to the player, as well as be responsible for the players’ salaries.
Univision and Major League Soccer announced that 23 games will air on Univision Deportes this season. The Union will be featured five times:
Saturday, March 9: at Colorado Rapids, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 16: vs. New England Revolution, 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 6: at Columbus Crew, 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, June 5: vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 27: at Vancouver Whitecaps, 7:00 p.m.
The full schedule of Univision Deportes broadcasts can be found here. As of now, the channel is only available in the Philadelphia area on Dish Network, but Univision's release said some of its games will be streamed live online.
That's good news for Union fans, because the April 6 game was originally scheduled to air on Live Well Network, WPVI-6's second digital channel. Although LWN is on some local cable systems, it can be a bit hard to find and isn't universally available. Currently, the schedule on the Union's website does not list any TV informaiton on that game. If Univision streams that game online, it will give fans another option.
On a national basis, MLS confirmed that games on Univision Deportes will not be blacked out on MLS Direct Kick or MLS Live. Games on Uni Más will continue to be blacked out, it seems. This caused confusion for some fans over the weekend during the Los Angeles-Chicago game that was on Uni Más, but keep in mind that it's just the channel that used to be known as Telefutura.
As a result, Uni Más has pretty wide distribution. WFPA is the Philadelphia afilliate. It broadcasts over the air on channel 28 and the second digital channel of Univision's WUVP-65. The channel is also on many cable and satellite systems. So check your listings.