Union

Union's early stumbles continue with 2-0 loss to New York City FC

BOX SCORE

CHESTER, Pa. -- Make it four straight losses for the Union.

Although their performance was improved from last week's defeat, the Union weren't able to claim a result, as New York City FC walked away with the 2-0 win on Friday at Talen Energy Stadium.

"It's a very tough time right now," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "There's no question about that. It's difficult for us to get a result. The guys continue to work hard, they put a ton of effort into the week and we'll have to continue to do that. The only way to get out of this is to continue to work hard in training and eventually one of these results will go our way."

Still without a win this season, the Union suffered their fourth consecutive loss and 14th consecutive match without a win, a streak that dates back to August 2016. The Union are 0-4-2 on the season and remain in the Eastern Conference basement.

"There's no pressure," Union midfielder Roland Alberg said. "We're at the bottom of the table. But if you win a couple of times in a row, you can be at the top of the table. There is no stress. We have to stick together. The winning games are coming."

Following last week's 3-1 drubbing at the hands of the Portland Timbers, Curtin did make some roster changes, going with rookie center back Jack Elliott for Oguchi Onyewu and Alberg for Derrick Jones. 

And while the moves did improve the Union's possession, the club forced NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson to make only two saves, giving Jack Harrison an opening to break the game in the 52nd minute. The Union didn't register a shot on goal in the second half.

"I think it's just a final ball," Union forward C.J. Sapong said. "It's a game of inches. In our position right now, we feel like the inches haven't gone in our favor. It's definitely not indicative of what this team is capable of."

Off a turnover from the Union's Keegan Rosenberry, Ronald Matarrita found Harrison with a backdoor pass, giving the youngster the chance to slip his shot through Andre Blake for the 1-0 advantage.

"It was a brilliant ball by Mata," Harrison said. "I made the run hoping he would see me and I saw his eyes and he made a brilliant ball through. It was perfect. I just kind of hit it hoping for the best and luckily for us it went in."

The Union lack answers.

"You try to focus on the positives because there were some positives in the game," Curtin said. "It's challenging because we haven't had a complete 90 minutes yet this year. We're still in search of that. We've had good spurts. You work hard, you watch tape, you try to get better each week and try to put together a complete 90 minutes."

Despite loading up on the attack in the waning moments, the Union's pain would continue in stoppage time. NYCFC doubled its lead when David Villa launched a right-footed volley from midfield that floated over Blake and under the crossbar for the 2-0 victory (see video).

"I saw it was difficult for him to run," Villa said. "I didn't see the keeper but I expected that he was out of the box. You try all the time and today it was perfect."