The Philadelphia Union are trying to get into a winning mindset with the postseason fast approaching.
Philadelphia visits Charlotte FC, which is in desperate mode to get into playoff position, on Wednesday night.
Philadelphia (14-8-5, 47 points) tied 2-2 with Eastern Conference-leading FC Cincinnati on Saturday after the Union led 2-0 at halftime.
“We’re only happy in this building when we get three points,” Union coach Jim Curtin said.
Curtin said the emphasis is to put more pressure on the three teams ahead of Philadelphia in the standings.
But after a physical match that included 12 yellow cards in the Cincinnati match, composure is bound to be among Curtin’s message. Philadelphia’s Jack Elliott was issued a red card after his second yellow.
The Union, who have won two of their last three road matches, will have to regenerate a form of the energy that was on display against Cincinnati.
Charlotte (7-9-11, 32 points) has had three consecutive draws, including Saturday night’s 0-0 outcome at home against D.C. United.
“It’s up to us to take what we deserve,” Charlotte coach Christian Lattanzio said. “Nobody is going to give us a gift. … We need to win games. In the last four games, we should have had 12 points.”
Charlotte has produced a total of two goals across its past three matches, and it has eclipsed the one-goal mark just once in its last five matches.
“We had many chances to create more,” Lattanzio said. “We had more than enough possessions, more than enough entries.”
Lattanzio said he’s seeking the best combinations and he’s willing to adjust roles as necessary.
The Union have excelled at times at the offensive end, totaling 10 goals across its past four matches. They might encounter a more assertive resistance in the Charlotte net as goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina seems to be taking a slightly different approach.
“This is what I like,” Lattanzio said. “His aggressiveness in taking strategic positions is vital.”
The Union defeated Charlotte 1-0 on May 31 when Kahlina was charged with an own goal in the 71st minute.
Philadelphia has won five road matches this year. Charlotte has only four home victories.
–Field Level Media