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Union frustrated as they head into playoff stretch

CHESTER, Pa. -- With the playoff race tightening, the Union desperately needed three points Saturday against the Montreal Impact. They came away with one and the feeling of defeat after drawing the Impact, 1-1 (see game story).

“We wanted three points here,” Union forward Fabian Herbers said. “It was a clear goal of ours and unfortunately we didn’t get it. It’s a little frustrating.”

What made Saturday so frustrating is the Union’s standing in the Eastern Conference and upcoming schedule. The club, holding the fourth spot in the East at 11-10-8, three points ahead of the Impact, won’t play another home game until Oct. 16. 

“I think we have a good group, a very experienced group,” said Union midfielder Warren Creavalle, whose club has five games remaining. “We’re a team that can absolutely handle this stretch and thrive in it.” 

But that’s easier said than done, especially with this particular run of games. In that time away from Talen Energy Stadium, the Union will face the Portland Timbers, Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls — three playoff-caliber teams, two of which are ahead of the Union in the East. 

The Union are 3-7-4 on the road this season. 

“It’s going to be difficult,” Union manager Jim Curtin said. “We’ve had a good eye on those three games. Going on the road we knew would be a challenge. At the same time, we’ve proven we can win on the road, we can get points on the road.” 

Difficulty aside, the players echoed their coach’s confidence. 

“We just take it game by game,” said Union midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta, who had the Union’s lone goal against the Impact. “You can see we have a good team, we show it every game.”