Union's Haris Medunjanin enjoying everything but the team's record

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Union midfielder Haris Medunjanin plays against New York City FC at Talen Energy Stadium on April 14 in Chester, Pa.

While the Union is struggling with a disappointing 0-4-2 start, there has been a bright spot or two for the only Major League Soccer team without a win.

Near the top of the list is the performance of Haris Medunjanin, who has played the defensive midfield spot, known as the No. 6 position.

A 32-year-old veteran with 55 caps for the Bosnian national team, Medunjanin leads the Union with two assists and is third in Major League Soccer with 17 chances created.

He is one of the most accurate passers, especially on long balls, in the Union's eight-year history. Medunjanin was signed in January after playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israel Premier League. He has enjoyed everything about his new team with the exception of the record.

"I go home and think about it, and it makes you crazy. But that is football," Medunjanin said earlier this week. "You live for that and want to win games, and nobody wants to lose, and I hate to lose, and hopefully we can turn that around Saturday."

He was referring to the 1 p.m. game Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium when the Union hosts the Montreal Impact (1-2-3).

Even though he is playing the defensive midfield spot, Medunjanin has the ability to be a major part of the attack. In fact, it has been suggested to coach Jim Curtin that Medunjanin should take more chances offensively. If there has been one criticism of his game, it is that Medunjanin often passes back too often instead of looking forward more.

"He plays forward," Curtin said. "He is smart about possession."

On a Union team that has scored just five goals, everybody has to be in a more attacking mode, and that includes Medunjanin.

Still, he has been a positive presence and has taken a leadership role with this relatively young team. He says the Union can't afford to look too far ahead. Medunjanin understands that it is early in the 34-game MLS season. But because of the disappointing start, the Union also must play with some sort of urgency.

"We now have Montreal in front of us, and if you want to keep the gap closed we need to win the game. Otherwise the gap will be bigger and bigger," he said.

mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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