In all too familiar fashion, boos bellowed from the Sons of Ben section Saturday night as the winless Union (0-3-2) walked off the pitch in an embarrassing 3-1 loss to the Portland Timbers (4-1-1).
The Union haven’t won a game since Aug. 27 of last year. They’re a combined 0-9-4 in that time and fans are calling for another coaching change for the franchise. Coach Jim Curtin took to the podium to address this issue following the loss on Saturday night.
“That’s natural,” Curtin said, responding to a potential coaching change. “When you lose games, that’s part of it. I don’t hide from that and I’m not a guy who doesn’t that understand that there’s pressure in pro sports. Our players recognize that, I recognize that and I feel that. I’m not scared of it because I still believe in the team and the group. You can put it on me, that’s fine. I take the blame. People are going to have their opinions and they’re entitled to them.”
The Union are now a far cry away from all of the excitement of their hot start last season. The Union rode an eight-match winning streak (3-0-5) from April 23 to June 1 which had them atop the Eastern Conference rankings. The Union currently sit dead last in the MLS with their five-match winless streak to start the season.
“We seem to be getting punished for mistakes,” Union defender Oguchi Onyewu said. “But to this point we haven’t been punishing our adversaries when they make mistakes. We haven’t been scoring. When we have our opportunities we don’t take advantage of them and that’s ultimately the name of the game. … Right now it’s the moment for each individual person within the organization to take a look in the mirror and dig deep down to find the answer within themselves.”
The Union’s previous coach, John Hackworth, was fired back in 2014, finishing with a 23-30-20 (46 percent winning percentage) overall record. Curtin currently holds a 28-39-22 (winning percentage of 42) overall record since and is riding the longest losing streak of his tenure as coach.
Curtin may be facing his final audition in two must-win home games against New York City FC (2-2-1) and the also winless Montreal Impact (0-2-3) in the team’s next two games.
“The only way you get out of this is to win a game,” Curtin said. “That’s the only way you silence the noise. … We’ll stick together. We have a great group, a great staff, a great group of players and we’re going to fight.”