The Philadelphia Union have been snake-bitten by errors all season, and in Sunday's 2-0 loss to D.C. United, they managed to shoot themselves in the foot once more.
Afterward, manager Peter Nowak refused to mince words.
“I told the guys in the locker room, I’m extremely disappointed, not only with the result, but with the way we played,” he said. “There was no substance in the whole game today. From the back, with the simple mistake we could have cleaned up, and in the overall game, even offensively."
Besides being hindered by simple flat and uninspiring play, pesky individual mistakes that most other teams in the league don’t seem to suffer from as often were the Union's downfall. On D.C.’s first goal, Union captain Danny Califf failed to clear a cross cleanly and the ball went straight to United forward Danny Allsopp, who slotted in the home side’s opening goal.
“We didn’t go a good enough job to prevent the first goal, which changed the game a little bit,” Nowak said. “Of course after that we weren’t active like we should be. We have a lot of things to fix, and one week to [prepare] for New England, and it’s not going to get any easier.”
Philadelphia rookie Danny Mwanga was largely absent on the day, unable to find space or connect with his teammates. Although, he was not alone in that respect.
“We didn’t do a good job as a team,” Mwanga said. “We came out and made a couple mistakes, and didn’t do a very good job of putting our chances away, and then we spent the rest of the game trying to chase, and tie the game. It was just hard not playing at home.”
Unfortunately for Mwanga & Co., the Union do not return for another two weeks. In the meantime, they will have to cut down on those errors that are driving Nowak to make extreme comments.
"I think that was the worst performance I’ve seen in the eight months with this team," he said. "We have to be real about the situation that this stuff is not going to fly with me.”