Saturday, December 20, 2014

Late Game Heroics Making the Union Believers

The Union can sense the tide is shifting, at least if their last two Major League Soccer home games are any indication.

Late Game Heroics Making the Union Believers

For the second straight home game, the Union turned what appeared to be a certain tie into victory. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
For the second straight home game, the Union turned what appeared to be a certain tie into victory. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

The Union can sense the tide is shifting, at least if their last two Major League Soccer home games are any indication.

For the second straight home game, the Union used late-game heroics to turn what appeared to be a certain tie into victory.

That is the difference of four points, six for the two wins instead of two for two ties. For a team scrapping for one of the five Eastern Conference playoff berths, it could be huge.

In Sunday’s 2-1 win over the New England Revolution, Jack McInerney scored the game winner in the 90th minute, heading in a cross from defender Sheanon Williams.

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In their previous home game, the Union defeated Montreal, 2-1 getting the game-winner on a Carlos Valdes goal in the 91st minute.

“What a result for us,” interim team manager John Hackworth said after the New England win. “The guys continue to dig deep down and surprise me every time.”

Actually Hackworth wasn’t overly surprised. This is a young team that is built on playing the game until it is officially over.

And the Union (7-10-2) are beginning to reestablish their strength on their home turf. They are now 5-4-1 at PPL Park and have won four in a row at home.

“We can’t drop points at home especially and we know every game counts and pretty much every game a playoff game,” goalie Zac MacMath said. “Every point matter and we’re trying to fight to the 90th minute.”

The Union are nine points out of the fifth playoff spot with 23 points, but have two games in hand on fifth place Chicago.

So with 15 games remaining, there is plenty of time to make a playoff run. No doubt the Union are gaining confidence with each passing game.

And while these two home comeback wins are over teams with losing records, they are still games the Union would likely not have pulled out in the beginning of the season.

It wasn’t so long ago that a playoff berth seemed more like a pipe dream for the Union. They still have their work cut out for them, but with these last two home wins, the postseason remains a viable goal.

 

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