Union

Troubled Union 'keep believing' despite poor start

CHESTER, Pa. -- The Union aren't panicking yet. 

Despite suffering their fourth straight loss Friday, in an offensively inept effort against New York City FC at Talen Energy Stadium, the club's frustrated players and coaches are still believers.

"I've had times in France at Nantes where we were on an eight-game winless streak and it sucked," said Union captain Alejandro Bedoya, whose club is winless in its last 14 matches dating back to Aug. 2016. "We had to stay in hotels for like a week before the game for four straight weeks until we got it turned around. Here, we're not going to fight relegation. The team's not going anywhere, so it's important for the team to stay confident, keep believing in ourselves."

Following the 2-0 defeat, the united message coming from the Union locker room was that wins are on the way. And unless the club self-destructs, the losing tide will eventually turn in its favor.

"Honestly, we just need to keep playing," Union forward C.J. Sapong said. "We're just in a rut right now. This is something that's common in our league. You've just got to ride the wave, take the ebbs and flows as they come and continue to believe that it'll turn around for you."

But turning things around will be difficult. After a 3-1 loss to the Portland Timbers last weekend, Curtin was pressed over his lineup decisions and formation. On Friday, the manager moved Bedoya deeper into the midfield and activated Roland Alberg into the No. 10 role, along with tap rookie Jack Elliott for Oguchi Onyewu at center back. He also brought in youngster Adam Najem and subbed in Jay Simpson. 

None of it worked. The Union only produced two shots on goal -- both from outside the box. And neither were clocked in the second half while trailing and with Curtin letting his attack horses loose. It left the Union shaking their head.

"We didn't create enough on the night," Curtin said. "When you don't score a goal at home, you're not happy with the chances that you created. We had a couple good looks, but they really were half chances, whether it was corner kicks or scrambles in the box, but not a ton of clear-cut chances created and we come up on the wrong end of a result again."

But what Bedoya saw was everything but the finish. The Union were able to fire off 11 shots and earned a number of early opportunities to take the lead.

"The first 30 minutes against Portland and now against NYC, I thought we were able to put in the effort and turn them over and get where we want to be," Bedoya said. "But just the sharpness in the final third is lacking. It's just small margins where hopefully that final ball will be there and we can turn it around."

And Bedoya, along with the rest of the optimistic Union, believe that they aren't as bad as their 0-4-2 record and that they just need one victory to get 2017 back on track.

"We need a win," Bedoya said. "I think we just need to get a big win and get our confidence up."