The Union and DC United met Wednesday at Subaru Park to kick off MLS “Rivalry” week. Unfortunately for the Union, things did not go as planned as a 0-0 snoozefest took place. Hear what Union forward Mikael Uhre had to say after the match.
After back-to-back tournament exits for the Union, the team looked to put CCL and the US Open Cup behind them. Coming into the match with a 4-game-unbeaten stretch in MLS, the Union looked to build on that and keep climbing the standings. Unfortunately, Wayne Rooney and DC United had other things in mind.
Rooney had a clear game plan in place. Force the Union to play over the top and have his keeper play a “sweeper keeper” to have the margin of error razor-thin for the passes to get through. This led to the Union registering just 2 shots on target through the 90 minutes. This was the first time the Union failed to beat DC United at home since 2014.
The only plus the Union can take from this game is Andre Blake. Who is back to his usual superstar self after dealing with an injury early in the season. Blake was honored pregame for becoming the all-time leader in Union club history in starts. It was his show from the beginning. Just look at one of the many excellent saves he made.
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Blake is the only positive from Wednesday. The offense went stagnant once again. However, more concerning was the regular starting 11 being back, minus Jack McGlynn, and the struggles not only continuing but getting worse. Jose Martinez and Mikael Uhre returned and the Union went back to their traditional 4-4-2 diamond after starting in the Christmas tree formation. Concerningly, the Union’s offense seemed to get more disconnected once the regular starters came in.
The Union defeated DC United last year by a total of 13-0 over the two games. While DC United have bounced back under Wayne Rooney, they are still a beatable side. Anything less than 3 points was going to be a disappointment.
Hears What Mikael Uhre Had to Say When We Meet with Him Postgame:
We asked Uhre how he feels about the Union now going on a 5-game unbeaten stretch. However, Uhre is not satisfied. He stated “I want more every time we play at home, I want to win. So yeah, it is tough.”
We then asked about his health for Saturday’s game back at home for New England Revolution. In regards to him being asked about starting, Uhre said “I mean, hopefully, we’ll see. We’ll see how the knee reacts then we will take it from there.” He went on to add “It has been frustrating for me, obviously wanting to play but yeah, sometimes that is how it is and it is out of your control.” Jim Curtin mentioned postgame that Uhre has needed fluid drained from his right knee multiple times now. Fortunately, today Curtin confirmed both Uhre and Martinez are healthy and will be available Saturday night.
Lastly, we asked Uhre if all of the lineup rotation is factoring into the slugging offense. He noted “It is always tough. Sometimes you don’t have that consistency and cohesion. But yeah, we have good players coming off the bench. We have good players it is just a matter of finding the right moments then I am sure we are going to break out.”
Uhre knows the lineup rotations aren’t entirely to blame for the Union’s struggles but knows everyone needs to get better and on the same page to start putting goals in the back of the net consistently.
The Union Need to Get Back on Track
After dropping some winnable games early in the MLS Season, the Union finds themselves 6th in the Eastern Conference. However, a perfect opportunity is here to get back on track. As mentioned, the Revolution come to Subaru Park Saturday to close out MLS’ Rivalry week. The Revs sit 2nd in the Eastern Conference and 6 points ahead of the Union.
If the Union can get back on track and grab a huge 3 points at home, it could propel them to start moving up the table. If the struggles continue, patience in the fanbase is wearing thin after many disappointments early in the season.