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Union welcome Chivas USA to PPL

10:46 AM, Jul 11, 2013   |    comments
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Chester, PA (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Union will aim to get back on the winning track on home soil on Friday as the club welcomes Chivas USA to PPL Park.

Coming off a difficult two-game road trip to Salt Lake City and Houston which netted the Union one point of a possible six, three points at home against a struggling Chivas side are a must for John Hackworth's club if it wants to keep pace in the crowded Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia looked to have three points in the bag on July 3 against Real Salt Lake as it held a 2-1 lead deep into stoppage time, but an ill-advised handball in the box led to Javier Morales converting a penalty kick to save a point for the hosts.

Three days later, an exhausted and depleted Union allowed a 59th-minute goal to Ricardo Clark, which propelled the Dynamo to a much-needed victory at BBVA Compass Stadium.

"We didn't defend collectively as a group and we leave a guy open inside the box, and you can't do that at this level," Union head coach John Hackworth said. "Credit to Houston, they were pushing the whole game; they were a team that was really trying to get on the board. To their credit, they broke through in the second half."

But the Union remain confident despite some tough results over the past few games.

"We have a good week of training and just look ahead," forward Conor Casey said. "And we're in a good place right now as a team. We have dropped some points these last couple of games, but we're in the middle of the season now, and this is what really counts and that's what's going to separate us."

Chivas USA, meanwhile, comes into Friday's tilt struggling mightily, having not won a league match since March 30.

Last time out, the Goats did well to take the lead in Quebec against the East- leading Montreal Impact, as a 55th-minute tally by Eric Avila made it 1-0 for the visitors.

But they were unable to hold onto the lead as a clumsy challenge on Montreal's Sanna Nyassi by Mario de Luna result in a penalty kick 11 minutes from time.

Patrice Bernier lined up the spot kick and buried it to save a point for Montreal, extending the Goats' winless run to 13 consecutive matches.

"We went on the road and we played two great teams in their home. To come away with a point is very accomplishing for us," Avila said. "With the momentum from Dallas, we came in here and we played as a team and we stayed more composed and it helped the team through the game."

In five all-time meetings with Chivas, Philadelphia has never lost, posting a 3-0-2 record, including a 1-0 win at the Home Depot Center last season courtesy of a goal from Freddy Adu.

The Sports Network

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